Even if You Wanted It!
Feeling sadness after divorce is normal. Most people don’t realize this. I met recently with a client who was recounting a story of a conversation with her sister-in-law. My client was asked how she was doing. Since several young children (non-spellers) were milling around, my client simply stated she is “S-A-D”. Her brother’s wife looked at her with surprise!
The exchange between them went something like this:
Sister-in-law: You’re sad? You wanted the DIVORCE! You didn’t want to spend another birthday, holiday, anniversary, vacation or special event with your former husband, the father of your four children, and now you report that you’re sad?
Isn’t your life better? You have a new house, you’re dating, don’t have to answer to anyone, get lots of non-custodial days, can go to work without worrying about the kids getting a bath, and don’t have to live with the man you no longer love. You worked so hard to consciously uncouple and you’ve succeeded. Why the sadness?
Client: Why am I sad? Truthfully, I miss my kids when I don’t see them for 5 days. I am sad that my kids go on a vacation with their father to a destination we planned for 5+ years. I am sad that I’m not there to see each of them experience it. It’s tough to hear the stories via Facetime. I put on my game face when I’m on the phone with them but often cry when the call ends.
I didn’t get married and have 4 kids with any plans to divorce. But things didn’t go as planned. I feel responsible for the breakup of family life, as we knew it. And dating, you might think dating is fun and adventurous but dating can often seem like interviewing. And generally, interviewing is not on people’s Top 5 Things to Do list! I worry about the ability to pay my bills without the benefit of a second salary. There are many aspects of my married life that I miss. I miss the changes that occurred that I didn’t think or know about when I began the divorce journey. One of them is the loss of some friends. And I worry about the kids when they are with their dad. Not because he’s not a good father, but just simply because they aren’t nearby where I can see them or hear their voices.
So yes, I wanted this, but you asked me how I feel. And the answer stands at S-A-D. And I’m working on it!