How do you really know that you are ready for a divorce? When does that moment occur that pushes you to make the final, horrible, scary, leap of faith into the unknown? You spend months – maybe even years – going back and forth between staying and leaving. You talk to anyone who will listen hoping they will help you find the answer. It gets so bad that your sister calls you and asks, “Which side do you want me to be on today?” If only you had a sign when it would all become clear that you have to move on.
When the ah-ha moment hits
For me, and many divorcees, I had what I like to call the “Ah-Ha Divorce Moment.” It’s that moment when you finally cross the line and you know that there is no more turning back. This ah-ha moment happens at different times for everyone. One friend’s ah-ha moment happened when she walked in on her husband in bed with her best friend. Gotcha! Speaking of trash, another friend of mine’s ah-ha moment occurred when she was taking out the garbage. She was carrying a big bag to the dumpster outside her apartment complex when the bag ripped open and garbage flew everywhere. She looked down at the mess, sat on the cement and began to cry. She said aloud, “Why am I doing this?” The superintendent yelled from his front door, “Because garbage pick-up is tomorrow!” Not the answer she was looking for. She then asked herself, “Do I really want to stay in this marriage?” Her inner-voice kicked in and said, “If you stay married you would have twice as much garbage and you will still be the one taking it out.” That was it, the ah-ha moment where it all came together. Sitting on the ground with a banana peel and an empty container of 2% milk next to her, she realized that she had to get a divorce. Tired of being used and unappreciated by her husband, she wanted a better life.
What to do after you know
When that ah-ha moment hits, you know it is time to move on. But putting a divorce into action is another thing. What are the first steps? How do you go about putting them into action? You need to be prepared when this moment occurs. Below are the first important steps towards starting the divorce process.
Make a divorce to-do list of all things you think need to be done.
Look into getting a divorce attorney or mediator. Ask close friends and family members for a recommendation.
Consult your divorce attorney as well as other divorcees and find out what your options are.
Speak to your husband and let him know that you are moving on.
If you have children, decide with your husband when and how is the best way to break the news to them.
Get your files and paperwork in order. See what needs to be addressed before you finalize the divorce.