Saturday, April 21, 2007

How I Got Started Blogging About Divorce

The driving force behind this blog was that, through my divorce, I have been unable to find truly empowering sources of support online. From the perspective of a husband in mid-life going through divorce, most of the resources I found dealt with either financial, legal, or custody-related issues. Very little spoke of or dealt with the emotional upheaval, or empowering men to move on without anger, resentment, or being victims of their past.

In early January 2007, I finally moved out of my house after living for several months in separate rooms under the same roof with my wife. I worked from home as a computer programmer and my wife did not work. This left us with tension-filled days as we would avoid communicating with each other unless it was absolutely necessary. We would fight out of our resentment and anger towards each other. And while I was angry and hurt, I was still left asking myself the question "why?" Why me? Why now? What did I do to deserve this? I thought I was a good husband. I certainly loved my wife, cared for her, and provided her for unconditionally. Wasn't this enough? Rather, shouldn't that be enough? But it was clear to me finally that my wife did not respect me, appreciate me, or find me attractive. If anything, she now resented me, demeaned me, and felt that she deserved better than I as a partner. With this realization, my self-esteem plummeted and I began to feel scared, guilty, and hateful towards myself. "It has to be my fault", I thought. "You brought this on yourself." Self loathing is a hurtful, angry way to express frustration and fear. At that time, I felt that I controlled nothing in my life; the only bright spot in my day was the time I spent with my son after he came home from school. During those four hours, we would act civilly and as a family. One he went to bed, though, things would go back to "normal" (if you can really call it that).

Once I moved out and in with some family, I soon came to realize that there was a relationship between my feelings of victimization and the negative self image that I had come to adopt. This put me on a journey where for weeks, all I did was read about empowerment, divorce, dating, relationships, and spirituality (as I continue to post, I will share my reading list with you). During this time I did very little else, and piece by piece, aspects of each book began making more and more sense to me. Across all materials, one thing was for sure: the road to empowerment began with personal responsibility and the release of external validation for one's self image and worth. The first law of evolution was born; I just did not know it at the time, and certainly cannot take credit for it. After this, the more I read, the more I began to absorb and write about in my journal. One of the professional skills that I am good at is categorizing information and grouping it logically. So as things made sense to me and I could appreciate their value, I began to reduce these items into statements that, eventually, turned into what I like to call the "Laws of Evolution".

Now, these laws have a "divorce" flavor to them, but honestly they can apply to anyone. They focus first on empowerment, and second on the emotions, roadblocks, and experiences that divorced people go through. While geared towards men, the laws know and respect no gender. They work for anyone open to reading, consuming, and following them. Evolution is not a perfect process; it is, however, smart enough to recognize when something works (like a shark), and something does not (like a Dodo). As men and women struggling to cope with divorce experiences, our hope to evolve into something better, complete, and whole must be fed and supported. That being said, the "Laws of Evolution" are my contribution to this effort. The list is perpetually incomplete, and I will blog about each law, to the tune of two or three per week. I hope they bring value to your life, clarity to your mind, and help you - even if only in a little way - cope with your experiences in a positive way that pushes your life forward.

9 comments:

canada said...

Hi, I would love to read more about how you were able to move on from the memories of your partner and relationship. I'm finding that quite difficult.

cheers

Guy Getting Divorced said...

Canada,

You know, I haven't moved on from my memories of my partner and relationship. If anything, I own these memories; good and bad. One of the shifts that occurred with me was that I stopped attaching personal meaning and value to the memories. Memories don't define me, they describe my experiences in life. Hindsight being what it is, I get to learn from them.

Have you ever heard of the expression "What doesn't tear me down makes me stronger?" Well, memories shouldn't tear you down - they should make you stronger.

I can't really recommend to you how to "move on" from your memories. What I would ask, though, is why do you feel the need to "move on"? Those related questions (why you feel the need to move on) might be opportunities for you to grow. If you look to "move on", that speaks to me of avoidance.

canada said...

I am looking to move on probably because I have not come to terms with the relationship ending - it causes me immense grief when I think about it. Even a photograph of my ex-partner, is enough to make me feel both regret and pain.

Probably in time I'll be able to think about her without wincing, but presently it just depresses me and takes me backward instead of forward in recovery.

Guy Getting Divorced said...

Well, if it depresses you and sets you backwards then I suggest you stop focusing on these memories. One of the future laws I'll be writing about is "Learn to Identify Your Self-Destructive Behavior".

If thinking about these memories hurts you, then stop focusing on them for right now. Take her pictures down. Put away things that remind you of her. Stop torturing yourself. Remove things from your life that torture you, and get comfortable with your life and self. Once you do, healing should become much easier.

Remember, removing these things from your life can empower you to move on. Once you have some momentum, you can revisit these memories and get to the root of your pain.

Roxy | No Fault Divorce Pennsylvania said...

There are different topics that can be discussed in divorce blogs which will surely be useful for information dissemination.

Clare Smith said...

http://symetry4life.blogspot.com/

We just decided to divorce. I look forward to some guidance. Thank you for the great blog.

I have only posted one story on this blog. I wrote it this morning the day after we made our decision.

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