By Sylvie Griffiths:
I am in the process of getting my second divorce. This, above so many other emotions swirling in my mind, is a deep, gut-wrenching disappointment to me. My soon to be ex-husband and I have tried to make it work for nearly a decade, but recently made the final decision to separate and move forward in our lives separately. Besides my personal feelings of failing at another marriage, I am keenly aware that my children are now experiencing this with me. They are sad and worried and anxious; just as I am. I realize that this is just the beginning of the process leading to divorce and that the going will entirely get more difficult along the way.
We agonized over how and when to disclose to our four children that we were choosing to end our marriage. Once it finally happened, on a weeknight after a pizza dinner, the full severity of the situation was felt, at least by myself. It felt like the speak things into existence sayings that I used in my support group to empower our attendees; however, this was a more negative connotation. By telling the kids, and assorted family members and friends, the looming divorce became real.
Now, as I finish my MBA, and work two jobs, I must add extra time in every day to make sure my kids are supported. They must feel loved and safe. My oldest daughter told me that she was scared to be in the house without her dad home, and her sister cried until she fell asleep. Our youngest, Jake, sobbed when our separation was revealed; he already has an anxiety diagnosis. Our oldest, a teen at the age of 15 ½, took the news well; we assume our efforts to hide our situation over the last few years was not sufficiently concealed to him. This was heartbreaking to both of us and will most likely continue to be as we settle into new routines and ultimately lives.
In life, we have disappointments. The job promotion you didn’t receive, the grade you didn’t bring up, the relationships that did not sustain you; these leave us with a feeling of something missing. Our children, no matter what their age, are influenced by how we act and how we feel like their parents. This idea that my actions and feelings can affect my children’s moods and mindsets are what pushes me to focus on the positives these days. I am grateful for this pressure honestly; keeping busy and looking to the future is something that I have always needed to get me through challenging times.
I am disappointed my children will experience their parents divorcing and that my marriage has failed. But I will not be disappointed about my future. Honestly, I can see my kids happier without two parents who are barely holding their relationship together. I will be excited. I will not look back. I will greet each new day with the idea that anything can happen. I owe it to my family, sure, but I owe it to myself to allow happiness back into my life.
This new-found peace in the face of disappointment is a long time coming for me; I am a work in progress, but I am proud of this work I am putting in. I am teaching my children resiliency and positivity in the process. Life’s greatest disappointments can set you on your path to happiness in so many ways. The future is unknown and not promised, but the feeling of anything being possible can give you the power to move forward. Take time to grieve your disappointment; we are human after all. But then understand your new path is waiting for you and offering you happiness. And perhaps, the frustration, lead you to this happiness.
About Sylvie Griffiths:
Sylvie is a happily married mother of four who enjoys writing, people and chocolate.
She is an Evaluation Associate and has a Bachelor’s Degree in Behavioral Healthcare-Adult Community Concentration, from the University of South Florida. She holds more than ten years of experience in performance assessment and behavioral health services and is currently enrolled as an MBA student at Springfield College, School of Professional and Continuing Studies.