Not long ago I made a posting here about words of encouragement. At the time I wrote it, I had been prompted by another posting which reminded me of my own life situation. The posting I made was honest and from the heart, but it was completely slanted towards the person in a divorce that chooses to do the leaving.
There are two sides to divorce and I only addressed the one. I'd like to amend that now by addressing the other, which is the person who is left.
I honestly believe that the one who is left has the roughest road of recovery. They end up carrying the most baggage and seem to have the most unanswered questions. For this person, they most often not only didn't want the marriage to end but perhaps they even believed deep down that things could be fixed and perhaps improved. They may have blamed themselves for the shortcomings and tried every possible solution they could think of. This person usually doesn't want to give up the fight and yet, suddenly, they no longer have a choice. Because despite their best intentions, despite the love they still cling to and wish to fight for, despite all their hopes and wants, their partner in life has decided to give up! To simply quit the whole thing and walk away. With no remorse, no lingering concern, and absolutely no interest in even trying to see how much they are still loved.
I think of it like a water pitcher you poured your love into, and suddenly someone dropped the pitcher, and it cracked. The love you poured into it is just gone, you feel like you can't get it back, and there is no way to pour more into it because it no longer exists except as shards. There is despair, there is loneliness, there is an empty well of sadness.
The worst part of being left, is that you didn't get to choose. At least in leaving, the other person made the conscious choice to go. But when your left, you don't get that option. You are put where the other person placed you, and you have to accept it, deal with it, and learn how to go on from there.
It can feel like being dropped in the middle of nowhere, without a map, and no road signs in sight. You didn't want to take the trip, but there you are, and you have to figure out what to do next, and how to go on.
You will be assailed with questions. The biggest one being - "why?". Why did they leave me? Why wasn't I good enough? What didn't I do that I should have? What do they want that I couldn't give them? You may still feel plagued with guilt and think, "If only I'd tried harder", "if only I'd done something sooner". You may blame yourself for not seeing this coming; for not being more assertive with ways to fix the problem, or for any number of things.
There will always be two sides to every arguement. Two sides to every story. A marriage is a partnership of two people. They both see things through their own eyes. They are responsible for their own decisions. They react to things based on their own thoughts, feelings, history, and emotional baggage.
There are too many reasons why marriages fail for me to get into that now. The biggest point I wanted to make is that if you were the one who is left - please believe that you are not alone! In every divorce that has taken place, someone left and someone was left. Everything you are feeling is normal, to be expected, and has been felt by someone else in your position.
The process of healing is often painful but it is necessary. All these things you think and feel are needed in order for you to deal with what is happening, and all the changes in your life. But try to remember that you are not solely to blame for the failure of the marriage. There are always mistakes made on both parts, and wrong-doings being blamed, and things we said that we wish we could take back.
The "blame game" and carrying around unrelenting guilt will not help you to heal and get on with your life. Deal with the issues that you must but please be kind to yourself as well. Remember that we all have flaws but we all have unique and special qualities too. We are all human which makes us neither good nor bad, but simply that, human.
I can honestly tell you that you will probably feel all the things I have mentioned here and possibly more, including GRIEF. In a divorce, we often grieve and mourn for the loss of the person we loved (who may seem to have changed); for the marriage and life that we felt we had; for the dreams we carried within us; for the loss of feeling loved; and for many things. You must grieve and mourn, because it is a loss. As with any loss, you have to recognize it, acknowledge it, and lay it to rest in your heart and mind. Only then, can you truly be ready to move on.
Though it may seem impossible to believe, you will find yourself again. You will find the lovable qualities within you. You will come to a point where you can dream again and have hope for the future. You will be able to connect with others and they will see good things in you and come to care for you. I hope that this can be the light at the end of your tunnel. The road will be hard, bumpy, and sometimes lonely, but if you just keep going you will get there.
Two mottos that have been helpful for many people and possibly for you:
"Take it one day at a time" and "Just keep putting one foot in front of the other"
God Bless You and Be With You Always,
What a beautiful post. I am printing this out as i write this, because i want to reread it several times. Thank you for this wisdom.