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Somewhere in my life I came to the conclusions that words have little to no meaning. I did not value promises or verbal commitments. I learned to question everything I heard. Even words written on a paper, especially those written for the purpose of binding a contract held little weight. As a result, I became a man of few words. I took the stance that my actions would say everything that I needed to communicate.
My position on the value of words begin to soften throughout the years; primarily, as a result of many trouble relationships. The differing communication styles, me choosing to lead by example and those I engaged needing to express themselves verbally caused great conflict. I begin to work towards being more communicative.
In my marriage, I had achieved a level of expression that made me uncomfortable. There were moments when I dominated conversations, and even became argumentative. This level of verbal engagement was a sharp turn from previous forms of expression. It was likely too much as I did not realize how much was pent up in my soul. Saying too much can be just as dangerous as saying too little.
However, two of the most powerful words known to anyone were still very difficult for me to use. Promise and apologize. Offering a promise presented a challenge. It was a personal offense when someone used this word, which signified the highest level of commitment, then brushed aside the necessary follow through with no regard. I was committed to not being that guy. I would not use this word unless I was absolutely sure that I was willing to give all of me towards achieving the commitment. In the event that I failed, the evidence would be clear that everything within my resources would have been expelled before I stopped trying.
The latter, apologize, is just a cleaver way of saying, “I’m sorry.” I forced “sorry” from my vocabulary long ago as I did not want to be associated with anything that was sorry, weak, insufficient, compromised, or lacking. Sorry was impossible for me to articulate, and an apology was not much easier to share. For me, it meant that either the act that would beg an apology had some intentionality or that the person apologizing could have altered the outcome. Both should be rare situations, so an apologize should seldom be rendered, in my opinion. This stance made me appear cold and callus.
On the morning of this recording, several months ago, I was feeling extremely apologetic. There was a flood of emotions as I could visually see all of the people that I needed to apologize to. Our marriage was over and I knew clearly the part that I played in the demise. There were people equally committed to our success and others dependent upon our success that would be affected by the outcome. Although I am much better at communicating, as I have a new appreciation for the value of words, I still find it difficult to apologize. Yet to all those I have hurt as a result of my decision to divorce my spouse, to them and to her, I Need to Apologize
Even before I had it I did not understand the concept of goodbye sex. (Divorce Journal – Goodbye Sex) I mean I tried it once in high school, but it was an act of revenge on a cheating girlfriend. I assumed that goodbye sex was some sort of parting gift to each other, not a malicious act to declare the end of a relationship. But, I struggle with understanding the purpose of sharing in intimacy with someone you no longer want to be in a relationship with.
In some regard, I can understand the partner that is requesting one last moment of itimacy before the door closes on a relationship forever. Forever is a long time. It stands to reason that the emotions involved in this final act will run high; therefore, making the love making experience that much more special. But, what about the negative consequences? For instance, I have come to understand that sexual intercourse is deeper than penetrating flesh. Souls are intertwined as a result of the connection. What are these parties to do with this connection once the relationship has dissolved?
The dissenting partner has th greatest challenge. It would be cold and malicious to deny your partner the opportunity to spend few last and lasting passionate moments together. It is certainly not like this would be the first time the couple had shared in intimacy. But the consequences on the partner that wants out may be greater. The physical, emotional and spiritual connection maybe to involved for the other person to simply walk away.
Whoever decided that it would be a good idea to lay with your partner on the way out needs to provide clarity on what exactly is the goal. From limited personal experience, it only seems to make matters worse.
It would seem that making the decision to divorce would be the hardest part. I would argue that dealing with the consequences of the decision are far more difficult than reaching the conclusion. Once the decision to divorce is made, then you have to endure all of the opinions or reactions of those that know you and your spouse.
I was not prepared for the “I saw your wife” or “I saw your wife’s posts on social media” encounters. As a matter of fact, I had not even considered her activities apart from ou marriage and how they would impact me. My neglect to consider and prepare for these conversations placed me in a more perilous situation.
Divorce Journal – I Saw Your Wife
The trials that led to our decision to divorce were exhausting. Once the decision was made, I begin to work towards the life I hoped to have after the divorce was final. I never stopped to imagine what her response would be. It was a mistake to only consider how I would recover from the end of our marriage.
She, first, took to social media and shared her feelings about the decision to divorce. It was her right to do so. I should not have been surprised as she is a writer and a connector of people. It was the logical response. But, then her ‘hanging out’ breached the social media platforms. She started a campaign of public social interaction. In short, she started hanging out in actual social places, such as bars and night clubs.
The first encounter I had with someone that would express their thoughts, feelings, or opinion on our divorce immediately arrest my attention. It happened in my work space. I left the encounter knowing that I needed a game plan. Right away I started preparing an official ‘press release’ or a response statement, and practicing various facial expressions. I did not like the feeling of being caught of guard, so I started preparing for the many future encounters that would come.
I would like to say my preparation to respond more appropriately to others’ opinions of our plans to divorce or my wife’s activities was absolutely successful. This statement would not be true. However, I managed to get better with each encounter with someone that decided to share in our decision by offering their opinion. Participating in conversations about ou marriage with people outside of our union proved to be far more challenging than arriving at the decision to divorce.
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.