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Lessons From the End of a Marriage

A “How to Thrive” Guide After Divorce

Six Years Ago Today

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silhouette-691522_1920Six years ago today, I awoke afraid of seeing the man who had abandoned me eight months before. And when he passed me in the courthouse hall, I didn’t even recognize him.

Six years ago today, I was ready for the divorce I never wanted from the man I thought I knew.

Six years ago today, I sat in a courtroom with the man I had spent half of my life with. A man I once considered my best friend. We never made eye contact.

Six years ago today, I looked at his face for any sign of the man I had loved.  I saw none. After sixteen years, he was truly a stranger to me.

Six years ago today, I sat alone in a hallway waiting for the attorneys to decide his fate and mine. Hoping that the judge saw through his lies and would not fall sway to him charms. She didn’t, even asking my husband’s attorney if he was “psycho.” The lawyer could only shrug.

Six years ago today, I cried and shook with the realization that it was all over. It was a relief and yet the finality was jarring.

Six years ago today, I felt a heaviness lift as I cut the dead weight of him from my burden. I believed I couldn’t begin to heal until his malignancy had been removed.

Six years ago today, I laughed when I learned he hadn’t paid his attorney. I had warned the man my husband was a con. Maybe he believed me now.

Six years ago today, I held tightly to that decree, still believing that its declarations had power. I felt relief that he would have to pay back some of what he stole from the marriage. The relief was short lived.

Six years ago today, I took my first steps as a single woman. Steps I never expected to take. The first few were shaky. But I soon started to find my stride.

Six years ago today, I sat around a restaurant table with friends and my mother. A table that had held my husband and I countless times over our marriage. We celebrated the end of the marriage that night. I had celebrated my anniversary there the year before.

Six years ago today, I read my husband’s other wife’s blog for the last time, curious if she would mention anything about the court date. She did not. I erased the URL from my history. It no longer mattered.

Six years ago today, I sealed the piles of paperwork from the divorce and the criminal proceedings into a large plastic tub. As the lid clicked in place, I felt like I was securing all of that anguish in my past.

Six years ago today, I started to wean myself off of the medication that allowed me to sleep and eat through the ordeal. I was thankful it had been there, but I no longer wanted the help.

Six years ago today, I fell asleep dreaming of hope for the future rather than experiencing nightmares of the past.

And now, six years on, I could not be happier with where I am.

Not because of the divorce.

But because losing everything made me thankful for everything.

Because being blind made me learn how to see.

Because being vulnerable created new friendships and bonds.

Because being destroyed made me defiantly want to succeed.

And because losing love made me determined to find it again.

I am happier than I’ve ever been.

And I could not be where I am without six years ago today.


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40 thoughts on “Six Years Ago Today

  1. Sounds wrong … but oh so right, given the end of your post … Happy Anniversary! Having googled it, a 6-year anniversary is candy/iron or wood. I hope you don’t take that as you need to press a few shirt tonight, but I think candy floss on a stick is deserved at the least. Thank you for the hope that there’s better men out there …

  2. So moving…I totally teared up. My brother said to me, this past weekend actually, “Some of the most evil people hide behind a totally ‘normal’ exterior. It’s pretty scary.”
    I know at least one of those *people* myself.
    It’s been going on 3 years later, and I am still a mess from the betrayal and ensuing damage.
    I hope that I can write a post similar to yours – so inspirational and full of hope – sooner than later. xoxo

    1. I have a challenge for you – write that post this weekend. I know you’re not where you want to be, but I bet you’re further along than you realize. Explore those ways that you have grown and changed and moved on – no matter how small. Those little steps will take you far. Celebrate them all:)

      1. I accept your challenge. (I now have to watch Vikings or Lord of the Rings – or both…) =) I’d love to get to a place where my victories can outweigh as well as defeat my demons. For good.

  3. It’s good to see how far life can take you. I’m so glad that you have chosen to share your journey with us, maybe of us are still stuck in “six years ago” and you serve as a light at the end of the tunnel. Reminding us that it gets better, love finds us again, and we are stronger because of all we’ve suffered.

  4. Happy for you. Six years later and you completely show who is the victor here.

    I did not know his new “wife” had a blog. Sheesh. I can only imagine what their life now is like. Not your problem! Lol

  5. Your reflections on “six years ago” brought back many memories of the people, noises and smells while sitting in the court house hallway…just over two years ago (totally forgot about the “first court date appearance anniversary”). That day my attorney stated, after meeting my now ex-wife for the first time, “she’s fucking crazy” (sorry about the language, direct quote). As disappointed, angry, hurt and frustrated I was that day, little did I know how much happiness I would find over the months that followed. Each day is a new day. Each day is a day farther from the emotional pain. Each day is an opportunity to find happiness. Looking forward to where I will be when six years comes around.

    1. No worries on the language – I think it’s required when it comes to divorce:) I’m with you on the ignorance on that day of the good that was to come. I wish there a was a way to let everybody really know and believe that on their day in court. Congratulations on your progress!!

      1. Many of my close friends laugh at my colorful language when I’m discussing an issue. Usually ends with “she is fucking crazy”. 🙂

  6. I’m just starting my journey. It’s all still raw. I was left with nothing but my personal belongings. I lost my job because of stress and my husband isn’t paying his half of the cellphone bill. I’m living in a house with roommates instead of with family or friends, like I thought I was going to be. My son is living with a family friend, which was a mutual decision before the divorce was decided on. My whole life is upside down. I don’t see a positive future right now. All I see is the pain I’m in daily. All I see is the medications and counseling that are barely keeping me sane. All I see is the future that was ripped away from me. I know that someday I will feel whole again. Someday I’ll feel normal again. But I don’t see that happening anytime soon. But your blog gives me a glimmer of hope that the future will be brighter. Thank you for sharing your story.

  7. Thank you for sharing. Reminded me of my court day. Some friends showed up to support me and I really appreciated it.

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