Fly with the Phoenix


Neil Sedaka wasn’t kidding
April 23, 2010, 3:21 am
Filed under: Family Transitions, Personal Transitions | Tags: , , ,

My attorney today filed a petition for the dissolution of my marriage. That’s legal speak for it’s kaput, honey.

Neil Sedaka wasn’t kidding when he sang “Breaking Up is Hard To Do” in the 1960s, although I don’t feel bouncy and snappy like Neil’s golden oldie. I feel more like “Love is Blue” by Frenchie Andre Popp (“Blue, blue my world is blue. Blue is my world now I’m without you.”)

Now that the 21st Judicial Circuit of the State of Missouri has the paper that says the marriage is broken and can’t be fixed,  the reality of the pending ending of two shared lives has left me overwhelmingly sad. It’s one thing when two people split because they can’t stand the sight of one another; that’s kind of a no-brainer. In that instance, staying together when you hate one another is worse than divorce in my mind. It’s quite another scene when two people still care deeply for each other but a marriage–for reasons we won’t go into here–cannot be sustained. To be blunt, this sucks.

What’s ahead for me is the continuing pain of physically separating: he moves out, I learn to live alone, agreements and settlements are struck and in a month or so,  welcome to Divorceland. Join the millions of other guests. I’m a statistic. Is it too late to update my Census form?

My head says in time, leaving this marriage is going to be healthier for me. But the grieving process has started, and right now, I’m just sad. How can I–and others in similar situations–deal with the next few weeks ahead? For whatever it’s worth, here’s my three-step plan.

Don’t look beyond the 24-hours that are staring at you right now. Projecting “what if” to the scenario isn’t helpful. It just drives me into a deeper sadness because I can’t possibly answer that question. Take care of one task that surrounds the separation per day and when there are no tasks–where I am right now–breathe. Do some self-care. Go out with a friend or get away for a few days (as I’m going to do this weekend).

Strip emotions from the situation and look at the upcoming settlement as a business deal. This may allow clearer thinking–an absolute necessity right now–for challenges that are ahead. This can be done in a graceful, respectful way, and when it seems like control of emotions is slipping, I can remove myself from that moment even if it means leaving a room or the house.

A friend told me the wheel of fortune moves slowly, but it does move. Remember this sad and painful place will pass away from me–and from you–in time. In my case, I’m hopeful my husband will be settled in his apartment in a week’s time. Then, in the quiet of my empty house, I can grab the Kleenex and have a cleansing cry, after which time I’ll wipe my face with a cold cloth, take a deep breath and plan my first day of the new chapter in my life.

Additional tips for dealing with initial separations would be welcomed from readers. Perhaps what you have to share can help others–as well as me. Meanwhile, I’m lining up old break-up songs and stocking up on chocolate.


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2 Comments so far
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I find when I’m really bummed out about something writing a gratitude journal helps the healing process. I know, it may sound sucky,like what have I got to be grateful for, but trust me it helps. I sit down and start writing out the memories of the goof times, when the negative thoughts arise I push them away and concentrate on another positive memory until I can’t think any more, then leave it to come back to later.
If that doesn’t work and you feel nothing but anger, hate, and fear try writing down all those bad feelings to get them out of the mind and onto the paper, when you’ve exhausted yourself writing, take a black pen and scratch through it all, then take it outside and burn it. Celebrate in ridding yourself of those feelings, then start dreaming and imagining all that you can do since you have a brand new slate to choose what you want.
Hope this helps a little.

Comment by Wendy MacKay

Thank you for the comments and suggestions. I keep a journal, but when I look through the pages, there’s a lot of frustration, not a lot of gratitude, so I will try this. It’s not that I am not grateful for amazing friends (I’ve no family to speak of) that support me, I tend to let other emotions like sadness overwhelm me during tough times, but I have to learn to work through those times. Your idea helps, and I hope it will help others reading.

Comment by hopefultransitions




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