It was official. Our marriage was over. If one person isn’t willing to work through things, there’s just nothing the other person can do. I couldn’t force him to go to counseling with me. And as much as I wanted to, I couldn’t just shake his shoulders and scream at him that he was making a huge mistake! I also couldn’t just fall apart. I knew that I had to keep putting one foot in front of the other and press on. I had to figure out what my new normal was going to be and how on earth I was going to survive this on my own.
I was naive, because I definitely would not survive this on my own. I didn’t have to. I was never intended to go through this on my own. My family was there and has been there every.single.step.of.the.way. That’s what a family should do, and that’s exactly what they did! I talked to my parents multiple times a day, and they worried about me (and they still do). They all gave me space and allowed me to grieve and deal with what was happening on my own time. But they also made sure I knew if and when I needed to bring it up and talk about it, they were there for me. They were really there for me! I tear up just thinking about it, because in the weakest moment of my entire life, my family came through for me and lifted me up. Not that I ever thought they wouldn’t, but it affirmed everything I ever knew and thought of them … that they’re just the most amazing family! They hurt when I hurt and cry when I cry. They took me in when I had nowhere else to turn, and for them, I will be forever grateful. Because of them, I will survive this. Because of them, I’m going to be stronger than I ever was or thought I could be. Because of them, I know what unconditional love truly is.
And it wasn’t just my immediate family. Explaining everything to my extended family was something I was struggling with having to face. I would be the first person on either side of my family to get divorced. That’s scary! But, we’re a close family, and we all get along for the most part. They needed to know – I wanted them to know. I needed their support. And boy did I get it! No one judged me or thought I had failed my marriage. No one looked at me with disgust. No one saw me any differently. They loved on me. They all hugged me and told me that I was strong and would get through this. They all reassured me that they were there for me if I needed anything. They all loved me. My family. My family is phenomenal and blew me away with love, support, and encouragement. I know they all have their own lives to live, but little by little they’ve taken time out of their lives to check up on me and make sure I’m doing okay.
I was emotional, to say the least. I struggled internally, trying to get my footing in this phase of life. How do you fall out of love with someone? How do you let go of a fierce love for your spouse? How was I supposed to ever be okay again? How could I have failed my marriage? How do I deal with this and still function? How do I show up to work every day and pretend everything is okay? How do I move on? How does this work? How do I get past the anger? How was I supposed to work through everything?
There’s no divorce handbook. There’s no way to know how to move on. I just knew I had to try.