Divorce entails one successive kick in the balls after another. Painful step after painful step.
There’s no getting away from it. It will be difficult.
So I’ve made the decision to try and see every heartwrenching moment as a hammer blow, that forges the sword of my character.
Because they’ve already started happening. And each time I’m taken off guard.
Each one takes the wind out of my sails.
And there will be many more.
The big one, of course, was my wife telling me that she’d made her mind up, and we were separating.
A devastating blow in itself, and I’m still processing the grief that follows that. For losing my family, my life as I know it, and for not being able to be in my daughter’s life every day.
But that’s just the start, the real challenge is just beginning. And it comes in a thousand cuts.
Putting our home on the market. The first viewings. The first offer.
When I reluctantly agreed that we should accept that offer. And today my wife told me she’s arranged to go view some houses.
This all happened in the space of a couple of weeks.
Although I know that these events will happen, each one is hard.
They arrive in moments when I don’t expect them, and it feels like another piece is being taken away from me.
So much sadness. The sense of disempowering loss. And the gradual resignation as it all becomes more and more real.
It’s easy to feel sorry for myself, and I’d lie if I told you I didn’t sometimes. Often.
But I need to survive this. More importantly, I need to come out of it stronger.
For my daughter’s sake. And for mine.
So, I’ve decided to try on a different viewpoint.
I’m not saying it’s easy, or that it fixes everything, or that a simple change of perspective can take the pain away. It doesn’t.
But it puts me in a position to make each painful blow meaningful.
A sword gets forged under tremendous heat, with thousands of hammer blows.
Each one makes it a little bit stronger. Each one is necessary.
It toughens and forms the steel.
Until it becomes what it is meant to be.
These things are going to happen. The house will be sold. We will have to pack, and move, and dismantle our home.
We will have to tell our two-year-old girl, in the most tactful and positive way we can muster, that mummy and daddy won’t be living together anymore.
I will face the first night alone in my new house.
The thought of all that is almost too much to deal with right now.
But these things will happen.
I can only choose how to take it.
And the only thing that helps me find meaning in this, amid the guilt and the grief, is that the pain and the journey can turn me into a stronger, better version of myself.
Someone my daughter is proud of.
Someone who can go on to make much more of my life than I have until now.
That has to be the thing to aim for.
I’m not trying to sugarcoat this, far from it. It will be shit.
Or pretend that all it takes is to ‘see the positive’.
But there is an outcome to this where I’m capable of so much more, because of what I have faced, endured, and dealt with.
I don’t have all the answers yet. But my hope is that framing it this way will at least help me avoid the default of passive self-pity or the rabbit hole of self-destruction.
So while I certainly don’t welcome these challenges (I’m not that wise or strong yet), I anticipate them.
I expect that they will come when I don’t feel ready, and temporarily derail the self-esteem I’m working to build.
Even though they’ll still blindside me; I will feel the pain, and then acknowledge that through it I am becoming stronger, sharper, and ultimately, the man I am proud of being.
Image by Michael Schwarzenberger from Pixabay
02/12/2021 at 02:14
This is deep and must be painful with every word that you say it seems like it is written like a poem manner. In this article, you share specific topics to go off of, and your reasons for the divorce and happened in a matter of a two-week span.
I know that we all can relate to words that you use here whether we were married or not.
05/12/2021 at 14:20
Thank you Matthew and Deloris, I really appreciate your comment.
02/12/2021 at 07:53
Hi Mike, I am so sorry to hear about your ordeal. Divorce isn’t easy and it is sure even harder when it’s not your own choice but the choice of the partner.
Yet, given the way you talk about it, I am quite sure you will get through this and like you announced, will come stronger out of it.
Maybe you are reading now as well as writing? Is there a title you can recommend that helped you the much?
05/12/2021 at 14:35
Hi Hannie, thank you so much for your comment. Yes, I recently read a book called The Rational Male by Rollo Tomassi which was a real eye-opener, about the dynamics of male/female relationships and how so many men find themselves in experiences like this.
Thanks again for commenting, I really appreciate it.
03/12/2021 at 23:22
I feel your pain. This has all happened so suddenly, very fast and it must be very hard to deal with all that. From the separation announcement to the house sale and moving to different houses. All while having a 2 yo daughter.
You are processing and dealing with a lot of emotions, pain and suffering. I feel that writing in this way can be helpful as can be talking with trusted loved ones. Also allowing yourself to feel every emotion.
There is a lot of loss there. Also sharing your story can be powerful in letting others know that they are not alone.
Blessings to you and your family
05/12/2021 at 14:36
Thanks John, I really appreciate your feedback.
Yes, it’s very difficult. But like you say, I hope that sharing my story might help someone else one day.
All the best, Mike.
10/12/2021 at 21:55
Another female chipping in here. Hope you don’t mind….
I honestly feel your pain, especially since this exercise was not initiated by you and you obviously love your daughter very much.
Your writing comes from the heart and has a style that is both fascinating but portraying of a sense of character. I feel you are embarking on a winning journey with your website. Why you may ask? Because too often society tends to act as if it is only the woman who truly suffers in these situations, whereas both partners do, but to varying degrees.
It’s just that the man is overlooked, which is why I think your website can have impact in this niche and help those who may be in a similar situation where their partner initiated a divorce. Pouring it out in writing can have a therapeutic effect as if talking to someone close about it.
You are strong. This too shall pass!
03/01/2022 at 09:46
Thank you for your reply Ceci.
It’s good to hear positive feedback and encouragement, and especially from a woman’s point of view.
I appreciate your response.