The 5 Stages

I’m not talking about the stages at Glastonbury or Coachella. I’m referring to the fabulous stages of grief. That article has proven to be rather helpful for me in the last few days and I’m sure it will continue to be so.

When you split up with someone, everyone tells you there are 5 stages to work through. In the first few weeks after my separation I was convinced I’d already gone through most of it and was in acceptance. Erm, Hello Denial!

I separated from my husband in April, but I had been moving between denial and bargaining for about 6 months prior to that. Constantly telling myself that things would get better if he did x and I did y. If we did a then b would happen and everything would be fine. Like a magic sticking plaster our relationship would be healed and we’d have a wonderful life, a family and be affluent and living a good lifestyle. Who the hell was I kidding?! He’s a good man, I mean look at all he’s sacrificed for us, moving away from his family, I’m sure in a few months he’ll settle in here and it’ll be fine. Pah.

Finally, after the separation came the anger. And just like the article above says, I was angry at all sorts of things. Angry at him, angry at me. Most of all I was angry at my mum and about my job. My mum is also my boss so that made it doubly hard.  I spent most of the summer goofing off and ignoring work. Because I was so angry I hated it. I couldn’t concentrate. I resented being there. I didn’t want to be working, I just wanted to tell everyone around me to fuck right off and let me be a hermit. Great time to throw a house warming you might think, well apparently so did I. Turned out to be a good move one way and another.

Recently I’ve addressed how I felt about work, (and thankfully, my mum,  who is amazing) realising that of course, I wasn’t angry about work at all, I was angry about the break down of this relationship and lately, I am directing my anger straight at the Ex. Pure venomous, cobra-spitting, acidic anger. I allow myself to feel it. Having been through two parental break ups in the past, I have learnt the value of not sitting on that anger. Believe me, letting it out is the best thing to do.

What am I angry about? 2 things stand out. When I told the Ex I had reached the end of my tether and I couldn’t go on like this, his reaction, his body language, spoke of resignation and relief. His words, initially were the stock ‘I’ll fight for this relationship’ phrases but within a matter of hours he was talking about his options and what he would do if we really did break up. Within 3 weeks he had left for the big city. I am livid that he will not admit to the relief he felt.

The second thing is that he appears to have learnt NOTHING about responsibility from our break up. His behaviour over sorting out divorce costs was slack and I finally had to be brutal to get anything to happen. I heard the same excuses I’d heard trotted out to me and to others when we were together. This served to reinforce my belief that I’d made the right decision but it also made me fucking furious. I believe that from every situation in life you should learn something. Otherwise you are destined to repeat the same mistakes over and over again. Clearly this has not hit home with my Ex and it makes me rage to the point where I think I’ll see the red-mist descend.

Today I am sitting in depression. Whilst I’d like to think I’m happy to have reached this point so fast, I’m not convinced the anger part is over. However, I can cope with that. If I float between these two for a while and then get to acceptance I’ll be settled. It’s only been 7 months so it’s still fairly early in the healing process.  I’m lucky that whilst I’m riding this roller-coaster I’ve got positive and wonderful things happening and a new partner who is allowing me to feel these emotions, to move through them and to address everything I feel. Whilst still poking fun at me, supporting me and letting me be me.

 

I truly believe everything happens for a reason, onwards and upwards I go.

 

 

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7 Responses to “The 5 Stages”

  1. As a divorced man myself, I understand what your ex is going through. He might have been relieved, but his procrastination is his way of dealing with the stress and shock. People deal with grief and stress differently. It is best to understand his point of view before labeling him. I dint know the Ins and outs, but I do know men are lazy and most of us deal with stress by trying to ignore it. At one point and still a little bit, he loves you. If possible, getting a counselor to talk with you and your ex will so you exactly what went wrong so you don’t pick up those habits in your next relationship. If he doesn’t want to go or it is not feasible, go yourself to get the demons out.
    I have an awesome relationship with my ex-wife because I took the time to see her side of the problem. I knew I needed to focus on my internal problems and not have an external locus control mentality. My father told me when I got a divorce, “Son, it is your fault.” at that time I knew I was ultimately responsible for all my actions past, present, and future. I can’t be mad at her for being her. I can support her every way possible even if I don’t agree with her. We might not be lovers anymore, but there was something I loved about her and I can value that and be her friend.

  2. Thanks for the comments and the suggestions. I’m not in a position to see things from his side yet. I know I’m just as culpable as he is in the decline of our marriage and this blog allows me to vent my frustrations and fears, hopes and dreams.

    This will sound harsh, but I’ve no interest in having a good relationship with him, other than to get the divorce through fast. Once that’s done as we have no children or ties together, there’s no need for us to stay in contact.

    I don’t think there was a particular habit or method of behaviour that drove us apart, in the end, we just weren’t suited and really we should have known that before we married. We both want very different things and the marriage could not support both our goals nor could we compromise sufficiently to continue. We both felt we’d given a lot already and yet neither of us were truly happy. My post here
    http://demethedk.blogspot.com/2010/10/its-time-to-see-other-people-breaking.html might make my feelings above a little clearer (as will the other personal post on that blog).

  3. Your first few paragraphs read almost like a word for word account of the feelings my ex expressed to me on the day she decided to leave. Even though splits like those are for the best, the after effects can be pretty brutal.

    I jumped through stages pretty quickly and settled in depression for a good while. I was absolutely broken in every way possible. Because I moved away and our contact stopped, I never knew how she coped with it all. I hated her for leaving, but in the end, I truly believe that she saved my life. Everything I’ve become since then has been to regain my true self and make sure that I never walk down the same path that caused me to hurt someone who meant so much to me.

    One day, the anger and all the other negative feelings you are going through will just disappear. You will feel brand new again. Best of luck to you.

  4. Great post, really I have nothing to add though since I try not to get too attached to anything…or anyone. 😉

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