I’m starting a new series today and would like to introduce you to Sara who is a reader of Since My Divorce and agreed to an interview following a couple of comments she left. Sara was a married at 18 and the divorce was final a month shy of their 10 year anniversary. She has two children, a son who’s five and a daughter who’s nine. Her ex lives about 15 miles away and the children spend alternate weekends with him.
I asked Sara to talk about what lead to her divorce. Here’s what she said:
It wasn’t an actual event or something happening. I remember coming home and he was sleeping. It was the afternoon, the kids were up and he was sleeping. I just looked at him and when he woke up I said,
“Is this really save-able?”
“I don’t think so,” he said.
“Is this really what we want?”
“I’ll be honest, I don’t think there’s hope for you guys.”
OUCH! We did try. I think we both tried at points but we both let go and we both got to the point where we weren’t happy. I knew I wasn’t happy.
I grew up in a very dysfunctional household. My parents were one of those couples where you wonder why they were even together. They didn’t get along, they weren’t happy and we kids weren’t happy either. I didn’t want my kids growing up feeling what I did.
I felt I deserved to be happy, the kids deserved to be happy and no one was happy so something had to change. I couldn’t take anymore of the “we’re going to work on it.” You can only work on a marriage so much if the other person doesn’t want to work on it. If he isn’t willing to do anything, it doesn’t change anything.
Even though we both agreed on the divorce, the process was pretty draining. Here in Arizona, it’s mandated that you have to wait two years before you can even file for divorce. There’s was no way I wanted the government telling me how long I had to be married so I found some loopholes. He would always say “I don’t have to sign this” so relying on him to do his part was draining. Dealing with the courts and their rules was draining. And it’s an emotional process to begin with.
I remember the day it was done, I went and had a quiet dinner with the kids and it was such a big relief.
“At least that part’s done!”
It’s hard to move on when you’re dealing with all the paperwork, the court. It’s even hard to get in an emotional state to move on when you’re still having to deal that stuff.
Looking back now, I don’t regret my decision. I couldn’t have stayed married for the kids. I saw that growing up and I see it in other people and I feel it’s so much more damaging to everyone, not just the kids. Parents need to be happy too.
Sometimes, it can be the simplest, little action, like finding your husband asleep in the afternoon, that brings your marriage into focus and allows you to cut through the “we shoulds” to see your future path. Sometimes it can be more dramatic, like a spilled secret about your sexuality, or a smashed treasured picture telling you to stop ignoring your inner voice or even a surprise pregnancy. These moments though are key – I like to think of them as your soul shouting at you. It’s probably been trying to nudge for a while and then in that single moment, you get the message. You understand that there is a path to happiness and you have to trust even though you don’t know where it will lead, that divorce comes with a safety net.
Could any moment be more symbolic of a failing marriage than one spouse sleeping on the job? Was there a single moment when you knew it was time to end leave your marriage?