Who the hell PLANS a divorce?
Reflection can be a curious exercise: while one can not change the past, one can certainly learn. And I am fighting these thoughts tooth and nail (whatever that means…I don’t get a lot of cliché’s but that’s another rant of a blog post). While my brain comprehends I can not change what transpired, it is my HEART which must come to fruition, accept what’s happened and move on.
Funny how one plans for a wedding, a funeral, bar mitzvah, an intimate dinner party. Although painful no matter what, how many years married, children or not, why must divorce be treated any differently when it comes to planning? Yeah, I know. My so-called plan involved distrust, ineffective communication, little hearing of the other, affairs, confessions, destruction and a helluva mixture of every level of pain imaginable. Not entirely what I had in mind. I am still here, weeding through my part of the grand assortment, the varieties of emotions. The time leading up to divorce, ridden with distrust, emotionally charged feelings…yes, can’t imagine why one would find planning such a thing so unpleasant. Truth be told: planning never hurts and it’s never too late for a new plan.
What Does Planning Mean?
Well, think about what an event coordinator does: gather information from their clients; wishes, needs, wants, etc. Upon this information, a process begins and each decision is constructed, executed and/or modified by original goals the client expressed.
Problem Planning a Divorce
Amongst various things involving divorce, one issue remains constant, an obstruction: this little glitch called EMOTION. Therein lies the reason, why divorce hurts so deeply. Too much fucking mess, too much self-centeredness, too much distrust. Not enough honesty, forthrightness, directness, maturity, conviction. Hindsight is just that, viewing life as it was yesterday. Planning, good planning takes time, diligence, perseverance until job is done. Strip away emotion and I believe this would eradicate much of the mess during a divorce. But it is not easy, nor probable, yet a sensible thought.
It hurts me most to think of this, to think I was self-centered, the lack of insight staggering in many ways, as I am a person who pays attention. A good friend once told me we make our best decisions based onto what’s going on in our lives at that moment.” And at the time, I made decisions, albeit so very poor ones, based on nothing short of emotional recklessness. I knew I was unhappy, dissatisfied with my marriage. I knew I needed a change, needed to either change me or my situation. And I knew I loved my family unit like nothing else, my children had always come first in my life. Still, there was no plan moving forward. There wasn’t much room to navigate any plan through the emotional confines between us.
Accountability is not enough. I had affairs because I chose to have them. I was not emotionally together, but I knew what I was doing. And the fact I was very self-centered kills me. I knew better. If only’s, meaningless as they be, one thinks of them as a sort of distant sense of comfort; can not change the past, yet comforting to think of an alternate ending to a story.
If only I had spoken up.
If only I had expressed my unhappiness as a mature woman.
If only I had let go of all of my fear.
If only I had felt more conviction, more awareness of what I truly wanted from my marriage, or what I didn’t want.
If only I had thought of my girls, how my affairs would have affected them and their future.
Those contemplating divorce, there are choices to be made, decisions are difficult. With some time, reflection, planning, divorce does not need be so messy. Part of the planning involves knowing what one wants. That is paramount to every big decision made in one’s life. And to answer my question, if I had done what I write above, would my outcome be any different? Of course it would. That’s the paradox of planning a divorce: For as much as one can plan, there are no event planners for emotion. Creatures of emotion leaves little room for planning.
All said, there is always room for another plan, new ways of organizing one’s life. I am in the middle of doing so, trudging through the mess, the part of which I made. My girls, they had no doing in this, innocent participants. They were not part of this plan. But they are now. They are the center of my new plan, one which involves forgiveness, acceptance, peace and love. It involves a new-found sense of self-reliance, replacing self-centeredness. Hope replaces fear. Conviction over confusion. All part of my new plan, an event of solid proportions, unfolding, slowly over time.