Dealing With Divorce – How To Walk In Faith When Someone Walks Out
By Nick P.
So a year ago (October 6, 2015) I received the paperwork. After 8 years together, and 7 years of that in marriage, it was over.
I was divorced.
I had been doing my best to deal with the arrival of that day, since the moment she walked out of the house and my life, but the paperwork arriving made it truly official.
Even though I thought I was prepared for it, it still hit me like a ton of bricks.
You see, I am a Catholic, and the thing about divorce is that Catholics just don’t get divorced. And yet here I was, divorced and Catholic.
So many questions came up in my mind, and many of them were about my faith tradition.
How would I look my fellow Catholics in the eye?
What was next?
What was the annulment process like, since I would now need one in order to be able to move on?
I felt so many things pulling at me, but yet the one thing was truly there.
No matter what, I was and still am loved, forgiven and saved through Christ.
Finding Faith In Darkness
The day that I came home and got the text message as I was pulling up into the driveway was a gut punch. Nothing can prepare you for that moment, no matter what’s going on in the relationship.
I spent that night alone, truly alone, for the first time in many years.
Alone in my thoughts.
Alone in the darkness.
And yet, somewhere in that darkness, I heard a very quiet voice.
It said, “I’m here, and I love you.”
I shed a lot of tears that night. I’m not ashamed of it, it’s part of the grieving process. A death just happened, even though there wasn’t a body.
I prayed, and prayed, and prayed. I believe I prayed so many decades of the Rosary, that I lost count. Sleep eluded me.
And even still, I turned to the one thing that I knew I would need the most in my life.
My faith. My unwavering faith.
Yes, even in that moment of deep darkness, my faith unwavered. This was not something that God wanted, but it happened because of the one thing we are all given.
The free will of someone else who felt that, for whatever reason, they were not getting what they believed they should out of a marriage. Someone who felt that running away, instead of talking, was important to them.
It’s that type of free will in which the Evil One gets into our heads, and magnifies anything that we see that is wrong.
However, if I am going to admit something, I will admit this:
I was not happy in the marriage either.
I needed someone who was committed to making things work. We needed to be on the same page, but we were sometimes not even in the same chapter.
I was pulling ever more to deepening my faith, and yet as I did, she would push further away, with statements about how my faith was driving her away from being faithful to being in church.
The Time Between
I will admit that the first thing I thought of was how can I salvage our marriage?
I tried to be what she said she wanted me to be.
I found that was not being true to myself. And, it was taking me away from where I wanted to be, and came in conflict with my faith.
In the end, even though I was trying, it just wasn’t genuine. It wasn’t real. Which meant that this was not going to last.
Plus, there were no changes on her part, other than she left the state. She had moved to another state with the friend she would go stay with often during our marriage, saying that she wanted to hang out. Of course, as I look back, all this does is create doubt and distrust towards her.
The final straw was just before July 4th, when I went to retrieve some items from storage, after having moved out of the house we lived in and in with my mother. At 49 years old. Very humbling.
When I got to the storage unit, I saw that it was empty. Not one thing that I wanted to keep was in there.
Plus, the vehicle that we had purchased together was breaking down, and I was just going through a ton of stuff.
And in that moment, when I reached out to her, she would ignore my calls. Finally when she did answer, and was asked directly, “Are we ok?” her response was, “I don’t know.”
That was it for me. I was done.
“I don’t know”, in this situation, was equivalent to saying “No.”
So I took action.
Bank accounts, unlinked. (Should’ve paid attention the first time)
Cell Phone, off.
Any shared online accounts, password changed.
Any pages on any social media accounts, removed her.
I was done.
This may sound vindictive, but when we are wounded, we do not act rationally. I know my behavior is not the best example of a person walking in faith, but I was wounded, and needed to act.
I ask for forgiveness, and understanding for these actions.
And so, on July 4, 2015, in my own act of declaring my independence, I filled out the paperwork for divorce, and sent it to the known address I had of hers.
And after I sent all that out, and after all my actions, I felt guilty for taking them.
After all, now I was the one that was saying it was over, and I was the one filing for divorce.
It conflicted with all that I believed in my faith.
So, I turned to the one place that I felt peace.
The church, and immersing even more into my faith.
And feeling that Christ did not exclude me, but instead welcomed me to the table. He forgave me, and through him, God forgave me for the death of the marriage.
So in all things, we can be forgiven, and through that, find forgiveness for others.
Even someone who abandoned you.
You see, after I sent that paperwork to my soon-to-be ex-wife, I realized that I needed to really embrace forgiveness.
So somehow, in the time between, I found out more about who and what I am made of, and through that found strength I didn’t even know I had.
Nearing The End
So after about 6 weeks or so, I finally received back the paperwork that I sent off. All I wanted was her to sign it, and then I would take care of everything.
Which is exactly what she did. She signed it. I stated I would take care of all debt, with the exception of the car that we had bought a month before she left. That was her responsibility.
She reached out when she sent the paperwork, with tears, but it was already too late. There was no relationship, there was no marriage, there was just two broken people wanting to move on with their lives.
And on October 2, 2015, I went down to Downtown Reno, and filed the paperwork. It was a hard day, but I did it. And then called my very soon-to-be ex-wife and told her that it was filed.
And so on October 6, 2015, I received the decree in the mail, and it was done.
It caused me to reflect, to look at the moments from the time I met her until she left what happened. All the good times, all the bad.
The marriage that happened in spite of her losing her job in the Great Recession of 2008.
Through the numerous medical issues, mostly hers, that we endured.
Through the suicide attempt on her part, I stayed by her side.
But no more. After receiving the decree, the next day I was in my HR’s office, removing her from the insurance. Removing the remnants of a tattered relationship. Besides, I needed to get some money to pay off the debt that we accumulated, mostly through actions not of my own doing.
So time would go by and I would hear from her, randomly. I never reached out to her, because I didn’t need or want anything from her.
However, she felt it was important to stay in contact with me because she was under the impression that we would be able to file taxes together, one last time.
Which made me feel really used. Because the last few years, she was in such a hurry to file taxes, and get the return, and spend the money.
Which she did, and quickly when we got the previous year’s taxes.
So I did some research.
By that time, I had been reunited with an old friend from school, growing up together since the 3rd grade. She advised me to really look and be sure that was allowed.
So I did the research, and found that the IRS considers you single for the entire year, even if you divorced and received your decree by December 31 of that year.
So for the purposes of filing, I was single. I was truly free. And I felt it.
So I made sure to send her a physical letter letting her know this, and that I wished her well. She can go on with her life, just as she wanted to on May 14th, when she chose to leave.
And I was finally at peace.
Truly at peace. I had let go of that one last thing that may have connected us. And once that was done, the peace beyond all understanding flooded me, and I basked in the light of Christ in my life. For I feel it was through divine intervention that happened.
So what I got back from her was a curse word, hate-filled rant that at the end was an admission of her infidelity to the marriage.
She intended all of that to wound me, to make me feel less than I was, which is what she did many times throughout the marriage.
What she did was set me free even more. I now had, in her own words and from her own writing, proof of infidelity, which would help my cause for the annulment.
God’s work in the hands of evil intentions.
I have not spoken to her since that day, when I wrote her and showed her the documentation from the IRS. It is my understanding that she has since left her friend that she said she would never leave, and gone on to live off of someone else for awhile. I wish her well, and hope that God will enter into her heart once more.
I understand that some of this writing may sound bitter, and may come across as vindictive. I ask for forgiveness for that, because it is not my intention. My true intention is to give you, the reader, the best understanding of what I went through for that time period, and to understand that no matter what, there will be a bitterness when a divorce happens. We never enter into a marriage with the intention of it ending, but it being something that lasts forever.
I will say that I am very blessed to be remarried, and to marry that old friend that I mentioned earlier. She and I have known each other since we were 8 years old, and even though we were never close growing up, it’s the shared experiences we have, and the deep faith for Christ, that binds us so close. She is truly my light and joy, and I am very blessed to be her husband.