Divorce, in my opinion, is harder than the death of a spouse. When a spouse dies, usually there is no blame or guilt involved. In a divorce, blame and guilt permeate the trauma so that it is very hard to move on and heal. Without forgiveness, there can be no healing. This forgiveness is a choice you make, not necessarily a feeling you can hold on to. In my divorce, I had to make a choice to forgive my spouse for an adulterous relationship in which she actually fell in love with the man she was having the affair with. It would have been easier if it had been only a physical relationship. The fact that she told me she loved him was almost unbearable. That was the worst possible betrayal imaginable to me at that time.
I remember the night she told me. I had known something was going on because she hadn’t been acting like herself for quite some time. She was military and had returned from a 2 month deployment only to volunteer for more duties. I tried to talk her out of it because we had been separated for so long and needed some time together before being separated again. She insisted on going because she needed to do so for her career. It was there at training camp that she met the other man.
She was lonely, miles from her family, and he was available to lend a shoulder to cry on. That is usually how it starts. One spouse seeks counsel in someone of the opposite sex. This is always dangerous. It opens up a level of intimacy that should be reserved only for your mate. No one else should be allowed into your marital problems unless you and your spouse agree to see someone together. In my opinion, this is a betrayal in itself. He was there for her in her darkest days of despair as she called them, and she therefore came to depend on him instead of coming to me.
On April the 9th, four days before our wedding anniversary, in a conversation where I demanded to know what was wrong with her, she told me she was in love with another man. I felt like I died that night. She asked me to forgive her and not divorce her and that she would give him up. I agreed and decided not to tell the children about it because if we were going to work it out, I didn’t want them to think badly of their mother. That night, I got down on my knees and asked God to help me forgive her and him and help me through it. I couldn’t eat or sleep for months.
I decided to do some investigating to find out if she was still seeing the other man before I uprooted my children and moved to be with her. I found that she had been seeing him all along. I filed for divorce and finally had to tell my children what was going on. That was the hardest thing I have EVER done in my life.
A lot has happened since that day. Its been almost four years since we separated. I have encouraged my children to forgive their mother as I have done. It hasn’t been easy. Kids always pay with more blood than adults do in divorces. They always blame themselves and even when they blame a parent, in essence they are blaming themselves anyway because that parent has the same blood. It is very important NEVER to badmouth or belittle your spouse when going through a divorce. The child will take it personally. They need to make their own decisions about each parent and decide for themselves who is to blame. In my opinion, a divorce is never the fault of just one spouse. If our marriage, had satisfied my ex, she never would have strayed. I take full responsibility for my part in our divorce. I have learned that love is not only a feeling, it is a choice that you make every day when you wake up. You choose to love your spouse no matter what you are feeling.
Is there life after divorce? Absolutely!!! I am living proof of that. Because I was able to forgive and move on in my life. Forgiveness is the key in any divorce.
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