I’ve been married before, as you may have guessed from the previous entry. We were engaged for almost a year (cohabitating most of that time) and we were married for a year when we decided to get a divorce. The divorce process (due, in part, to certain laws in Wisconsin, where we lived at the time) took about 8 months after that.
Those of you who have gone through divorce already know this to be true, but for those who don’t; Divorce is a very, very difficult thing to go through. Even when you’re 100% sure it is the right thing to do, you find yourself filled with doubts. These doubts start off being centered on the other person and the relationship you share. However, even the most confident of divorcees eventually find themselves deep in doubt over themselves and their emotional health as well.
I made the mistake of moving very quickly into a romantic relationship with someone I dated before my marriage. It wasn’t a mistake to pursue something with them - I think things would have worked out wonderfully had I given myself time to recover from the pain and self-doubt from the divorce. Unfortunately, hopping right back on the dating wagon made me ignore many of the persistent wounds that can only heal after you’ve re-centered yourself in your own life.
Many people, upon hearing that I’m divorced, often ask me if I’d get married again. Each time I answer excitedly, “Most definitely!” There would be a few things I’d do differently, tho. First off, I’ll be much more cautious next time around. My ex-wife and I were engaged after dating a little over a month (our third time around dating, mind you) and while exciting, it certainly didn’t give us much time to consider our true compatibility with each other. I’d also give the relationship more time to develop in an unforced way. We immediately jumped into building a house together, new jobs, planning the wedding/honeymoon, etc. We were both so driven by all the external challenges we had facing us that we never really found what it meant to be “ourselves”.
Finally, I never understood until being married how important it was to find someone who worked through disagreements the same way as I did. You take it for granted, in such a small family as mine, that everyone works through disagreements in similar ways. When you’re living with someone who doesn’t, tho, it leads to many hurt feelings and misunderstandings that only snowball if neither of you accept the other’s methods.