Recently I ran into an acquaintance I hadn’t seen in a few years. She is in middle of a nasty divorce. “This is a nightmare!” she told me. They have kids, so both custody and finances are at the heart of the dispute.

My own divorce was final two years ago and in some ways it feels like a lifetime ago. Our divorce was also extremely unpleasant and I hope never to go through anything like that again in my life. I did a great deal of reading about divorce and one of the many books I read seemed to resonate the most: Crazy Time: Surviving Divorce and Building a New Life, by Abigail Trafford. She says that for many couples, certainly not all, but for so many of us, the first two years Read More →

Last year, when I was in Spain with my…well, what do I call him?  My almost ex husband?  Steve is his name, that’s what I’ll call him.  I guess I could call him other names, but I won’t.

We were in southern Spain, in Andalucia, which I totally fell in love with, and we were driving in the mountains, headed to Ronda. We (he) decided to take a road through the mountains because Steve wanted to go to a small town called Grazalema, I believe was the name.  We got on a road that had a sign that said, in Spanish, something about road blocked due to a mud slide, but for some reason, we saw a few cars up ahead of us, and we didn’t believe the sign.  The road was extremely curvy and I tend to get a bit anxious on really mountainous roads, and this one seemed to go on and on and kept climbing up the mountain.  It was also absolutely gorgeous country, which I tried to notice as I gripped the dashboard.  There were a few turn-offs along the road where people had stopped to eat lunch and look at the views.

I figured once we got to the top of the mountains we would be safe and just go down the other side to Grazalema, but sure enough, after what seemed like a good hour or so, we came to the part of the road that was blocked and we could go no further.  I couldn’t believe we had to go back down that same road and take those same curves.  We didn’t argue about it, we just turned around and that hour long drive took about twenty minutes.  It wasn’t, in fact, an hour, it only felt like an hour.

We returned to the town we’d driven through at the base of the mountain, found a restaurant, had some lunch and then set off again on our journey to Ronda, on a different, but still gorgeous road.  

I feel like I’m on that windy road now, just headed through the mountains, not quite sure what’s ahead, but trusting that I will get to the other side of the mountain. (Or turn around and go back down and have lunch.) This divorce journey seems endless, but from all my reading about divorce, it’s generally a two year ordeal – “Crazy Time” – a period of ups and downs and pleasurable periods and sadness.  Today was both.  I had some lovely times with friends and some time alone.  

I’m heading through the mountains and I should try to enjoy the views, which are truly, quite lovely.  I’m trying to stay in the moment, enjoy each day, and be grateful for all the wonderful blessings in my life. 

Someone recently suggested I read a book called “Crazy Time, Surviving Divorce and Building a New Life.”

I always knew that divorce was horrible, at least for everyone I’ve ever known – and just a very small percentage have an easy time. For me, at times, it’s felt unbearably painful.  I feel better than I did last year, but it’s still very difficult.  There are moments of fun – like last night when I had a date – and remembering that gives me a very big smile.  I guess it’s a gift when in the midst of pain, you get to experience pleasure too.  Life is hard AND it’s also fun.  What an amazing gift to be over 50 and still feel desirable.  Wow….that’s pretty good.  

I read this line in “Crazy Time” and it felt very true:  “Breaking up a marriage may be as common as Main Street nowadays, but when you finally do it, the psychological experience seems as uncharted as the dark side of the moon.”  That feels so right to me, all the variables in every divorce are different.  But the common thread seems to be that there is pain involved in breaking up a family, moving forward to the unknown, letting yourself open up to other people and risking rejection.  And yet, I can’t imagine not being here now, even though it’s hard.  When I look at it objectively, I see that my life is pretty good and that so many people are struggling now with so much: loss of work, income, hope, health, not to mention the billion people all over the world who go to bed each night hungry and afraid.  I guess it’s important to remember that I am part of something much bigger than my little divorce.  I feel grateful for the lessons I’m learning, even though I’d much rather read about them in a book or see them in a movie.