Before writing this article I had a long and hard thought process (the main thought however was…IS THIS A GOOD IDEA?) Laying your personal life bare is not always great or the best thing to do since people do react differently to it. (Sympathy, Judgement, Empathy, Trolling or just maybe completely disagreeing with what you will have to say)
However in this case, I choose to use my personal experience as a tool in the hope that it will give women the courage to walk away from relationships that is toxic to them no matter how hard it may seem.
When getting married you never think that your marriage will end…sooner rather than later it did in my case.
I waited until after I reached 30’s to get married and believe it or not I thought…well… I surely MUST know better than I did in my 20’s about what love looks and feels like…right…..hence the fact that we got engaged and married within 1 year and 4 months of meeting each other. BIIIIIGGGG MISTAKE….BIG!!
Now let me start by saying…I am not against marriage, but I will highly recommend waiting more than the 1 year and 4 months as I did before getting married.
My theory… there is no way you can really get to know someone completely within 2 years of dating, you might think you do… but you don’t!
The saying…”Love is enough”… not true in my case. I did love him…however it just was not enough.
The reason why I can say that, and the reason I stand so strongly by my point is, because as time goes by life gives you different opportunities/struggles/challenges to help you assess yourself and your partner and allowing enough time will give you that opportunity to naturally get to know your partner.
I have to stress the fact that there is really no time frame that one can put on getting to know your partner completely, however after 2+ years (of which you spend at least 1 year of living together) you might have a good sense of who your partner is, during the good as well as the bad and the ugly.
Our marriage failed….not because we were bad people, but because we were incompatible, stubborn and frustrated with each other. To make a long story short…we did not take enough time to get to know each other, (not in the “what is your favourite colour” type of getting to know someone” but rather the ” How will you/me react in a certain situation/s and how will your reaction affect me/you)
Our relationship changed the moment we got back from honeymoon…..EVERYTHING changed for me in a negative way unfortunately.
Everything that bothered me before we got married, got amplified and no matter how hard we tried there was no working past the fact that we were just different. Just how different we would come to know as the year progressed, the fact that you are now married somehow changes certain behavioural patterns drastically.
I got frustrated, he got angry, we lost respect for each other, I got sad, he got frustrated, he got passive aggressive, I got angry, I cried, he cried, my heart broke, he did not try hard enough, our house became a warzone and then I gave up and filed for divorce!
Nothing can prepare your for that feeling of ultimate defeat once you have made up your mind that you can no longer willingly stay in a situation that is slowly but surely killing your happiness, self worth and self respect.
Being married to someone you know is not good for your purely because of incompatibility issues is hard! You will always try to find fault with yourself….did I try enough, was I the problem…Why are we struggling so much…why is he acting that way…Why is it so hard!!!?
After many nights of switching between praying, asking friends for advice and even therapy, I came to the conclusion that if something is broken to this extent, it will never really be mended, and there is no use in trying to fix it. Well some might disagree and say that you can, but only to be disappointed in the days, weeks, or months to follow. The realization that your efforts has been completely in futile, and that “the” particular somebody does not want to change no matter how much you try and that they will never behave/act/become as you would want them to is not an easy pill to swallow.
Without running the risk of sounding too dramatic, all I can say is that be 100% sure that the person you intend to marry is someone you can see yourself spending the rest of your life with. If you think anything will change after getting married, or that a certain troublesome behaviour will change after that ring is placed on your finger….then my dear you are in for a big surprise! It will not! It will only get worse!
My advice is to be with your partner long enough to have experience life with them…to know how they act, how they behave and how they make you feel…not only in the good times but when the hard times strike….the lessons only life can give you with the passing of time.
Being married and getting divorced is not something I would recommend anybody to go through, however there is another side to this that I would like to touch on.
There is absolutely NO shame in getting divorced, throwing in the towel & giving up, and ultimately walking away form what was a toxic situation to begin with.
There has always been a stigma that seem to follow divorced women around, almost like a scarlet letter from the 1800′, and I can tell you now…that is the biggest tragedy society can add to an already bruised heart and ego when it comes to getting a divorce.
The moment I decided that I am going through with the divorce I felt like such a failure, an absolute joke… Here I was, seemingly happily married (to the outside eye) and meanwhile I was miserable and on my way to getting divorced. I am not going to lie…it was a very hard time, purely because I had to deal with my own feelings of being a failure at being married but also how do you let people know you are getting divorced full well knowing the judgement that will follow.
Sitting at the high court on the day my divorce was granted the courtroom was filled with women who were waiting for their turn to be granted legal freedom. The lady that went onto the bench before me was married for a measly 5 months before filing for divorce (she could not have been older than 28 years old). Being in that courtroom and seeing all of this, somehow made me feel a little bit better in a sense, knowing that there are other women out there going through the same emotions and have to deal with the same judgement as I am.
In most cases getting divorced is a ticket to freedom from abuse, emotional unfulfillment, being unappreciated and being a doormat.
Lucky for me no children was born out of our marriage and I can only imagine how much more difficult and horrific this divorce would have been if there was small kids involved…however even if there were children born out of our marriage, I would have still gone through with it. Kids deserve a happy childhood…even if that means mommy & daddy being apart.
I have always said…I will rather be a single mom and have a happy child, than being in a unhappy/unhealthy marriage where my child grows up with the worst of examples to follow/grow up with.
People are so quick to judge when they hear about a couple getting divorced that they forget that they don’t know what goes on behind closed doors, and that at the end of the day happiness is more important than the title of being married.
I firmly believe that you can make as many mistakes as you need to before you learn whatever lesson it is you need to learn….HOWEVER don’t be stupid! Listen to people’s advice, your parents sometimes do know better, and that love sometimes is just not enough to make a marriage work.
Love is blind so be sure you have your x-ray vision goggles ready and strapped on before embarking on the marriage journey. Choose wisely when it comes to your life partner, making the wrong or a too hastily decision WILL have detrimental consequences, leaving you with a rollercoaster ride that your heart will not be prepared for.
Looking back at my journey, I am so grateful that my outlook on love is not that of a bitter perception, it could have very easily turned out that way, but I believe that true loved does exist, and that there is something like a happily ever after.
My everyday life revolves around people that celebrating love and I have seen it so many times in my career. Every now and again you see that something that you cannot explain to anybody. It’s there….it’s rare but it certainly exists…and THAT is what I will be waiting for before I ever think of walking down the isle again.
I will end this off by dedicating this to my family & friends… the one’s who stood by me through all of it with only support and love.
To all the ladies going through / thinking about getting divorced. – You are not alone, you will never be alone and believe me getting divorced might be the hardest thing at the time to do, but in the end it might just be the best thing for you.
May 2017 be a year of insane courage, of being brave and of happiness in abundance.