When married we look forward in anticipation of sharing major life events as life partners – birthdays, anniversaries, Christmases, weddings, graduations… We don’t anticipate finding ourselves suddenly cast adrift from everything that we hold dear, our spouse, our family, our home. The pain of separation and divorce is devastating and its aftershocks can reverberate for a long time across our lives and relationships.
I've toyed with the idea of writing for over a year now, since I started feeling almost human again after my whole world was tipped upside down when my then wife told me that our marriage was over. I’ve found post-divorce life to be a rollercoaster of emotions, of good experiences and bad, of lessons learned and loves lost. Glowing optimism gives way to deep loneliness only for rays of hope to shine through again, often within days of each other. For me, equally cursed and blessed with a brain that over-thinks and a lot more time for it to do its best and its worst, writing offers an opportunity to make sense of the maelstrom of thoughts, feelings and emotions that divorce and dating bring.
It offers me the opportunity to learn, to use my experiences to become a better person, a better parent and hopefully, in time, a better partner. To the right partner. Being men in our society it can be difficult for us to discuss our feelings, to express our deepest hopes and fears, share our highs and lows and open ourselves emotionally to others. It is hard to talk when we fear being judged and when we are understandably afraid of revealing ourselves at our most needy and vulnerable.
But it doesn’t have to be like that. We're human, we all feel these things to a greater or lesser degree and I began writing with the hope that somehow, something that I say will connect with somebody, will act as a light in sad times, and hopefully help to make the journey through divorce and beyond a little bit easier, for me and for others. And by adding a male voice to the discussion around divorce I hope to encourage more men to speak freely about the pain and challenges that divorce causes, helping them to properly grieve what has been lost and paving the way towards happier futures.
Post-divorce life is a rocky road but knowing that we walk it with others can provide comfort. In navigating this road we can find lots of good advice to follow but we will find ourselves steering off course sometimes, even when we know that doing so isn’t good for us. The route is difficult and I’m no perfect example of how to travel it, but then none of us are. We do our best with what we have got. If there's one thing that life has taught me in my 41 years it's that things have a way of working out. And in the rearview mirror of our lives our blackest days can reveal themselves to be signposts to a better future to be enjoyed by a wiser version of ourselves.
Written by Matthew Williams.
Matthew is a new contributor to the Wikivorce Magazine, and will be writing regularly about his life post-divorce.
Matthew Williams is the creator and author of the blog “A Decent Guy Does Divorce & Dating”; you can visit his blog here http://4d74.blogspot.co.uk/