Posted in My Unsettled Heart

Things I Faced When All of a Sudden Separated

*Since this is my blog, it should go without stating that this reflects my personal experience. Also, I came to the realization in a big way through my own divorce that no one knows what happens in a relationship unless you are within said relationship. I would never attempt to describe another’s experience. But just in case all that was still unclear… there’s the statement.

Among the things I faced when I found myself all of a sudden separated…

  • I was straight up afraid. My husband had not been much of a support system upon moving me to Washington, DC a week after my college graduation in Iowa to say the least. But at least he was there, and while I was lonely within our relationship, I wasn’t alone. When we separated, I was possibly the most scared I’ve been in this life so far.
  • I was much too poor to live on a single income in a very expensive east coast city.
  • I was much too proud to simply move home.
  • After years (three through college when we dated and almost a year of our marriage), I had the freedom and the ability to forge new friendships. One thing a controlling partner will squash is one’s relationships with loved ones outside of the partnership. And once I was able to make and truly connect with the few friends I had, I realized I had a much bigger net in which to fall than I ever could have imagined had I remained married.
  • People have good hearts. Even car dealers. Trust me, my life shortly after my separation included one very long and frustrating (and tear-filled after being forced to speak with my estranged husband on a three-way call with the Geico agent who had the misfortune of answering my call) evening at a Ford dealership. Long story short, I left with a car I didn’t yet own and very little pride.  But I know that people – most people – have good hearts and can tell when someone is struggling beyond what they can bear, and sometimes… when they are able… they respond with unnecessary kindness.
  • My cat. The only possession I cared whether he took or left behind. She was mine, and remained mine long after our divorce was final.
  • A rejuvenating feeling of freedom. Regardless of how afraid I was at first, when the shock wore off and I faced the fact that I was one half of a failed marriage at age 23, all I felt was relief. {When I wasn’t worried about money.}
  • A total breakdown of faith. {This will be a long story, mostly for another time.} I had grown up not in such a strict household, but in attending many religious activities in large quantities throughout my life through college, I had absorbed so many of the beliefs that were taught without really questioning how they matched up to what was in my heart. At the time, I felt that my beliefs led me to marry someone who was not interested in loving me the way I needed to be loved. So immediately following my separation and for years afterwards, I struggled with God and with the place faith might and might not play in my life. Honestly, I still do.
  • A rebound relationship. And mine, it wasn’t pretty…
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