How I Found Freedom In Divorce

For most people, the happiest days of their lives are the day their kids were born or the day they married the love of their life. For me, it was the day I got divorced. But that is okay because I found freedom in divorce. I, like so many others, was stuck in an abusive marriage. And even though my husband at the time and I had separated, it wasn’t until our divorce was legal and there was some distance that I could actually breathe again.

You see. When you are in an abusive marriage/relationship, it is hard to see your life outside of that relationship. Everything is about your partner. I was crippled with neediness, love for him, and fear.

I remember going off to school and having to leave school early because I missed him so much. If there was a day that I was actually doing okay, he would write me and tell me to come home because he missed me so much. Ladies, this type of behavior is a red flag. I didn’t know it then but I recognize it now.

The Fear

As seemingly in love with my husband as I was, I was also terrified of him and still am. He could be the sweetest man on earth but when he flipped, it was a whole different picture. He utilized the tool of silence, and then psychological manipulation to gain total control over me. When I would confront him with evidence of his multiple affairs, he would get angry and go silent. Eventually, he would somehow turn it around on me, and I would begin to question my own sanity. This happened far too often than I care to admit.

The Threats

I was terrified to leave him for so many reasons. His threats of suicide had me scared to leave. We had custody of his two children and if I left, I knew I he would lose them. At the time, I thought that was a bad thing because he had me convinced that his ex-wife was a terrible human being. But this is all part of the game and it was all lies. And then there were the messages of harm I received every time I tried to pull away had me terrified to leave. At the time, I didn’t realize that the person sending me the messages saying they would harm my kids was him. All this info would come out after we finally separated.

Feeling Stuck

My plan to travel the world with my daughters started before I was officially divorced but I found myself sticking around our hometown of Austin to be closer to him. I was making excuses. I didn’t want to take the girls away from him for too long but I was ignoring the fact that the girls had gone through what I had and still were. Here I was subjecting them to the emotional abuse that broke me. I was not showing them how a woman is supposed to be treated. Instead, I was setting them up for failure.

When He Shows Himself, Listen.

Luckily, my husband at the time let the mask fall once again and this time, I had the strength to hire a lawyer and say no more. He didn’t believe me and played all the best mind games but I had in fact hired a lawyer. I started to feel a touch of strength and freedom.

However, divorces can take a while. In fact, we were separated for 11 months before I even hired my own lawyer. I believed him when he said we didn’t both need lawyers. We could use his lawyer. Actually, I even paid his lawyer to get the process started 11 months prior. It went nowhere, of course, because I kept being pulled back into the abusive cycle I couldn’t escape from.

Craving Freedom

At this point, I was craving adventure. I was craving freedom and to follow the dream I had started when we sold the house and donated most of our possessions. Out of nowhere, I booked two separate weeks through Armed Forces Vacation Club in New Mexico and Colorado. I wasn’t divorced but I refused to let that hold me back from traveling anymore. I couldn’t leave the country but I sure as heck could explore as much as the beautiful USA as I wanted so that is exactly what I did.

When my husband at the time found out we were leaving on a road trip his threats amped but it was nothing I hadn’t heard before. I was growing numb to his abuse.

Freedom

During this ROAD TRIP, I did get divorced. Actually, my divorce was finalized ON THE PHONE. I remember that morning clearly. It was nerve-wracking even though I wasn’t in the courtroom with my lawyer. Once the call ended with the judge and my lawyer, a sense of sadness and freedom washed over me. Finally, I gained some control over my life back. Finally.

Time To Break Free

I know there are women out there who feel trapped and are too scared to leave but you cannot remain trapped. You HAVE TO break free. There is freedom in divorce. I made sure my divorce papers were very specific when it came to traveling and living abroad so that my daughters and I could continue our dream without my ex-husband trying to control us. I know everyone’s case is different and it is not always easy but IT IS worth fighting for. Trust me! You too can find freedom in divorce just like I found freedom in divorce.

Discussion Time

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