A Divorce Perspective – Giving Up On Happily Ever After

Recently, a friend shared the following video that discusses her divorce perspective and why calling it quits was the best choice in her situation. I love her honesty about what she went through and the fears she had about divorce. Take a look and see what you think!

Special thanks to Ginger Emas, author of Back on Top: Fearless Dating after Divorce for sharing her story with us! You can read more about Ginger and her journey after divorce at Ginger's blog.

Video Transcription

Divorce Saved My Family 

By Ginger Emas

When you get married, you walk down the aisle thinking “This is my dream” and I don’t know many women who walk down the aisle thinking this is going to end. 

John and I met through work and he had all the things on my little must-have list back then when you’re 20. He had a ponytail and an earring and he was a musician. And within about four months we had fallen in love and he asked me to marry him.

My dream would end not-so-happily-ever-after 

We had a tumultuous first year of marriage. We learned pretty early on that he had some substance abuse issues. And that became a domino effect on our relationship.

We were married 13 years… We were in couple’s therapy for 14 years… So that might have given some people a clue. For us, it was our way of working very hard at keeping this marriage together. I could either say “Okay, let’s keep working on it, let’s keep moving through it” or I could say “You know what? I’ve worked as hard as I can and you’ve worked as hard as you can and this isn’t going to work.” 

We realized that maybe even being married wasn’t the right thing that we should have done. So, divorcing and continuing a friendship was what we decided to do next. 

Now what?

The very next thing right on top of that was how am I going to keep my house, how am I going to work full-time and raise my son? I had a full time job, but I also had a partner helping me. How am I going to sustain myself financially? And I think for me that was one of my biggest fears and one of my biggest concerns and it kept me up at night. 

And to be honest, even five years later (and as wonderful as my relationship with my ex-husband is), I still worry about that. I think divorced women need to really think about the reality of being on your own. You’re gonna stand on your own, you’re gonna make ends meet on your own.

Another thing that I was overwhelmed with was the amount of time it would take to do everything myself. So if I can make ends meet and keep my house, now I had to take care of it myself and mow the lawn and fix the air conditioning and all the things that you share in a marriage. And that felt very overwhelming. I thought I was going to be too tired to do that. I literally just remember thinking it’s going to be exhausting.

And an interesting thing happened. Staying in a marriage that took so much out of me, that was exhausting. Relieving myself from that pressure, I had a lot more energy. I had a lot more optimism and there were a lot of times where it was thrilling to be learning and growing independently.

What I know now…

Love does not conquer all... it just doesn’t. And that’s a hard lesson for us to learn, we women who grew up in the “Cinderella” era where everything turns out great and the fairy tale ends and we ride off into the sunset. I wish I had known that my reason was a big enough reason. I spent a lot of years being really hurt and unhappy because I thought I wasn’t working hard enough, it wasn’t that big a deal, I didn’t deserve to get divorced.

And now post-divorce, I’m not kidding, I absolutely love my ex-husband. And I love him deeply, honestly, truly every minute of the day. I love him like you love a really good friend. Sometimes I think I spent the marriage trying to save John. And what ended up happening through the whole process of our divorce is I saved our family. And while we look a lot different now than traditional families, we’re still very much a family. And I think we did just that; we saved us.

Making the decision to divorce is never easy, but sometimes you have to accept the reality of your marriage and the fact that staying together no longer makes sense for anyone involved. If you are still struggling with whether to call it quits or not, the following articles may help:

  1. Divorce
  2. Deciding on Divorce
  3. Divorce Perspective on Giving Up