Divorce emotions. Upside down world.

The person that believed in people now understands people.  The person that saw love in everyone now sees evil lurking.  The person that thought the best of strangers is now guessing.  The person that saw joy in life now sees suffering. The person that thought freedom of speech reigned now sees freedom ending.  The person that believed in country now wonders what soldiers still fight for. The person that looked up to authority now sees petty politics.  The person that honored the fallen realizes now their lives were lost in vain. The person that believed in good now is victimized by corruption.

The person that wasted hours now can’t find enough time to help others.  The person that was captivated by themselves now realizes giving up yourself is the only way.  The person that ignored devastating stories now prays for suffering citizens.  The person that filled their own stomach now feeds the hungry.  The person that cried out in pain now understands what embracing pain does.  The person that loved now sees love does not conquer all.  The person that trusted now sees the eternal father is the only one worthy of trust.

The person saw things right-side up now sees things upside down.

Does divorce really have to be this way?

Divorce has to change.  The courtroom drama needs to stop.  Placing useless stress on families is having an unseen ripple effect in the community that is impossible to measure.  Divorce has not always been the way it is in the 21st Century.  The history of divorce goes all the way back to Biblical days; however, back then the only details surrounding a certificate of divorce was essentially a one-time send-off drawn up in one legal document.  There was no drawn out process or a specific time of separation.  There were no court dates.  There were no meetings with attorneys.  The certificate of divorce did EVERYTHING (Matthew 5:31).  It legally severed the marriage, it divided assets and outlined how both people are to move forward.  There is nothing in the Bible that shares how the children functioned in Bible times during a divorce.  Going beyond Biblical days, marriage and divorce in ancient Rome sounded like it favored the male ALWAYS.  According to Wikipedia, “Under Roman Law, the head of the family had absolute authority.”

Women in the Roman era could leave at any time, but they essentially left everything behind.  She left her wealth and her children.  I would say those situations were probably abusive situations.  No one in their right mind would leave their livelihood and relatives unless they felt forced to do so.  In some cases women could leave with their dowry, but still there is no indication how dowry allotment was enforced.  Divorce also was considered a private matter, so only family and close friends knew of the personal matter.  Divorce registration was not required until 449 CE.

The process as it is now has become a monstrosity for people in high conflict situations or people with a lot of assets.  If there is low conflict and you have assets, better get ready for a high conflict divorce.  The system as it is now is designed to twist the emotions of both parties so much that neither party recognizes who they are afterwards.  Divorce is not pretty and it surely does not solve all the marital issues that surface after children.  Why?  You have children!  If you have children, the other person does not fade into the background like a normal break-up; they are around for everything the children are involved in.  They will be at the school.  They will be at the children’s events.  They will be contacting you still via email or some sort of co-parenting application.  They will insist they are involved with the children and that means they are ALWAYS indirectly involved with YOU.

Additionally, if one person in the relationship was abusive divorce with children does not change their abusive tendencies it just morphs the abuse into a different form.  This abuse can surface as control and/or abusive words whenever the person is angry or misunderstands something in communication.  An extreme case is using the children in their abusive tactics.  Divorce court only gives one option for abusive situations…  A restraining order.  Also very rarely does a restraining order become permanent unless the person has a criminal record, or the abuse led to a crime.  Newsflash, if the abusive person is a “good” citizen on paper, the victim has no chance of justice. Please consult an attorney for any legal advice surrounding a restraining order.

Divorce must change.  The community needs to take more responsibility in the union and the separation if it comes to that.  The marriage and ceremony is designed to be the first public commitment the couple makes; however these days the people attending a wedding ceremony are never consulted if the happy couple all of the sudden decide to call it quits.  When people get married they should be given options up front.  Something like opt-in to family court or opt-out of family court; that way if a divorce becomes an inevitable solution the couple has a document to fall back on that they both originally agreed to.  I would vote for a community private divorce rather than a public family court divorce, because truthfully no one in public court really cares about the people involved and the court system only makes things worse for everyone involved.

First Step to Healing Emotions After Divorce: Letter to self, Refuse to Be with People like Version 1.0

Your memories of your former spouse and the divorce are not a figment of your imagination.  Refuse to be with people like Version 1.0.  The person you married evolved into a stranger.  A stranger seriously troubled by his past which is evident in his actions, words and deeds.  A stranger who tried to destroy your sanity while under the same roof (either learned military tactics or another personality altogether).  A stranger who can’t recite your favorite color, dislikes, hopes and dreams and someone who never saw you perform your passion even though there was tape after tape from the past recording it.  The person he pretended to be before marriage and before children was a perfect example of behavior modification.  God never changed him, he was changing himself to better suite your ideal image of him to capture you.  You were very accepting of his advances.  He seemed like the soulmate you daydreamed about.  He showered you with attention.  He surprised you at work.  He insisted on holding your hand in public.  He would not let a side-by-side opportunity go by if located in the same room.  He sent you flowers.  He took your laundry to the cleaners.  He raved about you to his mom and dad. He planned trips, bought practical gifts and even insisted that he drive and open your car door. He wrote you love letters, made you music compilations and ran half-marathons with you. He even signed a purity contract before marriage (amazing self-control).  He attended church with you every Sunday for 6 years straight after the nuptials without fail (sickness and travel being the exception). He was your running partner, sexual partner and best friend wrapped up in one husbandry package.  There was really no way you could avoid a marriage proposal or turn him down.  He made himself irresistible.  You were his prey and he knew exactly what to do to capture you in this throng.  You succumbed to Version 1.0 bait.  Your marriage reality didn’t sink in until the first pregnancy.

The first time you noticed something was off was when the pregnancy indicator showed up red the night before your wine tasting party and you shared the information with him.  It shouldn’t have been a surprise, you were not taking birth control pills or using other contraceptives.  He seemed excited about the news.  The night of the party, lots of friends came to explore the different wine flavors.  While you were extremely conscientious to spit out all the tastings, he used the tastings to get belligerently drunk. He was jovial all evening and interacting with mutual friends.  However, this was the first evening he could have died in your presence.  He drank so much he started vomiting and you found him upstairs.  Everyone went home after the tasting, no one saw him like this but you. He could have suffocated on his vomit.  He could have died right then and there. That’s how awful it was.  At that moment, you knew you something was terribly wrong.  The gradual change started that night.  He avoided all discussion of the drunken mess.  He said he felt comfortable to let go around friends (so, for 6 years he didn’t feel comfortable letting go?).  He wasn’t telling you everything.   You were sad but after giving yourself a pep talk you quickly brushed it off in place of baby preparations the following days, weeks and months.  After the baby arrived, you were thrilled even though caring for another human being seemed like a huge undertaking.  After going back to work, things began to spiral downhill with all the added stress.  To be real, some stress was self-induced; however, other stress was externally inflicted both at work and at home.  Thankfully he did not drink like that around you again, but saved the alcohol consumption for outside the home.

You started to change too, but only after the baby arrived and he started to mistreat you. You were not yourself. You were a ghost of a person you used to know especially after working so much with an infant at home, losing hours and hours of sleep.  His caring self, evaporated. His curious self became static. His friendship with you dwindled to roommate status.  Occasionally, there would be makeup sessions, but he couldn’t shake his new found self.  This new found self made him a horrible husband according to his own analysis.  You felt like you were in prison, but on the outside holding it together for friends and family and praying on your knees that something would give.  Amazingly enough, he kept his social commitments to friends and family (that part of him was the same).  Layers upon layers of hurt were inflicted each year after your first child.  Then came forgiveness from you, but not from him.  He could do no wrong.  You were to blame. He kept inflicting hurt the same way and rarely apologized.  The atheist year was the most difficult and it was the last year.

You were in a living nightmare, suffering quietly and prayed desperately for relief.  It came.  It came during the day. A stranger knocked on the door, you opened it and he handed you an envelope with divorce papers.  The divorce saga began.

Please stay away from people like Version 1.0.  You want people in your life that are rich in love, slow to speak and slow to become angry.  You need to be around people that can laugh at a clean joke but are also deep thought-provoking conversationalists who know the art of listening.  If you can’t find these qualities in one person, surround yourself with a variety of friendships.  You need people in your life who love God more than anything, die to pride daily and encourage you on your spiritual journey while you encourage them too.  Do not settle.  You have children that need good examples.  You are not enough.  Do not believe in yourself but believe in the one who made you.  Do not rely on the next version…  Rely on the only version that matters, Jesus.

The Depression Cloud of Divorce – Coping During the Holidays

When you have been the one to create holiday traditions in your family and then all the sudden you are forced to be without your children, holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas are not met with the same enthusiasm as previous years.  It is just a fact of life, especially if you are newly divorced.  Difficulty dealing with the situation does not end, but becomes increasingly challenging when the other parent decides to violate the custody arrangement or even worse decides to take the kids during the holidays for an extended period despite communicating that you have plans.  Forget jungle emotions, be ready for an entirely new emotional shift.

This shift is called the depression cloud of divorce and it settles in as you near the end of your divorce case.  There has been so much hurt and pain leading up to finalization, by the time you reach the end you are completely numb from head to toe (which occurs from a high conflict divorce like mine).  Suffering is hard.  Suffering without cause is even harder.  The person that you once treasured has squandered your love and treated you like garbage for a lengthy period.  It happened many times before the divorce; however, when you are a forgiving person you bounce back, and the marriage commitment keeps you grounded.  If that’s you, you have a high tolerance for pain like me.  When you have a hard heart, you file for divorce which was said in scripture way before my time.  God’s word is the only book that acts as a remedy to the human condition.

There is no way to cope during the holidays, that’s the hard truth.

You must face the pain and endure.

You must recognize the cloud of divorce, so it doesn’t consume you.

You must persevere.

The only way that you can keep things straight is relying on the truth of God’s word.

People are going to disappoint.  All people are flawed. You cannot rely on people.  People are just a vapor.  Accomplishments by people die with them.  Inventions by people get used and possibly warped by others after you’re gone.  Every hurt inflicted by people on others reflects their heart condition and it is imperative that you do not give them control over you by accepting the blame, because they need a scapegoat.

Take one day at a time.

* Breathe in and out.

* Be ready for the next wave.

The depression cloud of divorce during the holidays is unavoidable and different for every person.  There is nothing that you can tell someone that will suddenly lift the depression cloud.  Some will not recognize they are in the cloud until it is too late.  Others will see it for what it is and still others may keep the cloud around for a very long time, because that is what they are comfortable with.  Change is difficult in either direction.  Feigned optimism during depression is also an option – DON’T DO THIS – YOU’LL MISS THE POINT OF YOUR PAIN.  Coping during the holidays is something that people will say to gloss over the grave situation that is faced by split, separated or divorced people during a time that should be filled with happy memories.  Do not cope.  Face the pain and endure.  Recognize the cloud of divorce, so it doesn’t consume you.  Persevere.  Take one day at a time.  Breathe.  Life is a vapor and the divorce cloud is not forever, be ready for the next wave.  The holidays are almost over.

I have two children and I’m facing this Wild West court system alone.  If you read or get ideas from my original content please donate any amount on PayPal and send money to info@fyidivorce.com.

Thanks for supporting an unbiased divorce opinion blog at FYIDivorce.com

The Dichotomy of Darkness in Light

When you get married you are making a commitment.  Marriage is not this endless love nest or dating on steroids (it can feel that way in the beginning though).  It can take years before you really know a person, for me it took my relationship 6 years, before my other half turned to the dark side.  In my analysis, this switch was triggered by our first born, but anything can trigger it if the person you are married to has a trigger.  In my situation, maybe he didn’t know what love is, maybe he couldn’t wrap his head around the flaws, maybe he just did not want to put the effort into the marriage to make it work, maybe he still wanted to be married to the young girl he could control or maybe he let his guard down and darkness entered his heart replacing the love he had for me with love he had for himself instead.  The last four years with him were an unforgettable abuse whirlwind .  He gradually became a different person or he gradually revealed his true person starting at the birth of our daughter (trigger event).  Either way it triggers a discussion that has been floating around in various social media circles, the belief that darkness and light can simultaneously be in the same place at the same time.  Scientifically it is impossible; but metaphorically it is possible.

This is the challenge between the realist and the idealist, the dichotomy of darkness in light existing all at once like the yin and yang from the Chinese belief system of the Tao (even though it does in fact represent duality); however, I think looking deeper the symbol sums it up nicely; there’s not one portion of the symbol that is gray (mixture of light and dark).  Each section is separate, there is no blending of black and white.  Also, if ever there is imbalance like a mixture of light and dark (my interpretation) or too much dark for example, they call this vacuity in Chinese medicine, there’s an actual word that describes the consequences of becoming confused.  This tipping of the balance is also known as a depressed state of being.  My other half seemed to be bit by the Existentialism bug.  Wikipedia sums it up nicely, “people who face the emptiness and accept responsibility aim to live ‘authentic’ lives.” Ah ha!  The answer is clearer now than ever.

There is no such thing as darkness within light or light within darkness; however, if you are the type of person who likes to color outside the lines I think this metaphorical way of thinking helps you rationalize the things you feel guilty about.  This is not about shame, blame or judgment.  It’s about calling a spade a spade.  This faulty way of thinking is damaging relationships everywhere, not only in marriages.  This way of thinking throws off the balance of life.  A person who aims to live by their authentic sinful self throws morality to the wind and embraces immorality as a characteristic of living.  Guilt is not a disposable feeling.  Guilt has a purpose.  When you throw away a purposeful feeling that is only associated with human beings, is not that regression instead of progression?

I have two children and I’m facing this Wild West court system alone.  If you read or get ideas from my original content please donate any amount on PayPal and send money to info@fyidivorce.com.

Thanks for supporting an unbiased divorce opinion blog at FYIDivorce.com

Don’t Let Divorce Happen to You

There are many words circling in my brain.  Disillusionment, frustration, duped, disbelief, hurt, shocked, sad and empty.  Emotional stages of divorce vary for everyone.  Since separation, acceptance was the immediate response to the tragedy of my divorce considering the abusive history that ensued once the first child was born.  The feeling was mutual when  I received the papers.  Was the first born a trigger?  It felt like the first born ignited something.  The change was gradual at first.  After having a baby, the woman goes through a major transition physically and emotionally, I was no different.  I was not myself, no woman is; however, no amount of stress is any excuse for abuse.  He was not himself either.  Men do not have the babies; however the change can impact men in unknown ways.  It could be the laws of nature, it could be genetics or it could even be the environment that fosters the change; whatever it is, the abusive spouse is not justified in their poor treatment of the other.  When you get married, you are supposed to work through difficulties like speed bumps, so I thought.

If your spouse has unacknowledged abuse in their past, brace yourself you will be facing roadblocks as tall as mountains adorned with caution tape and floodlights, that’s what happened and why I find myself getting divorced.

As a little young thing, I did not pay attention to any of the signs during courtship.  Young people, are accepting of flaws in others, because they lack the experience to discern otherwise. That was me.  I bought his story hook line and sinker.  He fell in love with a girl who hung on his every word and did whatever he wanted to do.  He became her ideal mate, not because those characteristics were apart of who he was, but because he desired to be that person for her.  It sounds like an everyday love story.  Both people should make each other better.  That sounds good.  It sounds RIGHT.  It is like some famous quotes, “You complete me” from Jerry McGuire or “It’s always better when we’re together” from singer songwriter, Jack Johnson.  This understanding of companionship is downright false and misleading.  It is imperative that each person in the relationship is who they say they are.  Do not change to be “better.”  Do not put on airs.  Do not try to be anything for your partner other than yourself.

If you use any other strategy for love your relationship will end and if you make the mistake of getting married it will end in divorce.  Do not let divorce happen to you.

After, the makeup second child, he decided to finally end it when the makeup child was incubating in my womb.  I was so angry after I found out I was pregnant and that he reverted into the same pattern/person that he was before we made up, so much so, that the second child conception was the last time we were together.  It was dreadful.  He was bent on acting like everything was okay publicly; however, at home the emotional abuse ran rampant and there was no end to conflict.  After the baby was born, he filed for divorce.

That little bundle immediately became my silver lining.  I was incredibly thankful that I had this little parting gift, but the pain inside was just as riveting because I knew the baby and my oldest would not experience the nurturing environment I had while growing up.

The relationship spun out of control.  It became so wound up after the first child, the reset button remained blinking, begging to be pushed.  Words and actions gradually ate away at the marriage stronghold.  The person that committed his life to me, all the sudden forgot who he was and what we were about.  All that mattered was his way and objections would be met with avoidance and/or rejection/conditional love.  My vision was clouded.  The constant changing person before me left me off-balance unable to regain my footing.  My emotions got the best of me.  Divorce was not even in the picture before children; however, children changed the family dynamics and conflict can ruin a marriage.

Do not pretend to be someone else.  Do not let conflict ruin your marriage.  Do not be anyone, but yourself. Talk about everything.  Practice forgiveness daily.  Poor into your marriage like it is the very thing that gives you life.  Compromise.

I have two children and I’m facing this Wild West court system alone.  If you read or get ideas from my original content please donate any amount on PayPal and send money to info@fyidivorce.com.

Thanks for supporting an unbiased divorce opinion blog at FYIDivorce.com

Divorce Agony – The Wild Horse

If your divorce has lasted longer than a year, you will eventually stumble upon divorce agony.  There are so many emotions that are wrapped up in divorce.  I have described them as an emotional jungle and the 5 stages of grief, but once your divorce hits the long-term divorce mark such as over a year you will eventually reach divorce agony.  When you have been in a period of prolonged pain that twists your insides into new shapes, this feeling is agony.  The pain is intensified if the estranged spouse is an abuser (neglectful, emotional abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, etc.).

Divorce agony is like a wild horse confined to a cage and looking out to see a beautiful green pasture beyond its reach; the longing to be free is a desire that goes unsatisfied.  Confinement creates a sense of claustrophobia.  Things are cramped.  Space is closing in.  Turning around and around, but there is nowhere to go, but to stand in the same place looking out from the same viewpoint.  Sweet scents come in on the breeze which provide some minor relief; however, no real resolution to the situation.  There are moments when freedom seems obtainable; maybe someone from the outside looking in gives a glimmer of hope, however the moments are short lived and quenched quickly with reality.

Divorce with children is that reality in a contested divorce.  Divorce with children are those steel bars that do not seem to go away.  Children themselves do not create the steel bars that pin in the wild horse that longs to be free, the courts do.  The divorce industry calls these steel bars coparenting.  These steel bars are the constant reminder of the divorce state of your life.  The issues that caused the divorce in the first place are still active and relived through coparenting and regular interaction with the person that caged you in the first place which creates agony.  Coparenting itself is not the problem; however, the system does not customize coparenting according to relationship challenges.  Happy coparenting cannot and will not exist in a contested divorce, do not be fooled.  Also, it is common for a divorce to morph from an amicable divorce to a contested divorce very quickly when emotions run hot, be very careful there is no way to predict the outcome or plan for this switch.

Everyone will respond to divorce agony in their own way.  If you are susceptible to substance abuse, stay clear of any situation that will expose you or tempt you.  Do not let divorce agony impact your relationship with your child or children.  If you can afford counseling consider it and schedule it.  If you cannot afford counseling find an outlet, so that you are not facing this dreadful emotion alone.  By joining a divorce group, talking with friends, starting a new hobby, writing or journaling you can better cope with divorce agony and tame the wild horse.

I have two children and I’m facing this Wild West court system alone.  If you read or get ideas from my original content please donate any amount on PayPal and send money to info@fyidivorce.com.

Thanks for supporting an unbiased divorce opinion blog at FYIDivorce.com