STARTING OVER AGAIN
by Harlan Jacobsen
A series of articles adjusting to divorce
Unfortunately, people seem to be unable to come apart until staying together is painful enough to motivate splitting. Fearful of being alone, most stay together for too long. "Trying harder" to stay together only makes a bad situation worse. They do a lot of emotional damage to each other before they get apart. A good percentage of marriages seem to end from a year to two years past their ending.
EMOTIONAL BATTERING TAKES PLACE IN A PROLONGED "COMING APART"
When you have been through a difficult, lengthy, prolonged agonizing, splitting process, it is like pulling off adhesive tape slowly.
SOME KNOW IT IS OVER AND GET OUT FAST
This is more painful suddenly, like jerking off adhesive tape to the other partner, but you can then get on with building a new life. So you may be lucky, if your partner left quickly rather than if it had been a gradual, slow process. Some compare coming apart gradually to cutting off a dog's tail a little at a time so it won't hurt so much.
ALMOST ALL COME OUT OF DIVORCE WITH A SHATTERED SELF-ESTEEM
A general feeling of being inept or a failure at making a relationship (marriage) work. A feeling that 'if only' they had been better or tried harder, they could have made it work that there was something "wrong" with them or their spouse wouldn't have left. To top this off, the spouse, in trying to feel better themselves, tried to put the "blame" on their partner, helping convince them they were, indeed, defective.
YOUR EXPECTATION WAS - MARRIAGE IS FOREVER.
It wasn't, and marriage now days averages 7 years. As a result of your erroneous expectations, you are probably going to do one of the following:
I. Be angry at your ex for not making it last forever--feel short changed and cheated by your ex.
2. Feel guilty or angry at yourself for not being able to make it last forever.
3.. Or alternate between the two..
WE HAD EXPECTATIONS OF WHAT WAS REQUIRED TO MAKE IT LAST
If we are a woman that was raised before 1945, we expect to be successfully married as long as we are a good job of housekeeping, cooking meals and keeping his clothes ready. As long as we were doing those things we expected to be married forever, as that was the way we were brought up and trained as the requirements of being a good housewife. Now if you never kept the house clean, never had dinner ready, you could expect to get divorced. That's the way we were raised. So if you get divorced, now you feel you must have been inadequate.
OUR BAD FEELINGS ARE TIED UP IN ERRONEOUS EXPECTATIONS OR PROGRAMMING
If you are a man brought to adulthood before 1945, your expectations are that if you worked hard, were a good provider, brought home a check regularly, then you could expect to be married forever. If you got divorced, then your erroneous conclusion now is that you must somehow be lacking or deficient.
WHEN WE WERE RAISED, MARRIAGE WAS 90% FUNCTIONAL, 10% AFFECTIONAL
Now it is 90% affectional and 10% functional. When the affection is
gone, the marriage is gone. In the past, the affection didn't last either,
but you were so intertwined functionally to survive, you continued to
love the person that helped you survive.
THEY ONLY HAD A FEW YEARS TO GO, SO THEY STUCK TOGETHER "FOREVER."
Now forever is another 40 years, so at least one partner says, I do not want to spend 40 years more with this person. I want to do something else. They used to need you to survive, now they don't. So the fact things have changed means you must now realize relationships do not end because one person is defective.
They to ask, Whose fault was it? They rarely if ever ask that now. People now have begun to realize relationships end and it is no one's fault. The biggest fault is most people stay in relationships long after the relationship has ended. They are programmed that they are not supposed to end, that if only they 'try' harder they should be able to make the relationship last.
TIMES HAVE CHANGED, YOU HAVE CHANGED, YOUR EX HAS CHANGED
What was maybe years ago a good match up, no longer is. The apartment
or home you lived in no longer meet your needs so you move. You outgrew
or for one reason or another were ready for something else. The fact you
moved did not mean there was something wrong with you.