Post-Divorce Hilly: Why, Hello, Dahling!

I’m delighted to welcome Hilly as my Guest Blogger today.  Hilly responded to a Facebook post on the Divorced Women’s Club page by sharing the link to her article, this morning I took some time to read it, more than once 🙂 and I love it…….  I hope you enjoy her writing as much as I did.

Welcome to Post-Divorce Hilly. I’m sitting in my favorite sushi-Thai restaurant in a perfect little corner, on my laptop, waxing reflectively. A few months ago, while still married, I impassively missed this very scenario which had for so many years been a part of my life before marriage. Chunks of my entire life have been spent in restaurants this way, pad and paper(s) spread across the table with a copy of whatever book I was into, or, laptop (in later years) glowing on said book, fingers wildly hammering out thoughts before they escaped my head. Or just the book, splayed open with a sugar holder or set of salt and pepper shakers. Whatever.

During busy lunches and slow, 5:00 PM-early-bird dinners, over a lovely cup of tea-bliss, in the lilt and lull of foreign tongues and clinking cleared-away cups, I mulled the things I read, found the parts I related to, and churned over the parts I did not. I parsed out my life in fairly unremarkable keyboard chapters. Poetry, songs, fiction and non….(bless this keyboard I bang on. HA. Sorry.)…plays, scenes– that book I’ve started and stopped since Moses wore short pants…..

I write and read in this scene far better than I do in the quiet bosom of my own home. The goings-on become white noise, until that ONE damn kid can’t stop kicking my chair or clanking their metal spoon against the water glass, which Mummy finds so darling, especially when he hops out of the booth and goes barreling down the aisle with a wooooooooosh and a banshee wail.

“Isn’t he precious? Now he’s a truck!”  (Yes, Mummy, dearest, and I wish the front axle would snap off his cab so he’d careen off the……).

But the writing. The purposeful reading in places that inspired me, free of home distraction. The love of looking up for a pause and seeing life go on around me, all of its moving parts, in people bustling and in their actions and faces.

Why had I stopped?

This was not an abandonment of self, before we traverse down that road. This is not that huge and popular statement on women in marriage, that “losing myself” in the gnarly-knuckled fist of institutional patriarchy, etc. etc.; no. This was just a turn I took because something else pulled my attention away for a spell. A 4-year-spell.

Why did it happen?

Why does anyone stop doing certain things they love to do? Maybe as a show of consideration toward a significant other? Maybe just not time enough? In my case, when there was a choice of doing something in free time, I mostly chose to do things with my partner. It’s kind of the point, n’est-ce pas? Having a partner with whom to do things? We did many things together, and I didn’t notice or miss the practice of purposefully dining/having tea alone whilst creating. Until one day, I did.

Creative casualty.

Laze. It is too easy not to explore, to discover, to spill, to wrap up, to release, to mull, to orchestrate, to produce, to bear fruit. This is choosing the couch over the walk in the park at the end of May: you know it will thrill you if you can. just. get. up. And go. But Neflix just released the 4th Season of the Dr. McNuggets hospital drama…..and the decision is made, and the page is left unread, and the word left unwritten, and the brain bleeds from being spoon-fed a story you didn’t take the time to read or write yourself.

And you turn your back on who you are, on God, really, when you think of it. My mother always said, “It’s a sin to waste God’s gifts.” Who are you to sidestep what God gives you???

Parallel and akin to, “Oh- you’re not going to church again? You don’t have one hour for God?” I’ll have an hour next week, right? Dr. McShitbird ended last season in a widely publicized affair with Datia, the 11-fingered Ukranian Foreign Exchange Student turned Candy Stripe-trix. God understands.

My point (there might be one) is that we sometimes make decisions to stop cultivating significant pieces of who we are for spells. It’s okay. I was never empty-handed. I was filled in other ways, and in result, seem no worse for the wear. I didn’t fully stop reading, I didn’t fully stop writing, I didn’t ever stop being Hilly, I just stopped this particular routine and took up others for a while.

I am glad to have this time again, and I’m glad to sit and sip with an old friend.

If you enjoyed this article visit her website here:  http://tippyteacup.com

Visit our website: www.divorcedwomensclub.com.au

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THAT DIFFICULT CONVERSATION

The beginning of a new year for many people is when they take some time to really think about what they want to do and achieve in terms of career, health, fitness, travel, lifestyle, family and experiences for the year ahead.

It is also when many people follow through on a decision made some time previously to have that very difficult conversation with their partner.  “I want a divorce.”

When they reach that particular point in time, that moment of truth when they know they can no longer continue to live a lie or pretend that everything is OK.

Being the person to instigate having this difficult conversation is extremely painful and there will never be a ‘right’ time.

Most of my clients who have made the choice to end their relationship can remember clearly when and where the conversation took place. They can remember what they were doing, what they were wearing and the words they chose to speak out loud, the words that had been going through their mind for weeks or months before.

The fact is there is never a right time, or a better time and putting off the inevitable can mean that another year passes, another year living a life you no longer want.

I had a lady come to see me about the conflict and struggle she was having about starting this conversation.  We spent some time together to ensure she was absolutely congruent with this decision, which she was, however every time she decided she was going to tell him she couldn’t go through with it.  He was a very good man and she did care for him as a friend which made it even more difficult.  I suggested she write everything down that she wanted to say, as if she was having the conversation with him, read it over and over until she felt comfortable to broach the conversation, fold the piece of paper and put it in her bra, close to her heart.   She rang me the next day to tell me she took a very big deep breath, put her hand on her heart and had that difficult conversation.

If you are considering having this ‘difficult conversation,’

  • Be respectful of the other person’s feelings
  • Choose a time and a place where you will not be interrupted
  • Be honest in your communication, this is not the time for sugar coating how you feel
  • Being honest maintains a level of trust, even if it means acknowledging an affair, an attraction, or that your feelings have changed
  • If you have children choose a time when the both of you can tell them what is happening and reassure them that they are loved and this decision is not because they have done anything wrong
  • If there is any doubt in your mind suggest a trial separation to give both parties the time and distance to think things through
  • If the decision is made to proceed to divorce be mindful that the days, weeks and months ahead will be extremely challenging and emotionally stressful for everyone involved
  • Reaching resolution more quickly is achievable when both parties are agreeable, still difficult and challenging but will considerably shorten the time, emotional angst and financial outlay
  • Ending your relationship may also mean losing extended family, friends and colleagues,

I am not particularly proud of how I handled my separation, it was a very difficult time and many people I love dearly were hurt and confused by my actions.

If you are considering having that difficult conversation hopefully this post will help you hit the pause button just long enough to consider the possible implications of how you choose to end your relationship and approach the situation with respect, honesty and consideration for everyone involved.

Visit our website here:  http://www.divorcedwomensclub.com.au

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