Going through counseling is pretty routine for couples these days – sometimes it helps to save the marriage, sometimes it helps the couple decide they want to end the marriage, and sometimes things just carry on the way they are for the time being. For Candace and her husband, therapy lead to finding they had both been thinking to themselves it would be easier to be a widow than divorced. In an unexpected way, it was also a catalyst and mean an abrupt end to the marriage. Here’s Candace:We did go to therapy and I think it just made it more clear that we should split up. I was still feeling that maybe this could work. It’s one of those things where you don’t want to put the dog to sleep, the dog being the marriage. You’re looking for all these reasons and giving these little chances – maybe you’ll go to therapy by yourself and you’ll stay at your Dad’s studio but come home in the morning before the kids wake up. Then my husband did something.
He surreptitiously scanned my journal and wrote my therapist a letter telling her of my feelings for her, out of spite. And she told me this, in a park, while we drank the chai that I made from scratch, while my daughter twirled in dance class down the street and my son climbed on the jungle gym. My body curled into the fetal position on the park bench. – From Ask Me About My Divorce.
I just snapped and went out and within half an hour found a sublet, paid for it in full and moved stuff out of the house while he was at work. That was it.
He actually brought the kids over with this bottle of champagne we were saving for a special occasion and the champagne glasses we used on our wedding day. We sat and had it with Chinese take-out. I guess we were in shock because it was a little sudden. Then there was all the excitement of “what’s going to happen next?”
The Divorce Coach Says
At the time Candace was going through this, she was only beginning to realize she was gay and hence the devastation and violation she felt with her husband’s actions. Sometimes, the catalyst for divorce is a single incident like this. That catalyst brings hyper-clarity to our vision. Emma’s divorce was triggered by just one word. Kristi, of Divorce to Happy, spoke about ignoring your inner voice for many years and then a smashed picture was her call to action.
I’ve posted this before but for me, one of catalysts was a vivid dream – I had lifted a glass milk bottle out of the fridge and placed it on the counter. As I placed it down, it cracked and I put my hand over the crack to keep the milk from spilling. It cracked again so I covered that one with my other hand. It cracked again and again and again. Eventually, I couldn’t hold it and the milk spilled out. As it was spilling, I woke and I knew it was my call to action.
Candace is working on her second book, Dear John, I Love Jane:Women Write About Leaving Men for Women, due out in October from Seal Press. Candace also has an article, New Life After Divorce, published in Natural Solutions magazine.