My partner and I recently signed the divorce papers. It is interesting to observe the different responses from others upon hearing such news. Those who somehow thought that we were one of those that would have a long lasting marriage seemed distraught and upset that we signed the papers thus attempting to convince how we should not have been so hasty in our decisions, while there are those who were joyful because it was something that they had wished to do but yet lack the courage. I noticed that in both responses, it was more of relating to themselves than to me. Except for my bestie, who authentically expressed, “G, I have to admit that I am shocked by the news, but I trust you and your decisions is for the highest good.”
It is indeed a wonderment to observe each of these responses. At times, I find myself having to pay a little more attention to what they were trying to convey to me only later realising that they were seeing me as a victim, as in a facade of a divorcing woman, drawn from the perception of a divorce situation generalised by society, which is somewhat negative. My inner struggle arises from receiving these kind of responses whom (in my perception) seem to disrespect my partner’s and my deepest wish which inevitably puts me back in the position of being a victim – strangely, a victim of not being respected instead of one who is going through a divorce where the husband is leaving or vice versa. I remember when I revealed the news to a loved one, she went high with objections citing how it was my doing that had resulted in this. She went on and on that a marriage is about staying together through thick and thin, good and bad and etc etc. I consciously reminded her that I was not seeking her approval but merely informing her of what was going on in my space since it felt appropriate. I also reminded her that my partner and I did not need a marriage certificate or more rightfully, the illusion of a marriage to be there for each other, through thick and think, good and bad. We are, in fact, still very close to each other and intimate in the heart as compared to the times when we first got together.
Next come the paradoxical question, “if that is the case, then why is it necessary?” Believe me when I tell you that both of us asked ourselves the same question over and over again before coming to a final decision which we felt was most appropriate for ourselves. But still, are the reasons to why we took this route necessary for anyone to know? Again, it is as if we need to explain to others of what we are deciding for our lives. Perhaps it will be fair to say that we are done with the contract of ‘compromise’ and ‘give and take’. We are now more keen to cultivate our own interests and paths without holding ourselves back or each other for keepsakes. I remember one night when my partner authentically expressed his fear of losing me and yet at the same time realising a deep knowing that I am and will always be there for him. He is right and I feel the same way. Somehow the switch of roles, although can be quite scary due to breaking out of the comfort zone does not seem to threaten what we have within. Nothing really changed; except that we have both grown up, and transcended the ‘need’ to be with each other in this kind of relationship.
I do receive comments from people who tell me the possibilities of us getting back together in future. I find it funny that they should express that, as if they have suddenly turned into some professional fortune tellers foretelling my partner’s and my future. I get a little doubtful as I ponder deeper if they were expressing that because that is the story they wish to see happening to me, or to console me as a woman who was going through a divorce that all hope is not lost and he will come back to me someday. I do not mean to demean the well-wishers, only I can’t deny that I find it absurd and funny.
And, for the record, if it does happen, I am all open for it and also for the record, it is not like we are leaving each other. To put it more authentically honest, it is not within my space or business to know or to hope for a future such as this whether it is 3-4 days or 3-4 months from now. That future time frame does not exist at this moment except now, so it is redundant to envision whether he will come back to me or not and trust me when I say this is the least of my concern at the moment. I cracked a joke with a beloved saying if my partner does come back, it looks like it will be within my choice and integrity to choose again. If it was because of different course in life that has led us to this path of a seeming separation perceived by the society, perhaps by then it would have to take a twist in my or his interests to see the possibility of us choosing each other as life companions again, doesn’t it? No one really knows. Can you?
So someone may ask, “eh, I thought love is unconditional?” and of course it is! Having different interests doesn’t mean love is not present, and by being divorced also doesn’t mean that there is no love. Love is unconditional also to mean without conditions and despite all conditions and that does not limit to people who love each other having to stay together for the rest of their lives when there is something else that they wish to do or experience for themselves; well, unless they wish to do that; to stay together in a conventional way, that is; I’d say that it is entirely their choice.
And for people who are able to take this step, at least in my partner’s and my shoes, it only means that our bond is so deep that we no longer need to possess or hang on to each other that way. We have come to peace with ourselves, hence with each other, thus able to bless each other’s journey by letting each other go from the illusionary bondage of a marriage or relationship.
The divorce lawyer commented that we are the easiest and happiest couple she has ever worked with. Another friend also said that this is only possible if both parties are mutual in the decision. I’d say that all divorces are mutual except that one is in denial causing the other too, to fall back into denial; where the whole drama unfolds or remains status quo. That kind of situation is inevitable when both parties do not allow themselves to be honest and authentic with themselves and each other. And it is never too late, to start now. Having said that, it also doesn’t necessary mean that a divorce needs to take place.
In my experience, a divorce is not really a separation but a reunion of some sort though perceived otherwise in the world. It is a respectable choice of path if acted upon from the space of wisdom where two parties are at peace with themselves and each other, also respecting each other’s growth in each of their own phase of life. In any case, it is not about staying in the marriage/relationship or getting a divorce/separation but rather, the motivation behind it; and for that, only the people behind the act would truly know for themselves.