What’s Different This Time?


I often find myself thinking about the differences between this most recent time I divorced my second husband, and the previous time at the end of 2012. Of course it feels totally different, but that’s nebulous. It makes me ask myself, is it actually different?

Looking back at that time, I felt a lot of uncertainty and insecurity. I felt desperate to find clues as to what my future would look like. In the back of my mind, I wondered if I had done the right thing. I wondered if I had made a hasty decision, since it was precipitated by a single event instead of being something I had planned out with deliberate thought. I questioned whether living in the house together would’ve made a difference, or having a little girl, or even him getting a job.

Even while I was in California last year, I was seeking something I couldn’t describe. Security, familiarity, comfort….whatever it was it seemed out of reach. I felt unmoored and directionless. Sure, I was glad to be out of a stressful situation, but I felt unprepared to go forward. I didn’t have a plan or a sturdy sense of self-worth.

Last year, after we reunited, I learned what it was like to live in the house with him, to have a daughter with him, and for him to have a source of income. It didn’t change a thing. Not a thing. So I began thinking -rather quickly after our reunion, actually- about what I really wanted. And it was not that life I was experiencing with him. I wanted out, but the situation was not exactly ideal for that. I tried getting out in several ways, but they backfired for various circumstantial reasons. But I wasn’t about to give up, because I knew what I really wanted. I begged Allah for it nearly every day, to make it possible, to make a way for me to go forward without him even in spite of all the factors that had come into play.

Masha’Allah, in the end I gained that victory. And you can bet I made certainly sure that there were no hidden loopholes to negate the divorce like last time! It’s final and clear this time, and I feel such peace, such confidence, such certainty that I have put myself and my family in the right place.

I don’t in the least feel insecure or uncomfortable. I don’t feel like I need someone, like I felt before. I feel content and satisfied and capable of going along as I am as long as necessary. Don’t get me wrong, it would be nice to remarry eventually. I don’t have an ultimate plan to continue into the second half of my life forever single, and dying a lonely old woman. I value companionship, and I have a lot of love I would like to give someone. But I am never going to settle again. If I do ever remarry, it’s going to be someone who I will be able to enjoy a much healthier marriage with than I did with my first two husbands. And if I don’t ever remarry, I really feel I can accept that and still have a full, meaningful life.

Another difference I notice is  that I truly have stopped needing validation from others like I used to. I feel confident in my own thoughts and feelings. I accept my own reality and views, even if others don’t. I’ve learned how to give myself what I thought I needed someone else to give me. And that truly satisfies. I find peace in deciding what I want for myself, and creating a plan to achieve those dreams. I don’t feel hindered by unmet needs inside.

These aren’t just things I’m saying trying to convince myself, or pump myself up. I’ve always had a personal integrity to write what I really feel and think, even if it comes back to bite me in the tail someday. This is my reality, and this is my joy. This is my peace WITHOUT the freefall.



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