The decision to leave my marriage was one of the most difficult decisions I have ever made, and it would be futile and dishonest to pretend otherwise. I never set out in this life to be divorced, I never wanted this to be my life, or to have these stereotypes surround me that I feel I constantly have to break—yet that doesn’t mean that this isn’t the life I am meant to live.
I’m a forever person—I always have been and I always will be.
So the decision to leave my marriage not only became about that but about who I was because of those choices. And perhaps most of all, who was I, now that a relationship I had used to define myself, had to come to an end.
It was never about breaking my marriage, but about healing me.
It wasn’t about an ending—but about a beginning.
There might have been one moment, but the reality is there were several, where I suddenly realized that this just wasn’t where I was meant to be. But knowing that and actually deciding to leave are two very different things. Once we have had those moments though, we become faced with a choice; do we choose ourselves, or do we choose someone else? In the end, we will either make a choice for ourselves, or we will make it for our children, family, or even our spouse.
But for me, the longer time went on, the more difficult it became to just simply not choose myself.
Perhaps there are those instances or times when we don’t need to completely undo our entire lives in order to get back to who we really are, but for me, there was no other way.
It wasn’t just my marriage that was over, it was me. I was done with not being happy, with not being the woman I truly am, and with not living a life that felt connected to my soul.
In truth, it was me that broke long before my marriage did—and so I had no other choice but to break it so that I could find myself again—and perhaps really for the first time.
There’s no easy manual for getting divorced and building a life following it. There is no one right way, so that means there isn’t any real wrong way of doing this for any of us. We just have to be willing to try, to explore and to fail all the while hopefully getting closer to ourselves. We have to open ourselves up to life again and this means all of it—the joy, the confusion, the love, and even the pain.
In order to heal our deepest wounds, we actually need to expand rather than try to shut down and close ourselves off.
So, I made the choice to take in everything and make as many mistakes as I could along the way. I made the choice to end my marriage and not look back at this time. I was done wondering if it was the right decision, or questioning if I really didn’t love my husband anymore.
I was done. Period. I never looked back.
Instead of spending time thinking about all of the hurt and mistakes, I focused my energy on what kind of life I was building now, and what type of woman I was becoming in this process.
More importantly—I often stopped to wonder—do I like this new woman? Was I becoming someone that I wanted to spend my time with, someone that I valued and respected? Was I becoming myself or just another version of someone else?
There were check-points to see if I felt authentic in this new life and if I felt connected to it.
Those who haven’t had to start their lives over don’t always understand what it means to have to redefine ourselves but for me for the first time in my adult life I wasn’t someone’s wife, wasn’t part of a family unit, and therefore I had nothing to define or heal me but myself and my own choices.
When we venture out on a new path in this life, we don’t really know what lies ahead and sometimes our only choice is to continue on even when we can’t see or don’t know all the answers. It becomes the choice to follow our hearts; our inner compass on what feels right—even if it doesn’t make sense to everyone else.
Ultimately, my healing began when I made the choice to put myself first—not selfishly, or carelessly, but with a knowing that if I wasn’t truly happy then no one else in my life would be either—including my children. I had to first figure out what I was all about before I could even know what would make me happy, and the only way that was done was by trying it all on for size.
I experimented, I played, I forgot to follow the rules, and in between the moments of breaking down, I realized that I was truly just breaking up with life as I had known it. I was leaving behind the pain because I wanted to become the healing.
I made the choice to find out what this life could be when no one was holding me back—not even myself.
There have been many nights where I have cried myself to sleep, and I still don’t profess to have it all figured out but the one thing that I do know is that I am headed in the right direction because for once, I am undoubtedly following my heart.
No matter where it leads me.
“You have the right to change your story.” ~ The Goddess Rebellion
~ Author: Kate Rose