How old were you when got married? Do you think at that age and place in your life you were fully ready for marriage? Was your mate (in your opinion)? Why or why not?
I was 32 years old when I got married. I was ready for marriage in age but I still struggled with some mind mess. My husband was 44 when we got married so he should have been ready as well.
How many years were you married?
Did the marriage have a firm foundation of a long term (years) relationship prior to marriage?
No it did not.
Was this your first marriage?
Yes it was.
What type of family structure did you see as a child- were your parents married, divorced, widowed etc. Do you think your parents’ relationship played any role in your perception or lack thereof of marriage?
My parents were not together. My mother was single and my father remarried when I was about 13.
What caused the dissolution-loss/lack (of money, job or feelings) or actions like infidelity or abuse?
It was mental, spiritual, and emotional abuse. He was a very controlling man.
Was it amicable and mutual? Was there a power struggle or lengthy disagreements concerning terms?
It was my decision to leave. There was a power struggle as far as him laying guilt on me about my decision.
Did you see signs early that this is where you were headed that when you look back you didn’t see then but recognize now?
I saw the signs from the first month we got married.
Did you stay too long or Leave too fast?
I stayed extremely too long.
Did you have a strong support system?
No I did not have a strong support system. I had two people who listened and were there but most of those who said they were friends disappeared. Even my family ignored it or swept it under a rug.
Were their children involved? If so how did it affect your children as you saw it play out?
All of our children, except one are grown. However, it affected them all. My two oldest boys had to deal with not being angry about their father’s actions and my youngest felt like he was stuck in the middle and would often cry.
Who left the home?
Did it affect your finances, work etc. due to the change in your family structure?
My finances took a direct hit but I had more clarity about next steps to bring in additional income.
Did it create problems with in-laws or a split in mutual friendships?
I never had the best relationship with his family because of his manipulation and the dynamics of the family. I was close to one of his nieces and we still are to this day.
How did it change you?
I love myself more and I am truly happy about where I am in life. It was hard at first because I went through a grieving process and I dealt with a great deal of guilt. But I learned to allow God to love me and it helped me gain the confidence I needed to believe in myself all over again. Now I am bolder, more vibrant, and not afraid to speak up and out.
Did the divorce completely turn you off to marriage or to love in general?
I look forward to marrying again but I know that there are some things I need to get in order first so that the love I deserve finds me.
Are you dating/hopeful?
I am not dating right now. I am too busy working on me.
Are you angry/sad/bitter…still? If not how long did it take you to achieve that?
I still have some anger and sadness because I invested 10 years of my life into something that was never to be. I get over myself and the mess by helping others and living intentionally daily.
What role did you play in the divorce?
I always admit to the walls I had up and the lack of trust I had to allow him to be who he said he wanted to be. I did have an attitude but it is often my defense to keep from getting hurt.
Do you feel you did everything possible to make it work? Your former spouse?
Yes I did try everything. He did not. He would not even do counseling.
What would you do differently?
I would not have allowed him to lead the decision to get married and I would have prayed more for clarity. In all honesty, I would have never married him.
What is one thing you would say to friends and family etc. concerning dealing with someone who is going through a divorce?
I would tell them not to judge but to just be an ear. I would also tell them not to try to influence them to make the decision to stay or go. It has to be their decisions and it is the job of the support circle to simply be a support and that is it.
With Social Media now, peoples lives can play out for all to see with bickering and changes in relationship statuses, breakup declarations…what advice would you give to a couple who have reached divorce to prevent them from having very public- and harmful divorce debacles and dealing with their divorces in a mature manner?
My advice is simple. Keep your circle small and shut your mouth as much as possible.
What would you say everything couple needs to think about before filing the official paperwork?
Every couple needs to consider whether the decision to divorce is emotional or if it is directed by wisdom. Too many are divorcing over emotionally charged issues and taking in the whole picture. I had to take in everything before deciding and it took me almost 4 years to do that.
Do you think marriage (spiritual or otherwise) before marriage helps?
Yes everyone needs counseling before marriage so that they can be sure it is the right decisions. Just as divorce can be emotionally charged so can marriage. I married more from an emotional state as opposed to from a state of wholeness.
A lack of communication is often mentioned in terms of divorce, what exactly do you think couples struggle with communicating in marriage that they somehow didn’t see during the relationship?
There are a number of reasons that couples struggle with communication in marriage. The main reason I believe stems back to the emotional high that occurs during the wooing stage of the relationship. We are so emotionally charged that we seldom talk about issues that matter most and then marriage happens and those issues surface, we hit a roadblock because we disagree or do not see eye to eye. Because of the emotionally charged manner in which we entered the marriage, we never took the time to effectively communicate. Therefore issues like money, child rearing, sex, and others are all looked at from an emotional rather than logical state.
CWM reached out for women who have experienced Divorce firsthand. We applaud LaTara Bussey for responding and sharing her story with our readers. Do you have your own divorce story or tip? Can you relate to LaTara’s journey? Share it in the comments.
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