You Already Know If You Want A Divorce
I found myself taking steps toward a new, single life, even though it was unknown and terrifying.
When I started telling friends and family that my ex and I had decided to split, I heard a lot of “Have you tried counseling?” and “We had no idea!” But the most common question was a two-parter: Are you sure this is what you want? How do you know?
In fact, I still get this question a lot. I get it from people I don’t know who read about my divorce experience, and I get it from people I know in real life who are questioning their marriage. And this is always what I say: You already know what you want to do by how you are living your life right now.
When my ex and I decided to separate, I immediately figured out a plan for myself. I set a budget and calculated how much money I’d need to make to support myself and my kids. I wrote down a list of how I wanted my life to look. I began telling more people. I ordered a new mattress and sheets. We discussed a custody schedule, and I made a point to try to make divorced friends.
The realness hadn’t set in yet, but I found myself taking steps toward a new, single life, even though it was unknown and terrifying.
Was I 100% positive this was what I wanted? No. I had never been a divorced woman or a single mom. I had been with my ex-husband for a long time and was incredibly sad. But deep down, I knew it was what I wanted; every day, I was taking steps to prepare myself for this new life instead of taking steps to work on my marriage. We had already tried that for a long time, and it hadn’t worked, so I decided to listen to what my mind and body were already doing.
There are couples who are positive with their entire being that they want a divorce. But that’s not the case for everyone. There are a lot of gray areas; it can take a while to make such a serious decision. So, of course, it’s pretty normal to question yourself, feel confused, and wonder if you’re doing the right thing.
I had all of those thoughts and feelings, too.
You already know if you want a divorce. That doesn’t have to mean you want one today or next month. But if you’re thinking about it a lot and find yourself reaching out to people who are divorced, asking them how they knew, or you’re daydreaming about not being married, then you already have your answer. It’s okay if it takes your heart time to catch up with your head. And it’s more than okay if you change your mind.
The one way to tell how much you want something in life is to pay attention to the steps you take to make it happen. And if you’re taking more steps to leave your marriage than to stay in it, well, to me it’s pretty clear.
Diana Park is a writer who finds solitude in a good book, the ocean, and eating fast food with her kids.