Are you going through a divorce or about to get divorced? Are you wondering how to divorce amicably? Then, today’s Sunday Snippet is just for you. It’s an excerpt from Chapter 1 of the Relationships, self-help, marriage book: Big Girl Pants by Lissa Collier.
Name of book: Big Girl Pants
Target audience age range: 18+
Does your book contain any explicit content:
Publication details of Big Girl Pants by Lissa Collier
It is currently available as a Kindle ebook (ASIN : B08QJC3KHJ, date published- 14 December 2020) and a Paperback (ASIN : B08QJC3KHJ, date published 14 December 2020). It was published by the author on Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing and is available for sale on Amazon.
Synopsis of Big Girl Pants by Lissa Collier
If you or someone you care about is faced with the prospect of divorce, or already struggling through the process of it, Big Girl Pants is for you. This book takes you on Lissa Collier’s two-year journey, from her husband’s shock decision to get divorced right through to her brand-new life – with every bumpy step along the way.
It has a simple aim: to help you overcome common stumbling blocks to getting through divorce amicably. Big Girl Pants will help you through it with your head held high, and put you firmly in control of your future.
So if you want to divorce amicably, read on!
What this book is:
- A true story about one woman’s divorce journey
- A collection of authentic diary entries and blog posts combined with down-to-earth, no-nonsense, slightly sweary practical advice including five guiding rules to keep you on track
- An open, honest real life perspective of all the highs and lows that come with divorce
- Inspiration to know that you can do this and do it well
What this book isn’t:
- An in-depth ‘how to’ book on the legalities of divorce
- A miracle cure
- Free of F-bombs
Name of chapter: Phase 1: The Decision
Message: Divorce diary – a few weeks before
The decision to divorce:
I can see that the writing is on the wall. Every single thing he is saying and doing screams that he wants to leave this marriage. I feel as though I am increasingly desperate and needy, the sad little person trying to cling on to this relationship when I should just let go. But then I also feel like I’m this tiger woman, fighting for our marriage, doing the right thing, trying to salvage something that is inherently good. I have an overwhelming sense of confusion. What is the right thing to do?
The more I allow myself to think it’s over, the more it seems it is. But in the blink of an eye it seems too surreal to believe it is over. And then there is my simmering rage that I am working very hard to release. How dare he do this to us? Why can’t he fight for us? How can he be so selfish? What the fuck is he searching for or hoping for outside of our marriage? Surely most marriages are like this — friendly, comfortable, full of love rather than in love. Am I the idiot here who hasn’t realised there should be more?
He confirmed that he wants to split up. He hasn’t figured out if that means divorce or separation. But just like that, my marriage of 16 years and relationship of 19 is over. I feel numb. I am angry. The amount of tedious, hurtful work we now have to go through to separate our lives is daunting. Telling the boys makes me feel physically sick. How did we get here? I feel so, so sad.
I wrote those latter words the night my world changed. They haven’t been edited. They are exactly what I tapped out on to my iPad in the small hours as I battled to sleep. Writing has always been my way of trying to make sense of things but nothing made sense that day.
Perhaps you’re feeling similar things right now. Or perhaps you’re the one who wants the marriage to be over. I’m not sure which is harder – being the person ending the marriage or having your marriage ended by someone else. With the former you have the control but also the burden of guilt. With the latter you have no control but a sense of righteousness. They’re both potentially poisonous.
Every person’s decision to get divorced is different. Some divorces come as a complete shock, unexpected and brutal. Others are a gradual dawning that things aren’t right. A good comparison is when someone you love dies. When it’s unexpected – like in a car accident – it’s almost impossible to believe it to be true, the shock of it breath-taking, the pain almost unbearable. Your grief is raw, intense and debilitating. In contrast, if you’ve witnessed someone with an illness that gradually erases the person they once were, the end can seem like a blessed relief. And yet once they’re gone, the reality of them no longer being there is still heart-breaking.
For me, the symptoms of our failing marriage had been obvious for years; I just didn’t notice them at first, or take them seriously once they became apparent. Like him saying he was considering divorce just five years after we got married. Or him working away all the time. The increasing lack of sex. A card peppered with kisses, allegedly from his personal trainer who he’d failed to ever mention to me. A full-blown affair with a work colleague – which I agreed to forgive because I believe people can make mistakes – and a consequent investment in therapy to ‘fix’ us. My own feelings of resentment about being left to do all the heavy lifting of parenting and then having to accept this affair. My increasing desire to do things alone, rather than as a couple.
Those symptoms became more pronounced after a conversation in which he said that he felt we were just living like flatmates or siblings rather than husband and wife. I took that as a cue to order some sexy lingerie in an attempt to reinvigorate things in the bedroom department. But that didn’t work. Throughout the year he gradually withdrew. He communicated less. He touched me less frequently. He never said anything loving or complimentary. When I raised it and asked if there was someone else, he said no, but that he just didn’t feel the same anymore. The symptoms were no longer subtle. A good doctor at this point might have suggested an intense course of therapy or couples counselling. But I didn’t believe it to be serious. Surely it was just a phase? Surely if it had reached such a dire place he would suggest we fix it? Maybe I just didn’t want to see the truth.
That summer, we went to Thailand as a family. It was a fractious holiday in which the weight of his words about not feeling the same anymore hung heavily on me. I attempted to remedy things, to find the cure, to stop the rot. I suggested walks along a beautiful beach together, hikes to waterfalls, visits to temples, dancing at a beach bar. But every suggestion was rebuffed or only accepted reluctantly. On those occasions, despite being together, we felt a million miles apart.
On our second to last night, there was a full moon and it was a glorious, balmy evening full of possibility. I suggested we take a bottle of wine and go sit on the private beach, listen to the waves and simply be together. He said he didn’t want to get sticky or sandy. He lay in our air-conditioned room and played a game on his ipad, not looking at me.
That was probably the moment I knew. There were other moments that followed, each a slow realisation of what was happening. But that was a turning point. I took the wine and sat alone and wrote this:
The air is warm. I hear the waves gently lapping against the shore. The moon is full and the sky lit with stars. It’s a night that feels like it should never end. The kind of night that with a group of friends would last until the small hours. And yet I am frustrated. We left an idyllic beach bar with live music to come back to air conditioning and screens. At the beach bar, all I wanted was to have my husband grab me by the hand and dance, to spin, twirl and just let go. To feel that moment of magic in a place so magical. To have that deep sense that this is what life is for, moments like these, moments in which nothing is complicated, just happy, just alive. But he won’t dance. It’s his idea of hell.
How is it that I am so very different to the person I share my life with? I feel continuously out of sync. Is this just a phase? Or is this my life? How do I embrace it? How do I accept what is rather than yearning for what I wish it was? Am I my own biggest obstacle to my happiness? Should I now, instead of hankering to lie and look at the stars while listening to the waves or wanting to dance to a beach band, be inside snuggling up with my husband? Except I know that it will take him 30 seconds to fall asleep while I lie awake looking at a ceiling instead of a night sky.
This excerpt from Chapter 1 of the Relationships, self-help, marriage book: Big Girl Pants by Lissa Collier was submitted by the Author for publication on this blog. If you enjoyed reading this excerpt, the book is available for sale on Amazon. Please support the author and buy your own copy of the book.
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