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Divorce: We need time

broken heartHumans love scandal and tragedy as long as they are not directly involved. It takes their minds off their own problems and if it makes them look better than someone else all the better.

It has become increasingly evident on Social Media that everyone is an expert on every topic and advice is freely given whether invited or not.

Divorce is recognised as the second most stressful event after death. When you have been married for several decades you are not just divorcing your spouse. There are children, in-laws, extended family and mutual friends who are affected too. Planned futures and finances are shattered.

Not even the most impulsive person wakes up one morning and decides to get divorced. It is much easier to fall in lust and rush off and get married. There are usually months and years of unhappiness, trying to make the relationship work and it is very seldom that only one party is at fault. It takes two to tie the knot and two to break it.

We teach people how to treat us.

The months leading up to the divorce are fraught with moving home, coping with children who are terrified of being abandoned and often blaming themselves for their parents breakup, fighting over who gets what, selling precious family items to "liquidate the assets".

Most of us don't give ourselves any time to grieve.

We are failures, society tells us so. When a spouse dies people rally around and give you support. When you get divorced it seems as though every Sunday sermon is aimed at you. How you failed to maintain a functional family. You are no longer part of a respectable couple so the invites drop off. If you are the one who has chosen to leave the marriage the feelings of guilt are overwhelming. You feel like you don't deserve support. You are the cause of the mayhem. If you had just been less selfish, tried harder ....

We become so accustomed to living like a tightly wound spring keeping all the balls in the air and the tears locked behind our eyelids that eventually something has to give. The longer we ignore our feelings the harder it is to recover and move forward. Most of us can't do it alone. Instead we move on to another unsuitable relationship as we can't bear the loneliness.

I was the one to leave. It took me almost 6 years to feel like I was truly functioning again. My short term memory had abandoned me and I couldn't do the simplest of tasks. Driving became my escape and I would fill my bus with girl friends and we would drive for kilometers exploring villages and mountain passes pretending the real world didn't exist. In between times I would weep and sleep. I joke that because my sons were adults and had elected to stay in Gauteng I got custody of Jessica our Staffie. She truly was my saviour. Each day we went down to the beach and walked for miles or she played in the rock pools.

Dave was also reeling from the breakup of his 31 year marriage. Logically it was a disastrous time for us to start a relationship but love isn't always logical. For the first time in our lives we both felt that we "got each other" and we have this unshakeable bond that has seen us through some very difficult times and of course the many good times too. We don't look for faults, we look for the positives and it makes a huge difference.

The pdfLiving ADDventure® ADHD Coaching Programme now has a complete Relationship Coaching Section for couples who are struggling with ADHD in their relationship.


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