To Divorce or Not

That was the statement that I made on the first day that I walked into my very first individual counseling session after my counselor asked what I wanted to work on. I was an emotional wreck, lost, and completely miserable. I had already been through years of couples counseling with numerous counselors (six to be exact), but absolutely nothing seemed to work and I was completely out of options in the pursuit to save my kids from having a broken family. I genuinely wanted my marriage to work and I wanted to do all that I could do in my power to keep our family together. I didn't want to look back with any regrets, so I did everything in my power to hold it together until the very end. If we are completely honest with ourselves we all play a part in the demise of a relationship or marriage it's just a matter of holding ourselves accountable in the roles that we play. As I look back at the beginning of my relationship there were red flags all over the place that I chose to ignore because of my own selfish desires. I wanted the "American Dream", you know a husband with children, a home, and a fulfilling career. Needless to say I wanted it all and I was going to stop at nothing until I got what I wanted by any means necessary especially since I was in my late twenties and my biological clock was ticking or so I thought. When I met my ex early in our relationship, I honestly wasn't impressed and really didn't like him at all. If it wasn't for my girlfriends telling me to give him a chance because he was such a good stand up guy, I probably would have never given him the time of day. We were young, he was silly and I had just got out of a long term relationship that didn't end well. I was in a man hating period of my life because of the turmoil of my last relationship experience. From the very start my ex told me that he didn't want any titles because he had also just got out of a rocky relationship but I persisted. I had my eye on the prize, he was handsome, smart, nice enough, responsible, and most importantly I knew he'd make a great father, something that I myself had longed for as a child. My ex and I had an off again on again type of relationship that wasn't the most pleasant. My instincts were telling me to run far far away but the idea of a family was stronger and I completely ignored the little voice within. I figured we always seemed to end up back together anyway so we may as well make it official. After I felt like we had been together long enough (5 years), I gave my ex an ultimatum to either propose or we should end things. As I look back on things he was probably just as hesitant about getting married as I was, but he felt like he was up against a wall and had no other choice. It wasn't right on my end to have to pressure someone into something after all I was more into the thought of love more than I was in love. There was still so much resentment that we carried into the marriage that we had not sorted out before we got married. As I said the relationship was off and on and there had been hurt feelings that we had never worked through. That resentment turned into jealousy, the jealousy turned into his need to control, the controlling behavior turned into mental and emotional abuse and finally to physical abuse. Every time we would leave counseling I felt worst than I did than before we went in. After years of this and getting absolutely no where, I completely lost my sense of self. The final draw for me was when my babies experienced a physical altercation between us and that was it. It was no longer just me, we had a responsibility to our children to show that this is not what a loving relationship is supposed to be. Things were getting worst and my children were 3 years old and right in the middle of it all. I wanted to get out while they were young so I prayed and prayed and I started listening to my instincts and through counseling I finally mustard up the nerve to walk out in faith with whatever could fit in my car. I said a prayer, "Lord I don't know what is about to happen but I have faith that you will see me through". Through prayer and the advice of my counselor and attorney I left and pulled up to my mothers house and never looked back. My sense of awareness had been restored and I made the decision that I don't regret. My divorce was ugly, lengthy and grueling. It was an absolute nightmare at times but now that I am on the other side, so many doors have opened. It has truly been one blessing after another which tells me that I absolutely made the right decision. I am now showing my children what true genuinely love looks like. They are happier because mommy and daddy are happier. What children don't see they definitely feel, so don't think that it is ever possible to hide anything from them. Even though they were only 3, they still talk about the physical altercation that they witnessed, it was traumatizing. After all that my ex-husband and I have been through, I would say that we have a pretty good co-parenting relationship. We both have a mutual understanding that we want what's best for our children and they always come first. Are you stuck at a crossroad and unsure of which way to go? I am here to tell you that there is hope on the other side no matter what choice you make.

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