I have been divorced before. Most people know that-I definitely don't hide that at all. However, I really don't talk openly about it that much anymore. Mostly because I am not that angry bitter soul that I used to be.
I received this email earlier today from one of my followers who asked me to share how exactly I got through my toughest point-the divorce itself-and finding love afterwards. It was such a touching email and I felt the need to take this one request because, well, I have been there. And according to the statistics, most of you have, too.
I was married once before. I was wayyy too young and pretty dumb about it. Also, I did it for all of the wrong reasons. I barely knew him. I wanted to get out from underneath my parents to have my own life and feel grown up- and I wanted to feel love and happiness. I though that by being married, it would bring me love and happiness. Boy, was I so wrong.
I married while I was 20 years old and living at home with my parents. I was halfway through nursing school so I had to stick in my homestate while my husband at the time was in another state due to the military. We lived apart for about 8 months while I finished my schooling. Talk about tough stuff.
Once I graduated, I was so happy to move so off I went to be with my husband! However, once we moved in together, our marriage was far from a fairy tale I had hoped for.
I found marriage to be really hard. I didn't realize why until I actually got to know this person-and I did not like him one bit:
- He was selfish, arrogant, immature, conceited, and moody.
- He loved himself mostly.
- He put cars & sports as his #1 priority in life.
- He was terrible with money and loved spending and gambling.
- He loved gambling so much that he took us to the casino for our first two anniversaries-to gamble with his mother.
- He was never content with the life he had. He always wanted more and more.
- He was heartless. He had left me at the hospital when my father was on a ventilator from a near fatal car accident with a traumatic brain injury, to go race his car at the local racetrack.
- Must I go on? I mean, really?
When I look back on all of the red flags throughout the 3 years we were married, I want to punch myself! How could I have been so stupid and ignorant? And to top it all off, I suffered emotional abuse and neglect, most of the time. Until one day when I decided to get out.
Throughout our marriage, we would get into countless arguments. He would threaten divorce and then he would leave home for two weeks to go to our hometown and then come back saying we could "give it another chance." We did this repeatedly-it was always soooo back and forth until one day, I was sick of it.
In April 2012, when my ex-husband had left me for a couple weeks (for the last and final time) and told me he wanted a divorce, I went to the beach with one of my girlfriends who worked in the hospital with me and she said she had invited this guy-one of her friends-to come meet us. I thought "okay cool." He showed up and gosh was he the most bubbliest and sweetest guy ever. He sat down next to me, turned towards me, and said, "What's your story?" And we became friends. This guy had been through a divorce before and he gave me the advice to do what makes me happy. I thought long and hard about it. We went out to get ice cream-all three of us-and then went to dinner. We dropped him off at his car where he & I exchanged numbers.
That night was the night that my ex-husband came home and said "we could give it another try." I said "ok." I mean, after all, I wanted to save my marriage. Divorce scared me, I was afraid of being on my own. After one week of trying, I just did not feel it anymore. Not even <1% of my heart had any feeling for this terrible guy left. Why would it? And oh boy, he could tell.
He stormed in the living room one day and yelled "Do you want a divorce?" If I had a nickle for every time I heard the word divorce come out of his mouth, I would be a billionaire. Ok, maybe just a millionaire! I thought quietly, without saying one word. After a few seconds, I said "Yes, yes I do want a divorce." He said "Fine!" and went back to his room. And he has not been civil with me since.
I had to beg him to meet me at the courthouse to fill out the papers with me because he was trying to hold out on the one thing I wanted to piss me off-to get away from him. It was so sickening, almost like his one last bit of control he was trying to use. But, finally, he met me and I had him fill out the paperwork while I paid for the divorce. We turned the papers in. A couple weeks later at our hearing, we arrived and we both agreed that this marriage wasn't reconcilable. I left that sourthouse with so much peace in my soul.
About a month later, I got the best piece of mail I had ever received-my divorce decree! I went to the beach alone and felt so empowered within myself. For the first time in 3 years, I was happy. I confided in Grady and was so blessed to have him as my friend. Then, we became more. A lot more.
Today, Grady and I have been supery happily married for the last two years with the most beautiful little boy we could ever imagine! I never knew life could be so awesome! I learned what truly makes a happy marriage.
The point is that divorces suck. No matter the circumstances. I was happy to get one, yes, but it was hard. I let him take everything, really. I had to rebuild myself up from the dirt. He left me with over $7000 in credit card debt by buying car parts in my name (my name is still on his car and motorcycle by the way.. I guess they are technically mine too!) and I am so happy to say that my husband and I have paid off that debt and tons more.
I do not regret marrying this guy-or divorcing him. It got me to where I am today.
If it were not for him, I would not have met the love of my life.
If it were not for him, I would not have my beautiful baby boy.
If it were not for him, I would not know how strong I truly am.
If it were not for him, I would not be as successful as I am today.
I thank my ex-husband. For everything-truly. I really do not hold anything against him anymore-I do not have a reason to. I forgive him and I wish him the very best. Because life is good. Everything happens for a reason, people!! You must look on the bright side. You might be sad for a while. You may be stressed for a while. You might feel hopeless for a while. But, I swear to you that when one door closes, another door opens. God has something in store for you-something better than you could ever hand pick yourself! Making the choice to divorce is not easy, but you have got to love yourself more if you are with someone who is not right for you.
I promise you that there is life after divorce. I repeat-THERE IS LIFE AFTER DIVORCE!
If you are going through a divorce and need to talk, I am here. I am thankful for my friends and husband, who were there for me when I needed people the most.
Remember: You are stronger than you know!