Friday, February 07, 2014

Divorce Day

The judge was much nicer than I expected. I watched a few court procedings before they called my name, and when one woman began to cry, the Honorable Nancy Katz whipped out a box of kleenex. She earnestly wished each petitioner and respondent good luck and looked me in the eye when she gave her decision (to support my petition for a divorce). I had expected a mumbling, paper-shuffling judge who wouldn't look anyone in the eye as he passed his decrees, so I was pleasantly surprised. Judge Katz also made sure I wanted to keep my name "Rodríguez-Martin." When she asked me about it, I felt so impressed by her that I almost wanted to say, "Do you think I should go back to my unmarried name?" But later my attorney explained that the judge just had to make sure because it would be much easier to switch my name back today than in the future, after everything is finalized.

Because my attorney had drawn up papers that my post-husband signed, Bob didn't have to appear in court. I stood with my shoulders back and my voice strong as I answered my attorney's questions that confirmed our wedding date, ages, if we'd had any children or bought any property during the marriage, etc. Mine was a quick one. Others before me had many more questions about agreements to sell property, custody of children and alimony, so my life seemed nice and simple compared to those tangles.

The tears didn't come until later, as my friends sat with me over food and coffee. Two friends (for whom I was very grateful) accompanied me to court for moral support, and they saw how calm I was as I approached the judge, spoke and walked out. It was a speedy procedure, although since Bob and I had a civil ceremony, the divorce took longer than the wedding. At the end Judge Katz (looking me in the eye) told me that I'm divorced as of today and the only step left is for the transcript to be filed, but I don't have to return for that (my attorney will). I left with my original copy of the judgment of dissolution of marriage y se acabó.

My marriage is dissolved. I have to resist thinking I'm back the way I was before I got married. I keep thinking, "I'm single again" and getting a vision of my apartment from ten years ago, but that's wrong. It's not 2004. Today I have confidence and belief in myself that I didn't have at all when I was 37. My relationships are healthier, my friendships are stronger and my self-esteem is solid. I treat myself 100% better in every way. In short (and at 5 feet two inches tall, how else can I be?), my life today is a hundred times better than it was before I got married and divorced.

Still, it smarts. The sorrow and anger are there. It'll be a while before it really sinks in that I can no longer refer to "my husband." It'll take some time for me to own the descriptor "single," with all its social implications. It'll be who-knows-how-long until I truly unplug from Bob emotionally. There's bawling yet to be done, but maybe I'm done for today.

I don't know if anyone is reading this post who has been following my blog since the mid-2000s, but if you have, you've now witnessed my frustrated dating years, my wife experiment and my divorce day. Now we'll see how my second shot at the single life goes. I'm glad to be single again, and this time I'll try not to screw it up by getting married. I think it's going to be great, even if it doesn't always feel that way.

All the single women, all the single women...


cindylu said...

I've been following since the mid '00s. So yes, I've followed your single life, your married life and no the process of getting divorced. I'm sorry your marriage ended and you're going through a tough time.

Regina Rodríguez-Martin said...

Thank you, Cindylu. I'm feeling okay today. And thank you for following my blog for so long! I'm impressed!

Lynette Mcguire said...

Nice to know that you're dealing with your divorce in a positive manner. How are you now, Regina? Divorce is a process in which married couples undergo should they decide to end it in a legal fashion. Live your life to the fullest! Good luck in future endeavors! :)

Lynette Mcguire