Aisha Tyler spoke openly and emotionally about her divorce after twenty years of marriage during this morning’s The Talk. After just getting a few words out, she began to break down, explaining:
“He’s the person who has influenced me and cared for me the most. In fact, he cared for me even longer than my parents have cared for me and it’s very hard when you love someone very much to also start to realize that maybe you want different things for your lives. That’s a very difficult realization to come to and you don’t want to accept it and you don’t want to believe it.”
The two began dating in college. “I was with this extraordinary person. I had this extraordinary love affair for 25 years of my life and that is how I feel. I think we did it exactly right,” Tyler said. “We loved each other passionately and lived life fully and we’re trying to let each other go in the kindest way we possibly can and even though we’re separating, all I want for him is joy and fulfillment and whatever he chooses to do in his life next and whatever I can do to help him do, that I want to do that.”
Tyler went on to add: “He’s a wonderful person. He’s been my best friend for always my entire life. I’ll always love him. I want to say to people out there that are speculating about it, that’s what I’m going to say about the relationship and the rest of it is none of your damn business.”
Separated in 2015
Tyler and Tietjens were separated in 2015, which is different from the formal divorce they filed last week. The greatest difference between legal separation and divorce is that legal separation does not end a marriage or domestic partnership.
Understanding Legal Separation
Typically, spouses that seek a legal separation don’t want to get divorced, or aren’t get ready for divorce, but want to live apart. During this time of living apart, it’s important that certain legalities surrounding money, property, and parenting are agreed to, in order to avoid disputes. Often times legal separation is the first step towards divorce. And the formal judgment that is issued during legal separation can help address and resolve aspects of a marriage. Working out these various aspects of a marriage can help ease the tension of a divorce, should it go that direction. But spouses who are legally separated are not legally free to marry because a neither spouse’s legal status is returned to “single” in the separation process, unlike the divorce process.
During a legal separation your interests as a married couple are protected until a final decision to divorce is made. Often times, couples choose to just remain separated and never choose to pursue a legal divorce.
Issues Addressed in Legal Separation
Typically, during the separation process various things are dealt with, including: child custody, child visitation, child support, spousal support, marital property division, attorney fees, and personal conduct. The only thing that remains untouched is the actual marital status of the couple.
Why Pursue Legal Separation?
There are advantages with legal separation, including:
- Spouses are able to maintain benefits such as a spouse’s health care plan or military benefits.
- Staying legally married for 10 years allows couples certain social security benefits.
- The separation period allows for a “cool off time,” during which parties can work to resolve their differences. Couples can then decide to either pursue a divorce or resume the marriage.
- In some religions divorce is not allowed or recognized. Legal separation allows these religious couples to live separate lives while still remaining married and true their faith.
- Legal separation can be used to solve immediate problems in couples who are uncertain about moving forward with divorce.
You, After Divorce
It goes without saying that divorce is a difficult process. Whether or not there are kids involved, a number of thing need to be worked out: child custody arrangements, child support, spousal support, marital property division. A family law attorney will be able to help you with these aspects of ending a marriage. But you’ll also need help working through the tougher parts of ending a marriage: emotionally tiring and stressful aspects of ending a marriage. Below are some steps to help you through the emotional aspect of a divorce.
Confidence After Divorce
Divorce can knock your confidence level down to zilch. You’re probably feeling pretty defeated because you weren’t able to hold your marriage together. And if infidelity played a part, then you’re also wondering where you fell short and why your ex-spouse decided to look elsewhere. All that, plus the idea that the whole dating scene has completely changed and now you have to get back out into, can lower your confidence level to below zilch. It’s terrible. But that’s only the first half of the story. Here’s when you re-write the second half.
When you successfully complete something that in your mind you just knew you could not do, you gain confidence. Having to re-frame your assumptions about your weaknesses and limitations, forces you to find a way to believe in yourself. Facing your fears and surviving gives you strength. And after battling through opposition you can emerge, sure, bruised and battered, but knowing that you didn’t give up.
Yup, it’s true, hindsight is 20/20. You have to walk through something, get a far way ahead of it, and only then can you look back and see just how important that process was. At that point you can see the beginning, the middle, and the end, and how that end is so clear and empty of emotional and clutter. Take this new clarity and run with it. That perspective can give you amazing information you need to change your own behaviors and to improve your future relationships.
Gratitude After Divorce
After you lose everything, you take nothing for granted. Divorce can be like losing everything: past memories, your present marriage, and future dreams. Let that be your determination to survive. But this is also a time to lean on friends and family that stepped up and stood by. They will lift you up, even when you can’t lift yourself. Be grateful for them, and try to show them that you are. If not now, then try to later.
When you have felt pain, you honor and respect that pain in others. Divorce can make you more empathetic towards people facing any form of loss. You will move towards acceptance and forgiveness of your situation and your ex. And with this movement will come the ability to see things from other people’s viewpoints, making you a better friend, and a better person to be in a relationship with (down the line, when you are ready for one).
Divorce wipes away the ego that believes it’s shameful to ask for help. After you admonish this, you will be able to accept help for yourself, and then be able to offer help to others who are in need.
It’s easy to blame your ex, to place the responsibility for the divorce in his or her hands. We also might realize that all too often we have looked to them to provide happiness, or support for making decisions. This interdependency ends with divorce. It’s good to be interdependent, but divorce requires that you learn to be independent. You’re going to be steering this ship on your own. You’re going to have to be responsible for your own things now: happiness, support, etc. Let this empower you though, rather than make you feel lost or scared. You’re completely in control now. You can change. It’s your life now.
Divorce teaches us that no matter how much we want something to be true, we can’t force it into being. All those choice you made have consequences. And maybe now you are being forced to see them. Sure, you might have said “divorce will never happen to me,” but now it has. You’re going to have to admit that it can happen to anyone. Let this “slap” of reality force you to embrace acceptance while also redefining expectations. You’re not immune to anything.
Divorce can be a wake-up call. Often times people realize they were living in a kind of “auto-pilot” mode when they said their “I dos.” The clarity and awareness you have after saying your “I Un-dos” might provide you with a sense of awareness that wasn’t there before. A lot of people turn to meditation and yoga during divorce because it settles the mind to allow for awareness. This mindfulness and consciousness will be helpful moving forward in your new life.
Divorce is also a way to test your abilities… all of them. Your negotiating skills, your financial skills, your balanced budgeting skills, co-parenting abilities. You are the only problem solver now. You will need to work out how to afford your rent on a portion of the budget you once had. You will also need to learn how to co-parent, potentially with an ex you hate (for now). But the more you are placed in these new positions, the better you will become at those tasks.
Wisdom from Divorce
Divorce can be an opportunity for reflection and analysis. You are now raw and ready to learn new ways of doing things, in addition to just learning new ways to move on and cope.
Working with A Family Law Attorney
When it comes to the actual legal process of a divorce, you’ll want to work with a skilled family law attorney There are a number of things that need to be considered during a divorce: child support, spousal support, marital property division, and other things. Working with a skilled attorney can help ensure you get a fair case. For advice on divorce, child custody determinations, setting up a co-parenting agreement, dividing marital property, and spousal support you need the expert law firm of Divorce Law LA. Schedule a consultation today.
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