The D word…now, take your mind out of the gutter, it’s not the D word you may have in mind. This D word is a word that a lot of people try to evade at all cost. Nobody wants to talk about the D word, nor do they want to endure it. It’s a tough D word, but like anything tough in life, it’s one we can handle. D = Divorce.
You meet your soulmate! You are absolutely in this love high, you get married, build a life together, have children. Commercialization and society place a heavy burden on us and have set high expectations for us when it comes to marriage. We are supposed to have that “happily ever after,” and we are supposed to have that everlasting marital bliss. Heck, we’re supposed to be the prince and/or princess in all those fairy tale stories that supposedly lived a “happily ever after.” This was what we were raised to believe because most of us spent countless hours listening to, reading and/or watching these fairytales growing up. Well, let’s take a moment and reflect on all those stories. It’s missing a huge factor, and that is the post-marriage life. We don’t ever get to see that part in the fairytales, and it’s the reality that is. We had the beautiful dress, the perfect ceremony, and the biggest part: the reception. But we were never given any insight on moving forward after that perfect wedding. So, what’s the bottom line? As my priest said in the pre-marriage counseling classes, "a wedding is one day, a marriage is a lifetime."
If you are going through a divorce now, trust me, you will be ok. Take a deep breath, step outside of your D box, and know that this too shall pass (it seriously will). At some point (maybe not right now), you are going to look back and be thankful that you took that step.
Letting the Darkness Be Your Friend
I am a huge fan of darkness. You may think that’s insane. Well, yes, it absolutely is. But it’s in those dark times, that you eventually find the most light. It’s in those moments of vulnerability, that you awaken your senses, in every aspect of the word. Now, don’t go thinking, that I look forward to dark times or that I have a calendar of dark events lined up during my crazy week schedule. No, I don’t; but I will tell you this, during my deepest darkest moments is where I found my light. It wasn’t in that very moment, because it does take time. But, eventually, you experience a turning point and you can embrace your light.
You find the most light in dark situations. We may not see it in that time of darkness, pain, hurt, fear, tears, etc. It takes reflection to see your light. But know this, the light is there. You are light. The environment we are in, both at home and in our workplace, make a significant impact on our light. The key is whether or not you allow it to affect your light. You light is always there and only you can make the conscious decision and effort to see your light.
Do Things Really Happen for a Reason?
So, I’m sure if you are going through a divorce and/or have already gone through one, you will have heard a million people tell you that things happen for a reason. I know I was told a million times, and I brushed it off. I brushed it off because, in my view, that saying tends to lean toward negativity. In a time of despair, the least thing you want to hear is that it’s all happening for a reason. You are having enough dealing with your own doubts and fears and what you could have done to save your marriage, without outside influences telling you that it all happens for a reason. You have been asking yourself since the inception of this divorce, "what was the reason for all of this if we were just going to end up here?" Well, let me tell you, stop a moment and think about that phrase. THINGS HAPPEN FOR A REASON. If you keep hearing it, then maybe you should take time out to think about that phrase and how it applies to your situation. Take out a scrap piece of paper, your notebook, checkbook, whatever you feel comfortable writing in and jot down ALL the reasons.
One of the underlying issues in divorce is a lack of communication because we don’t ALL speak the same language. We hear this all the time, but are we really paying attention? A perfect example is when I tell my husband, "please take out the garbage," his response will always be, "I’ll do it now." I think for most men, (and if you are not that man please don’t be offended). This, “I’ll do it now,” means, in 20-30 minutes. My now, is NOW NOW. So, since I know that his now is not my now, and I want it done in my NOW, how do you deal with that? Well, you have a few choices to choose from, and it’s all up to you. You can probably do what I do and not even ask and do it yourself. You can also be more specific, for example, "I need to finish cleaning the house, and I would really like for you to take the garbage out right now. Do you mind?" This will save you!
What’s my point? Well, we go into a marriage, thinking that love is everything and it is all that is needed to have a successful marriage. Don’t get me wrong, love plays a HUGE roll in marriage. However, language is HUGE, too. I had a college professor once tell me that I couldn’t assume that my audiences could read my mind. That was a total AJA! moment. We have certain expectations and if we are not clear about that from the get-go, you can’t expect them to be filled.
Divorce it hurts, you feel like the world is going to end. You feel that there is nothing left for you and I hate to break it to you, but guess what? Things do happen for a reason. It is taking the time in your darkness and being completely honest with yourself no matter how much you've tried to deny it to yourself up until this point. You must ask yourself the tough questions. What was my role in this? Where does my responsibilities lie in all of this? Are you willing to do that work? Are you able to go to that dark place and admit to yourself the hardest things?
Realization and Acceptance
There are many reasons why divorce is happening to us or to those around us. I went through an overwhelming divorce, it took over a year and a half to finalize my Marital Settlement Agreement. During that time, I didn’t understand how or why this was happening to me. I thought, "this shouldn’t be happening to me and now." Around 16 years later, I am so thankful that I went through that divorce. That divorce helped mold me. It helped to create the woman I am today. It helped me see things from a different prospective. It shed light on matters that we place so much importance on, and we set forth so much energy and emphasis on the wedding, that once you reflect you realize that they are insignificant compared to the real work that marriage entails. I try to keep the mantra of picking and choosing my battles in every instant. The magic is in working on forming a line of communication and learning the lines of communication that will work in your marriage. That’s the bottom line. Communication is the true key to love because when you communicate there is understanding, there is empathy, there are many components that will allow the love not just to exist but also grow with time and patience.
So, divorce taught me to love, be kind, to be strong, to be patient, and you are probably thinking how in the world am I supposed to think about all those things, right now? It’s impossible to think about love, kindness, strength and patience during the toughest of times, but you will find that approaching situations with love and compassion instead of anger and hate will help to make accepting these new circumstances easier for everyone involved.
Contributed by Ariana Amar
Ariana Amar is a certified paralegal and is currently, a Legal Practice Specialist at a renown global law firm. She was divorced in 2003 and was single parent for five years before she met her current husband. She is a mother of three children: 18 years old, 11 years old and 5 years old. Additionally, Ariana is an empath! This contributes to her passion to help others in time of desperate need. She gives back to the community, whenever she has an opportunity to do so. In 2015, her youngest child was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, at 11 months old. Having dealt with the diagnosis process, she now dedicates any time she has to support families with recent diagnosis. She is a member of Beyond Type 1, The Diabetes Research Institute and occasionally, fundraises for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Through the most detrimental moment in her life, she has found light, strength and has this head strong notion of healing the world, one person at a time.