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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.
A willingness to hear each other’s hearts led to open conversations. Open conversations gave way to deeper transparency. Knowing what your partner is feeling, thinking and experiencing inspires compromise. Compromising on a routine basis resulted in comfortability, and the desire to spend more time together. The more time we, two people who were emotionally charge and comfortable with each spent together, the greater the chance we would have sex. (Divorce Journal – S.E.X.)
It seemed that we were more willing to hear each other’s hearts after I declared that I wanted a divorce. The open and honest conversations were some of the best we experienced in nearly nine years. It could be the removal of self imposed barriers built on fear that opened this entryway. We were courageously transparent with each other.
The result of our openness led to a willingness to compromise. I placed the plan to file for divorce on the shelf. She was less defensive. We both accepted blame for our part in the deterioration of our marriage. In the words of Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock, “it takes two to make things go right.” (It Takes Two) It was the height of mutual understanding and compassion in our relationship.
We became very comfortable in eah other’s presence. Somewhere along the journey we begin to look forward to speaking with and seeing each other. It started with daily messages to check-in and forward material that had nothing to do with us. We sent prayers, scriptures, jokes, and news about family and friends.
Our daily contact grew from text messages into hanging out. Soon after, we were in a full on sexual relationship. We both missed this part of our marriage. It took years to adapt to each other’s sexual styles and preferences, but when we did it became magical. What we shared was beyond physical satisfaction as it was a spiritual depth to our connection.
Neither of us had abandoned our positions on divorce. I reasoned that we were still married, thus I felt no guilt in pleasing my wife. She accepted our time together. We decided to live in those moments, and they were good. However, when we were a part I wondered if she felt that I was taking advantage of her. Or, if she was using these moments to further weaken my position. I hoped she remembered that I had never been that weak for sex.
The real tragedy was that the more we had sex, the less we talked. Our meetings became more about the intimacy we shared and less about deconstructing the issues that led us to separation. We realized this imbalance, but it was diffiult to regain the amount of time and effort placed into conversation when their was so much positive sexual energy between us. So, we continued to have sex. And it was good.
There are two responses that you hate to hear when other’s learn that you and your spouse are separated and headed towards divorce. The most hurtful is, “I knew you two would not last,” or some version of this comment. The second is not hurtful or is at least not meant to be. It is, “I do not understand what happen as the two of you seemed to be so happy,” or some version of this comment.
It is difficult to respond to either version. The challenge involves several factors. You do not want to speak harshly of your mate, especially since you chose them. It is also unlikely that any one person is at fault, so if you share their faults, then you must also spill your oen contribution to the decline. You also have to consider why the person is asking. Some genuinely care and are searching for ways to support you or the both of you. Others may be looking for answers or meaning for their own relationships and caution is advised, so that you do not cause harm to them. And their the folks that are just looking for dirty that they can happily share. The world has no shortage of destructive people or behaviors.
I still find it hard discussing the end of our marriage. It is hard because my reasons are complicated. It is hard as I am still living with the emotional and physical repercussions of the divorce. Divorce is the ripping apart of two souls, hearts and bodies. You feel this crude separation in during the healing period. And you may not ever fully heal.
This entry (Divorce Journal – It Is Hard To Share My Story) is my attempt at responding to several people that were shocked to learn of our separation. I fumbled with my response to each of them, and thought I could provide clarity in the journal entry. It seems I did not offer much clarity after reviewing the video. Maybe one day I will be able to articulate the events that led to the divorce with the transparency that I prescribe.
It is clear from the beginning of these recordings that I am uncomfortable sharing or allowing this much exposure to the decline of our marriage. There is so much that lies beneath the words that I struggle to share. The strain comes across in mis-pronunciations, the wrong choice of words, and unnecessary pauses as I fight through the flood of thoughts.
But I was committed to see this experience through to the very end. I worried if I could produce a journal that would be authentically my story, while preserving the dignity of my spouse. It was my project, which I engaged without her permission. Besides, if I tried to tell a complete story without her input, then the integrity of the entire product would have been weakened.
This entry (Divorce Journal – Trust Is An Issue) was my earliest attempt at sharing one of our issues. Frankly, after reviewing the entry I realized that I failed to capture the balance that I sought. Sure, I was struggling with trusting her words. In truth, the issue was never about her lying as much as it was her lack of courage in believing that I could handle her truth. Or, her choosing what she thought was an easy way to avoid confrontation.
She had more reason in our relationship to distrust as my actions were far more hurtful. My word were almost always transparent and blunt, but my actions were not always as revealing. Therefore, the title and the entry are misleading, too.
Bare with me on this journey as the subject matter and the delivery will get better.