Divorced and Happy


I thrive and sure you can!
I thrive and sure you can!

Today, I simply copy and paste my recent article on the Divorce Magazine:

It is so scary to finally get to that point when you so want a divorce!

That was me and I finally got one when l recently returned to Cameroon my country and place of birth.

Synopsis

I used marriage as a refuge from my mother’s house.  I was running away from a home where I felt so out of place as I rightly or wrongly assumed I wasn’t welcomed. But, I also wanted to be married hoping the new status as a Mrs X, will shield me from my self harm and provide me some sort of ‘one in all social and emotional package’ that I longed for.

The foundation of my marriage was already damaged and so was the marriage itself.  The abuse started soon after and before long,  it became clear that the Marriage I had ran to, was now threatening to devour me and at some point I remember spending several days and weeks contemplating suicide.  I needed to escape…again.

This time, my route out of my unhappiness consisted of having one affair after another seeking validation and attention from others.  Needless to say that this behaviour only made me feel worse each time but it also led me to realise that if I were to save myself, I would need to leave my marriage.

I knew how divorce was viewed by those around me and I knew that I risked being labelled as one of those women who allowed her marriage to fail, who was unable to hold on to her man.  But I also knew that that was what I needed if I were to survive.

The Divorce Process

Obtaining a divorce isn’t the easiest of processes and it’s not just about whatever is written on paper declaring that a marriage has been terminated.

For me, the divorce was getting ready to let go of six years of my Life, owning up to my mess, and being ready to start off again but most importantly and making the very difficult decision to leave my children behind.

At first my now ex-husband and I wanted to go ahead with the divorce procedure after 7 months of living apart.  I thought I was ready but he wasn’t and he made it clear that he would make my life hell.  I knew I wasn’t strong enough to go test his threats so I left him to take his time and make up his mind when he would need the divorce too.

It took a whole year, or thereabouts, before he was ready. He informed me on the eve of filing the papers and I being a lawyer, advised him on the most effective procedure, guaranteeing I would not make any claims other than the right to see my Children whenever I came home. I never sought any financial support.

Once filed, the procedure took barely 5 months. I did not make a court appearance nor was I represented by anyone. This was a deliberate choice and one made out of need to simplify procedure. A divorce by default is easier to obtain in my Country.

What took a long time in my case, was obtaining all the necessary papers for a final judgment to be established.

Realizing my ex had lost momentum in a procedure he initiated, I got in touch with his lawyer, a senior colleague I knew and had actually encouraged my ex to retain,  paid whatever fees he was reclaiming and I followed up the divorce I now so badly needed.

I finally got all the papers I needed to proceed to my change of status and today, I am finally divorced!

Although the memories will forever stay with me, for a long time coming, I really don’t feel bad about that period anymore.  Yes, my sons don’t live with me but I know their father loves them and is an even better dad now than when I was around.

Divorced and Happy!

Although I never got to meet my ex when I was recently in Cameroon, I really wasn’t bothered.

I called him a few times, I even brought him a gift which he acknowledged out of politeness. I don’t care if he decides not to keep it for whatever reason but there’s a part of me, my flesh and blood, which he would never consciously give up – our children.

He is very firm when he tells me they are HIS SONS. He even denied me contact on the eve of my departure even though I had had them alone for two weeks. No ill feelings though, no trauma, no painful emotions to address in that area. I am moving on and I know my well being is of utmost importance at the moment.

I am just glad I finally got divorced!

Marie Abanga – Follow Marie on Twitter

Author of My Unconventional Loves: My Hurts, My Adulteries, My Redemption

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25 thoughts on “Divorced and Happy”

  1. wow – I learned so much from you story and life. This makes me very confident that upon me getting married soon, I will never get divorced. I enjoyed this valuable presentation of yours!.

  2. These stories actually need no interpretation but they need meticulous processing to be able to come to even terms with. Should people not marry so as to always feel happy on their own terms? Should selfishness or dialogue be the bedrock of a proper union in marriage? Can anyone really be divorced and happy? Why then yearn for and seek for companionship and the warmth of love and sex from other individuals thereafter? My opinion of all these human actions may seem weird to those who suffer in this category. I just believe it is an excess of egotism. We offer ourselves too much liberty to be free with other people’s state of health; from the one we seek to divorce from, to the children we have from the marriage. Happiness once married, is an ensemble of dozens of considerations not just the frequency with which we laugh and jump joy around. It is even the strength we mustard to dish out joy amist our pains.In conclusion i will say that, marriage remains the most happy institution God created and there is no BAD MARRIAGE but bad people in a marriage so, our so called joys must often times be minimised for noble reasons. Marie, I have seen you, met with you and spoken with you and can tell you without efforts that, you are a beautiful woman, a fit mother and can always be a fit wife. Remain blessed my darling.

    1. Dear uncle J,

      I don’t have an appropriate reply to your comment but I have a heartfelt appreciation for the time, content and perspective you put in. Thank you for doing this.

      My Story and conclusions are mine and others are free to read, learn something, discuss whatever or just know that no matter how messy, there is always a way out.

      Maybe if I get married again, I will definitely go for it out of LOVE than as a mere refuge. Yet, in the mean time, I am Divorced and Happy!

      Wishing you and all married couples in the house, all the best.

      M

    1. Hey Seb,

      Your congratulations is making me laugh my lungs out, who congratulates someone on a divorce? oh u’r so funny. But I get what you mean and so I thank you heartily 🙂

  3. Marie, you’re growing in all areas of your life. This divorce means one door is shutting for another better one to open. I know you will achieve your dreams because you’re focused and dedicated to your cause.

    Your life hasn’t been easy. But like you said, “Your tests is now your testimonies and your mess your message.” Your experiences will help others to get through their challenges because you’re sharing them.

    Thanks for what you’re doing. Lots of women and men appreciate it, including me. 🙂

    1. My dear June,

      It getting pretty cold out here and I was just thinking of coming over to you? 🙂

      Thanks for your comment and as usual, I am always excited to get them. I mean, I just finished writing another chapter in my brother’s book and given the tough day I just had, a warm comment like yours will guarantee me at least 5 hours of sleep right?

      Even if only for you, I will keep sharing my story so others learn, appreciate, analyze or simply laugh out 🙂

      1. Marie, it’s cold and damp here so I don’t know if you still want to come.

        Anyway, I hope you had a good night’s sleep last night. And well done for keeping up with the writing. You’re doing better than me 🙂

        Keep sharing your story and have a nice day. 🙂

      2. June,

        I just said l was coming for fun. Who doesn’t know of English weather? 🙂 I just thought being around someone with a name like yours guaranteed an all year summer 🙂
        Yeah, am just doing my best right, Having learnt from the best like you 🙂

  4. Thank you for sharing your story. As a sister who has watched and is about to watch another brother divorce… it is nice to hear “the other side” or perhaps what may be the other side of the story. It makes me feel more at ease in stepping back as a family member and letting the adults do what they need to do to find peace and reconciliation – if not with each other, then with their selves and God.

    “Life is short, and we have never too much time for gladdening the hearts of those who are traveling the dark journey with us. Oh be swift to love, make haste to be kind.” – Henri Amiel

  5. You’re amazing Marie. You’re heart is so big and accepting of so many things which most of us struggle to acknowledge let alone accept. I wish you much happiness and fortune in this new chapter of your story 🙂

  6. Dear MA,

    I have not been visiting your blog for quite sometime now. I have been pretty busy reading all day long in preparation for resits.

    Some people who date choose to overlook red flags against their prospective mates. That is dangerous! You could be married and unhappy and you may be left with the feeling that the only way to be happy again is to divorce the person you once thought you couldn’t live without. You were married and unhappy, you finally divorced your husband in search for another happiness.

    However, a man and a woman may selfishly be contented that divorce has solved all their problems while the children between them is adversely affected by it. The effects of divorce hits hardest on the children.

    The divorce of once parents seem like the end of the world, a catastrophe that generates enough misery to last forever. It often triggers an onslaught of feelings of unhappiness, guilt, depression, anxiety, fear of abandonment, profound loss and even the desire for revenge.

    When my mother left my father’s house, i didn’t know what was going on. My father had to work every morning and leave my 3 siblings and i all alone in the house. Sometimes, i would just stand by the window and wonder whether mom will ever come back. When my father remarried was the worst day in my life. I was mad- i was mad at my father, i hated him for being a traitor to my mother, i was mad at my mother, i hated her for having left us in search for her own happiness like you did, i was mad at my siblings, i hated them for we always engaged in petit quarrels and fight, in fact there was total disunity amongst us all, i was mad at my step mother, i hated her because she would have to treat us poorly and concentrate on the children of the subsequent marriage which she actually did. And since i know it was unfair to hate, i was mad at myself.

    MA, you made your right decision which was to be happy. After all, you have your life to live. Please, notice that i am not trying to scoff at your post. You know i also come from a broken home.

    I wish you much more happiness than ever.

    Love, Bibi

    1. Dear Bibi,

      Thanks for your soulful comment. The truth is that, I think I would have been better prepared for my parents’ divorce if I had been told about it. That is what I did and still do with my sons. I sincerely hope they learn from my mistakes, read my works and that our open door policy serves us all well.
      Having all those feelings are normal because I had most of them too. I think talking about them and letting them out is most helpful. Hence I do talk a lot with my sons and bet me, there are times they each in their own way lash out at me.
      Being happy doesn’t mean I don’t sometimes feel guilty leaving them behind, but in the face of ‘death’, I chose to leave and live above all for them.
      All the best my dear, hugs Mama Ayo

  7. Your story and mine are very similar, with all the same hallmarks of unhappiness. Marrying for the wrong reasons, infidelity, pain, and finally pulling apart. It was the best decision I ever made, and I admire you for your strength!

    1. Yes, I was scared of living out another decade or day in that misery of a parallel existence-and when I stooped so low as picking a knife? It was DANGER EVERYWHERE – I ONLY SAW FLEE FLEE FLEE

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