You lose more than a spouse.
By Christie G.
As my divorce papers are about to be filed these are just some of the things which I have lost so far:
1. My Husband and Best Friend
He was the person who knew me best in the world and the person who I shared everything with. He was the person who, at one time, was my biggest fan; at times he believed in me more than I believed in myself.
He was the person I knew best in the world and the person who (I thought) shared everything with me. He was the person for whom I was the biggest fan, who I believed in more than he believed in himself.
He was the man who used to tell me that I was half the man he was.
2. His Family
I didn't have any family when I met him and when we got married. The family that I became a part of for 20 years is now gone. Almost no one reaches out, no one calls, texts or messages me, not even on Facebook. I feel like I've lost a father-in-law, mother-in-law, sister-in-law, aunts, uncles and cousins. These were the people I thought would always be in my life after years of baby showers, birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, funerals and holidays.
3. My Identity as a Wife
The ring is gone (long story). I am not a "wife" anymore. I can't say "My husband..." anymore. When I go into a store, I find myself thinking, "Oh he would like that" or "He said he needs one of those" and then the realization hits -- he is not mine to take care of anymore.
He is not someone I need to buy things for any longer. I am "single", a word I have always despised.
4. My Children's Sense of Security
My kids grew up hearing "Your mommy and daddy will never get a divorce; you will never have to worry about that because that is not an option." We tried to give them a sense of security and it turns out that we lied to them instead.
My children's personalities are changing and they are not the same people that they were 4 months ago.
The things that belonged to us are now being distributed. He doesn't really want anything much so far.
The pain also comes in all of the things that he doesn't want. He doesn't want photos, old cards, wedding china, or wedding photos. The things that are left here, I now don't even want.
"Our" friends have chosen sides. His friends don't talk to me anymore. Some friends just don't want to be involved, so they have distanced themselves from both of us. Some friends have had advice that I didn't want to follow, so they have walked away.
Some friends don't like the way I am handling things. My depression is lasting too long for them, I guess, and they just don't want to hear me anymore.
When you can't trust the person you were married to, and you can't trust your own instincts, it can be a confusing time. When people come out of nowhere to tell you the things that they knew long ago but didn't tell you, it makes you question everything and everyone.
8. The Future as You Had Imagined
All of those plans for future vacations, future purchases, retirement plans are gone. Imagining the two of you together standing over the crib as you look in at our first grandchild one day, gone.
I no longer enjoy hearing love songs, watching romantic movies, or even seeing people holding hands. I want to scream, "Don't do it!" I cringe when I hear someone talking about a wedding or anniversary.
10. A Daily Father to My Children
There is no longer the "good cop" to my "bad cop", or vice versa. There is no one there to vent to or ask advice from or get feedback from. All decisions are now mine and mine alone, right or wrong, and they are now scrutinized and criticized instead.
11. The Desire to Look Back and Remember the Past
I know, now, that he was cheating and that he was interested in her 6 years ago, so it is painful to wonder how long it was actually going on. All memories of our past now are marred; everything feels like a lie.
When we were together, was he thinking of her? When we were making love, was he wishing it was her? How long did he stay just wishing he could leave? He said he deserves to be happy, but wasn't he happy with me?
12. Money and Any Financial Security
I am now living on whatever amount he chooses to give me, whenever he chooses to give it to me. We were always a family who lived paycheck-to-paycheck, but now I can't even afford gas and groceries. Trying to find a job after being a stay-at-home parent for 17 years is not easy, and I have a special needs child.
13. Faith in Our Legal System
I tried for months to find a lawyer but no one would even consider taking me on without at least $5,000 up front. What do you do when you don't have that amount and have no means to come up with it?! Now he is paying for us to see a mediator and I am left feeling exposed and unprotected.
How do I know if what I am offered is truly fair to me? was told from a lawyer to quickly find a job. I was told to get ready to lose the house and find an apartment. It seems to me that only the rich get to be represented with an attorney.
This article was originally published at BlogHer. Reprinted with permission from the author.