I’m sitting here, staring at a thick packet of papers. Heart pounding as I read the words. A case number, “dissolution of marriage”, “irretrievably broken”… The words are floating by making my head spin. To some extend I feel the relief I was anticipating but more overwhelming is this feeling like I’ve been punched in the gut and I can’t breathe. I can’t believe I’m holding Divorce Papers… Again.
I thought I’d learned my lesson in the first marriage. NEVER GIVE UP! I had analyzed the things I did wrong in my first marriage and had made every effort to correct them. After all, I was determined not to be one of “those people” who’ve been married 3 or 4 times and still can’t get it right. I had poured my heart and soul into this marriage this time. I had given it everything and more. I had read books, talked with professionals, gone to counseling alone, picked the brains of friends, family and church leaders who had stayed neutral and were striving to help me fix my marriage as much as I was. I clung to support for strength to keep going with full faith that if I strived hard enough everything would work out. One after the other my support units hit dead ends and where also out of ideas. The words on these papers are mocking me. They are screaming yet again: “You failed!”
Tears start streaming down my face.
Once again, I had missed a very crucial part of Marriage… it’s a Partnership! No matter how much harder I try, if my “partner” is not willing to participate… the marriage tips over. I’m thinking of an old fashioned scale where both sides need to pull the same weight to be balanced. What if one side just gets off the scale? The remaining side is just going to hit the table with a loud THUNK.
I had given so much of myself to this marriage and trying to blend a family and I had assumed that if it wasn’t working I must still be doing something wrong. I let that thought deteriorate my self-worth and had taken the blame for things I never should have assumed responsibility for. I had lost my identity in giving so others could be happy. Of all the things that could destroy a second marriage, I never thought that trying too hard would be one of them.
Looking at the last page of the packet, staring at his signature. I just can’t believe he would really do this. He would really throw away our entire marriage and go through a divorce a second time instead of try? Didn’t he know that if I had anything left to give I would have given it?
I have 21 days to respond…
While the thought of going through another divorce makes me nauseous, the thought of continuing to wear myself ragged to save a marriage with someone who doesn’t even want it assures me this is the right decision.
A deep feeling of relief takes over. I am free to rebuild my life, my identity and my self-worth. I am free to reallocate all my time, energy and effort into investing in myself; to become a better mother, a strong and independent woman and the best version of myself that I can possibly be.