One of the things that held me back from getting divorced was the thought of leaving or losing my house.
I didn’t think I could handle leaving the house, and I didn’t think the kids would be okay with it.
If I’m going to be totally honest, I also looked at holding onto the house as a win in my divorce.
A win for me meant a loss for my husband.
That’s how a lot of my thinking was during the divorce.
It was Win-Lose.
My ex loses.
That was often the goal.
Then I had a mindset shift.
(P.S. IT TOOK A LOT OF WORK TO GET THERE)
My therapist helped to point this out to me.
Because I was angry and emotional and a lot of stuff had transpired over the years, and I wasn’t able to get myself into a win-win mindset when it came to my ex husband.
But I was able to get to a win-win mindset when it came to my children.
When I only focused on what I needed to do with their best interest in mind, it changed my perspective.
It wasn’t about me winning. It was about them winning.
Whoever else also wins in the process is lucky.
This was how I came to decide to drop the who-gets-the-house battle.
Rather than take my gloves off and really get dirty, I took my gloves off and walked out of the ring.
Because here’s what I realized.
The house we lived in as a family was a home not because of the physical structure.
It was a home because of me.
I decorated it.
I organized it.
I maintained it.
And in all honesty, my old home was in total disrepair.
It was on a busy road.
It wasn’t in a neighborhood.
Why was I holding on so tight to it? It was a fucking disaster!
Why did I insist on making up stories of doom whenever I entertained the idea of just letting it go?
I mean, why not envision moving into a new house and everyone loving it?
Maybe devastation isn’t the only ending to the story.
Maybe it was possible I could find someplace even better.
I mean, if you’re going to make up the ending to a story that hasn’t happened yet, why don’t we make up a fucking good one?
Because you know what?
My kids LOVE their new house.
And it’s not just a new house.
It’s a new home.
I almost stayed stuck in a situation that, in hindsight, would have been much more devastating than any other scenario I’ve dreamed up in my head in the last few years.
I failed to take action for so long due to fear.
Fear of the unknown.
Fear of leaving what has always been.
Even if what I had always known was already extremely uncomfortable, it was a predictable discomfort.
Potentially unknown discomfort is a whole different story.
I spent a lot of time worrying about a shit ton of potentially unknown discomfort.
And it never even happened.
I allowed the fear of the unknown to paralyze and limit not only myself, but the kids, too.
I almost robbed them of this opportunity. And this home.
You don’t have to tell yourself a whole bunch of fucking stupid, horrible, anxiety-inducing stories when you are facing the unknown.
YOU CAN TELL YOURSELF A WHOLE BOATLOAD OF GOOD ONES.
I wish I had figured this out before the divorce papers were filed.
I wish I had figured this out before I got married.
I wish I had figured this out when I was a kid!!!
Ultimately the only thing that really matters is that I’ve figured it out now.
And I’m gonna do my best to help my kids figured it out much, much earlier than I did.
There wasn’t a whole lot of win-win thinking going on during the divorce.