Did your mom ever tell you “ there is a time and place for everything” ? Mine did, and I am pretty sure it was when we were misbehaving LOL.
We are taught to never give up. We must continue to try to succeed. Never give up, never quit. I am sure we have all heard these phrases at least once in our lifetime. Perhaps we are even the ones saying them.
When we are hit with a divorce, especially blindsided by one, our animal instinct and survival mode kick in. When we are hurt so deeply, we want to lash out, we want to hurt the person that hurt us. We want to WIN, or more importantly we don’t want to lose.
Hindsight is 20/20 and if we could fast forward to look back , we would save ourselves much grief and disappointment. Many times in a divorce no one wins, everyone loses especially where kids are concerned. Even if you have an amicable divorce, you have all lost the nuclear family setting, the kids have lost having both parents 100% of the time. Things are different, things change.
But when you add in the pain and hurt that many divorces entail, the desire to hurt the other or to win is real.
But there are times when “winning” just isn’t worth it.
Control was a big issue in my divorce. My husband seemed to think that everything should remain as it was, just as he left it, except he left. In other words I should still do all the wife and mother duties I had done for the past 24 years while he went off to live his own life without us. I shouldn’t make any changes while he made a lot. My divorce was nasty, hurtful and drawn out because we couldn’t agree on anything. I was so hurt and angry and really wanted him to hurt too. I wanted to get even, wanted him to suffer like I was suffering.
I know NOW that was never going to happen.
In our divorce a rental property was given to us both, neither of us wanted it, nor could we come to an agreement as to who would take it on their side of assets. SO the judge left us as partners 50/50. What a nightmare. It was just another way for my now ex to hold or attempt to hold some control over me. The property was in need of some repairs and updating and wasn’t renting well. Every month my ex would send me an email telling me how much money I owed him to cover expenses. I would respond asking for documentation of the expenses only to be told that once I paid then he would give me documentation. Well sorry that is not how the world works. How often do you agree to pay for something without knowing what you are paying for? Hopefully never.
This went on for years. I was miserable. Finally I had my attorney draw up papers awarding my ex the property, free and clear. I didn’t want any part of it, didn’t want any money for it, not now not ever. The stipulation was I also would not owe my ex anything for any past present or future expenses on said property.
Friends and family were appalled! “what if he sells it for like a million dollars?” “what if it is really renting and making money” “what if what if what if” . Sometimes it is better to just walk away.
This was so freeing to me. One less headache for me. One less way for him to try to control me or my life. One less reason for me to have any contact with him.
I finally decided my sanity, my peace, I was worth more than whatever that property would ever be worth.
I have an acquaintance that is learning this lesson way faster than I did. I am so proud of her and the strength she is finding within herself.
She too has been through a lot. Her divorce is not friendly. Her divorce is painful for her and her children. Although she is in the early stages of that actual divorce proceedings, she has experienced years of hurt and disappointment at the hands of a controlling alcoholic spouse. She has spent many years holding the family together, making amends, making excuses, surviving. And although I believe deep in her heart she still wishes he would change and things would be different, she is realizing how unrealistic that is. We cannot change someone else, we cannot make someone else change, especially when that person has no desire to change.
So whether on her own or through the stories and counsel of others, she has decided that “giving up can be a good thing”. Sometimes fighting for something we think we want is just not worth all that it brings with it. Sometimes being able to walk away and move on is the winning piece. When we learn to give ourselves more value, than things, than “winning”, we will actual be the biggest winners of all.
May I suggest you stop and be still in the moment. Take a look around. Are you bringing more pain and frustration into your new world by wanting to win? Are there some things you could stop, or give up, or walk away from, that would in turn provide more freedom for you? Remember your ex or soon to be ex is never going to “let” you win, or ever feel like they have lost. You will never get that satisfaction. So if that is what you are waiting for, stop waiting and take that next step forward.