It’s the Marriage That’s Broken, Not the Home

When most people ask why my marriage ended, I usually reply that we were never doing the same dance. It was much more complicated than that, of course, but this is the most simple way to explain it. I was trying to tango with someone doing a line dance. It just didn’t work.

I stayed a lot longer than I should have for a variety of reasons, one of which was that I did not want to be divorced. I did not want my kids to be from a “broken home”. 

But since we weren’t doing the same dance, there was no love connection. Even though we were living under the same roof, is a sense we were already separated and broken.

In Grounded Spirituality, Jeff Brown writes:

..many seemingly intact families are deeply broken…a home is not broken when parents are separated or divorced. A home is broken when there is an absence of love.”

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A Juicy, Fruitful Life

I have noticed that for most people, the word divorce rolls off the tongue like any other word, but it is not that way for me. When I try to say it, I feel my throat tighten and when someone else says it, I feel myself flinch. The word holds pain and sorrow–so much so that when asked about my marital status, I prefer to say I am no longer married rather than using that word.

For a short period of time, I was seeing a great life coach who helped me with many things, one of which was re-framing this aspect of my life. She encouraged me to come up with my own definition for the word. I tried to see beyond what I was experiencing at that time, and came up with this definition:

Divorce: A deep, dark, difficult decision, out of which rises a door, through which discovery, development and a new direction are possible.

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Walking Out and Cracking Open

In his book “Notes on Love and Courage”, Hugh Prather writes:

“Yes there are other considerations. There is no end to the considerations: feelings of the people involved, your word, your commitments, the possible consequences. But a time can come when there isn’t much of you left, and all you have is enough strength to act, just enough to put an end to it by turning your back and walking out.”

These words so perfectly describe my struggle to separate from my husband. There was so much to consider, but in the end, I realized it was best to go. Coming to this heavy decision and moving out was by far the hardest thing I have ever done. I am normally a very high energy person, but the whole process left me exhausted. I spent the first few months in what could be called a cocoon-like state. Basically, I made it to work, ate and slept A LOT. I can’t remember ever sleeping as hard or as often as I did during those first few months.

As my energy slowly returned, I felt a very strong urge to document and work through what had happened and how I was feeling. I created a google doc titled “The D Word” and started writing. I have never been much of a writer, but something inside me was cracking open and all the feelings and thoughts I had stuffed for the past 25+ years came pouring out. Needless to say, there was quite a lot to process and express.

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