I am an old-fashioned girl who does not believe in divorce; that is why I have been through two. I did not get married on a whim just to divorce two days later like some Hollywood starlet. In each relationship, I thought I finally found the right one. Eventually, I realized that instead of waiting for my soul mate, I settled for bargain basement versions of Mr. Right (emotions sold separately).
My experiences within the divorces themselves resulted in severe emotional damage. They changed the way I think about trusting too easily when it comes to love. I would have been a perfect candidate for the Jerry Springer Show. Rather than embarrass myself on national television, I will simply share a brief overview of both of my divorce experiences.
I was nineteen when I married my first husband. We were best friends. He was very family oriented which I liked however, after a year of marriage with him I started having second thoughts. Every time, during an argument, he would call his mother on the phone to get her input. His mother lived in another state but she visited often and stayed for long periods. We had no privacy and I felt like I was married to his mother because he could not make a decision on his own.
I tried to make things work for three more years. Finally, I made the decision to divorce his mother, I mean, my husband. My husband moved back home with his mother in another state. We did not have the finances to hire an attorney but we did not have any assets. We agreed to take what was ours and split up the rest. However, I did not have the ability to travel six states away to appear in court. After a little research, we found out we could divorce through publication. Since neither of us wanted to contest the divorce, we paid three hundred dollars to file with the court. The announcement ran for six weeks. At the end of six weeks, our divorce was final. I have not seen or heard from him since but I often wonder how his mother is doing.
After meeting my second husband, we were together for three years before he suffered the loss of a parent. Even though he was never an overly affectionate type of person, this event stripped him of any and all affection where I was concerned. He refused to seek counseling and the only emotional release he found was in the form of physical abuse toward me. Like most women in abusive situations, I lived with the fantasy that I could make things better in our relationship. I refused to go through another divorce. I focused on changing who I was in an effort to make him happy with me. After another encounter with his anger, I left and filed for divorce the following day.
So there I was, out of an abusive relationship. You may think this is a happy conclusion to a sad story. Inside I felt as if I had lost an entity of what completed me. It was not the physical detachment from my husband; I had changed so much for him that I also had a detachment from me. It was a feeling a prisoner may suffer after long periods of institutionalization. I panicked at the thought of introducing myself back into society. I moved back home with him the day before our divorce was final. After three months, I found out he was seeing another woman. I confronted him and he confessed that he only wanted me back so that he could hurt me for leaving him in the first place.
Looking back, I do not consider the years with my ex-husbands as time wasted. I think of that time as an experience that taught me how to respect myself and make better choices for my future. Finally, I learned that shared happiness rather than expected happiness is an important key to a successful relationship.