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Divorce involves the painful separation of a wife and a husband. Marriages that produce children or blend families together must take into account that the children will also face the hardships caused by divorce. Unfortunately, the hurt does not stop with these parties directly tied to the marriage. So many other areas are impacted. A couple that is considering divorce must be aware of how far their decision will reach.
Everything in a marriage must be divided when it ends. Most begin by considering the division of personal assets, such as homes, furnishings, and cars. Those are the easy decisions in my opinion. Investments must also be split up, including retirement funds, investment portfolios and properties, and collectibles. This area is a little more difficult. Even the debts accumulated must be shared, and it is surprising how some think that one party will assume all of the liabilities.
The most difficult area of division for me did not include any of the personal assets or liabilities. The hardest area for me was loosing relationships with family members and friends. It would seem that family and friends would want to provide support for all parties involved, but what I have expereinced is that they too will chose a side.
Let me be clear. It may be a family member that is a blood relative or a close friend you have known all your life, and they still may chose to continue a relationship with your spouse over you after the divorce. Shocking, I know. It is more shocking when they make the choice based on unsupportive details that are only being shared by one side. Or, it may seem unfair that people run toward the person that displays the most hurt. The loudest cries usually gets the most attention.
Once my wife made our decision to divorce public through social media outlets she garnered an immediate community of support. I should not have been, but I was completely caught off guard by the persons that seemed to have chosen a side, her side, and an application for divorce was not even filed. Very few people sought to help us, and even less reached out to me for confirmation of the decision.
I was still sad about the responses of our family and friends when I recorded this entry (Divorce Journal – Choosing Sides). But I knew that retaliating, especially on social media sites was not the appropriate response. I turned to this journal to begin processing all of my emotions. In reality, our family and friends still loved and support both of us. And after I had calmed down, I was glad that she had a familiar community there to support her through our diffiult journey.
The purpose of journaling is to capture thoughts, feelings, dreams, and events. Journal entries will serve as a measure of how far you have come, or offer an explanation to you or someone else of what was occuring in your life at a particular point.
The experience of journaling seemed to be a worthy endeavor, especially if it could be used as a tool to measure progress. But, what if there was no progress, or worse ground was loss? It is hard to look back over your life and consider the mistakes that were made and the damage that was caused as a consequence.
Yet, even in our failures there are lessons to be learned. It might be even more beneficial to review what did not work. Who could not benefit from knowing the outcome of a wrong path?
Reviewing this entry (Divorce Journal – No Need To Respond) was difficult for me. It was a reminder of a period where I was being indecisive. I experienced a long pause – a time of mental paralysis. In this video entry I could hear how that period had caused me and my wife pain and resulted in frustration.
The process or the lack thereof was unfair to my wife and me. However, good can be found in any situation if you desire to see it. The positive note from this period is that I was still considering the impact of divorce to our immediate and extended circles. The paralysis that I expereinced was due to the strain of balancing my emotional health against those who would also be impacted by my decision.
It is also clear from this entry that after months I had not responded to my wife’s question about the direction our activities were taking the relationship. Out of frustration or in desparation to save her own sanity she made the choice for us. We would divorce.
It is my hope for anyone reviewing this entry, that has stalled on making a critical decision, will receive the incentive required to move. Learn from my mistake. If you do not make the call, someone else will and it may not be in either of your favor. Push through the fear of being hurt or hurting someone else. Weigh all of the options, then make the best decision possible. Afterwards, no matter the outcome, take the necessary steps to heal and forgive yourself.
You cannot treat someone a certain way and expect them to believe your words. A reasonable person will respond in a manner that gives them the best personal outcome. It is called self-preservation.
Her reaction was to return to behaviors that placed the relationship in jeopardy from the beginning. Wisdom would suggest that if something did not workout well over an extended period of time, then you must choose a different action.
Prior to this entry (Divorce Journal – The Tables Are Turning), I was beginning to change my mind. It had been nearly four months since making the decision to divorce my wife. We were starting to spend more time together, which included the most open forum of conversation that we had experienced in years. It seemed as if we were breaking into a new area of our relationship. The possibility of a better us was enough motivation to stall the decision to divorce.
My expectations were unrealistic. I was to blame for the hope that I allowed to creep into my own feelings. How could I blame her for wanting to fight for the marriage, while making sure that certain things or people were in place in case I proceeded with the divorce? The delay in filing for the divorce back fired. Somehow I failed to make my intentions clear enough, and create a space in time for us to make the decision together. In the end, my word were more important to her, or the words I did not say, then my actions.
It is interesting how everything seems to have meaning for your current situation when you are faced with a major decision. You can watch a television show and one of the character’s storylines will seem to parallel your own. The lyrics of a popular song played on the radio will seem to capture your every emotion. You find yourself in earshot of strangers, and their conversation tempts you to move from ease dropping to full on participation. All of these responses are within reason. However, take into consideration your own sensitivity while measuring your circumstances against outside influences.
The day before I recorded this entry (Divorce Journal – Conviction) I was attending church and begin to intertwine my decision to divorce with the sermon. It seemed as if the pastor’s message was directed towards me and our marriage. Of course the pastor of a mega-church would have no idea what my wife and I were experiencing. Yet, it was as if the pastor was dwelling in my thoughts and had decided to build the weekly sermon around our situation. From that sermon I felt conviction over the decision I made to divorce my wife.
The sermon subject centered on the occurrence of a disciple of Jesus Christ walking on water. It was nothing to have Jesus Christ walk on any substance. But, it is quite captivating to have a mere human being step out of a boat onto water and walk on an element that is scientifically not suppose to support the density of human flesh. This phenomenon only occurred because of the disciple’s faith in and focus on Jesus Christ. Peter received the permission of his Lord to step onto the water and as a result completed an un-natural task.
This sermon made me question my own faith journey. Had I stepped out through faith, into a marriage, and on a commitment that was un-natural for me? If so, could I have made it all the way if I had maintain faith in and focus on Jesus Christ? Was the demise of our marriage the consequence of paying attention to the turbulence surrounding our union, more than I concentrated on the reason I stepped out on faith? These are the questions that arrested my attention. And they still do more than a year later.