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We give power to whatever dominates our thoughts. It is through our giving in to thoughts that create obsessions. My thoughts were consumed with deep questions about marriage as we approached the day that our divorce would be finalized. Those thoughts seemed to attract answers through a variety of sources. Could ay of this have been a Coincidence?
I was once advised that I can learn more from my failures than I could any success. Facing divorce certainly suggests that I failed. The amount of time invested in dissecting and analyzing every detail about our marriage begin to cause hopelessness. I wondered if I were too broken to ever pursue another relationship, not to mention a marriage.
Somehow all sorts of inspiration for having a sucessful marriages begin to appear. I found a ray of hope during a deep spiral downward and into an even more hardened place. The hope was not in our current marriage. Our time had come and passed away. Yet, I was starting to feel encouraged that I could love, fall in love and be loved, again.
The revelation was the result of a consistent stream of positive testimonies of marriages that worked. And not all of them were first time marriages, some were on there third or later marriage before they finally got it right. However, there were no details on ‘it’ or how ‘it’ made a difference in making their marriage successful.
I remain grateful for my experiences in love and marriage. In this season I am better prepared to move forward in love due to the inspirational stories of successful marriages coupled with the lessons that I have learned through personal failure. My obsessions with knowing more about the decline of a marriage brought to me a deeper understanding about marriage in general. And, I was challenged to correct some flawed belief systems, for example, that I could control every aspect of marriage. What I truly believe is that I was successful in attracting material that would help me become a better man.
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.