The happiest time of anyone’s life is just after the first divorce.
– John Kenneth Galbraith
It’s a funny quote when you think about it, and while it’s safe to say that no one wants to really experience divorce a lot of people seem to be exceptionally happy afterwards. Maybe its because some marriages are just painful and deteriorating, and divorce is the only way to put an end to the suffering. Yes, marriage has its ups and downs but it should not be an everyday living hell. When life is hellish people come up with escape plans. My good friend, who was considering divorce because of abuse, summed up his desperation for an escape this way: “I don’t fantasize about cheating with other women, I fantasize about divorce lawyers”. While divorce is not always the answer, it is often an appropriate end to abusive and extremely unhealthy marriages. Moving from daydreaming about divorce and divorce lawyers to actually securing them can be liberating. It can be a new happy time of life—a time of rediscovery and personal restoration.
About the whirlwind:
Those of us who have ever felt like strangers in our own homes understand that the main character only gets to breathe when the antagonist is gone. We know how a lack of peace in our homes and our hearts feels. Well, I do, and I can’t lie. I separated twice from my husband, and each time my experience was drastically different. The first time I began conversations with divorce lawyers I was miserable. I would rather endure hell and not have peace than to actually not have my husband. To me, separating and possibly divorcing meant that I was a failure—a soon to be statistic. Fear over my future and sadness over the loss consumed me. But…all of a sudden life became a blast! It was like something clicked, and I stopped caring.
I made all kinds of irrational, hilarious and excitingly awesome, temporary decisions based on my own brand of escapism and for the sake of having a good time and zoning out. However, it all came to an end when he decided he wanted to get counseling and work on his issues and work on our issues together. The truth, though buried deep, was that I was still in love no matter how I pretended to be fine without him. I decided to give up my new found freedom to work things out.
After you process those emotions you rediscover peace:
After most of the makeup sex had lost it’s allure, the plot twist came, and I was in a deeper hell. His behaviors had gotten worse, and I was filled with more anxiety and fear. We separated again, but the second time, I didn’t wild out or kick it super hard. I began processing the loss, took personal inventory, drew strength from God, my mother, a few family members and friends. My emotions calmed. I felt more at peace. I knew I had to rediscover who I was, what I wanted and start my journey of healing.
As you remember how dope you really are your restoration begins:
Being in a hellish marriage wreaks havoc on you: physically, emotionally and spiritually. You can gain weight, lose too much weight, sink into a depression, or worse. In fact, studies show that being in an abusive relationship or marriage may cause PTSD and other adverse health outcomes that may take years of counseling to combat (http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0886260506289178). Oppression has a way of breaking you and redefining you; it can even cause some people to lose their faith and even forget their own identities.
For example, a woman who is bubbly and outgoing and can motivate others to a greater good as well as lead people with wisdom can easily become one who is timid and afraid to speak up or use her voice to impact any change, anywhere. The hellish marriage she vowed to never leave alters her identity. Her change in esteem and use of talents can come as the the result of not being able to differentiate her true self from her abuser’s version of who she is. There is good news, though. When this woman is liberated from the abuse she can begin to see herself as she once did. Then she will remember her own intrinsic value. This is the hope: freedom, rediscovery and restoration.
When people make it out of abusive and unhealthy marriages they can know peace again and reclaim their true identities! All of the gifts, talents, and beauty that was suppressed or even washed away come back. They remember who they really are, and healing comes. Although divorce, which no one ever truly wants, can be a necessary evil it can also be the precursor to a time of personal rediscovering and the path to individual restoration.