Life Certainly Gives You The Exam First: Lessons I Learned From My Own Divorce

July 11, 2012  |  
I remember the day I got married.  My husband, mother, sister Kayla, and one of my best friends Jocelyn accompanied us to the Justice of the Peace.  He wore jeans and a red button down and I wore a white summer dress with red heels and held a bouquet of flowers wrapped in red fabric.  After we left and went out to dinner, we spent our first night together in our new place as man and wife.  As we laid on our mattress in our living room, because it was hot like the dickens and we couldn’t feel the air conditioning in the bedroom, our conversation kept going back to the fact that we were finally married.  He asked me, “why did you accept my proposal?”  Me, being a commitment phobic person, had sworn off marriage and having kids since I was a little girl.  And there I was, married and pregnant (and STILL rocked a white dress, now what?!)
Though I’ve been proposed to in the past, his proposal was the only one that mattered, because I actually was in love with him (sorry exes) and I told him something I said for months whenever he asked me:  “Even though I lived years without you, I can’t picture a single day now without you in my life.”  *Cue the sappy music.*
Fast forward to a few years later and now we’re in talks of divorce. Now I know what some people are thinking:  “You shouldn’t have gotten married because you were pregnant.”  Well, I didn’t.  I married him because I loved him.  We were engaged long before our daughter was a bun in my oven and we had courthouse date set well before she made her presence known.  But, I’ll be idealistic to believe that some people will believe me, so… think what you want.
It’s a hard reality to face when you lose someone you love.  Whether it’s a family member, friend, or spouse.  No matter if it’s a mutual break up, or if one person deserts the other, or a death occurs it’s very hard to sometimes wrap your mind around “what just happened here?”  A lot of times, even if you know you weren’t the cause of it, some people will still hold themselves under condemnation and feel at fault because:  “What if I would have done something differently?  Was it my fault?”
 Whether it was your fault or not, once ties have been severed all you can do is move on.  It might be hard, and it’s going to take some time, but it might help if you know these few tidbits:
When it comes to a break up between a friendship or a relationship:
Just like my vow to my soon to be ex-husband, you’ve lived years without them in your life… Know that if you did it before, you can do it again.  It might hurt to not have that person in your life everyday, or get to see them like you used to, but your day continued to transpire without a hint of them for a long time, and it can continue.   Be open up to the possibility of a relationship once you’ve healed.  If you lose a job, you don’t stop working completely and vow off employment, so do the same thing with relationships.  But remember, don’t jump into another relationship all willy nilly – give yourself some time to heal, please.
Now if it’s someone that you’ve known since you were a child, know that most people are in our lives for only a season, and it just so happens that this person’s season is over.  As much as it hurts, know that you have more people in your life that love and care about you.  Don’t sit and dwell on the friendship that you lost, but celebrate the friendships that are still intact.  They say that life is a lesson, so learn from what happened that lead to the end of that friendship and try to not repeat those things in the future.
When it comes to a death:
First, let me express that I do not intend to lessen your feelings.  Losing a loved one is a horrible blow, and sometimes it might take a long time to get over it.  However, don’t hide from your feelings.  The more you try to ignore how you feel the more it’s going to bother you.
Even though you miss the person that you lost, remember the people who are still there that you love.  They say that tomorrow isn’t promised to anyone, so try to appreciate each person who comes your way because you never know when they’ll be gone.
Be patient with yourself
It’s easy to play the mirrored blame game and think “it was my fault this all happened.”  Then, it’s even easier to get frustrated at yourself for not moving on as fast as you would like to.  Just know that it’s okay to feel the way that you do, but blaming yourself isn’t going to change the outcome of your situation.  This event has happened, and now you need a little extra TLC.  Don’t ignore yourself or your feelings, take care of yourself and the ones in your lives who are still there, and you’ll eventually get to the point where you can finally move on.
Kendra Koger is remaining hopeful about life.  You should too!  Tweet her @kkoger.

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