Posted on December 23, 2016
To my dear friend,
This is it. The week that papers will be signed and you will officially be single. I’m not a “Congratulations on your Divorce” kind of person. I don’t think you congratulations are in order for suffering a loss. For hearts being broken. For feelings being hurt. For dreams not turning out the way people thought they would. Even if it was the right thing, or for the best, people still got hurt.
There are several things though, that you do deserve Congratulations on. You deserve to be congratulated on having the courage to finally take care of yourself. From the time I met you, you had given up so much of you who were, and continued to do so. You had put your husband’s needs and wants and your kids’ ahead of you. Which I think, most of us do. But I think somewhere in there, YOU kind of got lost. You forgot you had a voice. You forgot you were beautiful and smart and so very funny. You forgot that you had ideas and even how to laugh. I watched, with a broken heart, as you got smaller and more lost. Now, I can see you getting stronger and bigger right before my eyes. And that laugh comes a lot easier than it did too.
You deserve to be acknowledged for learning to be so independent. It is hard to start all over. It is hard to find and buy a house. It is hard to do all of the everythings alone. It is hard to do them with a spouse too, but to do them alone….It is also hard to ask for help when you need it. And to allow yourself to just have a good cry when you need it. It is hard to realize that as hard as it is, it is better than being somewhere that wasn’t good for you to be.
You should be praised for being a great mom through this entire life change. Every step of the way, you have kept your kids front and center in your mind. You have kept their needs and feelings in mind with every decision that you have made. You have made sacrifices and gone without to make sure that they were taken care of and that they would feel loved and cared for. Most importantly though, you have been a great mother by showing them that they should not stay in a relationship or situation that is not good for them. You showed them that their feelings matter, that they should stand up for themselves, that as hard as it is to go, sometimes it is harder to stay. And you taught them that everyone, in any relationship, should matter- their voices should be heard, their feelings considered, their hearts held gently.
The most significant trait that deserves congratulated though, is that you have endured a separation, child support battle, divorce, and Lord knows what else, still so full of Grace. You have said no unkind words in front of your children. Even to this day, you say what a great man and great father your ex was and is. Every step of the way, you would still stop and say, “Well, how are you doing?” And you really still cared and listened. No matter how hard times were, you still were selfless and compassionate and kind.
So my friend, while I don’t want to congratulate you on your divorce. I want to congratulate you on the fact that you came out stronger, smarter, braver, more empathetic, and more whole. You are okay and I am proud of you.