Making peace with divorce

This is my personal sharing of divorce, how it felt for me and my experience with it.  My relationship with divorce doesn’t end.  Its within me, an experience that I still feel the impact of and continue to heal.  Whilst undertaken with an intent to finish and wrap up a painful period of separation and to signal a readiness to move on it, it has proven to be a thorn in my side.  A wound that continues to heal.

It became a label that I wore which unconsciously put barriers around me, impacting how I related with self and life.  Little did I realise that this label would create negative imprints on my sense of self.  Imprints that were created from witnessing how my parents, and aunts and uncles moved through their divorces.   How the bitterness, anger, resentment and fear became a lens from which I viewed and believed divorce to be.   Even to this day I am clearing the lenses and coming more and more from my own internal heart centre, the knowing that there is another way to engage with divorce.  The pull of the past, which is all I had to tap into is strong and takes diligence to keep clearing these past ties that bind me to old paradigms of divorce. 

Divorce tapped me into deeply held religious dogma propelling me down a path of shame and defectiveness.  In Gods eyes I had broken my vows ‘till death do us part’.   I had sinned and would be punished.  I was damaged goods, unlovable and dirty.   My life was done.  Its pretty full on shit.  Yet the feelings were real.  I don’t even know where the hell this programming was coming from?  For I had not grown up in a religious environment, we didn’t go to Church, I wasn’t baptised or christened.  What the hell?  Here I was condemning myself to a life of self retribution based upon old biblical and religious constructs, none of which were relevant to my life here and now.  It was as if from the deep recesses of my soul a voice bellowed these sermons to me.   This caused huge internal conflict as the woman who I know myself to be here and now was chastised by the voices of the past.  I needed to get up of my knees, I am not kneeling to God in a church in this life time.      

Divorce is an incredibly unique and intimate experience.   No two experiences will be the same, just as no two relationships could be the same.   How could they be?  A relationship is the result of two separate beings coming together and co-creating a space that cocoons and sustains them both.   It takes on its own life force and forms its own unique resonance.  Like an embryo impregnated by the sperm that creates a foetus, so to do two people come together to create a relationship.   

Divorce can be arrived at from many destinations from one party or both. 

Whilst divorce is the term given to the legal dissolution of a marriage it is much much more than that.   It’s a process, signifying the ending and at the same time a beginning.  The beginning of a new way of living.   It’s a label.  It’s an emotional and mental rollercoaster.  It has the capability to rip apart; a force unto its own.    It can destroy and leave a tsunami of wreckage in its wake.  Its deeply personal and will shine a light on one’s internal wounding.  It will bring forth what one has been trying to keep hidden and out of sight.  It will bare your soul.  Break your shell.  It will pull out from under you your once steady foundation.  It’s a huge hole you could fall into.  It will take the wind out of your lungs.  It has the capacity to exhaust your nervous system.  It will leave you on the floor without a second glance.  

Divorce breaks families.  Whilst its undertaken between two (or just one) person in the marriage the impact rips apart the family that was built through this once love centred union.   

Divorce will push you to the end and challenge you to keep going.

Divorce is painful, messy, uncomfortable and paradoxically exquisite.

As I continued to unravel I became closer and closer to my truth.   Quite literally I was cleansing my soul by releasing the judgment on myself and freeing myself from ideologies and behaviours I had taken on from other.   Aligning more to my core knowing I am beginning to relate with divorce in a whole new way.  The fight against it stops.  In its place an acceptance of the outplay of my marriage.   Its relating with divorce in a healthier way and not giving my power away to it.  Its stripping away the label and in doing so fully opening to the offering divorce provides. 

It’s an intensely powerful process that provides personal growth, healing, integration and recalibration.  It’s a reset button.     

Photo by Jens Lelie on Unsplash

Loss of the wife

Divorce is about adaption. Adapting to a new way, a new life. Its an opportunity to redefine yourself. To become someone you don’t know yet. To do this means you need to let go of everything you thought you were. The roles, the masks, the identification and yes the dreams and ideals you had as a couple, as a wife and mother. This takes time, care, patience and self-compassion.

It took me many years to transcend the role of being his wife. It still pops up every now and then. Throwing me off centre.

I didn’t want to let go of being a wife. Here were my some of my challenges letting go of being ‘a wife’ early on. This was written originally in 2014 only one year into my healing journey. Perhaps you may resonant with some of my thoughts and feelings.

“Sad, depth, core pain.

I loved being a wife, I lived my whole life to be a wife.  I felt I was a good wife, supportive, caring, good homemaker, lover, companion and friend.  I did my best.  I sacrificed myself in order to support my husband doing/being who he needed to be.  I played my role dutifully, purposefully with deep sense of commitment, value and respect.  I was part of a team, who had a common purpose, vision and dream.

At some point the other part of the team resigned, left.

I thought that was who I as.  I was a wife and a mother.

As he prepared to leave the terror I experienced was predominately tarred by me thinking this is all I am.  If I don’t have a husband, I don’t exist anymore.  I am not a wife.  Terror.  Panic.  Obliterated.   No purpose.  No need to exist.

When he left, the world collapsed, my foundation dropped.  I did not have a husband.  Yet I still thought I was a wife.

I lived through this role for many months after he left. 

Until now.

Painfully, I realised this was happening.   I began to open up to the possibility that I was more than a wife.

As I allowed my sorrow, my tears, my sadness to drip further in I felt these internal tears drop onto a vault.  A vault that surrounded my essence.  It was locked tight.  Protected, guarded.  Never to be opened. 

Until now.

In order to survive, the vault had to open.  The cocoon around my core had to peel back, to evaporate to reveal who I really am.

It was surprisingly a relatively quick, graceful, process.

‘Her’ strengths will be channelled into other areas of expression.

She is loved, dearly respected, nurtured, cared for and revered.  I love her.  I really love her.

Such a beautiful, giving, sharing, wife.

Expression of self.  One expression.

It is time for her to rest now.

Ah, she can rest.

No responsibility to her husband anymore.

God I loved being a wife, I loved being his wife. 

Big loss, indescribable grief.

Then intensified by another woman.


Depth sense of un-lovability as a woman.

No longer sensual, attractive to the one who was my husband.

The wife is in so much pain, hurt, anguish which can drop into rage and the depths of despair.

Grief at what is, what will not be, what was.

The Wounded Wife

‘She’ is a tricky one to manoeuvre, this wounded wife.  Constantly being projected onto, activated, judged and suppressed.  Yet playing out in any moment of disempowerment or fear.  ‘She’ sits in the ‘ocean of life’ touching all who hurt.  Latching on, plugging you in to this sea of wounding.  The collective pool of unresolved, unloved and rejected pain carried deep in the psyche.  Many have swum in here before you arrived, and many more will come.

Choosing to remove yourself takes a willingness to ignore the pull of, the force of the collective.  There will be no praise, no support to do this.  On your own you will be.

The female psyche has experienced much wounding, you choosing to heal your wounds and transmute your feelings and step out of the pool is a powerful process which leaves an imprint of love and hope for those that come after you.

Swim in the pool, move the waters, disperse the stagnation, loosen yourself, release these ties that bind.  Leave your mark.

‘She’ feels unloved, not valued, as if her life is given to others only to have it thrown back in her face.  Rejected, expired, forgotten.  All her time and effort – her life – given away without anyone seeing.  Seeing what she gave, what she lost and what she was doing it all for.  For the family.  A structure she built, valued and prized above all.  Yet now the structure is collapsing, she is left amongst the ruins.  Wondering.  Why? How? When? Did this occur. 

‘She’ panicked in the early stages, frantically trying to stop the deconstruct, to patch the cracks, to keep it up alive and healthy.  Then one day she stops, looks around and realises the damage is done, the futility of trying to stop the disintegration.  She sobs uncontrollably for her loss, the pain and sorrow.  Realising it has gone.  She sits still and looks around.  Tears roll down her cheeks.  Her most precious possession has gone.  It will take some time until she opens her eyes, willing to see her life, now.  To contemplate moving forward, to even consider what else could be.  The void in her,in her life is huge and terrifying.

‘She’ realises this cannot be rushed.  Steadily with care she will move once more, courageously she will begin to look for signs of life and feed this new creation.  The gap within her remains.  Out of sight, no one will see.  It will be carried deep within and slowly she will heal.  Her deep heart holds the scars; they cannot be removed.  She will love them as they remind her of what was, what she was and the family she had created, loved and revered. 

A gift from the Gods.

For this she feels blessed.

Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash