When my husband first approached me for a divorce, I was blind sided. After fighting for weeks, begging to work through the issues he was struggling with, he asked me to pack my bags and go. As much as I didn’t want to leave, I hoped that by giving him the space he was asking for he’d be able to calm his mind, unwind, and find some renewed vigor to keep fighting for our family.
So I packed. I packed just enough for my daughter and I to go to my parents house for a “long visit” and that was all. I was hopeful. But before I threw my bags in the car, my lawyer-of-a-brother-in-law called me. It was a painful call but one I’m so grateful for. I’ve known him since he married my sister when I was in high school and he’s more than a brother-in-law. He is my brother. He was careful to advise me of a number of legal papers I should take with me before leaving my apartment: birth certificates, titles to cars, bank records of current financial standing, credit cards in my name, anything of value that I would miss if I never saw it again.
What!? Brother, you’re talking like this is the end. If I take all of these things, it’s going to send my husband the message that I’m prepping for a divorce which is the exact opposite of what I’ve been fighting for!
Amongst many trying times throughout the exploding end of our marriage, this was just another one of those insanely difficult positions I found myself in. Do I leave it all behind and hope for the best? Do I prepare for the worst? Am I sending the wrong message? Am I planning to FAIL?
In the end, I chose to listen to the advice my family members were giving me. This could be different in every scenario and only you can know what’s best for yourself in this situation. But I’ll be forever grateful that I did a few things to protect myself before leaving my home, my life, and my husband behind.
However, I still regret not smashing his car windows and slashing his tires.
Once I had left, I soon learned that my husband’s mistress moved in to take my place. My daughter and I didn’t see him for months, until he came to meet our newest daughter that was born after our separation. He never once came begging for me, never changed his mind, never broke it off with his new girlfriend. Things did not go as I hoped they would. It took me a while to find peace with how things ended. But ultimately, I’ve found immense gratitude for the failure of my first marriage.
I soon started working after giving birth to my second daughter. I was determined to provide for my children and I refused to be a statistic: stuck below the poverty line like most young, single mothers. I worked from my parents basement as a hairdresser, grew my business, went back to school, moved out of my parents home, and found a career that provides for our needs and fulfills my desire for creativity in every way.
As I approached my second marriage, I had been hesitant to fully bind myself to another man. When my ex husband left, I had nothing. I had a few dollars to my name and not a lot going on. I never want to be in that position again. But, by preparing for “just-in-case,” am I planning to fail? I struggle to put into words the conflict I have with this topic. But I reached a point dating Mr. Wilson where even though I have worries and fear for repeating the past, being hurt, or being betrayed, I’ve felt the calming reassurance that Heavenly Father is behind my decision to marry – and completely bind myself – to this new man.
I had to reach a point where I know that no matter what happens, God will provide a way through it all.
I’m finally ready to tie myself to someone else and face whatever comes our way.