I have mentioned in my last few posts that things in my life were changing. Well, this is how they are changing. I am in the process of getting a divorce. By that, I mean the paperwork has been submitted and I am in a 90 day waiting period that Colorado requires. It should be finalized after Thanksgiving.
This is a hard post for me to write. I have been very open about my marriage on Rose Colored Water. There are numerous posts about Mike and me – our journey paying off debt, our adventures in traveling, and how the Air Force affected our lives. Unfortunately, I just couldn’t keep going. Something had to give.
Before I dive into details, I would like to clarify that I am okay. I do hurt, but the divorce was my doing. I won’t talk poorly about my husband. He is a good man. He was my friend, and to some extent, he still is. I still love him. However, my choice to leave the relationship was based on many things. Ultimately, I made this decision because I believe it will benefit both of us in the future.
It was right around our 2nd anniversary in May that I decided it was time for us to separate. We planned on delaying the divorce to help organize our finances and pay more debt off. Unfortunately, things deteriorated quickly and we decided to file sooner rather than later. We are trying to stay friends. I want nothing but the best for him. I have tried to help him transition to make things easier. Because of this, Mike left our marriage debt-free. I will continue paying for all of the debt, including his part of our credit card debt and truck.
There have been times when I feel the separation has been unfair to me, but I have allowed myself to take the hits because it was my decision. I made a conscious decision to keep lawyers out of it because it is cheaper to avoid them and the court fees. We didn’t have much to split. For me, it was not worth fighting with him to pay for his truck and part of the credit card debt. So, I have punished myself to avoid the arguments and fighting that come with separating assets and debt.
By the end of it all, the divorce paperwork only cost $230. Pretty cheap, considering how much a divorce can cost someone with children and several assets.
How did this happen?
I’ve been asking myself this for the last four months. Ultimately, I trace the beginning of the end back to March of 2016. Moving to Colorado was very hard on our marriage. More money, more problems? We muddled through our first six months here, trying to thrive and survive long work hours, ridiculous commute times, and personal relationship failures. Everything came to a head in October 2016.
In October, I was ready to end our marriage. Things were not good. We were both unhappy. We kept our fighting and anger pretty hush-hush because we didn’t want anyone to know how bad things had gotten. Mike went to the mountains for a weekend and I stewed at home.
Then I wrote this post. I was trying so hard to keep it together and renew my love and desire for our marriage. Things weren’t fun anymore. I fell out of “like” for my husband. Everyone goes through these things in marriage; I know this. I had always planned to fight for my marriage. I just don’t know that I was ready for the commitment and vows I made. Our marriage continued to decline after October.
At the beginning of 2017, we tried to buy a house. When I look back on that decision, I know I was trying to find some common ground with Mike, something we could come together on and renew our excitement about life as a couple. When that didn’t work out, it was as if our last ditch effort had failed.
Everything fell apart in May of this year. Call it the straw that broke the camel’s back. I told Mike I wanted a divorce and did not want to work things out. Everything worsened quickly after.
There are several reasons I chose this difficult road. Some core issues we couldn’t seem to mesh together on included finances, life decisions, and other deep belief systems. As one of my friends described it, we didn’t grow together. We grew apart.
What happens now?
Mike moved out at the beginning of September. I have a roommate in the spare bedroom to help make ends meet. God bless his soul. He agreed to stay in the apartment until the lease is up at the end of March 2018, despite the one-hour commute we drive to work each day. This helps me because the buy-out of the lease is $2000.
My goals remain the same. My focus is on applying to nursing school, the NECP, and paying off debt. I am trying to be healthier and balance my work/school/social life with a healthy mix of fun and frugality. I have grown a lot this year, and while everyone may not agree with this decision, I am optimistic about the future.
As awful as it sounds, there is much relief with the changes that have come with this decision. I am a new person, and might even be a better version of myself. I am growing and expanding my horizons, refusing to wallow, and have even sought counseling.
Please, do not feel sorry for me. Everything is okay. Life never goes as planned. Please pray for Mike. Keep us both in your prayers. And please stick with me through this journey. Let’s stay optimistic and see where life takes us. The rest of 2017 is going to be a real whopper.