The white picket fence is long gone. The till death do us part was not to be. The forever was over. This is not the way it was supposed to work out. Janet looks out the window of her office, thinking back on her divorce. It’s been three years, but this successful business owner and mother of two can still remember the divorce process as if it were yesterday.
The divorce was not a bad thing initially, according to Janet. “It felt great for the first year, even better for the second, but then reality set in and it seems to be increasingly overwhelming as my duties as the main provider keep increasing and becoming more demanding.” Janet, now 39, divorced from her ex-husband Wayne, six years her elder, in 2013. Dating for a year, their daughter was born shortly after the marriage, with a son two years later. But between the births something went wrong.
Janet’s big kaboom moment—the realization that the marriage was over—occurred when her daughter was 4 years old.
“I knew it was over the day my ex-husband pushed our daughter off the couch after his all night outing,” reflects Janet. This was not Wayne’s first bender; he was an alcoholic.
Like most alcoholics, Wayne was inconsistent in his behaviors and hid things very well, according to Janet. The drinking lead to a lot of fighting in the household, often times in front of the children. Wayne normally drank when he could not face his household financial responsibilities. As is the case, money issues contributed significantly to the breakdown of many marriages.
Still, it took Janet another two years from the first thought of divorce until the marriage was over. This is not uncommon; divorce does not happen overnight. Janet and Wayne tried to save the marriage, but multiple counseling sessions did not work.
Today, Janet has no relationship with Wayne. “My ex refuses to look at me or speak with me. Our only correspondence is through brief texts or emails, most of which he ignores,” laments Janet. To make things worse, Wayne is a non-participatory farther. “He has no idea what the kids are doing in school, teacher names, or anything of the sort,” says Janet. “He even refuses to take the kids to social events, such as birthday parties.”
As for the kids, they are still adapting to multiple households and separate parents. Transitioning between homes still poses a challenge due to the young children’s ages and their inability to fully express themselves. Their daughter is currently in counseling even though Wayne refuses to sign the consent for her to go. Even so, Janet plows forward, paying for the counseling sessions out of her pocket.
“If anyone is considering divorce, think about it long and hard. Talk to someone who has been through it. Seek the help of a psychologist both individually and for marriage counseling,” stresses Janet. Still, in the end, Janet believes that if inconsistent household behaviors negatively impact individuals and children, divorce is an alternative—and many times—the only alternative. Sadly reminiscing, Janet says that “divorce can be ugly and break your spirit and that of your children.”
Given Janet’s circumstances, divorce was the only viable end. But given a divorce do over, what would Janet do differently? “I regret not researching and vetting attorneys properly,” shares Janet. Two years after the final judgment, Janet is still dealing with legal matters stemming from her divorce. She believes that better prepared and educated going into the divorce, she would have saved time, money and frustration.
About Carlos Blanco
Carlos founded The Big Kaboom www.thebigkaboom.com, which combines people, technology and social elements, in order to support clients throughout their divorce process. He may be contacted by calling 305-908-1171 or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.