Wash, Rinse, DO NOT Repeat
By Lisa Prosen
I got divorced today. It was not a sad day or a happy day. There was a celebration of being single for the first time in over 20 years, which is noteworthy, if not super exciting. It has been a long road to get here and I am writing in hopes of reaching even one woman that feels like their situation might be the most frightening experience ever.
Our relationship began in August of 1993; we were re-introduced after not seeing each other for seven years. I had worked part time at a snack bar that was part of a business he ran in the days when I was climbing the ladder of success in the sales management field. Both of us previously married and divorced, we were in no hurry to settle down and the relationship flourished and grew in healthy ways. I felt very confident in my earning capacity; I was making a six-figure income in the early 90’s and had leased a Lexus. It was a good time in my life. I was secure and confident and on top of the world.
I had a toddler son and he had custody of his three daughters, all under age ten, and we decided to become a blended family. After a two and half year relationship, we got married in December 1995 in Las Vegas with a few friends and family there to share our special day. I sincerely believed we would grow old together. We got pregnant with our daughter the following April and the blended family was on its way. I gave up my career in marketing, and did not work at all for the years Julia was a toddler. We purchased a restaurant in 1999 and I hired full time help to come in during the week and help while we ran the business.
There were many happy times, many great success in business, and many memories that I will forever cherish. There were dark times, too. Over time, the day-to-day grind started to take its toll on us. We attended marriage counseling over the years. We were told to plan date nights and stuff like that. The therapist would release us and the grind would resume. The biggest challenge for me was that I felt I was financially at his mercy. There was always enough money, but I never felt like his partner. I felt he didn’t respect me, but, in truth, it was me that did not respect me. I have since learned to take responsibility for ALL the choices I made. Part of me enjoyed not having to worry about the money, the taxes, and all that goes with that. No matter how many luxury vacations, family trips, and shopping sprees I got to enjoy, it did not fill the void I had in my heart.
There would be a blow out, and then we would go back. Wash, rinse, repeat. It was exhausting for all of us, especially the children. They were now old enough to understand and fighting in front of them is something I will always regret. This went on for years. We became like roommates that didn’t even like each other very much. Each day was like waking up at the bottom of the mountain with a box of rocks to carry up. I was tired of feeling like a disappointment and tired of resenting him. Looking back, it was brutal. Someone had to pull the trigger.
We had each made some bad choices and the day came when I decided we had to make a change. He left in November of 2007, right in the middle of the housing market crashing. I remained in our 6,000 s/f home, which ended up in foreclosure, with my two biological kids. I was starting my coaching business and working part time at another one of our brick and mortar interests. I was afraid, angry, and insecure in ways I had never felt. I had a great attorney and she secured me an agreement that would allow us to continue living well, but our financial life was never to recover. We decided to remain married because we still had a minor daughter and because the trust and all the insurance were going to remain unchanged. In addition, the real estate we owned bound us, although it was for sale.
Over the next seven years, we became friends again. I dug deeper into my own personal development. I had mentors and teachers to help me see the blessings that all the pain had given me. We stopped blaming each other. We each took responsibility for the ruins that we had created. We made amends to each other several times; it felt like layers of old pain being stripped away. We even spent some holidays together, most recently joining us for Mother’s Day dinner. He is not the monster I once believed he was, because I learned to keep the focus on me. Today, I sincerely believe we will be friends for life.
What the future holds for me is unknown. Everything is far from perfect, but I am happy in ways I never believed would be possible. My career is blossoming into new areas every day as I work with sensitive souls and help them learn how to maneuver through the potholes of life with grace, tranquility, and joy. I have found the way out the other side of divorce, and my hope is that you will, too.
Lisa Prosen is a passionate Sensitivity Coach, Speaker, and Author. She works with her clients so they can courageously look at their lives in new ways and navigate changes with newfound confidence. She helps them learn to balance between their sensitivity and the things they are committed to accomplishing, so they achieve the life they truly want to live. Founder of the popular Facebook group “Practical Solutions for The Highly Sensitive Soul”, Lisa is familiar with the shackles of perfectionism and how living life for other people, ultimately disappoints everybody. Because of her triumphant personal journey, she now teaches her clients how to set themselves free by redefining who they are, changing their mindset to one that creates Soul Alignment™ and living their lives with tranquility, courage, and authenticity. You can connect with Lisa through her website at www.LisaProsen.com or her inspirational website www.MyRenewedMind.org .