The memoir “Eat, Pray, Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert begins as the author realizes that she is unhappy in her seemingly perfect life. She finds that choosing happiness would mean making an extremely difficult decision, which is to leave her husband and the life they have created together. She begins to experience heartbreak and the disillusion of a marriage and a life she no longer wants to lead
“The only thing more unthinkable than leaving was staying; the only thing more impossible than staying was leaving. I didn’t want to destroy anything or anybody. I just wanted to slip quietly out the back door, without causing any fuss or consequences, and then not stop running until I reached Greenland.”Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love
As it becomes clear that the author and her husband want to separately lead very different lives, the story reveals the painful process of walking away from a relationship, despite it being in search of a more fulfilling life. Gilbert chronicles her lengthy difficult divorce and how it causes immense grief, loneliness, and depression. Her ex-husband is angry at what feels like betrayal to him, and expresses his angst through the entire process.
As we learn throughout the book, change is inevitable, and we are not in control of everything that happens in life. Even when we achieve happiness and success at some point in our lives, we may later find that we have changed and that what we’ve always known is no longer what is best for us. Nothing is certain when it comes to our careers, health, and relationships.
Drastic life changes are often regarded as a “leap of faith”; a risk that requires a tremendous amount of courage to act on. However, as Gilbert shows us, taking control of one’s destiny is merely a willingness to experience all parts of life’s journey. It takes willingness to have difficult conversations with your life partner, someone you’ve devoted yourself entirely to. It takes willingness to endure their backlash, shock, and anger. It takes willingness to be patient throughout the process. It takes willingness to accept the imperfections of the journey. The key takeaway of this chapter in Gilbert’s story is to illustrate that real life is not a Disney fairytale or a glamorous Hollywood movie – life has incredibly painful moments that we must all endure and challenges we must all learn to face.
Despite criticisms of her story being sensationalized and somewhat lacking in terms of fully exploring the emotional toll divorce takes on women in our society today, Gilbert has become a modern cultural source of inspiration for people to choose happiness after a difficult life transition. Women around the world have derived meaning from her story as a sign of strength and assurance that it is never too late or too difficult to embark on a self-discovery journey alone. Gilbert’s vulnerability and frankness offers refreshing honesty on the topic of heartbreak, divorce, and life after the fact.
Gilbert proves is that divorce is not merely an ending of a relationship; it is an important choice between two people that allows for beautiful new beginnings.
If you are considering filing for divorce, it is important that you consult with an experienced family attorney who will represent you with genuine care and professionalism. Divorce can be a very difficult moment in time, but the right legal representation will take care of you and make the entire process more efficient.
Shuff Law Firm exclusively practices family law and may be of service to those in need of divorce representation. Find them at:
Shuff Law Firm
2107 N Broadway, Santa Ana, CA 92706, USA