Allow me to paint you a picture. Not a literal picture, by any means. I am horrible at painting. I once tried to draw Godzilla as a child and it turned out looking like a Tyrannosaur. My lack of painting skills aside, I want to paint this picture for you with my words. My sweet, comfortable, sexy, sexy words.
I sit alone in a one-bedroom apartment. Though, I say alone, I am not completely alone. I mean, I was alone for the past five months or so, but not now. No, now I am harboring my sister and her three sons. So, it’s kind of a crowded household right now.
For the purpose of this scene though, let’s just say I’m alone. So, I’m alone, right? Let’s all agree on that. Ray is alone. Why am I alone? My last article was obviously a step in the right direction of personal growth. It was all about being a father and the amazement I had at the birth of my son! Apparently I didn’t grow as much as I thought I had, according to my now-estranged wife. Why do I say that? Thank you for asking unnamed reader! You’re always so caring. It’s because last May, I was served divorce papers and immediately kicked out of the house that I had been paying on for two years.
Now, I might sound bitter, but I know that there’s a silver lining in any situation. Except this one. There is no silver lining. More like an abyss that is an all-consuming tornado of emotions and tears. Oh, the tears. I may have trailed off from my picture painting. See? I told you I was horrible at painting and this is my metaphorical Tyrannosaur in writing. So the picture is, I tried really hard the first month to win back my wife. Well, I say I tried really hard. It depends on if drinking yourself to sleep every night and sending texts full of sadness is trying or just being pathetic. After about a month and a half, I accepted the situation and moved on the best way that I could. If you’ve read any of my previous stuff, you ought to know that I’m probably not the most graceful at acceptance. It was a difficult road, and there are many things I learned.
Don’t beg for her/him back
The biggest fault I have is that when I’m sad, man, I am sad. If you ever find yourself at the broken-hearted end of a divorce, one of the worse things you can possibly do for your self-esteem is beg. Much like a dog goes away disappointed when you fail to give him a pepperoni from your pizza, or hell, even the crust. Give that poor dog the crust, at the very least. Well, much like that poor dog, you walk away disappointed and kicking yourself for losing your composure like that. Don’t get me wrong, you will feel like crap either way, but you don’t have to belittle yourself at the same time. No one likes it when you beg, and the same goes for a relationship or marriage. Your ex-significant other will only see you as pathetic and sad, not as someone they want to spend the rest of their life with.
That first month I was a mess. I cried myself to sleep at night, and there’s nothing wrong with that. What I did do that was wrong was I let her know. That only reaffirmed her decision to divorce me because it showed that I obviously couldn’t handle the heat. Much like the heat of the oven burns my rugged man hands when I forget the oven mitts because I’m a man and I don’t do kitchen stuff.
Give your spouse what they want
If you find yourself with divorce papers in hand and you sincerely want to save this marriage, keep calm. There may still be time. Communicate your desire without argument, and if the other still feels divorce is the way to go, give them the space they so desperately want. Move out with all of your stuff in tow. That dresser that was yours? Take it. That TV? Still yours, buddy. Anything that you brought into the marriage that you didn’t buy together, take it all with you and don’t look back.
Now you’re probably asking me something like, “How is that supposed to save my marriage? I can’t just give up on it!” You aren’t giving up. You’re giving your spouse what they want, and it’s likely that during the course of the marriage, she/he felt that they weren’t getting what they wanted from you. In the second month of my divorce, I finally came and got everything I owned out of the house, packed it up and unloaded it at my new apartment. The next few weeks came with several calls from my estranged wife, who was obviously missing me at this point. However, I was trying my hardest to move on and was becoming quite successful at it. This still didn’t lessen the impact that her words had on my emotions. My sweet, damned emotions.
Date. Find dates, anywhere you can, just date someone
You might think that finding someone else will be counter productive to saving your marriage; I thought so too. But by the second month, I no longer cared, despite my wife showing signs of regret. If you let it be known that you’re a strong-willed person and you are moving on with your life, that will impress your spouse. It will also make them jealous and possibly crazy. Try not to let them get crazy. Crazy is bad. Crazy stalks you, throws you in a trunk, ties cinder blocks to your legs, throws you in a lake and leaves you for dead. That really isn’t good for anyone and most importantly not good for you. But yeah, the moving on part, it shows that despite what your spouse thinks, you’re grown enough to accept the situation and make good decisions for yourself and that you’re capable of moving on. A deep human flaw is that we all want what we think we can’t have. If your spouse sees that you’re out dating again, they may see that they have lost you and sure enough, they’ll want you back.
This very thing happened to me, my friends. By the third month, I was not exactly dating but I was hanging out with female friends that I hadn’t seen in years. My wife knew this, mostly because I’m an honest person and told her what I was doing. The fact that I had other women in my life that would be there for me seemed to bug her to no end. Albeit, she would never admit that, but jealousy is easy to spot. There was one significant friend in particular that I have, though and I never would’ve made it through the whole ordeal without her. I won’t expand anymore on this particular friend but it’s a good thing to have because that brings me to…
Fall back on your friends
When you get married, you lose touch with a lot of the friends you used to spend time with. It’s natural, and everyone understands it. Once those papers are served though, you now have all the time in the world to catch up on those friendships and rebuild old bonds. Without a good network of people that you trust, the days of divorce will be that much more rocky. Much like Rocky himself punching you in the face over and over. It feels a lot like that.
It wasn’t until I saw something that I shouldn’t have seen of my estranged wife’s, the details of which I will not disclose, that I decided it was time to reach out. So I reached out to this one particular person that I haven’t seen in years, but she has been there for me through many hard times. It’s important to have that one friend that you can count on, that you can tell anything to and vice versa. The type of friend that if you woke them up at 3 in the morning, they wouldn’t chase you away with a shotgun. Those friends are hard to find, but they are out there, and everyone needs at least one.
I learned a lot in the past five months. A lot about myself, a lot about my values and even a lot about human nature. I’ve learned that even if your life comes crashing down around you, we are all our brother’s keeper. What I mean by that is we all need someone. Don’t withdraw into yourself and allow it to tear you up inside. You have a life, live it, even if it isn’t with the person you thought you were going to live it with. No matter who you are, there are people out there that care. Hold onto those people, because they will be there when you need them most.
I’d like to end this on the note that my wife and I are in talks of working things out now. We do have an 18-month-old son together, and he truly is my world. Through the hardships that I have been through with my wife, it’s going to take a lot, and I mean a lot, to fix the marriage. If it doesn’t work though, I know that I’ll be OK because I have an amazing family and the best friends that I could ask for.