My most requested topic to write about is my separation and divorce from Matt. Labor Day weekend marks our one year separation. I have so many mixed emotions about this one year mark. In some ways it feels like this year has flown by and other times it feels like it has taken forever to get to this one year mark. In the state of South Carolina you must be separated one year before you can file for divorce. Now that our year is almost up our divorce will be finalized soon. This past year has been one filled with many emotions from sadness to depression to hope. It has been a year of reflection and getting to know myself better.
This journey has been one of the hardest things I have ever done. To break up a family when children are involved is never an easy decision. It makes my heart so sad when the kids ask why Daddy and I don’t love each other anymore or why he doesn’t live with us anymore. Those times are HARD. Those times crush your soul. But it was the right decision for Matt and I. Being removed from the situation I can see even more clearly it was the right path for us. Sometimes however the right path is not the easiest one.
I have received so many emails me asking for advice on when I knew my marriage was over and wanting advice on separating. I just can’t offer this kind of advice. Each relationship is different. Relationships are kind of like stars, not one single one is alike. They may have many similarities but ultimately they are their own entirety. For anyone contemplating a separation or divorce I wish you strength and courage to make the right decision. Often times it feels like there is no right decision and that makes it even harder. I prayed to God many times for guidance through my situation he showed me my path.
I remember when I had my miscarriage no one talked about it and it felt like such a lonely and isolating time. I wanted to have a baby so bad and it felt like everyone around me was getting pregnant so easily. Divorce is very much the same way. People just don’t really talk about it. You often times don’t get invited to events because they are for couples or you go alone (which I did many times) and feel even more alone because everyone is with their spouse. It can be a really lonely time. You have to learn to comfortable just with yourself, which trust me is hard!
Many people have commented that I seem to be handling things so well. The truth is there were many nights I cried myself to sleep. Many mornings I did not want to get out of bed. Weeks where it felt like there was permanent black cloud hanging over my head and nothing made me happy. I remember my mom came in town one weekend and wanted to go shopping and out to lunch, things I normally love to do and I just sat on my bed crying telling her I didn’t want to do anything. I often felt sorry for myself and would have a pity party. I was in a dark, dark place. But I had to make a decision to either stay there or pull myself together (especially for my kids) and take my life back. My parents had many talks with me encouraging me to focus on the positive and everything good I had in my life. I will always remember those conversations and treasure them because they changed my way of thinking.
At this one year mark I can say I am truly happy. It took me awhile to get to this point but I finally feel like I am back to myself. Last Sunday at church our minister gave a wonderful sermon and one quote that really resonated with me was ” what if you woke up tomorrow with only what you thanked God for today.” Gratitude and thankfulness even in dark times is not easy but it will help you.
I have learned a few things on this journey I thought I would share. I am no expert on anything these are just personal things I have learned and I wanted to share in case they help anyone else in a similar situation.
I am capable of doing everything on my own. Do I want a partner and someone to share my life with, yes. But I am fully capable of doing it alone.
Life is tough but so am I. Many days I didn’t want to get out bed but I had to find beauty in the little things. An appreciation for life will slowly come back. A quote I will always remember is ” a negative mind will never get you a positive life.”
It is ok to be sad, angry, upset, and depressed. Those emotions are real and you need to deal with them in order to move on. If you push them under the surface and don’t deal with them they will just keep reemerging. I first had to grieve our relationship ending in order to be able to move forward. Feeling those emotions is not easy but they will help you heal. It seems like the sadness will never end but it will.
Don’t compare your life to others. This was especially hard for me being in this business because everyone paints a picture of how perfect their lives are on social media. When I felt like my life was crumbling and falling apart it made it hard for me to look at pictures of all these perfect families in their perfect houses. It made me feel pretty crappy but then I realized their lives have nothing to do with mine and my happiness. It taught me to focus just on myself and my kids. It doesn’t matter what others have, my life and appreciating what I have is the most important key to my happiness.
I am stronger than I thought was. Fear of being alone kept me in my relationship longer than I should have been. The first few months when I was truly alone were the hardest but I learned to appreciate the quiet and alone time. I am a better mom now because I am happier. I was in a dark place for so long and it made me short tempered with the kids. I wasn’t happy and they could tell. It took being alone and relying just on myself to show me just what I am capable of.
I am damn lucky to have my kids. Matt will forever be a part of my life and I am so incredibly grateful we created these two amazing kids together. I will never ever regret our relationship because of that.
Rely on family and friends. In the beginning I was so confused and didn’t know what do. My family and friends picked me up and lifted me up in ways I can’t even put into words. They helped put me back together and showed me so much love. When you are going through a difficult time you need the support from family and friends. It can be a very lonely time so don’t be afraid to ask for help.
If you can keep things amicable do that- especially for the kids. Matt and I have tried really hard to do that. Sometimes it is not easy but we ultimately put the kids first and ourselves second.
Have fun dating it can seem weird to get back in the dating game after being out of it for so long but enjoy it. It is a new exciting chapter in your life. I know so many people have asked if Matt and I are dating and yes, we are both dating and in relationships. We are in a good point in our relationship where we can share this with each other.
Writing is very therapeutic to me so if you made it to the end bravo. Deep thoughts on a Thursday:)