Hey everyone, and welcome back to my blog. Today is a great day for me. Today, I will share my story, and by the end of it, I hope you are inspired to never give up on yourself. For those who know me, you know that I am recently divorced. I was married for two long, happy years to a nice guy. At the time of my marriage, I was 25 years old. I had never lived outside my parent’s house, and it seemed like love at first sight. Before I continue, I just want to say that this post is not meant to bash my ex or undermine his character. Everyone has flaws and should never be judged for them. Now back to my story….
He was on a submarine in the Navy, so you can imagine how that went. Long hours, lots of duty, and no SLEEP. Being a military wife was a task itself. Learning to take care of literally everything was a task of its own. But it came with what I signed up for. Being married, at first, seemed like a dream… coming from someone who has always taken care of everyone, getting a break seemed like heaven. I had devoted my entire life and time to him so much, that I had become co-dependent. For those of you who don’t know what co-dependency is, look below:
Codependency: excessive emotional or psychological reliance on a partner, typically one who requires support on account of an illness or addiction.
Questions to ask yourself if you think you and or your partner is codependent:
- Does your sense of purpose involve making extreme sacrifices to satisfy your partner’s needs?
- Is it difficult to say no when your partner makes demands on your time and energy?
- Do you cover your partner’s problems with drugs, alcohol, or the law?
- Do you constantly worry about others’ opinions of you?
- Do you feel trapped in your relationship?
- Do you keep quiet to avoid arguments?
- Do you feel the need to solve everyone’s problem?
- Do you do things from love or for love?
- Do you use manipulation, shame, or guilt to control others’ behavior?
- Do you ask for help?
Now, this is a pretty tough list for anyone, so please be gentle with yourself. Some of these questions could be considered shadow work.
Shadow work is the process of working with our shadow selves to eradicate their negative effects in our lives and to integrate the separate parts of ourselves into one whole. Essentially, shadow work is a form of psychoanalysis.
Psychoanalysis: A psychological theory and therapy system aims to treat mental disorders by investigating conscious and unconscious elements in mind and bringing repressed fears and conflicts into the conscious mind through dream interpretation and free association.
If you choose to answer these questions, I encourage you to do something fun and comforting after. Call a loved one or someone you trust. Go for a run, watch your favorite cartoon or even color. Just don’t be hard on yourself; everyone is going through something.
Once I started doing shadow work, I began to notice patterns I did not like. I was putting up with lies and infidelity, late nights, and strange phone calls. I had become so obsessed with everything being perfect, but I just acted like it was. I had chosen to stay in a marriage because I was afraid. I had never lived alone, never really paid rent. I had no idea what I would do or where I would go? I thought I wasn’t strong enough. Of course, when things were good, they were just that. I was taken care of so why complain? And DO NOT get me started on other’s opinions. I had a panic attack thinking about what would be said about me or my situation. The questions, the rumors, the lies that would be spread from so-called friends and family. I didn’t want to be a failure from the outside looking in. Everything always looks perfect, but never judge a book by its cover.
I had sunk myself so low that I didn’t even know what was happening. I had slept, walked through life, grasping to what little of me that I could scrape together. On the day of the decision, I felt as if my life was over. I went back and forth thinking that maybe this time would be different, or perhaps that maybe I should just settle. It took what little bit of pride I had left to follow through. One thing to keep in mind is that this was a mutual decision. We both decided that it’s not only unhealthy for the both of us but unfair. Just because it doesn’t work out with someone does not mean it won’t work with someone else. It’s hard to imagine your life any different. But one day, you wake up and want better for yourself. One line that has helped me through this process is, “you know you’re ready for change when you’re sick of your own shit.” I woke up one morning ready for change; of course, I was still sad, but I knew I needed to do better for myself. On this journey, I have learned that the support system for military wives is trash. From BS rules, to unfair privileges as a whole, this process has been nothing but stressful. If you are a military spouse and are considering a divorce check out https://www.militaryonesource.mil/financial-legal/legal/family-legal-issues/managing-the-divorce-process/. ( Every branch is different, but the guidelines are the same)
Somethings you should know:
- An un-remarried former spouse may retain the military ID card if he or she meets the 20/20/20 rule. The 20/20/20 rule requires at least twenty years of marriage, at least twenty years of military service, and at least twenty years of overlap of the marriage and the military service.
- VA disability benefits aren’t considered an asset during divorce proceedings.
- All military members must support their children and their spouses, so their wages may be garnished to ensure the proper payment. Child support may not exceed 60% of a military member’s pay and allowances. Unlike a civilian divorce, the nonmilitary member can go to their ex-spouses commanding officer, which is added protection against a deadbeat parent.
- Be Prepared for the Service members Civil Relief Act (SCRA). Under the Service members Civil Relief Act (SCRA), the military spouse can request a stay, or suspension, of the divorce proceedings for 90 days. The purpose of the delay is to give the member additional time to respond to the petition and prepare for a trial.
- When it comes to divorce, state laws can vary dramatically. For example, certain states require divorcing spouses to split their marital property down the middle, while others don’t. Some states allow for an immediate divorce, while others require a separation period for up to a year before the divorce can be finalized.
- If you are a military spouse living in installation housing, you will need to move out within 30 days of your divorce.
- If you are currently living at an overseas duty station, you may be able to get the military to pay for your moving expenses.
Check back for pt 2.
I want to end this post by saying thank you to my friends and family. My support system has been out of this world. LEARNING to open yourself up to help and love is hard, but trust me, it is worth it. It will take time to trust again but don’t shut those who genuinely care out. Journaling should be your BFF!!! Every time you want to talk to him/her or have an angry thought, write it out. Write everything out! Don’t hold back. After you write it out, then throw it away or burn it. Find healthy outlets that you can use, such as yoga, meditating, baking, music, the gym, swimming, writing, and the list goes on.
Peace and Blessings, everyone talk soon