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HONEY I'M HOME! Honey..? The real feelings we deal with during and after a divorce.
Sometimes it feels like the end of the road...
The Realization that things are changing...
Before the arguments escalate and the names are exchanged in a way that statistically begins to tip the odds against your wedding vows, which at one point during your relationship were spoken from your heart without a thought that they could possibly someday be just words that were said in the blindness of love. Or, so that's what some people would call it. "Blindness..." Truth be told though, it wasn't blindness at all, (a vast majority of the time). Those feelings were real. Very real. However, due to the emotional roller-coaster that we have the opportunity to ride for amounts of time that would make even the most dedicated of thrill seekers stomach's turn from the ups, down's, twists and turns, we have a tendency to lose track of what feelings we actually had and when. The constant change of emotions, which at times can be so out of your control, can actually become more than just emotions. Some people don't know this, but true physical sickness can manifest itself out of emotions which are traditionally thought to only be confined to the realms of our non-physical feelings. These feelings, however, become so spontaneous and fluctuating, we forget to even know how to perceive them. This is the reason that we often tend to take credit away from the one feeling that drove your soul to live and die for your spouse, Love. Love is what came before the arguments that fueled the despise and even hatred, which antagonized the spiritual bond that may have never been seen, but was legally confirmed when the relationship took it's next step forward after the "I Do's" were exchanged joining you in holy matrimony. Then comes the realization. Sometimes slowly, sometimes quickly, certainly though it arrives and fills you with a feeling that something just doesn't feel right. You may at first try to blow it off or just assume that you are imagining things... In time though, you know you are not. Your marriage has entered in to a stage that is becoming more and more familiar these days... The stage where you, or the person whom you once shared all your hopes and dreams with, contacts a lawyer and now, without even knowing; even if there had been a plan to try and work things out, subconsciously has pushed the wrecking ball down the hill. A hill that, until that ball starts rolling faster and faster, no one truly knows how steep it is. Now, even more importantly, as that ball rolls down hill... Gaining momentum every inch of the way... How strong is the "emotional wall" surrounding your world at the bottom of that hill? How much support have you put in to that wall..? I know I describe this extremely metaphorically, but the truth is most people need to make sure that they have surrounded themselves with enough support to keep that wall from crashing in on them.
The realization that your world is about to change is something that can seem, perhaps briefly for some and for some not at all, like a pleasant change. Adding truth to the old cliche about thinking that the grass is greener on the other side. Typically though, once we arrive on the other side, we arrive only to find that the grass is in a bit worse shape at the very best. You will more than likely also find out that the grass you stand upon at that point is not going to get any better any time soon. This is because the realization that life is going to change makes a person think. Trying to remove emotions from these thoughts that begin to almost plague your psyche at times can be difficult. For some, even impossible. Let's face it though, no matter how much we want to show the world that we are tough and this doesn't phase us in the least, it hurts. It's not wrong to admit that either. It isn't a sign of weakness or anything closely related. Being weak is hiding the truth and then living with even more stress by trying to hide it. Look at it from an outsiders point of view once. How many times have you seen someone turn to alcohol and/or any other intoxicating substance to deal with the depression that like an invisible cancer is alive and growing within them. With each thought we have that we can not necessarily answer right now, the weight of each of them begins to stack up. There is a point inside each and every one of us, that when it is reached, will be the point where we start feeling overwhelmed as we begin to slowly, but surely lose our perception of control on the situations in our lives. At this point, the realities of living life alone... The reality that those little things you used to cherish in your soon to be ex-spouse... The little things that they used to do, which you were perhaps aware of, but never thought much of because you were there to do the same things for them, begin to add up. The challenges of everyday life begin to be things you would just rather avoid and forget about. Which a lot of times is what we do, only to have them catch up with us down the road at a time when we will certainly exclaim, "Why would this happen now! It couldn't have happened at a worse time!" Or, the other one we hear from people because they fail to add the proper support to their "wall" that needs to block that wrecking ball that is barreling down the hill now, "Why does everything happen to me? I try so hard and never hurt anybody!" Now I know these things can be avoided, but a person has to take the proper steps in making sure they are. Because when I speak of the realization, I speak of the point where a person understands that they "ARE" losing the person they had at one time made a commitment to. A commitment that they were going to spend the rest of their lives with this person, solely and exclusively. Once this thought is undeniably assumed by a person, the roller-coaster is officially under way.
- Coping with a Breakup or Divorce: Moving on After a Relationship Ends
Healing after a breakup or divorce can take time. These tips will help you start to move on.
- Divorce Recovery | Divorce Guidelines
You are not alone.
I wasn't good enough...
There are many different circumstances that lead up to a divorce and not any marriage is similar. It would be impossible for me to cover every situation that could possibly transpire, but truth be told, there are a lot of similarities within them. You will find at times, when you are speaking to someone else who is either in the process of a divorce or has been through one, when they explain their story to you it may seem like they are telling you about your divorce. One difference, their will be different names to the characters. The reason I touch on this is because if so many people can all exchange stories that sound so similar, one must assume that there are some common denominators involved. The common denominator is we are all human. All human and subject to the very emotional ties that are wound in to the DNA of us all. That is why we can relate to people so well...It is why people who have been through it can sympathize and those who haven't can empathize. That means it is also the reason, with the law of averages taken in to consideration, that people know there needs to be support out there for you. Actually, there is a lot of support if we are willing to accept that it could do us some good, maybe even save us from ourselves. There are many feelings that you will go through that seem so foreign and unexplained, but there are answers for these feelings... Feelings like hurt and abandonment.. Or, how about the one that seems to lay low and go unspoken about by the victims of it...? The feeling of, " I wasn't good enough."
Through all the outbursts that may arise and words that will be exchanged. We may seem confident as we tell our side of the story. How we feel about everything and who was responsible. Not us of course... Rarely do you hear people assuming the fault for what has become, possibly by now a nightmare. It could be said a thousand times a day and broadcasted throughout the world for everyone to hear that it is was your partners fault. Maybe, there is even proof that you are telling the truth with no deviation. Fact is though, often times a person will still go home and try to figure what it it was that they could have done better in order to save their marriage. This thought provoking feeling in itself can be enough to drive a person mad. Reason being, the tug-of-war that our minds go in to, in order to figure this out, directly pulls and strains on our very own ego's. So as we sort through our thoughts and analyze all the little things, with every thought, we chip away at the integrity of ourselves. Little by little then, we begin to consume ourselves with our own mind. Our subconscious quest for answers starts taking it's toll on our bodies and with each passing day the stress increases. Leaving us like feeling like a piece of us is missing... However, many times, people still do not seek the support they so desperately need. Whether it's from a lack of caring or it is due to the fact that we know we are about to be alone and want to prove we can do this on our own and will be perfectly fine without our spouse, we still neglect to undergo the search for support that is readily available to anyone who asks for it.
Facing the Facts of Divorce:
- Coping With Depression After Divorce for Men | Men's After Divorce Advice
Coping with depression after divorce for men can be a tricky thing when the world seems to have turned against you. I know a few weeks after my divorce, once I realised this was real and not going away I fell into a deep pit of sadness that it seemed
- Divorce Statistics
Divorce Rate Statistics, U.S. Divorce Rate, Divorce Rates by Age and Gender, When do People Divorce?, Re-Marriage and Divorce, Divorce and Family Trends, Only 10% Reconcile after Separation, Links to US Statistical Resources for Divorce Rates
So much to do...So little help...
Living in an era that is as fast paced as the one we live in, many people, myself included seem overtaken by the busyness of our lives even before the troubles begin. With this being the case, it is easy to understand just how quickly all the tasks our lives demand of us on a daily basis can become what seems an insurmountable mountain of things to do. We end up behind on projects; miss doing the laundry a day here and a day there...Simply put with all the new meetings and scheduling that we do to make sure we are all caught up on our divorce proceedings, we blow off a lot of tasks that still need to be done, but now are there waiting for you. This adds even more stress to your life and soon enough you find yourself carrying yet an even larger load... With no support or people there to help you assume this load, the load will now rest heavily upon you... You will be approached by those who know you well and they will point out things, that even at this point, you may still refuse to admit are happening. Why do we do this..? Who knows... We are the common denominator though and it is a similar reaction in a lot of cases. Changing this pattern is important. Reaching out for support before this happens could help avoid it in it's entirety. The best advice that I have, is that many have paved this road far before you ever traveled it, thanks to that in itself we have been supplied with directions and guidance on how to best deal with things. It has to start within you though... Being honest with yourself is the key component once again because nothing can help a person until they are willing to accept the help. So I encourage you to not be stubborn on this. Do not ignore your feelings and emotions only to find your life falling right in to this domino effect that ruins the lives of so many people. When things become too much too handle it only gets harder and harder to find any reason that will motivate you to seek the assistance you deserve. The bitterness will build within you and eventually people end up pushing the help that comes to them away rendering them stranded on this imaginary island in life where they begin to see no purpose in living. The coldness encompasses their heart and it begins to make it's way out in to the world through their personality. Changing them and all the relationships they have with people. At this point, if we let it get that far, we can only hope that the people who love us are willing to take the punishment we will inevitably bestow upon them. Seeing past the fact that we are cold and bitter and unpleasant to be around because they know, or at least hope, that you will come around and see things need to change. That you will allow the support you need to begin creating that wall, lessening that now monumental load that you carry everywhere and putting together again the pieces of a puzzle that would have never been put back together had you not accepted that true strength comes in admitting the hurt you feel, not hiding it.
Some of things...
Throughout the course of the divorce process, we will find many things that tax our mental strength whether we are aware of it or not. The list of things is endless and for some people there are more things than others, but all of us have to deal with stuff. Whether it be lawyers, whom mind you are typically paid by the hour, who drag out every minor detail in the proceedings, or memories that seem to make their way to the front of our thoughts as we are already dealing with the hardship of separating the property. Each item being picked-up, although you had never really gave it much thought before, brings you back to a moment in time where things were different. A time that, which in all reality wasn't that long ago, but seems like it had occurred lifetimes ago. As you sort through things you get taken back by some of the fragrances that still, ever so slightly, hang on to the items they had attached themselves to. you find yourself off in another place, day-dreaming a bit, only to come back to the reality that is now something you simply just wanted to get finished and move on. It seems everything is a catalyst for the fire that burns inside your heart and mind at times. Going from sadness to anger...Bitter to ashamed...Lonely to confused...And so the list goes on and on. On top of the feelings, the well-being of the children,(assuming there are any), is a constant antagonist to your thoughts. Your spouse not answering the phone; the conversation you had in which you were told your spouse was out hanging out with another person...It could have been a family member of theirs, or the spouse of one of their friends. Regardless, the thoughts of how easy it is for them to just move along and not even break stride as you sit there thinking about them almost paralyzed in life by the thought of this change. The battle of that goes on inside your head where you continuously try to justify your actions throughout the marriage versus theirs. Bills that seem to only come to you even though you both got share in the accumulation of them. The petition for child support that you just got; Fear of the custody battle. You spend nights wondering what, if anything, are the kids being told. Thoughts go back and forth through your head like a tennis match that will never end as no side will relinquish any ground to the other. And the advice. Oh, how the advice begins to make it's way in to your ears, (The advice I speak of needs to be differentiated from support. The advice is the thoughts from people who are simply trying to get a word in, which differs greatly from a friend saying," If you need anything just let me know." Or, " We will get through this together." It's not, "Well, they weren't good enough for you anyway. You deserve way better than that." Perhaps you do, but it's actually very similar to saying, "Well you shouldn't have married such a petty person..What were you thinking anyway?" There are many things I could say about advice, but I just wanted to make sure I touched on the fact that advice is often better left unsaid in situations like this). So from the loneliness and emptiness to the unorganized manner of living you find yourself in, you watch the world go on without you from your bedroom window. Sometimes crying...Other times too numb to even do that. The bills piling up, your interaction with your kids being only a conversation on the phone once or twice a week, lawyers calling, no place to call home and much more... There you are. You, yourself and you... Wondering what will happen next...Hoping that whatever next is, that it comes soon.
Emotional Support Links
- Depression in Men After Divorce
Good advice and direction for how men can stabilize themselves during and after a divorce.
- divorce360.com | For Men: Mourning the Divorce?
Recent Research Shows Men Mourn Differently When a Relationship Ends
- The Effects of Divorce on Emotions
After the divorce you may find you have mixed emotions about your ex - spouse.
I loved how people who had never been in a situation like mine would talk to me about how I should have no problems, "moving on." Hearing things like, "Your handsome and smart you'll be back on the go with a new gal here soon enough!" I know the comments are said in a nature that is not supposed to be negative, but by that point I felt so low that I couldn't grasp where they would come up with these ludacris things to say. I didn't feel smart...I wasn't happy with the depressed looking image staring me down from my mirror in the mornings..How could anyone see any positives in me was a question I asked myself many times. Feeling alone and abandoned, I thought that i would never survive the feelings that now controlled my very existence. I was, quiet and unavailable. Unavailable mentally and emotionally for pretty much anyone and everyone I crossed paths with. The only place I could find strength was in my two daughters whom I got full custody of, (not everyone is fortunate enough to have that happen and I just thank the powers that be that I was), their unconditional love and beautiful smiles were the two things which kept me from going over the edge... For them, I realized, that it was now, and only now, that I needed to search for the proper support that I needed to not , "Get over it," but learn to accept the realities that we now found ourselves in and learn to cope with my feelings and overcome the depression that had sunk it's talons right in to the core of my soul. I tell you this because it wasn't that long ago that I went through the most trying times of my life. I wrote this paragraph so you could see that I am not preaching from the words of a text-book or web-site that I read one night and upon finishing the article, crowned myself king of the topic, and vowed to share my knowledge with the world. I am simply writing this because I know the importance of getting the support you need early and often. The reason I know, is because I didn't. That wrecking ball destroyed that "wall" I spoke of that we were supposed to have built with proper support to protect our world at the bottom of the hill. My world was ravaged by it. My feelings were numb and I thought that I had fallen in to a hole that was finally to deep for me to climb out of. My daughters love saved me though... And when I finally latched on that love that they continuously served, I began climbing out of that hole. As I climbed my way out and moved further and further from the bottom of that hole, I seen that I was not alone. The people that loved me were all there, survivors of the hurricane, that was powered by my bitterness and anger, which pounded upon the shores of our relationships for what had at that time felt like forever... They were actually there the whole time, I just never let myself hold my head up and so I sat at the bottom of my hole, looking down in the dark while the whole time my support group was right there. They were all right there reaching for me and trying to get a hold of me so they could pull me out of the hole I was in. A hole that I should have known was to deep for me to try and climb out of it by myself.
Excellent Books on Divorce
Staying focused is now the important thing. The emotions that you and I feel are normal. We are allowed to have them and they do not define who we are. They can though control our actions if we do not know how to address them. If we do not give them enough credit for how powerful they really are. We need to be honest with ourselves and acknowledge our inner feelings accordingly. Remember, the memories don't just go away... They never will. Our minds will feed us bits and pieces of them whenever and however it wants. Having the right people in your life to help you deal with them, when you need it, is essential. I'm not saying you should have a professional counselor/psychiatrist on call and ready to go on a moments notice, (unless of course you think you do), but have a plan. Have someone you know you can call and if need be they will not say a word. They will just listen, letting you release the thoughts from your mind so they are no longer bouncing around inside your head over-taking your sanity one minute at a time. And when/if you need to do this with them, pay attention to what you are saying...It's amazing how many times, if you simply listen to the things that you yourself are saying, that you will actually hear yourself answer the questions that you need answered...I know I may have been a bit long-winded in this Hub, but I did put everything I had in to it in order to hopefully provide someone with a real life example from a person who most would say is emotionally unattached from things. I get accused all the time by people as being someone who they wish they could be like, so things didn't bother them so much. They tell me how they wish they could just brush things off like I do. I prided myself in the fact that I thought I could as well. Divorce though is a whole new ball-game. The emotions stirred by this creature of rage run deep in to the heart and sole of those who are faced with it and experience it. I wish anyone who finds themselves here looking for an answer to their divorce issues the best as they proceed. I hope you found this informative. I hope you found it easy-reading on a very hard topic to express. Mostly though, I hope you depart from this article with a firm commitment to yourself that you will seek support for yourself. That you will strengthen that "wall" I spoke about as believe me...It exists..