How Great Thou Part

Let’s be honest. Anyone who has experienced divorce will tell you there are triggers.

Emotional arsenals to be exact.

If you need a visual think firecracker stash accidentally meets flame. You get it. Boom. Spark. Boom. More Sparks. Firecrackers ignite. Sky implodes.

light-person-woman-fireI think it’s fairly easy to understand this phenomenon. Divorce is like grief. No one who is married either happily or unhappily wants this outcome. They loved this person.

Hence, there are triggers that exact emotional revenge upon us. Even if we are happier than we were while married, we wouldn’t be human if we didn’t feel sadness for what once was. And as any divorcing individual can attest to, they sneak up on you because they are hidden in our day to day lives. The new lives which we are attempting to build as we exit our old lives.

The Top 5 Divorce Triggers:

The House:

The house that seemed like too much work to clean, to mow, to maintain is now a symbol of a family lost. The kitchen that was a source of aggravation because it couldn’t accommodate the entire brood now seems oddly sufficient. The race to leave for work and school is replaced by studied steps which replace countless memories.

It is no longer a stepping stone of familial evolution. It is stunted growth.

A torturous combination of fleeing to escape yet fearing enough time to rescue what is most precious before you abandon the structure for good.

The Friends:

The friends you chose together who were impossibly you. You tipped beverages beside one another, cheered games in unison and congregated in school hallways. You were working mothers and dads, stay at home mothers and dads, room mothers, coaches, cub scout leaders, volunteer chairs and more. You wiped noses, scraped knees, and tears. You loved each other and one another’s kids as if your own. You prance down the bleachers, the school hallways, and church towards these friends who are your people.

Now you sidestep the route you used to relish. You no longer belong the way you once did. At least not to some of them.

You are much like a teen transferred to a new school during senior year, still desiring to fit in yet realizing you don’t really want to?

pexels-photo-204993The Momentos:

The love letters, the trip tokens, and the boardwalk photos are now ancient history. They will possess no rewrites. They will never be retraced. Thus, the marriage license and the first home plaques that bear the moniker of two now replaced by one will be squirreled away. The reminders of a love where two people took up residence.

You now feel the need to archive these concrete artifacts of a love or worse, dispose of them.


Shut off the radio, the television, and all electronic devices. They are simply not worth listening to. The first triggers will be major milestones, such as wedding and honeymoon songs and perhaps a few other dramatic melodies. As time endures, the music will morph towards other corners of your relationship. It will be a high school prom song, a college party tune or another love enduring diddy.

The words will catapult you back in time and without warning slam you against a wall. 


In a word, don’t look. Pictures are a cruel reminder of a promised life. They are joy and love and hope and conversely, impossible pain. That certain you staring at the lens meets you who will never position that camera again. It’s a conundrum. A truth you won’t be ready or willing to accept emotionally though intellectually you have no choice.

Select a few you can cherish without torturing yourself for gone are the days of retakes.

Of course, all five of these triggers diminish their assault with time. Instead, they turn into the type of subtle sadness which accompanies all grief. They bring with them a moment of pause, a reflection, a wistfulness and pass over you rather than through you – as they once did.




(Photos courtesy of Pexels)

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