Thursday, November 22, 2007


Happy Thanksgiving!

I am so grateful for everything. I am grateful for peace and contentment. I am grateful that in the season there is calm in my soul. I am grateful that when I need to cry and be sad – I can. I am grateful that I have wonderful people in my life. I am grateful that my joy is not situation dependent J

Thanksgiving is actually my favorite holiday. I wish everyone well and hope that you spend the day enjoying love and companionship of people you love.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Divorce and “Well-Meaning” Friends

This was actually not my next planned topic. However in recent weeks, a few things have weighed heavily on my mind. As my spouse and I head into year 2 of our divorce process I frequently get asked, “Why is it taking so long?” I’m not sure I’m the right one to ask. This question is usually followed by some well-meaning person informing me of such things as:

z He doesn’t love you;

z He doesn’t love you anymore;

z He doesn’t want you anymore;

z He has someone else;

z He just doesn’t want to married;

z He doesn’t want to be married to you

z You have to let go and move on

I say well-meaning, because they seem to be oblivious to the fact that I have accepted my husband’s choices. Of course, these comments are usually prefaced with “I know this is hard to hear”. It’s not hard to “hear it” when you have been living it. If I had not accepted my spouse’s choices (regardless of his feelings behind them) – I would probably consider these comments highly insensitive, instead I can see them as well-meaning.

Over the last 2 years, I have worked to lay the foundation for my future without him because that is what he elected. I have not dwelt in the hope of reconciliation nor have I put my life on hold. I have not “jumped” into a new relationship – that would have been foolish – this is a confusing enough time without the stress or burden of building a new relationship before the old one is successfully/effectively dismantled. Of course it seems that to our society “moving on” means finding a new partner or playmate quickly.

I am not certain if there’s a natural tendency to assume that any delay in a divorce is the result of some unwillingness on the part of the respondent (me, my husband is the petitioner) to comply with the requested action. Or maybe there’s a gender stereotype at work here – the woman is always reluctant one.

I don’t think I have been unwilling to confront the brutal realities of my current circumstances. Am I hurt by my husband’s choices? Absolutely. Can I change his choices or beliefs? Absolutely not. Can I choose to trust that God has a plan for my life? Absolutely. I suppose it seems baffling to some, but I do not hate or wish my spouse ill. With God’s grace, in the midst of this, I still have a great deal of empathy for my spouse. I recognize that if this were easy for him our divorce would have been completed months ago. I don’t have to be angry at him to comply with his request for a divorce – my actions need not be fueled by anger or resentment.

Or maybe it is even more confusing that I recognize that in the end the legal aspects of divorce are a business transaction. There is no amount of money that could compensate me for the heartache or time wasted as a result of my spouse’s choices. However, during the course of our 10 plus years together we accomplished some things “together”. The objective of the divorce is to divide those things up in a way that is a respectful and equitable reflection of the work we accomplished “together”.

It is abundantly clear to me that my husband’s feelings and choices are his own. I have also been clear that my spouse’s choices do not dictate whether or not I continue to stand in my values. Divorce is painful, but even more painful is failing yourself. Failing to honor what you believe is painful. Everyday I get to choose who I want to be in these circumstances. I could choose to be chaotic, angry, perhaps completely out of control. I choose not to be in that emotional state. I pray, and I continue to stand gratefully in God’s grace and mercy. I follow through on my end of things, working with an attorney I respect and who respects my values and opinions. My attorney appreciates that my objective is not to punish my spouse for his choices. I work with a Christian counselor to process the emotional trauma of my husband’s choices. I spend time with my family and friends. I have work that I enjoy. I praise God for each new day.