Divorce reflection comes at all different times. For me, certain memories took years to see and to process, while other things I remembered about my marriage were as clear as day, even from day one of getting separated. In other words, hindsight is 20/20, but WHEN you let yourself see the truth can range from immediately to several years later.
I will never forget this. It was such an exciting time. My ex and I had just sold our town home and had purchased our dream house. It was picture perfect: a warm, five bedroom house with a loft-like feel on a big, beautiful lot with nice yard. It was a perfect place to raise our two babies. And we’d live there until we moved into senior living.
We hadn’t moved yet, and were still in the grace period of both deals, meaning in Illinois, you have five days after you sign a real estate contract to back out of the deal with no penalty.
One night, we had a huge fight (which sadly enough wasn’t atypical). I went to bed in tears like I did so often at the time. I woke up the next morning and called our realtor.
“I changed my mind,” I said to her. “I’m not selling or buying either home. I’m not moving.” That was the exact moment I knew my relationship was over, and that I was going to get divorced.
Every past relationship has that moment, the precise instant you know it’s over. It’s a defining moment. You might not realize it at the time (in other words, years later you might say, ‘I knew it was over, but I still stayed and even had another baby with him’) or you might know the second it happens and hightail it out of there. Whichever it is, there IS that moment, and eventually you will be able to pinpoint exactly when you knew you and your now ex were history.
I think that moment (regardless of when you figure it out) is very important in understanding what went wrong in the relationship, why it ended, how to move on, and how to choose someone who is better for you in the future.
Written by Robert K. Elder (who is actually Editor-in-chief at the Sun-Times local, in other words he’s my editors’ boss), and inspired by a game he used to play at parties asking people when they knew it was over in past relationships, the book and the blog are extremely funny and entertaining at times, but there’s so much more. The stories on the site and in the book are comforting to so many people, as who hasn’t been in some of these situations? It’s relatable, and real.
Some of the stories are laugh out loud hilarious, some are sad, some are weird, and some are infuriating. Here are a couple quotes from the book:
1. The Lease
After 2 years together, his lease was up. I suggested he and I move in together. His response: “You want to live with me and my roommates?”
While in bed, I complimented one of his (only successful) sexual moves. He told me I was “ruining his concentration.” He shushed me during sex!
3. Culture Shock
He started making plans for a joint vacation (after only 4 days of knowing each other) to New York’s Chinatown because he wanted to learn more about my culture. I’m Korean.
My sister was deployed to Iraq. I cried. My boyfriend told me to “man up” and asked what I was going to make for dinner.
My best friend and I were talking about how excited we were that we were both pregnant, and she asked my advice on how she was going to tell the father of her baby–my husband.
I think ItWasOverWhen.com is a great site for entertainment and a good laugh when you need it. It’s great for someone who is going through a breakup. The book is a great gift for a recently separated person, for someone who just got out of a relationship, or just for a girlfriend. It’s available on amazon.
Here’s the thing about reflecting back on the moment you knew. Everyone gets burned at some point in our lives,whether it’s an old boyfriend you got over quickly or your husband who dumped you for another woman. No matter how hard it is when things end, remembering that moment might give you the clarity and the confidence to realize you got out of a bad situation. In other words, instead of remembering all the good things (which is what our mind tends to do) let yourself remember why you left (or why it’s a good thing HE did). That defining moment of “when I knew it was over” might give you the dose of reality you need to move forward and choose better next time.
I’d love to hear from you! What was the moment YOU knew it was over?