Have you visited Lauren’s blog at My Life Incomplete yet? I love the photo of her and her son. They have such energetic smiles and Lauren looks like she’s truly enjoying life.
That’s definitely not how she describes herself in Getting to ‘we need to divorce.’ Lauren was just 28 then and has now been divorced just over two years. Like many of us, the first 18 months of being single again were a rough ride but now she feels she’s on the right track. I’ll let Lauren tell you about it.
I had a bit of a roller coaster for the first year after divorce. I happened to lose my job shortly after the divorce so I had to sell my townhouse. I had to short-sell it because it was on the market for over a year. That meant some financial stress that I wasn’t expecting.
I had already faced a few difficulties going from two incomes to one but short-selling the house and losing my job made it even worse than I had imagined. So, I spent the first year on an extreme decline and then I started getting back on my feet and establishing myself as an individual.
I now have a well-paying job, a home for my son and I, and I’m writing which is something I’ve always wanted to do. I can’t imagine I ever would have done anything about writing when I was married.
I did go to counseling after we split up and that helped me to learn to embrace who I am naturally rather than setting societal expectations on myself. The person who I was had completely disappeared during our marriage so it wasn’t about finding something that was never there before. It was more learning to accept myself how I was and how I knew I used to be. It was about being true to myself.
One of my favorite books is On Becoming Fearless … in Love, Work and Life by Arianna Huffington. Huffington’s philosophy is that you should aim to live in harmony, meaning that what you say and do should match what you think and feel.
For nine years, that wasn’t the case. That was not my reality. What I said and what I did, did not match what I thought and felt. I can think of a million times when we were dating and I would get so infuriated with something he did or said and I would think to myself, just break up with him, just break up with him but I didn’t.
I live by that rule now and if I am in a situation where I feel I have to alter what I say and do from what I think and do to be successful, then I know it’s not the right situation for me. And that’s personally and professionally. If I were in a job where I felt I was compromising my truth to do that job, I would look for a new job. That’s become a philosophy for me.
Another philosophy from the book is you should like who you are becoming when you’re with your partner.
I certainly didn’t like who I was becoming when I was with my husband. It wasn’t his fault like when he would tell me “ssh” or he wouldn’t laugh at my jokes. He was being him. It was my fault for accepting it. I didn’t like who I was becoming and I stayed anyway.
I’m in a new relationship now and he is the only one – I’m hoping I’m not going to have other ones but he and I have some obstacles due to his relationship with his ex and his kids. There’s drama there and so I have to really feel that it’s worthwhile to me to stay together. It’s not a convenient relationship and so I have to really like who I’m becoming while I’m with him and I must truly be able to say and do what I think and feel for it to work.
I’m not a trained therapist, counselor or whatever but I think Lauren’s introspection after her divorce will pay off big time in her new relationship. Instead of looking to blame her ex for the marriage ending or just shrugging it off as something that didn’t work out, Lauren did some soul-searching, identified what she contributed to her relationship with her husband and accepted responsibility for her part.
Seems to me that you avoid confronting a sensitive issue with your partner because you’re afraid it will lead to disagreement and conflict and you think by avoiding it, you’re keeping everything together. Yet, while your eyes are closed, that issue is growing and pushing you and your partner further apart. Sometimes, by the time you’re ready to confront to, it’s too late to recover. Sound familiar?