“Unable to suppress love, the Church wanted at least to disinfect it, and it created marriage.” – Charles Baudelaire (April 9, 1821-August 31, 1867)
“My name is Thomasina, and I am a divorcee”.
Yes. There are lots of us. And my story is no more special or unique than the next.
But there is something I want to share with you about divorce and how you end up finding yourself in this space. Although the water may now appear muddy; you don’t just wake up one day and find yourself ready to leave your marriage and family.
There are clear levels you pass through as you approach your decision.
Level 1 – When divorce first enters your mind.
Level 2 – When divorce takes hold of all of your thoughts.
Level 3 – When you opt to put the brakes on or move full on forward with divorce.
You have this book in your hands because you have reached Level 1. Or, perhaps even Level 2. Read fast, if you are approaching or sitting full on towards Level 3.
I dated my former husband for a little over a year, and was married for 20. It’s been 14 years since my divorce. And, even after 14 years I still cry. Quiet tears. The kind of tears that well up in your eyes and then just sit there. They don’t spill over. They don’t do that beautiful Hollywood moment where one tear springs forth and slowly slides down the perfect cheekbone. No. My tears just sit there. Filling my eyes to capacity. Visually impairing. Letting anyone who catches a glance of me at that moment know, there is loss behind that face.
I don’t cry in regret for my divorce. My marriage unraveled while juggling a life of raising children, relocations, carpooling, playing host to sleepovers, shopping, cooking, pediatric appointments, and co-captaining dinner parties for 12. I cry when moments catch me off guard that remind me of my former party of 4. I absolutely loved my party of 4. My former husband, my two children and me. It felt good.
I was like those of you now reading this book; with a bit of tweaking to mirror your own experience. For me, at some point in the 7th year of my marriage, I landed on Level 1. Then progressed to Level 2, rather quickly. And it truly was a sneak attack. Did I miss the signs?
A small, innocuous task, checking the pockets for loose change before taking the family laundry to the dry cleaners, changed my life forever when a tiny slip of paper emerged instead.
I will spare you the details. It was a cliché come to life.
Daughter, sister, wife, mother, divorced. 60. I have a title for every decade.
Along the way I didn’t realize parts were missing, until the missing parts went missing. Just enough life remaining to keep the expiration date undetermined. No real regrets. Just a few unfulfilled dreams, which, if time is kind I plan to rectify.
Turning 60 this year new feelings emerged.
Starting with this book.
And, although this book was written from a woman’s perspective with children to consider, there may be millions of women and men, in varying circumstances facing the same dilemma who may find the 50 considerations useful.
During the course of my divorce proceedings there were some things I did well; and some things I did not do, so well. I’m no martyr. And this book is not a tell all, nor intended to be hurtful prose. My heart is simply too full, and it’s time to empty it to good use.
I have purposely written this book in a non-traditional format in the hopes it will feel more conversational. If you have this book in your hands, you have reached the agonizing place I landed 14 years ago.
You are struggling with Level 1.
Or perhaps even Level 2.
There may be children involved. Blended families involved. Or, just the two of you.
Ponder the 50 considerations…
One or two may give you pause or perspective, and aide with your next level decision.
Thank you for taking the time to read. I hope this helps.