What is it like being divorced after I was married for nearly 8 years, you ask?
I’m still trying to get use to it. Eight years of being with someone is a long time of habits and developing comfort zones. Suddenly breaking out of that mould and being ridden with all sorts of responsibilities and things to do can be quite overwhelming.
For now it may seem like I’m totally winging single parenting as you are all seeing on Instagram, but truly I am in fact struggling. Does it look like it? Maybe. Didn’t you all assume, base on my Instagram posts, that I was a happy wife?
So here are points on what it’s like being divorced after being married for nearly 8 years.
1. Its tough.
Of course it would be! I was practically living comfortably for that long without having to care much about anything at all. All of a sudden out of the blue I don’t only have to care for myself but for my son; I now have to think about paying rent, putting food on the table, planning work around school and at the same time trying to find time for myself to keep sane! All of a sudden my mind has shifted from thinking about how unhappy I was in my marriage to all the above! It’s pretty overwhelming! Which brings me to my next point.
2. I am happier.
I was probably unhappy for over 7 years now and that’s a long time to be trapped in unhappiness. Life has been pretty much a roller coaster – with bits of happiness here and there. It wasn’t all that bad, of course. There were some happy times too but I was often feeling really alone, taken for granted and incomplete. Half the time I actually felt rather neglected and void of affection. Or of the love I think I deserved. And I actually felt caged because so much was expected of me and it was never enough.
3. I feel free.
I think this was one of the best feelings ever. To be honest, when ZZ (the ex) asked if we should live separate lives, I agreed in a heartbeat. I was never going to be that wife he wanted me to be and I was tired of being expected to turn out a certain way. It was tiring. So I said to him he could either accept me as I was or find that ideal wife of his. And we went our separate ways. It was a full month from the day he wanted to divorce me to the day Talaq was pronounced in court. I was determined to make it happen as fast as possible too with no delays. Then I cried. I was so relieved and I felt as if the weight just left my shoulders. No more of all those tiresome emotions. It has ended. I’m free.
4. I am uncertain about the future.
There is a lot of uncertainty for sure. Will I be an adequate mom? Will I be able to sustain us? Provide for us? Will my business ever be enough? Will I ever find a man again? Will he want me now that I have a son? What if I never get married again? Will I ever have kids again? What if I meet another person who doesn’t want kids? What if ZZ stops paying child alimony? What if he does this/that? It’s crazy! And you know how women think too much! Eventually it all balls down to what I wanted for myself. Would I rather stay unhappy and trapped, or live life to the fullest and embrace all that uncertainty when it comes?
5. I no longer have to anticipate outcomes.
I used to be really on edge. I wasn’t exactly the obedient wife as ZZ expected me to be. I did not wear the headscarf and I was not willing to give in 100% to his demands without a fight. It was definitely a “What’s in this for me too?” kind of way. Being the disobedient wife I was, I no longer waited for him to make things happen for me. I made things happen. And he often didn’t like it when that happened. Perhaps I didn’t make him feel needed? I don’t know. But after awhile, I started to develop a form of anxiety to his reaction of my disobedience. And that was bad on my self esteem.
6. It takes time to forget.
Obviously seven over years is a lot of promises, memories made, words uttered. It would be hard or nearly impossible to even forget everything. After my divorce, a lot of things actually came back to me. Things said, promises made, some ill treatment I never understood how I could forget. But you get over it. And you accept that not everything will be forgotten. Some memories would linger and sometimes, it will be triggered again. But most importantly, one must let go of the past. If you don’t and only think about the what ifs and what could have happened, you will regret your mistakes and life choices for a long time to come. I believe this was one of the reasons why I was unhappy in my marriage. I think ZZ never could let go of things that happened in his first marriage. And it ate, slowly, into ours.
6. I HATE PEOPLE
This was really the hardest part about it too. People are just shit sometimes. They pretend they care but truly they don’t. They’re just in it to laugh behind your back and gossip. But you know what? They don’t matter. No one else matters. Only the ones who picked you up and were there for you. So thank you my friends and family who have been very understanding and supportive.
7. I accept.
I believe very strongly in this and I think this is the foundation of why I am taking it with grace and faith. I believe it’s all God’s plan. And who are we to question? To lament, be bitter and angry with God is only a defiance of the Pillar of Iman – Qadha & Qadar: Decree & Destiny. I may not be a pious Muslim, but accepting His plans with less resistance instead of trying to take everything into my own hands was liberating. I just surrendered it all to Him and guess what? Rezeki has been overflowing, Alhamdulillah.
I guess that time period is a lot to forget. I was young and probably naive about how wives (culturally…) was supposed to behave. And I rebelled at every opportunity when I believed I deserved better. I did, after all, sacrificed my religion, beliefs, my entire self and youth for choosing to marry him. And I don’t regret those years at all.
I wasn’t ideal or perfect either and I’m sure he has a lot to say about how lack of a person or wife I was too. I wasn’t the adequate mom to his stepdaughter, or the perfect daughter in law to his parents. I was often snappy and rude when I wasn’t being heard. I was opinionated. I was demanding. I was judgemental. I was careless. I was never satisfied. And I actually wanted a divorce for years but he wasn’t willing to give in. So when he finally did, Allah, I just had to agree. He probably finally had enough.
I only hope he will find the capacity to forgive me, for the things I have said and done to hurt him, as I forgave him for his wrong-doings and shortcomings. And I hope that ZZ will finally come to accept his Qadha & Qadar from Allah for both his marriages, and hopefully, make his new girlfriend a happy girl. Inshallah, Ameen. #doayangbaikbaiksahaja
NEXT POST: Things Anyone Needs To Know When In A Relationship according to my failed marriage! Hahaha #youprobablyshouldnottakemyadvice