Till death do us part….I’m sure you are wondering why I am writing about this, after posting about rebooting. Well, I have prayed about and forgiven myself and the other party and as such, feel very comfortable writing about my truths. Divorce is like that taboo topic no one likes to talk about and has a certain level of stigmatization. Not many people share their experiences after going through it. I thought long and hard about this before embarking on this blogging journey.
I decided I was going to be as open and honest as possible, and this post is in no way a form of bashing or bad mouthing my ex. This is my way of therapy and sharing my experience. Maybe someone reading this would relate or realize that they’re not alone and that divorce is not the end of their lives, but instead the beginning of a new chapter of their life!
Every day, you hear about how the divorce rates are rising. I used to be that girl who’d scoff at the idea of two grown people not being able to solve their differences and make their marriage work. Until it happened to me! Yes me! The girl who thought marriage can be worked out as easily as saying, Jack!
I mean, don’t get me wrong. I still think marriage can be easily worked out, but only if both parties are willing to do the work. Divorce is like death. The stress and grief that comes with it IMHO, are comparable to a physical loss, which can affect you both physically and emotionally!
I haven’t done any studies or research about divorce rates, as there are conflicting studies about the actual rate. And since this blog post is not about the research or studies on divorce rates, but about my own experience, I’ll stick to just that.
Growing up, I always dreamt that I’d get married by 25 and start having children by 27. Well…I did have a child at 27 (outside of marriage), and though that wasn’t part of my plan, my daughter has been one of the best things that have ever happened to me!
So, I kissed a frog or two and just when I was giving up on ever being swept off my feet by prince charming on his faithful steed, my ex husband found me! Any Christian reading this post knows the Prov. 18:22, “he who finds a wife…,” Bible verse. Well…I was literally “found” by my (okay, let’s call him ‘wasband’). He somehow found my profile online, and what started out as a business connect, soon became personal and romantic. We dated long distance and in a year and a half, I packed my bags along with my 4-year-old daughter and set off for America and love!
Like I said in my previous post, a whirlwind of things happened in two and half years of my marriage, and before we could celebrate a third year, like everything that happens fast, the marriage was over! I still haven’t found a word that describes how I feel about it all. I mean, apart from what we’d told each other, I barely knew the man and my coming here, was for us to get to know each other and build on what we “knew” and had discussed during our LDR.
As a mother of one, I had no issues with coming into a marriage and becoming a bonus mum. In fact, I was looking forward to it, because I absolutely love children! But tell me how you’d handle a bitter and jealous baby mama, a bonus child who thinks you’re the enemy, a custody battle, law school, financial difficulties (due to one income), trying to find a footing in a new society, not feeling at home in what is supposed to be your home, your daughter who feels left out most of the time, getting to know your hubby and trying to find a rhythm for your marriage? Overwhelming, right? I am even breathless from reading the list, as I type!
By the time my first year of law school was over, I was mentally exhausted and emotionally drained! I had put on so much weight that I didn’t feel as confident and sexy as I used to be, which of course affected other aspects of the marriage. So, with the blessings of my wasband (or so I thought), I decided to go back home to reset and come back refreshed, to start over. This time, at least with some experience, as I’d experienced some of the “American dream”.
Two weeks to my departure date, I became aware that my wasband was not happy with my traveling back home or the length of time for which I was going. Of course, I knew the marriage was still very young and we still barely knew each other, but I needed the time away to get myself together, besides, I’d spent a lot of money and wanted to make good use of it. So, my daughter and I set off for the beautiful west coast of Africa!
I came back after 2 months, to a cold and unfriendly wasband. I kind of wasn’t too shocked, because we’d had a disagreement a week or so, prior to our return. It was when I tried to find out what was going on, that he told me we should go our separate ways! I was stunned! I hadn’t cheated and neither had I done anything in my opinion, divorce worthy, to be told such a thing by the person you thought was your “one”! I know I can be a little stubborn and outspoken, but those were some of the qualities that drew him to me! So hearing him use that as part of the reason, was very confusing to me.
I’m sure I played a part in what led to his decision, but I’ll never know, as he never could tell me what it was that I’d done so bad to lead him to that decision! Anyway, I tried to talk things over with him, as I believed communication can solve a lot of things, but apparently this was something he’d planned and wanted nothing more to do with me!
Initially, I was mad at him for abandoning me at a time that I needed him, being that he was one of the main reasons I was in the situation and position I was in at the time. Then I got mad at myself, for ignoring my intuition about how fast things had happened and how certain repetitive things about him were red flags that I saw and totally ignored! Then I tried to plead with him, to see reason, to see that we could make it with love, just like “we” intended it to be from the start. But he laughed at me, at my efforts.
I questioned myself, my confidence, I questioned God! I had no one to go cry to, tor to come plead with me. All the people I knew who could do so, were all too far away. My daughter and I had to stay in his house for 10 months because I had no money and nowhere to go. 10 long dreary months of living with a “stranger”! The person you vowed to spend the rest of your life with, the one for whom you’d travelled miles and miles away from home! To make matters worse, I had no job and law school….that’s a story for another blog post. Thankfully, I found a volunteer gig at The Legal Aid Society of Columbus to keep me busy. But as the saying goes, “woman cannot live on volunteer work, when she has a child to take care of,” so I had to find some kind of paying gig. I found a 12 hr night shift casual position with the USPS, for the Christmas and New year season! It was long, cold and tiring, but it took care of Gingy (my daughter) and I, for that period till a paralegal position opened at Legal Aid.
I was able to save a little money, plus good old tax refund and a credit card (which I’d vowed I’d never get), I found the apartment of my choice and we moved out! A few days after my move out, we went to court to dissolve the marriage.
It has been 10 months since my marriage legally ended and we left the house, even though the mental, physical and financial aspects of it had ended 9 months prior. It has been and is still a hard journey to this point, but God has blessed me with resilience. I have days when I wish all of this was just a dream and I’d wake up soon. And there are days when I get in my head trying to figure out what my next steps should be, on those days, I get so stressed, I mentally beat myself up.
Like I said earlier, the effects of divorce can be tough on a person’s physical and emotional well being. Mental wellness is very crucial to the general well being of a person. I went and still go through a roller coaster of emotions and thoughts. Fortunately and only by the grace of God, I have not gone crazy! Having support whiles going through a divorce is very essential. One thing I have learned going divorce, is that you need to invite people who will be there to talk you off the “ledge” when you’re going through hardship in your marriage! The people who attend your wedding should be people who will be a community to hold you down, and support you, your spouse and your union! Don’t just invite anybody to your wedding!
Unfortunately for me, almost all the”friends” gained from/through my marriage and who were witnesses at my wedding, except one, were no where to be found when things went down. Thankfully though, my family, my two best friends, my colleagues at work, have been and are still there for me! I’ll talk more about support in another post.
I am currently working on getting back to me! I am working on building a stronger relationship with God, and a deeper and stronger bond with my Gingy. I am also working on getting back to the sexy, curvy and confident me! Oh, and I haven’t given up on love either. Despite the very unpleasant taste it recently left. I still believe my prince charming will find me soon and sweep me off my feet unto his faithful steed! But till then, I am not waiting to be “rescued, I am working on me!
Looking forward to our next “blog-versation”!