The Blessings of Divorce
Usually the echo of the word divorce or separation conjures up very negative feelings and thoughts. And I know you may think me completely insane for saying so, but divorce can also be a blessing! Don’t get me wrong, it is not something one wishes for or desires when your heart is filled with joy and love and you decide to take that stroll down the aisle. I don’t think anyone goes into marriage thinking they will ever divorce, yet all over the world divorce rates are at an all time high which has led many thought leaders to question if the institution of marriage no longer fits modern society. But I will save that thought exploration for another blog post.
I am going to get personal, and share my story in the hopes that somewhere out there in cyberspace, it might be helpful or of some comfort to anyone in my situation, or even young women who are thinking of marriage.
I think it was the other day, when I was at Barnes and Noble on a mission to get my sons summer reading books, not at all thinking to pick up a book for me, after all, ever since I had my two boys, I have never been able to finish a book, as I usually fall asleep by the second paragraph. The life of a busy entrepreneurial mom!
Anyhow, there I was in line to purchase my sons books, and there it was, it stood out as if the heavens were shining upon it, saying ‘Elena, read me’!, and so because I am one who tries to follow my intuition, I bought it; Paulo Coelho’s Adultery. I was of course a bit embarrassed when I dug into it at the nail salon, flipping the front cover so other women could not see what I was reading. And there it was the sentence that brought me back ten years: I have a wonderful, successful husband who loves me, two beautiful, healthy children, an amazing lifestyle, and yet, “when I open my eyes to this ideal life that everyone dreams of having but few achieve, I know that if I continue to repress my feelings of discontent and unhappiness a cancer will start eating me up inside’ because I do believe that many illnesses are the result of repressed emotions.”
Wow, how could the author have pinpointed my exact thoughts..10 years later!
The answer is simple, because 8 out of ten married women, after children and usually about 5 years in, feel like that!
When I finally realized this, I was lucky because it turned out that after 14 months of therapy my ex-husband also wanted out. On our last family vacation together, I will never forget the relief I felt, when he brought it up. Shortly after we choose separate apartments, explained to the children that “mommy and daddy’ love each other like friends, but are no longer in love. I am lucky in that my ex and I to this day have the well being of our children first. Fast forward to 5 years later, and mom’s in the boys school will call me up still and say, I need to tell you Elena, it is so impressive how civil you and your ex husband are and how well balanced the boys are, it appears as if nothing happened.’
The moral of this story is, it is better to get out of any relationship if there is no longer happiness and joy. I was so scared to take that first step being raised in a very catholic Italian family, and it took me years to admit the truth to myself, but I am so much happier now than I have ever been. Another blessing in divorce, is the boys grew closer to their dad,and formed a strong bond, more than ever before, because of the alone time, without mommy getting in the way. I also formed a very special bond with the boys, and enjoy every moment we spend alone yet together. What is also great about divorce is, the guilt free weekends off. I get 2 weekends a month where I get to unwind, and truly unplug from the world, and not have to worry about my children, and not have to fight with someone on who is taking our son to 8am soccer practice!