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The Confusion

Another emotion I experienced - that isn’t quite as unexpected as some of the other emotions I felt (self-doubt, embarrassment, anger.) - was confusion. 

Confusion can be a state of being perplexed or disoriented; disorientation with regard to one’s sense of time, place, or identity; and an instance of being disordered or mixed up. 

By now, you’re well aware of how my marriage ended. If you’re not, long story short, my ex seemingly, randomly decided to end our marriage one unfortunate day in 2016. I was unemployed, physically healing, and the mother of a 2-year-old. And while our marriage wasn’t perfect, it didn’t seem quite ready for its end. 

Afterward, I spent a considerable amount of time trying to figure out what had just happened to me and why. I was constantly wondering:

Were there signs we were incompatible I had missed? 

Could I have salvaged the relationship? 

Did I give him too much freedom and allow for wandering eyes or a wandering heart? 

Could I have been more present, stylish, kind, or attentive? 

Would he come back?

Was he testing me? 

Had I failed? 

What would my daughter think of me? 

What would friends and family say? 

How can I fix this? 

How will I support my daughter? 

How will I heal from this? 

The questions went on and on, and varied day by day. But really, I was just trying to figure it all out. I’m a problem solver, a fixer. I knew that if I could just pin down what went wrong and whether there was any hope, I could fix it and piece everything back together. And if I was able to fix it, I wouldn’t have to face public opinion nor give up the trajectory my life was on. 

For weeks after, I tried forcing him to have conversations that would expose the root problem and give a window to the solution. But it didn’t work. We went round and round in circles, never getting to the real problem and only managing to nitpick and berate each other. This worsened my confusion. 

One day, I had to give up. I had to ultimately let go of my mission to fix things, which lead to letting go of needing the answers to those painful questions. I had to do this for my own sanity, progress, and healing. And I was able to do this simply with the passage of time. As time went by, my life got better - I became employed, acquired a new social life, started writing and saw my daughter be very happy. With this, I realized my life was actually wonderful. It had turned out alright without needing to fix that relationship. Once I was able to accept that that relationship was fine exactly how it was - as co-parents only, the answers to the questions no longer mattered. 

To this day, I don’t have a concrete idea of why my marriage ended. And that no longer bothers me. What matters is that I’m happy and fulfilled, on good terms with my ex, and my daughter is thriving. 

I can certainly understand anyone’s need to have those answers. That need presses on our minds like a craving or itch. I encourage you to distract yourself with your present goals and dreams. And like all things during this divorce journey, time will make it all better. 

The Relief

The Self-Doubt