Here we are on Chapt 5 of the Divorce Recovery Book Club-Chicken Soup for the Soul Divorce and Recovery. The title of the chapter is The Toolbox, and it is written by Mia Gardner. After reading this chapter, I think I would title this chapter The Empty Toolbox.
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In this chapter, Mia is telling her divorce story. She was married for eighteen years. She and her husband had separated and were now divorced. She questioned if maybe she had made a mistake in leaving. She wondered if she was really better off now. She was working two jobs, and she was lonely. It did not sound like her life was going smoothly.
Suddenly Mia’s husband wanted to get back together. Mia now finds herself questioning herself and her marital split. Should she settle and accept a marriage in which her husband was not involved, or should she walk away? She was lonely, so should she take him back?
In talking to her sister, she was reminded that her ex never lived up to his marriage vows and did not work to care for her or her son. Mia was reminded that she had to fill all the roles in the marriage. It sounded like her Ex was not connected and invested little in the marriage.
The answer came to her, as to what to do, on the night she needed to change a lightbulb. When they were going through their separation, they divided items in the home. She split the kitchen items, and his role was to take the tools after providing her with a toolbox with supplies she may need in the future. While gathering supplies required to change the light bulb, she opened the toolbox, and there was her answer. Yes, he had put some things in the toolbox. There were 4 items in the toolbox, two of which were defective. What she found that night pretty well explained how little he cared for her. It was apparent he did not make the effort which displayed how little he cared, and she now had the physical proof of his lack of care.
At the end of the story, we learn that Mia chose wisely when she decided not to return to her husband. She was fortunate to find someone after years of dating after her divorce. I know some of us will find a partner post-divorce, and many of us will not. I would not rule out a relationship in my life, but that is not my goal. My goal is to be happy, accept who I am, and love my family and friends. I am happy now. I don’t think I could ever be satisfied in a relationship where my partner did not love and care for me as he had promised. That would be like living a lie. I have been there before, and I never want to return.
1-Do you feel like your ex fulfilled his role in the marriage?
2-Mia had a sister she could speak with about her divorce. Did you have someone you could count on for moral support during your divorce?
3-Did you ever consider taking your ex back because you were lonely?
4-If your ex came to you and wanted to get back together, what would you do?
5-Do you feel you can live a happy life without your ex?
6-In this story, Mia’s husband did not take seriously the job his wife had asked of him. Were there times in your marriage that you could relate to this behavior? Explain.
7-Do you feel like you were taken care of emotionally in your marriage?
8-How do you feel about someone returning to a marriage where they were not cared for because they are lonely or don’t have the means to support themselves?
9-Mia happily threw away her old toolbox. Is there anything you discarded during or after your divorce that had significance in your marriage?
God Bless You On Your Journey!