"And you let her go
And you let her go
well you let her go… "
lyrics ~ let her go
I listened to the lyrics as they played in the background… slowly making my way around the circular tables of designer shoes displayed… Nine West, Coach and Franco Sarto leather wedges and summer flats dazzled like prized trophies on pedestals. Finding myself at the corner clearance rack I began casually surveying the shoes lining the metal shelves… blue suede pumps, heels that were glittered and glossy lipstick red begged to be bought and worn out… worn to a party, a glittering event or maybe a dinner date and play afterward. As my brown-green flecked eyes fluttered over them my sight caught an older couple just a few feet away… visible to me through the staggered shelves of shoes. They appeared to be in their late sixties or early seventies. He was sitting in a club chair noticeably patiently waiting while she, his wife, tried on several pairs of shoes. There was a comfortableness between them. He nodded at what she was saying as she modeled them in front of a petite knee height mirror nearby. I watched as she took a seat beside him and he gestured to the pair she held in her hands and seemed to speak with his body language from afar that yes, indeed she had chosen the right pair for her… and that he too liked them as well. He spoke to her with undetectable words from my vantage point yet I saw that she smiled, chuckling appreciatively at what he said. I moved away from the clearance section and made my way to the nearby clothing department.
I began skimming through a rack of women's pants for work… and as I skimmed through the slacks in colors of gray, navy and khaki I heard a female voice nearby speak "That was supposed to be my life." she said. I turned to her, startled and met her lined gray eyes staring back at me. Her face looked pained and she affirmed to me what she was referring to… "That couple… being married for so long and obviously happy… that was supposed to be my life." she told me.
I meet people, randomly, not expected, in ways that connect us all in so many ways… past experiences that continue to show up in ways they can be used now in present time to help, to reach out, to do good, to affirm, to heal. With each person's pain comes the current place of who they are now… each and every life moment has led them to who they are today.
We are each a sum of all our experiences.
We are each molded by the past into who we've become…
formed by what we've been through,
each person who has crossed our path in life has touched us in some way, shape or form.
For this woman she stood here today… before me with raw feelings and her words caught in my throat, hinged on my shoulders and pulled at my heartstrings. This woman was brave. Brave enough to say what any woman (or yes, even man) may not utter but feel deep inside… each person who has been through the hell of losing… something that was supposed to be for the long haul, the end of time, for eternity, "what coulda shoulda been" but yet they continue to push those feelings down deep each time they try to rise up again and like waves threaten to engulf them in a flood of tears.
She was brave to speak for us all.
"That was supposed to be my life" she'd said.
I looked her in the eyes and painfully but honestly replied "Me too."
That was supposed to be my life too…
a marriage where no one took the other for granted
a life where we each encouraged one another to grow, to learn, to push and far exceed what perhaps we narrowly believed we could do
we were to be able to talk about anything and yet at the same time to be happy with discussing nothing
we were to be best friends; me climbing your back like a kid until I was no longer limber enough to do it and your back finally cried uncle
and yet we were supposed to be lovers and we'd tingle with excitement in complete simpatico like a complementing storm of thunder and lightening always on cue
we were supposed to be able to overlook the annoyances and when they'd threaten to divide, one of us would crack a joke to smooth the ripple out like a warm iron on a ruffled shirt
maybe one day there would come a time when we could no longer physically do the things we used to but there would always be hugs… the long hug-you-and-squeeze-you-tight-at-the-end-of-a-long-day-type-hugs-where-no-one-wants-to-let-go… because those are the best
it was to be a life of sunny flowers in the kitchen, the scent of apple pie, a dog panting and wagging at our feet and kids running happily barefoot through the house
there would be extended family barbecues, cookouts, what have you and smiling sun-kissed faces ready for another photo, ice cream cup or dip in the pool
years of family road trips filled with impromptu stops for sight seeing, a sno-cone and silly picture taking
there would be arguments, no doubt… disagreements of this or that… but there would always be open communication… we would each be one another's "safe spot" to go to and respect would reign for one another… because the biblical golden rule would be the first rule applied… do unto others as you'd want them to do unto you
life might sometimes become monotonous but we'd know it was up to us to inject moments of whimsy and fun… and we'd take the time for adventures
we were to be best friends and be able to tell one another everything and not be judged… because being best friends means picking each other up, not pushing the other down
really it was supposed to be the best thing ever meeting you… it was to be a lifetime of inside jokes, a history of meaningful shared moments, of pet names, of "i love you's" that meant something…
that was supposed to be me.
that was supposed to be her…
that was maybe supposed to be you.
Don't believe for a minute God doesn't see your disappointment.
He sees the unspoken pain and hurt…
He is very much aware of it… and yet…
there's another chapter coming around the corner…
and yes, for you.
© gps-gracepowerstrength.blogspot.com ~ 2014
worrying will do nothing
but keep you stagnant…
don't let anything from the past
overshadow your now
Like the rain… even pain is temporary…
healing is for everyone, not just some people
“The best way out is always through.”
Every single step forward you take is one more step of progress
like all decrees and the law they vary from state to state
and country, so be sure to ask your attorney what is
legally permissible in your divorce decree... this post is merely to be used as
a brainstorming of ideas between you and your attorney
I had no idea until after the finalization of my divorce and receiving the final copy of the divorce decree that had been filed in court how many things were amiss… things that should have been included yet had never occurred to me during the course of the divorce due to my own inexperience but later in retrospect I realized were must haves.
When going through a divorce we may be asked by our attorney:
"What do you want to do? What do you want to put in the decree?"
If we don't know the questions to ask… if we aren't knowledgeable about what we can include in a final decree we may be left scratching our heads wondering "Ummm, I don't know? What should I put in it?"
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow,
for tomorrow will worry about itself.
Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
Matthew 6:34 (NIV)
We naturally look to our attorneys for guidance in this arena… and obviously hope for some active input without having to drag it out of them. Yet also part of the equation is our ex. We know him (or her) better than anyone so even though our attorney may really see no need for meeting at a neutral location for exchanges and believe we are exaggerating much to our irritation… the truth is… it's going to impact us long after the ink is dry on the decree… not our attorney once finished with our case and having moved on in life.
In Matthew 6:25-34,
Jesus specifically told His followers not to worry about food or clothes because God would provide for their needs, just as He does for the birds of the air. This promise of provision and protection applies to all areas of our lives, including help with our problems and easing our inner-most anxieties.
You, the parent is who is going to have to deal with the ex and find a way of co-parenting that is healthiest for you and your children. If this means meeting to exchange them at a neutral location versus your home and thankfully not having your ex in your face on your front porch trying to push boundaries, then yes, it's essential for your decree to reflect what is best in regards to your situation… not what is easier for your attorney's office to draft.
So what can you have put in the final decree?
Naturally it depends on your personal situation. We can't get too crazy but we can definitely set some reasonable boundaries. The most important thing is we don't want our decrees to be so vague that were always having to check in with our attorney for clarification (that gets expensive quick) because what is printed in black and white the ex "interprets" differently than what you're reading in plain and simple terms.
Obviously any ideas listed here you should run by your attorney first and foremost to get their thoughts and how they apply to your situation. If you're new to all this and have no clue what to even ask your attorney for… depending on your ex's behavior here are some general ideas for your decree to get you started thinking about specifics and run by your attorney…
1. EXCHANGING THE CHILDREN:
Have a neutral meeting place to exchange the children. Maybe this is McDonalds. If your ex is prone to violence a police station might be a wise choice. A neutral meeting place keeps you off your own turf and significantly brings down any power plays going on.
You can have your decree state no drinking while in the presence of the children. If you put this in the decree like any other behaviors you're perhaps asking your ex to not engage in while in the presence of the children keep in mind that you will be held to this rule also.
3. PHONE CALLS:
Phone calls are often a big issue between ex's and their children. Parents want to check in with their children periodically during the week and say hello. But then they are met with phones no one answers and continual voicemail. They are ignored and times when the children are to call one parent they don't. Get around this continual source of friction by having the decree state maybe two or three nights a week (ex; if you're doing 50/50) they can talk to their other parent for 15-30 minutes. Days and times can be specifically put in the decree.
4. DATING & BOUNDARIES:
You're recently divorced and come to find out your ex decided it would be a stellar decision to introduce the children to the woman he cheated on you with during the marriage… or maybe just some random woman he met at a bar last week… or last night. You can get around this fiasco by having the decree state he (or she) must be in a one year exclusive relationship before introducing the new partner to the children. At least then if it's not followed you have it in writing what was to be followed.
5. HAVE A START DATE:
Your final decree possession schedule should have a start date… if you don't know where to start from how will you know what to do next year?
6. KIDS & TAXES:
If you have two children, the tax deductions are easy. Each of you can take one child… if you have first choice… as a mom if you're receiving child support choose the younger child, as they will turn eighteen later.
7. SUMMER SCHEDULE:
You can alternate longer periods of time with your children in the summer to make vacation planning easier. It might be that you alternate two weeks versus every other. I can't say I personally agree with this scenario in my own situation but for couples who have an amicable co-parenting relationship that is free of one parent being manipulative, controlling, etc and putting the children's best interests ahead of their own… then it certainly may be a good fit.
The final decree can state specifics regarding the children's on going therapy… like who they should be seeing, how often, etc. It might be wise to have a back up of one or two other therapists you've agreed upon listed in the decree in case something happens to your current therapist… like they move away or your insurance suddenly stops paying for sessions. It's always good to have a back up plan because trying to find agreement on a new therapist for the kids might be like butting heads with your ex… and if you can't agree… guess what? You're going to spend a bunch more money on mediation or court fees.
If you don't agree your kids should have their own cell phones and yet your ex does… you don't have to give in to what you don't believe in. You can have the decree state that electronics won't be brought to your home. You can also video tape exchanges with your phone for your own protection. You can record a call that is between you and your ex. If your ex is technologically savvy and you believe he wouldn't hesitate to bug your phone, your home, your car, etc… spend the money to have your property swept for peace of mind. If your ex has your vehicle tracked without your knowledge you can notify the police and file a report and have the device removed.
You can have a morality clause in your decree where it's prohibited for your ex to have any overnight guests in the home. Will he (or she) follow it? Only you know the answer to that… but it may be something that you should add if they are dating before the divorce is even final… which is not in the children's best interests at all… before the dust has even settled. When in doubt it's always best to have everything in writing so later if something was to happen you can point out to the judge that x,y,z was not followed… it's always better to be prepared.
© gps-gracepowerstrength.blogspot.com ~ 2014
Matt Walsh recently wrote a blog post posted on May 29th, 2014 titled:
My Wife Is Not The Same Woman That I Married.
You can read it here: http://themattwalshblog.com/2014/05/29/wife-person-married/
Matt Walsh shows his naiveté in this post regarding divorce and as he may very well have great intentions... as the second portion about his wife is beautiful… in the firsthalf he writes about how divorced folks today take marriage not-so-seriously… and instead intimates at their finalization they are seemingly ready to celebrate; slice their divorce cake, pop champagne and dance on the tables. Perhaps they are in some cases but to make a blanket assumption about divorced individuals is far from accurate.
He hasn't been divorced.
He hasn't walked that path.
He hasn't known that pain.
He is no better than you and me.
People don't wear a badge of honor
because their married and
someone else is divorced.
Likewise just because someone is legally married does not mean for a second they are in a successful marriage. How do we define a successful marriage? A legal marriage does not constitute a marriage filled with love and selflessness. This is not automatic. Numbers don't matter. People don't give much or any credit to someone saying they've been married 3 years, 5 years or even ten. Their like a baby… and might as well be wearing diapers. There are couples who have been married 20, 35, 50 years and are miserable. There are spouses in these longterm marriages who have endured horrible abuse… whether emotionally or physically or perhaps both. Can we call those marriages successful? No. Hands down they aren't. Marriage should be a reflection of love… of Jesus… and where abuse resides under a roof Christlike love doesn't.
per Matt Walsh…
"Divorcing someone because they change?
You might as well divorce them because they breathe".
Many of us that have divorced have done so due to highly toxic marriages… relationships that perhaps began somewhat good… maybe even great… but soon after the "I do's" or some years later the union began spiraling downward… as one spouse CHANGED… but not regular change… not healthy change… not growth… not becoming better or even just different but instead… change due to...
Without a doubt we all change as we journey through life… and for many successful marriages the changes are of two people who are striving for personal greatness individually and as a couple. They are encouragers, they are cheerleaders, they are supportive and lift each other up… not one person pulling the other one down causing despair, chaos and grief.
I can tell you that anyone who has been through a marriage filled with dysfunction at best… but more accurately abuse… they are divorcing because they've suffered a long time. This was a long road, this was a road riddled with a weary "I have to keep trying" and a resolute "I won't give up"… and even cries of "God? Are you there?" Divorce is not the easy way out by any means. Divorce isn't for wimps or sissies. We don't divorce because someone changed in a way that doesn't fit our "comfort zone" as Walsh put it. I don't know any woman or man for that matter who finds the "challenges" of living with someone emotionally unstable or narcissistic or that lies and cheats something that can be merely chalked up to as out of their "comfort zone". There will always be true challenges in marriage yet there are also behaviors ie; actions that shouldn't be happening… that violate the very foundation of trust between two people… that threaten the very core of the union. Actions chosen by one spouse like domestic violence, stonewalling, gas-lighting, infidelity and more arenot challenges easily dealt with or that even should be. There are repercussions to all of these actions… bruises and broken bones, psychological distress, sexually transmitted diseases, setting an unhealthy example of love for your children and more. Let's keep in mind that people who have divorced didn't go into marriage desiring divorce to be the outcome… no matter what belief you have, no matter what your faith.
I believe people of all walks of life and a wide spectrum of life circumstances need reaching out, they need support and they need to feel like they are not in their hurt alone. People no matter what age, race, sex or background, they want to feel like they belong… that they matter. And you do. You're divorced. So what? God may hate divorce for what it does… for the pain it causes and it grieves Him. But He doesn't hate you.
I certainly didn't utter my wedding vows with the thought I would ever be signing divorce papers one day. When our dreams are shattered we aren't dancing on tables, or making toasts, were often watching dreams go down the drain that we looked forward to for a lifetime. Today, looking back at seven year old me… playing Barbies, building with Lincoln Logs and making mud pies in the backyard, I never ever would have guessed I'd be divorced one day. Never in a million years. As a little girl I wanted to get married and live happily ever after. As a little girl every Christmas my family would load up in the family car and drive across town… every year in December at Christmastime the residents along the lake on the west side would put up light displays. The various displays would twinkle, their colors reflecting off the water, shimmering in the moonlight. Our vehicle would slow to a stop and we'd peer out at the beautiful lights in awed silence. All the magnificent homes would be lit up in the background… and as we'd make the turn around the corner to pass by the homes… I always thought to myself… one day… I hope one day I live here, in this neighborhood… in one of these homes… I want the windows lit with light and laughs within. I want memories and extended family… I want the Currier and Ives moment.
I want the fairy tale.
You know what?
I got it.
I grew up.
I got married.
I had kids.
I lived in that neighborhood.
I had the lights on the lake at Christmas.
The windows were lit up every night like a beacon of hope.
Yes, I had everything.
© gps-gracepowerstrength.blogspot.com ~ 2014