Saturday, March 30, 2013

If you love me at all, don't call.

When we first broke up the thought that The Mr. and I would somehow stop being involved all together was so mind boggling I just refused to accept it. I told him I thought it would be helpful for us both if we could kind of check in with each other from time to time, support each other.

This was my grand idea for how to get healthy after two years of a toxic marriage, and this is why God invented therapists.

I have this friend who is, in many ways, 100 times more interesting than me, but in many other ways we're like two peas in a pod. She expressed one of my favorite similarities perfectly at a friend's wedding a while back. She had just been spilling her guts to who I think was someone's parents that she'd met ten minutes before...? I don't really know that she was sure herself. She turned to me at a break in the conversation and said, "Whatever it is that makes people afraid to open up and talk about themselves, I think I have the opposite of that."

Which is why it should come as no surprise to you that one day in therapy I asked, in a slew of angsty, concerned, frantic questions, "But, I mean, should I keep talking to him? Like, maybe we could support each other through this! Maybe it would help us both to..." I'm sure I would have continued, but Professor Rationality (Let's call my shrink that. He's so very logical.) could have knocked me over with his cocked eyebrow.

"Why would you do that?" he said, his voice kind but dry. "It's over."

And you know what? He's right.

One of the best things I've ever done is decide to cut off contact with The Mr. as much as I can manage. There's the occasional text about a lease agreement or some detail about his Harley, but it has been at least a good solid month, maybe two, since I've taken his call. I can say unequivocally that it has been a profound step in my healing.

I mention this because I know this can be a big thing for some people. To be divorced is to have a relationship with someone that is likely the most intimate relationship you've ever experienced, while simultaneously being irrefutably toxic. The dichotomy is enough to disorient you and cause you to wonder if your should trust your own judgement several times over. At this moment in time, take it from me, four months (today!) in and going strong... or not so strong... or terribly weak at times, but going nonetheless!

Don't call him (or her).

Don't call him, and don't pick up when he calls you. Don't text him, especially when you're angry, and don't respond to his bitter or pitiful texts. Don't email her. Don't page her. Don't write him a letter. Don't send the Pony Express. Even a telegraph is out of the question. In every situation that it may seem remotely feasible just say no. 

I recognize some of you out there have children and joint custody and mortgages and such to work through. My heart goes out to you for all the challenges this must present. My advice is to find the system that works best for you with the least amount of direct contact possible and stick to it. (*Side note from 8 year old me: Dear divorced parents, Communicating through children is a terrible idea. One day they're going to grow up and realize what you did. Love, a child of divorced parents who communicated through her.) There is nothing more likely to mess you up in the head than poking around in a dead marriage.

Divorce means the end. Forever. Thank God for that! Even if you don't feel like it at first, build the habit. He'll show you ways to be grateful for it.

One of the things that my mom told me that was true could be paraphrased thusly: When you fill your life with the subpar and that which does not serve you, you have no room for the magnificent or for that which brings you joy.

You can do it. Let it go. Say goodbye. Open you your life to greater possibilities. You deserve better.


  1. I'm really struggling with this one. I'm still so in love with my soon-to-be-ex-husband that I just can't imagine leaving him out in the world all alone. I had this nightmare of the two of us in space, in those big space suits and all, and he let go of our tether and floated off, and there was nothing I could do to get him back to me, and I knew he was gone forever. We were married six years, and it seems strange that he's just no longer going to be a part of my life, you know? No kids to tie us together. I moved away, so I will never bump into him by accident at the grocery store. He's just lost to me. And he doesn't have anything that great going for him in life, doesn't have a great job and he's not very close to his family. I (emphasis on the I, me, myself!! ALONE!!) tried frantically and desperately for basically the whole six years to save us, so why can't I let go? I did text him last night, begging him to do SOMETHING ANYTHING to show me he wanted me to stop the divorce (we're coming to the end of our 90 days) and didn't get a response. I keep feeling confirmation that I'm doing the right things, but that sure doesn't make it hurt less.

  2. I watched this video on YouTube (oh the endless wonders of YouTube...) about why we as humans kiss each other. As a slight tangent the guy explained that psychological studies have proven that when I test subject received affection only unpredictably or sporadically from a family member (I think the study was with mothers) then the subject is likely to cling even tighter and more frantically to the person offering the mixed messages, rather than walk away and find a more loving alternative. I believe it, because what you described above I can TOTALLY relate to. Stay strong. I know it can't feel possible at this moment in time for you, but it does get better, and all the things you've talked yourself into adjusting to, sacrificing, settling for... you don't have to do that anymore, because you deserve better. As odd as it sounds I sometimes feel like God took me out of my (covenant) marriage because my health and well being was more important that the covenant. He wanted me to learn in a way I could never forget just how important my wants, needs, deisres and personality are, the things that make me ME. The Mr. didn't understand or love these things. He pulled away and away and finally just broke mein half when he walked away, and in that moment I knew it could never be alright again... but here I am, 6 months later, and life is immensely better. Don't call. Every time I call I feel worse. I feel all the sadness come back, and worst of all, I want more than anything to help him.

    It is no longer your burden to carry. It belongs to Jesus. Just say to yourself, as if you were talking to your Mt. "I release you" over and over 'till it sticks. It does get better. It does.