suddenlysinglewomen

Surviving the unwanted divorce

The Optimist Creed – – –

I belong to a wonderful “DRG” – that’s “Divorce Recovery Group”!  I’ve recommended before to find people who have been through what you’ve been through, women that “get it”, to help you in your healing journey.  You never know what to expect from this group, some weeks we laugh, some we cry, but we all leave feeling better for having shared.   It was at one of our weekly get togethers that I received this handout.  It’s the Creed of Optimist International.  It’s a Promise that I have made myself, and I hope that you will too.  Here goes:

Promise Yourself

  • To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.
  • To talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person you meet.
  • To make all your friends feel that there is something in them.
  • To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.
  • To think only of the best.
  • To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.
  • To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
  • To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile.
  • To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others
  • To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

It’s a lot to tackle all at once, so maybe try a new one every week?  Maybe you just focus on one?  Maybe you make your own promise to yourself?  Regardless, we can all try to be more optimistic in our lives.  We might even surprise ourselves!

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Dealing With the UnExpected – – –

There are a lot of things I expect in my life.  I expect to wake up every morning.  I expect to walk the dogs since they’ve let me sleep through the night.  I expect that there are bills to be paid, errands to be run, calls and emails to return – you get the picture.  I’m one of those people who does what’s “expected” of me.  I was brought up that way.  I can handle what is expected.

However, how you deal with the “un”expected really shows the world what you are made of.  What do you do when something “un”expected is thrown your direction?  Do you panic?  Do you scream?  Do you deal with it?  Do you have your very own little motivational angel that sits on your shoulder whispering in your ear that you “can do it”?

Life is full of those unexpected challenges sent your way just to test your mettle.  Like it or not, dealing with the unexpected should be an expected part of your life.  Sometimes the unexpected ends up being a good thing, like looking down and finding a quarter laying on the ground in the parking lot, or finding a crumpled five dollar bill in your coat pocket from last winter, or receiving a voice mail from a friend you haven’t seen in years – I could go on.

The unexpected isn’t always a bad thing.  It can be good, and how we rise to the occasion can define us as a person.  Yes, it can also create chaos and knock us off our feet when we don’t see it coming.  I recently read an article in a paper, The Vail Daily, written by a life coach and motivational speaker, Michael Norton.  This is what he said:

   “So go ahead and expect the unexpected, be prepared or unprepared, life is going to come at us whether we want it to or not.  And what will matter and define us is how we choose at that moment to respond to the unexpected happenings in our life, good of bad.”

Being a divorced woman was unexpected.  The possibility of spending the rest of my life as a single woman is beginning to be expected.  Expected or unexpected, I’ve decided to “go with the flow”, “roll with the punches” and “what will be will be”.  As my father used to say, “C’est la vie” – that’s life.

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“You Can Be Right, Or You Can Be Married” – – –

Saw this on a Yahoo blog and thought it a good thing to share with the followers!  Follow this link!

Or:  http://shine.yahoo.com/love-sex/8216-married-8217-lessons-marriage-learned-divorce-201700898.html

(Assuming I did the link correctly)  I thought this article had a lot of very valid points, and things to ponder.

One of the things that was “wrong” in my marriage was me remaining true to myself, being myself, and acting like myself.  When we first started dating, I was drawn to my spouse because he was the life of the party.  He was outgoing and gregarious and always up for a good time.  My prior BF had not been.  When my friends saw me with the new “guy”, they teased me about coming out of my shell, of no longer being a wallflower!

What they didn’t know was that in reality I had never been that wallflower, I had only acted like one to make the BF more comfortable.  I am, as those of you who know me well, an extrovert.  This new guy also seemed to be an extrovert and I thought we would have the times of our young lives together.  Enter reality.

After we married and settled into our careers and started to make life choices, imagine my surprise to find that his “outgoing-ness” had just been an act to survive college and the fraternity life.  He was happier working alone in an office all day, then coming home and retreating to his desk and work binders.  He didn’t want to go out, he didn’t want to have people over.  We didn’t take vacations and our social life revolved around his work requirements.

It’s so easy now to look back and realize that we were never that well suited, but at age 22 and 23 what did we know?  I was expecting him to be something that he was not comfortable, or able to be.  Then again, not to be too hard on myself, he was not the person that he presented to me either.

I will always believe that you should remain true to yourself, it’s just too big a burden to try to be something you are not to fulfill someone else’s expectations.  If it means separating, or divorcing, or staying single then so be it.  There is nothing wrong with the person that I am, and the same goes for you!  Love yourself, be true to yourself, and then just maybe the RIGHT guy might happen along who will love you “just the way you are”!

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Loss Of A Loved One – – –

I’ve wanted to post this for the past two weeks but had to “think on it”.  Divorce is never easy, the changes it brings to your life are countless.  You go into survival mode first to protect yourself, then for your children and/or immediate family.  What happens to the “ex”tended family?

I was an active part of my husband’s family for well over thirty years; I thought that would count for something. I wrongly assumed that our’s was a “relationship” that they would still want to hang on to.  Funny thing about the family of your ex – they can be guilted into feeling that maintaining a relationship with you is somehow being disloyal to him.

Suddenly the phone calls stop, the birthdays are over looked and the Christmas cards come sporadically.  I didn’t see it coming, my bad.  Thus my feelings were really hurt and I was bewildered at how easily I could be erased from their lives.  After all, he divorced me – not them . . . right?

Wrong.  It’s just an impossible situation all way round and you have to accept that they’re not going to go against his wishes.  There will always be exceptions, and if you’re lucky to have that – good for you.  So this brings me back to my latest struggle to “do the right thing”.

This past June, something made me reach out and call my ex father-in-law on Father’s Day.  I could tell he was surprised, but pleasantly so.  We chatted for half an hour and got caught up on our lives.  I thanked him for always making me feel like a “daughter”, and for stepping up in the roll of father after I had lost mine in 1998.  He told me that no matter what, he would always consider me his daughter.  I ended the phone call with a smile and a warmed heart.

He passed away a week ago Monday, a mass found on his lungs and two weeks later he’s gone.  I’m saddened for the loss of a wonderful man, but more importantly for the loss my sons have of a grandfather who was a huge part of their young lives.  In their formative years, we all lived in the same city and he was a regular babysitter for the two boys.  If my husband and I didn’t have any plans, he came and grabbed them anyway – a day of adventure with PawPaw.  He was the biggest male presence in their lives when their father’s career path took him away from it.

It was a hard decision not to travel several states to attend the funeral.  I conferred with both boys and other extended family members to help make the best decision for all.  In the end, he knew that I loved him and he would never have wanted to put me in an uncomfortable position.  The extended family members that I talked to also knew how much he’d meant to me, and understood the choice not to take a chance that the ex might get riled at my appearance.  

Now that he’s gone, I feel a sense of closure to hurt feelings.  It’s a kind of release of those feelings of having to “keep in touch”.  I’m so thankful that I called him last June and was the one who reached out last.  I’m at peace and know that now he is too.  Love you PawPaw . . .

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