Divorce blows. There is just no easy way to put it. I am not sure how most people survive it, let alone go on to trust another person with their heart and get married again. The idea of it baffles me at times. When people ask how I have overcome the grief and anger that I had from the divorce, I tell them it was a choice. I had to choose to kill my ex-husband.
Moving past all the ugly stuff that happens at the end of a marriage is difficult. Moving past the rolling film loop that was playing constantly in my head, the loop of every hurtful thing that was said and done, was painful. The abandonment I felt was confusing. Moving past it felt impossible at times. It felt impossible to gain closure because there was nothing he could say to ever make what happened over the last year of our marriage right. He had changed. The man I had made vows to and committed myself to had changed. He was gone, and what remained was a man I, and those that knew him well, could barely recognize.
Grief had made my then-husband change. It’s easy to understand why the change happened. He lost his mom suddenly. We all did. It was tragic and painful to everyone. We all grieved. We grieved; he grieved; he changed. He was angry and he punished those close to him with words that cut me to my core. And then he left. If I look at our relationship with any perspective, I can see that he had left me months and months before … but at the time I felt blindsided.
Once it was done … once it was really done and I allowed myself to let go, to accept that the person I married was never coming back, I had to figure out what to do. What’s done was done, so I had to do whatever was necessary to move past it for my children, and for me. I had to find a way to somehow get through it and piece myself back together again.
And so I mentally killed my husband. I killed the idea that the man I once married still existed. I killed the visions I had of our future together. I killed the dreams we had shared and the life we were building together. I killed that part of my life that was no longer viable. I grieved the person that no longer existed, and I released him. I accepted the new version of the man I had married as an entirely different person. The old version no longer existed, so I had to stop comparing the new version to that one I once knew so well. He was gone. He no longer existed. He had died.
Mentally killing him, the person I had loved, and allowing myself to grieve that loss allowed me to move forward with this stranger that replaced him.
It continues to allow me to keep a smile on my face and anger out of my heart.
It allows me to look forward and never look back.
It allows me talk to the boys about their father with respect by envisioning the man I once respected and loved.
By grieving the loss of my husband, killing him in my mind, I can mourn that loss and start a new chapter.
The “wasband” will be woven through every chapter of my life in some way, while the boys are still young, but now I am able to move forward without looking back.
And the future looks good.
And I am better off because of it.
And the next chapter of my life awaits …
Related post: An Open Letter to My Ex-Husband