Healing From A Divorce

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Healing From A Divorce

I’m a woman probably very much like you. A woman healing from a divorce. A woman who was faced with a divorce after 33 years of marriage. A divorce I didn’t want. A divorce that took my vision of what I thought my life would be and turned it into an embarrassing soap opera I never imagined possible. Essentially I’ve experienced the rejection that can tear you apart from the inside and leave your life in what seems to be an unending torture.

I’m pretty sure that your big life plan didn’t include searching through the web, with a box of Kleenex on the seat beside you, looking for articles or help about divorce recovery and healing either.

I wish we were sitting across the table from each other having a cup of coffee or some hot tea or maybe a double martini straight up, (although I’ve never had a double martini straight up). I’ll admit that one Christmas on a particularly bad day, I did take a big swig out of the Wild Turkey bottle when I was baking a Christmas cake. Anyway, just believe me when I say I’ve been to the bottom and back again to tell my story and to help struggling women get back on their feet.

I want you to know … really know in your gut … that this experience of divorce can be a point of positive transformation for you. Transformation to a life better than you think is possible from where you sit right now.

Here’s what I want you to know regardless of how hard it is to imagine: Your life will be good again! And you will laugh again and you will recover and heal and you will get a good night’s sleep again. You’ll stop obsessing about the things you can’t change, and eventually you won’t care what he’s doing or where he’s going because you’ll be living your own life …full of adventure, excitement, fun, and yes, even love again.

Like I said, you probably don’t believe me, but I have witnessed hundreds of women go from total despair to unbelievable happiness, and it is my hope that what I have learned and what this site and community provides will get you back to being the strong, powerful, optimistic woman you know you are.

What I Learned Healing From A Divorce

I do have information that will help you. I’m truly sorry you are in a position to need this Program, because I know how your heart is feeling as you are reading this. But I’ve learned things that will help make this recovery easier and faster than if you just try to stumble and thrash around on your own. I did that, and it almost did me in … seriously. My journey was not pretty. My kids laugh (they can laugh now – it definitely wasn’t funny then) at some of the embarrassing, ridiculous, useless things I did to try to get my husband back, and when that didn’t work, to try to find some sense of myself again after the divorce.

I’m not going to waste time giving you the history of my life and my divorce and my recovery. You probably have already read about me in the About Us — section. And if you haven’t and want to you can.

The truth of the matter is, The About Us Section shouldn’t be about me. It talks about me and explains why I care about midlife divorce … but I’m not really comfortable having an “About Me” section on the site. In reality… it should be about all the RADiCAL Women, because we’re all in this together. Every woman is important. Every story is about a real life that has the potential to be really good …. Or to end up without much beauty in it at all. This midlife divorce recovery site and these programs are designed for all of us to help each other on this trip that we didn’t want. In fact, when we start out, most of us don’t have a clue about how to navigate it with any measure of grace at all.

None of us got married with the thought we’d end up struggling our way through an agonizing divorce … especially a divorce at midlife. I know you’re mad you’re in this position. Instead of reading this, you’re probably thinking some version of: “I should be listening to music I love on my way to having dinner with my husband. Or I should be reading about the Baroque Period in Art or maybe casually listening to the local news. None of us thought we’d end up needing divorce recovery services.

I remember the first divorce recovery class I tried, I was pissed off (yes, pissed off!) that I was driving to a divorce recovery class instead of to a Yoga class or an art class or taking one of my grandkids to see a movie. (And by-the-way, when I got there the room was full of a bunch of sad, depressing people reliving their mad, sad tales of hurt and betrayal.) I endured the class – trying not to be buried myself in the funeral-parlor atmosphere — but I was furious my wasband (you know the guy who WAS my husband) had put me in that position and I sobbed and yelled my fury in my car all the way home.

But, I know, too, if you’re reading this, you’re trying to get better. You want to get better. You want to stop feeling like you’re feeling. The truth is … you care about people close to you (you know they’re worried about you) and you care about living the best life you can in spite of this unexpected tornado that has ripped though your life. You keep replaying scenes and conversations in your head trying to figure out what went wrong and what you should have done differently and what you’re supposed do you do now in the face of this total midlife meltdown.

Also, If you’re anything like me, (and most other women going through this) you wonder if you’ll ever be happy again. I’m here to tell you that Healing from a divorce will happen.

I want to tell you something right up front. Listen carefully and remember it even if you don’t believe it now. Are you ready? I want you to know that an amazingly good life is not only possible after divorce,  it’s promised. Along with hundreds of other RADiCAL Women, I am living proof of that good life after divorce. I want you to know … really know in your gut … that this experience of divorce can be a point of positive transformation for you. Transformation to a glorious new life … a life better than you think is possible from where you sit right now. A life with more gifts in it than you can even imagine.

But, I know the sense of agony and confusion and complete disbelief you’re feeling at this point in the process. I spent those agonizing days and sleepless nights of desperation, too. If you’re like most women early on, your head can’t quite get around the idea of your marriage coming to an end. You don’t know how to process that reality and what it means for your future.

As I said, I did not start out my life with the plan of being a divorced woman and never never did I have any inkling that I’d morph into a midlife divorce recovery specialist. In fact, if you had asked me at any point along the way, I would have bet the farm (if I had one) on me never being divorced. Divorce was never in my thinking. My parents were married from 1941 until my mom died in 2009, 68 years. I didn’t believe in divorce. And I loved being married to the man I married in 1967 when I was 21 years old.

Our life was not perfect. But it was a life that other people envied. People looked at our healthy, thriving family with great kids, fun, active, involved parents, and saw a good life. We had the life everyone wanted. In fact, we had a great life (I thought). We got through finding jobs and moving up and four first days of kindergarten and four college acceptances. We weathered financial lean years and, I at least, thought we were getting to the part where we could kick back a little and stay out all night if we wanted to without having to make sure the kids were taken care of. We were supposed to be getting to the point where work was not so demanding and we could spend more time enjoying each other and the life we had created together. I thought eventually the two of us would go to the Shady Lane Retirement Village together. I made promises before God and before our family and friends that I would love and honor and cherish him until one of us died.

By the way, that’s what prompted me to latch on to the title for my next book – suggested by a great editor, Jessica Kerrigan … She said the title of my new book of 101 ways to stop asking the questions after divorce and start creating the life you want should be : If he said, “‘Til Death Do Us Part,” Why Is He Still Alive? I love that title and so do most divorced woman who didn’t want divorce but got it anyway. … In fact, that’s a real question I kept asking myself over and over again. I kept thinking, “This cannot be happening. This isn’t how my life is supposed to be. I’m fifty years old. We’re supposed to dance together at all our kids’ weddings and take our grandkids skiing and sit out on the deck and listen to baseball games together when we get too old to drive. We promised to take care of each other “til death do us part.” Obviously that’s not going to happen.

You’ve probably had some of those same thoughts and you may be thinking something else in your inner heart. You might be thinking like I did…. “It would be easier if he HAD died.” It wouldn’t be so devastating to who I am as a woman and what most of my life has been about. This divorce made me suddenly think that I wasn’t good enough, or fun enough or sexy enough or thin enough or that I wasn’t enough, period. But I knew in my heart, even though I made tons of mistakes over the 33 years we were married … I knew that I had put my heart and soul, not to mention all the days and nights and weekends and holidays into my husband and my children and the good of our family. In fact, I loved doing that.

Now, just when things were slowing down a little, my wasband decided he wanted a different life. I can’t even describe how brokenhearted and devastated I was and how in the dark hours of the night, I thought I might not ever recover.

And then the rage and bitterness and thoughts of revenge set in … I spent too long ruminating over how I could make him get some little glimpse of the pain he had caused for so many, many people. I know, if you’re a normal flesh and blood woman with normal female emotions and especially if you’re anywhere around the era of menopausal mayhem, you have some of those same feelings too. I didn’t want to keep obsessing about things I couldn’t change, but I couldn’t seem to help myself and it was getting in the way of my recovery. I didn’t really know how to stop the downward spiral. I didn’t know if I could ever get back to even a moderately decent life again.

So, I’m pretty sure at this moment, deep down you doubt that words like amazing, fulfilling, glorious, adventurous, and fun could ever describe your life now that this has happened.

I know I’ve made where you are sound terrible … but it’s where most of us start … and where too many women stay for way too long. In fact, the words don’t even begin to describe the frightening depth of the agony and despair most of us feel especially at the beginning of this trip. You’re probably feeling some level of that despair or you wouldn’t be here.

What Happens Next

Now that we are absolutely clear how crappy most women feel at the start of this trip, we’re going to talk about “What happens next!” We all know WHERE we are, and we know we don’t want to STAY where we are. We want to heal. I seriously thought that if I didn’t figure out some way to get better, I might actually die …. I mean physically die. And sometimes I thought that would be the easiest solution in light of how I was feeling. But we know that’s not a real solution to anything. And anyway, after a while I didn’t want to let my wasband have the pleasure of thinking his ridiculous, selfish behavior had that much of an affect on me. It did, but I didn’t want him to see how broken I was by the whole thing.

In the years since my divorce things have changed for me. Miracles have happened. I have learned amazing lessons about life and love and joy and peace and contentment along with things like mowing the lawn and paying the bills. Most of what I’ve learned, I’ve learned BECAUSE of my divorce … not in spite of it.

And now, I have this passion to share those lessons with you. I don’t want you to try to get through this on your own or with just a one-hour meeting with a counselor every week, even though that can be very, very helpful. You, like all of us, need a map. You need concrete practical help, tried and true techniques, and dependable tools. Plus I want you to have a whole army of strong, wise, good-hearted companions by your side every single step of the way. I don’t want you trying to go through this alone … with the community on this site you have women from all over the world who get how you’re feeling and want to help. That’s how this online support group has been designed. You will have constant, continual help available 24/7, 365 days a year.

Ten years of listening and learning and helping RADiCAL Women have given me insights, and I’ve developed lots of resources that will help. These tools have brought a new sense of hope and healing to other women and they can do the same for you. They have helped countless women who thought healing from a divorce wasn’t possible. I’ve helped them re-think their purpose for being on this planet earth and have led women to (full-out) joy, robust peace and an openness to love that makes life the adventure it is supposed to be.

I am glad you’re here because this community can make a positive difference in your life, too. You can one-day say … like I do now … “the life lessons I’ve learned through my divorce have made the journey worth it.” And believe me those are pretty radical words after the pain and anguish we’ve all experienced. But it’s true for me. My life will never be the same. I am in awe of so many things I used to take for granted. (Even though I was always aware of my many, many blessings!) I see more every day the power of helping others. (A power that makes MY life infinitely better). I laugh harder. I cry without apology. I live as close to (full-out) as I can every day. You can too. If you stick with us and do the steps of this plan, You will start “getting” life in an isn’t-this-awesome-too-good-to-be-true kind of way.

But the catch is … you have gut up, face the pain and do the work. We can’t do it for you. But we will be there to hold your hand and cry with you and yell in fury with you and then jump with joy as you move forward.

So, here are two things I want you to know right now. You probably won’t believe them … but I’m going to tell them to you anyway.

      1. Your divorce will teach you some of the most life-changing, soul expanding, lessons you will ever learn.
      2. You will end up living every day with an exuberance and a serenity and a level of love you never thought you’d experience again.

I mean that. That miracle happened in my life and it has happened in the lives of other R.A.D.I.C.A.L. Women. It can happen in your life, too. And by-the-way, you don’t have to get married again to have those things. In fact, it’s better to learn the lessons before you even think about new romantic relationships.

You may be thinking, “What in the heck is she talking about?! Forget it. I’m not going to waste my time with a bunch of psycho-babble positive thinking mind-talk that doesn’t change the fact that my life partner is with some disgusting excuse for a woman, and that I’m becoming the Pillsbury Dough Girl with occasional hot flashes thrown in , and my children are actually doing what I’ve guided them to do all these years and that’s be independent and leave home. And to top it off, I have no idea how I’m going to pay the electric bill, and I can’t stop crying in the car every time a song comes on that reminds me of our life together.

All those upbeat, motivational words will not change the truth of what I’m facing … bone-shaking loneliness, unexpected rage and full-blown panic simmering just below the surface. All these “You can do it!” mental mantras and tricks won’t give me my self-confidence back or get me a job or keep me warm at night. I have to sell my house and start over with everything.. My social life is almost non-existent and I’m mad someone else is getting the sex I always enjoyed. My wasband thinks his life has definitely taken a turn for the better. He’s introducing his girlfiend to OUR friends, and most mornings I’m still staring at the ceiling tired and exhausted, when it’s time to get up.

I felt that same way … most of us did. Some of you still do.

But your life is not going to feel like this forever. You’re not going to have this big ball of lead where your heart used to be forever. You’re going to finally realize that you can take your life back and you can make it good again. And I want you to know that it can be not just sort of good …. It can be amazingly, fantastically good. Really.

If you have to, suspend the logical-thinking part of your brain for the time it takes to read this article. Even though you don’t really know me from Eve, what I’m telling you is true. Maybe you’re desperate enough to try anything. I don’t care what it takes to convince you to Sign Up & Get Help. I see women every day whose lives are being transformed. These concepts aren’t just words. They work. They’re not magic, but they make a difference. And, since you’re here, you may as well throw yourself into it completely and see what happens. What do you have to lose? You have a bright new future to gain.

I know right off the bat, I can make three simple statements that if you really accept them, your life going forward will be revolutionized. (And I did not learn these lessons quickly or easily.) I was not only off the deep end with sadness and grief, it’s lucky I didn’t kill anybody once I got to the mad stage! Really. If you can get these three realities firmly in your head, you’ve taken three giant leaps in the right direction.

Are you ready? Here they are:

Number 1. The past is past.

Did you get that? Say it  “The past is past.

Number 2. This moment is the only time I can control.

Say it: This moment is the only time I can control.

And Number 3. My future is up to me.

Say it: My future is up to me!

Okay, I am going to repeat them one more time:

The past is past.

This moment is the only time you can control.

Your future is up to you.

Let’s talk about the past for just a minute. During divorce, we somehow imagine that if we just obsess about it enough or keep going over it enough, and reliving it enough, the past will change. I guess that’s what we think. Why else would we do that? We let the past dominate the present and then we can’t get the future we want because we drag the past into what we’re doing now. You absolutely cannot change one single thing that has happened before this instant. That time and what happened there can never be altered. No matter how much you wish you had made different choices or he had said different things or taken different actions, the past will never be different. All the screaming and crying and acting ridiculous will not change one single thing in the past. So give up your obsession with what happened any time before this moment. Stop trying to analyze it or figure it out or wish it was different. It is what it is … the past.

Your time is much better spent in the moment that you can control which is right now.

You have the choice of what to do right now. You can use this moment to move forward and for something good or you can use it in ways that can make you an eternal victim. You can make this moment (and the rest of your life for that matter) miserable because your wasband found a girlfiend, or you can accept the best of this moment and create new dreams for the future. Some women choose the path of turning into ugly green witches no one wants to be around by staying stuck in the past. 10 or 15 years after their divorce they are still bitter and jealous and unwilling to move forward because of “What he did.” What he (or they) or you or anyone else did in the past does not matter. What matters is what you are doing right now.

Believe me, I learned these lessons the hard way. And it would be a shame for me to go through the agony of doing all the wrong stuff that didn’t work and then not share what I learned with women it could help. We can all learn from each other and save both time and tears. I didn’t want to be stuck as a prisoner of the past. For one thing, I started realizing, “while I’m curled up in the fetal position with the covers over my head about something I cannot change, he and his girlfiend (by the way, if you’ve read the book you know a girlfiend is a girl who has an affair with a married man) are on a blanket somewhere with a bottle of wine and romantic music, reading poetry to each other and having a grand old time.” That thought started making me mad. I’m mean really, really mad and that anger helped propel me to get better … just out of spite.

Now back to the present. The only time you can control is this moment. Here’s my advice about this moment. Close your eyes, Take a deep breath and accept it. What better option is there? This moment is what you’ve got. Don’t judge it as good or bad. Just accept it. You are a midlife woman. You are at some point in the process of divorce. You may be hungry. You have to accept what is going on in this moment. Then the next step is to think about what you can be thankful for in this moment. Do you have two legs? Can you see? Do you have good food to eat? And plenty of water to drink whenever you want it? Do you have your intelligence and your personality? Be thankful for all the amazingly good stuff in this moment. You can’t name every good thing you have in this moment. Women all over the world would give anything to have the good things you are overlooking right now because you’re mad at someone about something you can’t change. Are you beginning to see how ridiculous that is?  Just for one minute, think about every single good thing in your life in this moment. You can’t even begin to name them all.

After you realize that there are too many good things in this moment to count, think to yourself, “Is there anything I need to change to make my life better? What would make my life better? What can I do in this moment to move in the direction of my dreams?”

And by the way, many women give up their dreams after divorce. As pointed out by a Kansas City counselor, Karen Rowinsky, women during divorce are sometimes afraid to dream because they’re afraid it might be one more big disappointment in their lives. Don’t be afraid to dream. In fact make it a priority now.

Okay, let’s get back to doing things in the present to move in the direction of our dreams. Make it challenging. Pretend you are driving in your car to the lawyer’s office. You may soon be sitting across the table from the man you loved for most of your life and who is now trying to keep you from getting what you deserve in support. What can make the moment better? Can you pray for personal peace in this moment? Or get yourself centered using some other tool like meditation? Can you be thankful for a few good things right now? Can you calmly gather your thoughts and put your shoulders back and your chin up and get confident and realize that your life can be good regardless of what happens in that room. Can you stop and get some flowers to take home after the meeting? Can you get a cup of coffee to enjoy on the way?Can you visualize something in this moment that will make you smile or even laugh?

One RADiCAL woman said every time she had to meet with her wasband, who was a very loud and overpowering man, she visualized him as a blustery little mouse with a tiny little penis and a tiny little sword and a stupid hat on his head with a big red plume on it. Would that help you relax you a little?

Or here’s another scenario: you can use this moment to work yourself into such a frenzy that by the time you get to the office you’re practically incoherent with anger or about to dissolve into tears before you even see his face. It’s your choice. You have control of the moment.

Get in the habit of intentional living in the moment. Don’t be lead around by the nose of reactions and immediate responses that don’t help. Specifically make good choices in the moment.

When you remember that this moment is all you can control, and when you realize you have a choice about what to do with this moment and you choose something good, life changes. When you get in the habit of accepting the good things in this moment, then calmly thinking what is the best thing I can be doing in this moment … you start living with more gratitude and intention. You aren’t thrown around by every erratic emotion or non-thinking reaction. You aren’t pulled back into the Poor Me swamp. Or the Wicked Him wilderness. Even if he is a Wicked Him, he doesn’t control your moments now or in your future. You do.

Remember, too that doing the right thing in the moment always pays off. And you can always choose to do the right thing. No matter what anyone else is doing. Doing the right thing helps you live your best life now and it eventually creates the future you deserve to have. That is one of the unwritten laws of the universe. It’s a law that is immutable and unchangeable. We always reap what we sow. And goodness always wins. Write that down. It may not seem like it in your divorce or in your life right now. But it is always true.

But, as I said, some women seem to find some consolation in being miserable (why in the world would you choose that option?) Does it make him look bad? Does it bring you sympathy? Do you become the long-suffering martyr. What fun are any of those things? I wanted a fantastic, full, adventure of a life … not some whimpy, whiney, why me? Sorry and sad existence. You should not settle for anything less that an amazingly good life either.

Our resources can help you choose to make your moments and your life and your future, not just wonderful, but truly amazing … beyond your wildest dreams. I know I use that term “wildest dreams” a lot. I love the mental image of my wildest dreams because it throws open fantastic possibilities for me. The term wildest dreams came from something St. Paul said to a little group of people who were struggling with hurt and pain and discouragement more than 2000 years ago. By the way, wherever you are on the God issue, this is a good time to give that some thought. Regardless of how you personally envision God, this advice is from a guy who was smart and powerful and whose life was just humming along. His name was Saul of Tarsus. Saul’s spiritual awakening came with a bright illumination that blinded him (like our divorce has blinded us temporarily). His response was immediate and life changing. He gave up his destructive past and started living in the holy now. (As a result, he got his own radical name, Paul, just like all the radical women do!) and his life was never the same. For me, he’s a model of how change is possible no matter what happened in the past, and his words bring hope and courage. Here’s what he said to people who were being harassed and persecuted and who were afraid and unsteady about their future. Paul told them – and he was speaking by experience by the way … “God can do anything, you know – far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.” I don’t know about you, but that gives me hope. And in my life those “wildest dreams” are already becoming reality every day. Your wildest dreams will come true not because of anything happening on the outside. They don’t depend on how much money you have or where you live or what your wasband is or isn’t doing or if you ever get married again. The fulfillment of your own wildest dreams is something that happens deep within you … and nothing going on around you can destroy them ever again. That’s a pretty radical reality.

This journey isn’t going to be done tomorrow. In fact, it will take more time than you want. There are times you’ll get discouraged and think “This isn’t working.” You might forget to make the right choice in the heat of the battle. You might fall back to bad behavior now and then. But you will get better. Soon this radical way of living becomes a way of life. And then really cool stuff starts happening. From the very beginning, you start seeing glimpses of the light in the distance and it becomes brighter and brighter as you go along. And pretty soon you are living in an aura of illumination that never goes away … no matter what happens.

If you decide to join us, we will guide your through those steps of healing and rebuilding. Along with all the other RADiCAL women, I will be beside you every step of the way giving you encouragement every day and you will find work to do and interviews to listen to with experts in different fields of recovery. And you can connect with other RADiCAL Women 24/7 in the community.

Throughout this next period you will start
Rediscovering:

  • Who you are
  • What you want
  • What you can do with your life
  • Whom you can influence
  • How much fun life can be
  • How much money you can make
  • How much good you can do
  • What’s important
  • Whom you can help.

You can get up every morning and instead of sobbing or raging about where you are, you can start by totally accepting where you are, being thankful for the good things in that place, and then do some physical action to move you closer to where you want to be. This journey isn’t a project. It’s a process … a life-long process …. Of appreciating the gifts in the moment and living our best life right now.

Say to yourself every morning:
“Okay, here I am! I’m still standing on my own two feet. I’m ready for all the blessings that are in store for me today. I will think about how I can serve. I will plan how I can shine my light. I will create the life I am intended to have! I will live the life I desire right now. I can control how I act and what I think and do this moment.

Rediscover the best way to use these gifts:

  • your body,
  • Your mind
  • Your energy
  • Your intellect
  • Your dreams
  • Your heart
  • Your resources
  • Your life
  • This day
  • This hour
  • This very moment.

Your number one job right now is getting better. Even though getting better yourself is at the top of the list of your jobs right now, helping others is part of that process. Take care of yourself. Do good things for yourself every day. You getting better will help your children and others who care about you, too. Plus, if you join us, you can spend some time helping other radical women in the MDR community. A study from the International Journal of Psychophysiology supports the finding that when we help a friend, we improve our own health. “By helping others, you feel that you’ve made a positive impact,” says study co-author Rachel Piferi, Ph.D. “This confidence equips you to better handle your own problems, which lowers stress levels.”

Research is also showing that a diverse group of people facing the same problem can come up with better solutions than a group of experts. Even though experts can be very helpful through this trip, there is unbelievable wisdom and power in a random group. Jeff Howe, in his book called Crowdsourcing has this to say: “A diverse group of solvers results in many different approaches to a problem. A central principle animating crowdsourcing is that the group contains more knowledge than individuals.” All the radical women in the community know more than any one of us on our own.

That’s why talking to other supportive women in the community is so important. That’s why sharing gut feelings, experiences, questions, discouragements, solutions and victories is so valuable. You become both a member and a mentor. You get encouragement and give it. You ask questions and share solutions you’ve tried that either worked or didn’t work. And it helps to hear other women’s stories of divorce. It helps us put our own saga in perspective … and let’s us see that other bright, good, strong women are facing (and overcoming) some of the same issues.

You probably won’t believe this, but your divorce can set you on a path to a life that is everything you want it to be … and even more. Everything that happens on this journey has the seeds of beauty and goodness in it. The toughest stuff of life often teaches us the most incredible lessons.

I know, too, some of this sounds repetitive. I have some favorite words and phrases I tend to overuse. And sometimes, because I’m past the pain, I sound too upbeat. Too peppy. Too much like someone trying to get you to buy the next best thing on those television selling channels … and that if you buy one today for $19.99, you get another one absolutely free with two special bonus products thrown in as well!! I don’t mean to sound like that. And I don’t want to minimize what you’re going through … the pain you’re feeling. But I have this desperate desire to get across to you that your life is not over. Love is not gone. A bright and glorious future is not too much for you to expect now. Really! In fact the lessons you learn through this will bring you a life brighter and more glorious than you expect! Really!

And believe it or not, in the future, you will be sharing what you’ve learned with someone else either formally or just in the course of everyday living. Women are nurturers and we are created to help. Once women learn the powerful, liberating lessons of this journey, those lessons are hard to keep it to yourself. Just wait, you’ll see.

Remember:

The past is past
This moment is the only one you can control
The future is up to you

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About the Author:

Suzy developed Midlife Divorce Recovery as a safe refuge for people healing and surviving the overwhelm of divorce. Starting her first RADiCAL support group in 2003 she's been helping women navigate the journey of divorce ever since.

41 Comments

  1. Gina April 14, 2012 at 8:13 pm - Reply

    Amazing!

  2. Suzy April 14, 2012 at 9:57 pm - Reply

    What’s amazing is what you see now as a terrible disaster has the seeds of transformation in it. Your life can be wonderful again. It takes time and work, but your life can be better than ever. Keep checking out the resources on this site and join us in the community. Ask your questions. Bring up your topics. Share your wisdom. Keep in touch.

    • Jenny September 29, 2015 at 5:05 am - Reply

      This sounded EXACTLY like my own story and resulting depression! It gives me hope.

  3. Kate May 26, 2012 at 3:34 pm - Reply

    My father is going thguorh a very nasty divorce with his second wife. The problem is every time the court date approaches, she files for a delay-or whatever the legal term is-and the date gets pushed back a few months. She has been doing this since 2005! She most certainly does not have any authentic or legitimate excuses for doing this. Everyone involved knows it’s B.S. but there’s apparently nothing we can do about it.They were married in New York state and moved back there before filing for divorce. She initiated the divorce and she alone is the one filing all these delays. They have been separated for a few years now and there is zero chance of reconciliation. It’s becoming a real toll on the entire family both emotionally and financially; we just want to go to court and end this nightmare once and for all.So does anyone know how to get around this? Is there something in the New York state divorce laws that can be used put an end to this nonsense or does anyone know some good free resources on New York divorce laws on the net?

  4. Bobbie September 24, 2012 at 7:49 pm - Reply

    Well, I give up on my plan to face divorce with teeth gritted doing it my way. It is not working. I have hurt a nice but not even near amazing guy, ran a fantastic man off by being to friendly on date 1 if you know what I mean and now I pine over random people after a single phone call. I have to figure this out before I drive my family and myselp crazy. All I want to do it think about how to find a man and what I should be focusing on is where am I. The divorce was final only 2 months ago, the horrible life my ex made for us began 8 years ago, and I moved 2 months ago. New job finally came but it has no benefits…I neeeeeed this group…I think to help me stop this spinning around feet off the ground.

    I can so identify with all the concepts presented here. I accept and will stop dwelling on the past while fixing my moments for my future.

  5. Suzy September 24, 2012 at 8:03 pm - Reply

    Hi Bobbie,
    We all tend to try to take care of this ourselves. Women are not very good at asking for help sometimes. I for one didn’t want everyone to know about it and second, early on, I really thought I could get better on my own. It just is so much easier with a group of women around who actually get exactly how you’re feeling …. those hopeful thoughts about someone new, the waiting for the phone call, getting involved too early. So don’t beat yourself up about that. Let me just say, though that two months is so early in the process even though the event was 8 years in coming. Most women do not really do the grieving necessary (even if the marriage was bad) until the divorce is really final. WE often have this hope in our heart that something will change and we won’t have to do this after all. Anyway, join us because everyone here gets it and the wisdom that floats around is amazing. Add yours to the pot! That’s what makes this work. Lots of different women with different perspectives adding her two cents worth… and before you know, real and lasting change happens. And usually some laughter along the way as well.

  6. Toni Ruf February 6, 2013 at 4:43 pm - Reply

    I look forward to joining your online group.

  7. Janeen Calaway June 18, 2013 at 5:18 pm - Reply

    I just want to say think you for posting your article. Reading it has helped me see that its my constantly asking of myself “Why?” that is creating the majority of my ups and downs. Unlike most women I am glad to be free of a marriage that was toxic to say the least, but like so many of us I waited too long because I loved a man so deeply I was willing to do almost anything to fix our marriage. Now, not only do I have no income but I have been diagnosed with Clinical Depression and Hyper Anxiety.
    I still have days were the tears want to fall but I do count my blessing daily, the first of which is my daughter and her wonderful husband who have given me a loving home to come to, and the second is all the support I have received form my other children, all of whom are grown, and the third is my inner drive to finally become the writer I have always wanted to be. I don’t worry if about weather or not what I write will be published, I simply write because the story wants me too. It’s my start after 35 years of marriage and I hope anyone reading this will find some small measure of comfort in knowing it can be done it just takes time.
    My feature is mine and mine alone to claim and I’m reaching out with both hands. Thanks again for being here.

  8. Krys October 11, 2014 at 4:05 pm - Reply

    It will be 7 years since my husband was granted the divorce (default my part) on November 7. We were together 20 years. I never signed anything so I got nothing. I still cry several times every day and dream and wish we could get back together. I barely get out of bed each day let alone step outside.I have forgotten who I use to be, and I still have so much hurt and anger.

  9. Bernadette November 16, 2014 at 12:06 pm - Reply

    I’m 5 weeks into separation. He has moved out and the divorce paperwork has been filed. We were friendly and grew up for a time as children in the same neighborhood. His father got transferred across the country. We lived our separate lives. He got married and divorced as did i. He contacted me via a website when he wanted to come back East. It was a glorious day and time. We dated for a year then lived together for 4 years and we’re married for seven years. He was the love of my life. I have no family to speak of so I made a life around him and his family. I moved with him to where his parents are as they’re older and we all got along so well. I was in all sense of the words: Ken’s wife and was made to feel like FAMILY. He was truly the love of my life. After 7 years one day he just said that he can’t do this anymore. That he didn’t love me the way a husband should love his wife. That he couldn’t give back to me what I was giving him. Well…you know the pain that followed. My emotional outbursts and the constant ups and downs was making it hard for him to even want to have a friendship- which he said he saw no reason we couldn’t still be friends, the way we started out. He wasn’t being cruel- just honest. I knew in my head that I didn’t want to be in an unloving marriage but my heart was torn to pieces. It still is. It’s only been 5 weeks! I’m 50 years old, living in a town that no longer has any joy or appeal where his family lives. I’m stuck here for another year bc the lease on our apt was just renewed and to break the lease would cost a stupid amount of money neither of us have. This is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. I’m lonely and truly alone. I have a good job that I’ve been in for 14 years and 4 good friends from it but that job is a 70 miles one way commute. My friends are far… they have been supportive but I k ow better than to think they’ll hold my hand through this. I also don’t want my life to be all about work. I need some solid advice on how to heal and get through this next year. Please.
    Bernadette

  10. Eva Marshall December 6, 2014 at 4:57 am - Reply

    I saw a page that gave Suzy’s contact information for starting a RADICAL group, but now I can’t find that page. Can someone please send that information to my email address? My divorce has been very traumatic – but I am healing, but support has been hard to drum up and could certainly use more, but don’t really have money for a membership at this time.

  11. G December 16, 2014 at 3:50 am - Reply

    Love the enthusiasm of this article.
    10 months into separation and I seem to be getting worse, can’t seem to get over the sadness/depression, I spend most days crying morning noon and night.
    Normally I’m a very happy and optimistic person, Until wife says she wants a divorce, I can’t stop obsessing about her, we have 3 kids. I’ve lost all motivation to live, lost my job, can’t seem to do anything but cry. Feeling hopeless and empty. I moved out in June, have the kids on the weekends but cant afford to pay support, feeling like a hopeless loser, even though I’m quite skilled and talented cant seem to put any of it to use. Tried a dating website but the thought of being with anyone or dating anyone else makes me feel sick, I just want my wife and family back, need some motivation help!!

  12. Mary March 22, 2015 at 4:46 pm - Reply

    Wow this breaks my heart reading some of the comments. But what I read is everything I am feeling. 52 yrs old. Married to my true love thought I was his true love aswell, then bang out of no where, even our friends were shocked. It feels like a death, I don’t want to get back with my x-husband he will never be faithful nor does he want to get back. But my heart has been blown apart, I feel like someone died. I sit around blaming myself. I put my guard down let him handle all of our financials/ he did everything for me. I entrusted my life in his hands I was always afraid to trust. But he had me conviinced I was his true love. Guard came down and well you know the outcome. Prior to our marriage I was in controll and strong person, could handle the world alone. Now I am worthless, want to be alone, I am emotionally dead. If I could crawl in a hole and die to forget this pain I would but I know I have to move on. I am hoping what I have read and follow the advice gets me moving. I don’t understand how I can still love someone who hurt me and throw me away like a piece of garbage, thats where I would like to punch myself in the throat. And I don’t know how I am going to handle once he goes in public with girlfriend, they are keeping things on the low till her divorce is final. How do I handle that?
    Well thank you for starting this midlife divorce recovery. I will follow advice. Thank you, and to all we need to not give up.

  13. tamara April 29, 2015 at 2:03 am - Reply

    I am now 6years divorced and I still suffer some effects of it.I was married 30yrs..he was the love of my life and will always be. I just was with him a week ago as my only daughter walked down the aisle with her true love.it was easier than I anticipated.not to ramble on but I have Addhd as well.I have my own coping skills and haven’t dated or even want to.I went through therapy and my lifestyle is very complex. I no longer cry everyday or even once a month.I thought I would die sobbing all the time.I now view my marriage,children,my home,and holidays together as a blessing meant to remember fondly.I had everything a woman would want and that’s my past blessing.it’s now time to create a future blessing. I don’t regret my marriage.it wasn’t all terrible.I keep it in a mental memory box to cherish.now I can do,say,love,and anything else I fancy.I love art and now I do all the art I want to. I live one day at a time,moment by moment ad grace allows.

  14. Christine May 14, 2015 at 3:14 am - Reply

    18 years we were married and the first half were the best of my life…hands down. But he was always jealous and in ridiculous but ugly ways. I wrote a story, a silly murder mystery solved by a cop. He is still convinced I had an affair with a cop. The dog chewed up a pair of underwear on the bathroom floor. Affair. He worked more and more at a legitimately demanding job, but our lives began to glide a part about 10 years ago when I had my third child and he opened the bar. I realize now that he was living his own life more and more and the attacks and general control over me is obvious in retrospect. But when it was good it was very good and up until this past November I would have said I was happy. Beginning in August he started not coming home until later and later. He didn’t make it to a single soccer match for his son and when he was home, more often then not he was glued to sports on the tv. We argued last summer because he never spent any time with the children. But it really began to sour in August when he again suspected me of having an affair. I wasn’t. In 18 years there has been only him. Not even an inappropriate coffee date. He had me on eggshells. Then in late October he went 2 days MIA during a citywide party we have in town. He rolled in with the sun and at ten while I was making breakfast he suggested a booty call. He smelled of alcohol and still had m a me up on his face and there was that breakfast and 3 kids down the hall….I laughed and said no. From that point on I was a slut and a who’re and a c#unt…He accused me of performing sex acts at work…because the only reason he could figure I wouldn’t sleep with him was if I was having an affair. He refused to apologize. He said that he had the right to call me anything and say anything if I made him think it. The holidays came and went in a weird detente. Then I came home with 3 kids and a pizza on a Friday in January and he’ll broke loose. He had received a call at the bar from someone who told him i was cheating. He refused to name the person. After a week of death threats and texts to friends suggesting I was harming the children and even a letter to my boss trying to get me fired infield a restraining order. He says I betrayed him and lied to get it and I actually removed it a few days later. Then the abuse started…vulgar non-stop threats about my character and how he was going to destroy me. After 6 weeks I filed for divorce…another betrayal according to him.
    Sorry this is so long. I just didn’t see it anywhere else. My friends suggested he was cheating on me but I don’t think so. I think I am married to a real life Othello. And the miserable part is that instill really love him. He’s suddenly nice again…still no admission of wrong doing but he made me think he might be willing to work on a reconciliation. Wrong. And I bled a little more. All I can do is act brave during the day then cry when the kids are in bed. I feel sick and destroyed and confused. How does a person do that after so much time? He went around telling people in this small town the lie that I cheated and it matters to me. He can be charming and for anyone unfamiliar with his history…which is about everyone…he’s a great guy. And I sit here scared I will have to choose between food or lights. And I cannot get the memory of good times, of his face out of my head. I am also so angry at him and cannot fathom how he can have treated me like he has. In short…I am a shadow of myself just putting up a front for the kids and the world with no idea how to carry on by myself.

    • Elena August 2, 2015 at 1:41 pm - Reply

      Hi Christine, I’m responding to your post from May 14th. I too am a single mother of 3 wonderful children and understand what you are going through. I have been married twice. Both times to abusive men. The way you have been treated is the extreme opposite of how you deserved to be treated. It sounds like you are a devoted mother who wanted nothing but to raise a family with the man she truly loved and cared for…and still does. But something came through your post that made me want to reply..and I have never replied to any on line thing before….your perserverence and you strong drive and your strength was so evident! No one could have endured what you have and still be well enough to tell others about it! And I know what you’ve expressed doesn’t even come close to what you’ve really had to live with! You are strong, intelligent, patient, honest, dignified, classy and a good example to your children! Don’t let anyone ever tell you or even try to tell you anything different. May God bless you and keep you on your path of VICTORY not victim!! That man needs serious help. He’s got problems that aren’t yours to fix…move forward and don’t let your challenges today keep you from the fantastic life that’s got your name all over it!!!!

      • Christine September 5, 2015 at 3:22 am - Reply

        Thank you Elena. Very much. I am working through a divorce now. There are sad days…or hours really, but we move forward. I am so lucky that the children seem ok now. I am not sure how the future will play out but I know there will be one. Life is just so weird and unexpected but my life isn’t bad. Bad is what I see on the television that people are suffering everywhere. Mine is a little death but one I guess so many of us can come back from. Or move through. Or something. I trust God and take it by the week. And I am grateful to kindness…thank you so much for yours. I wish you much happiness.

  15. sheena September 28, 2015 at 8:27 pm - Reply

    I will get my decree absolute next week. I am 61 years old, married for 38 years, with my ex for 40 years.
    He left me for a woman 25 years younger than us both. She has never worked, has no children, and has had affairs with older married men before. He says it was all my fault – I wasn’t affectionate enough, and busy with my career, my family, friends and hobbies. She just wants to be with him 24/7. So he has all he wants.

    I have been devastated, but this site has helped so much.

    I work 2 days a week, and the rest of the week, I volunteer in wildlife conservation groups. That has been my Saviour – being with like-minded people, outdoors, keeping fit and healthy. I have brilliant friends, but who are now letting me get on with my own healing, as are my grown up children. I have stopped telling them how I feel, and keep smiling when I am with them. I cry most evenings, but that is my “set time” to grieve, when no-one sees me. The rest of the time, I seem like my old fun loving self. I am waiting for that to be me 24/7, because I know that I am crying for him, but it doesn’t bring him back, it doesn’t interest him in any way, so I am only hurting myself.

    I have been fair and pleasant all through this. I let him take money, furniture, – half of everything, including my pension I worked 40 years for. No anger or bitterness towards him, or her. You can’t help who you love, and he loves her, not me. If you truly love someone, you want them to be happy, even if it is not with you.
    I have apologised for any sadness I caused him throughout our marriage – he has just blamed me, and never admitted his part, or apologised. That’s fine – I now have a clear conscience that I owned up to my faults, and I am better than his girlfriend, because I have never broken up a marriage, I have worked all my life, and have done my best for my children. Surely, then, I am the winner?

    I have a little house (had to sell my lovely big house after 25 years in it), I have enough money to get by (no more exotic holidays, but so what? He takes her now), I have my children and beautiful grandchildren, I still like my work, I am fit and healthy, have good friends and hobbies. So much to be grateful for. I am strong and independent. I KNOW I will survive, in time. It does help to think about what is positive in your life – even if it is only small things.

    But I have had to work hard at this, receiving counselling and making myself get up and go out. I would like other women (and men) to feel that they can do this. I am starting a counselling course, and would like to set up a divorce support group in my area (there isn’t one). I realise how important it is to talk to others going through the same thing.

    For those starting on this horrible journey, please believe that it is within your power to get through this. I still have awful days of sadness, but with Mindfulness, this site (support online), research, books, affirmations, etc., things do improve slowly but surely.

    I may live alone for the rest of my life, but know that I am a good person, or I may meet someone, and I can give them the true me – self aware, having learned lessons from the experience of a failed marriage.

    I wish all the people going through this terrible time, strength to survive and find happiness on the other side of it.

    • Carleen July 14, 2017 at 11:57 am - Reply

      To find the good in this is AMAZING. May God continue to bless you for all that you havs endured.

  16. Kim October 9, 2015 at 5:42 pm - Reply

    Very good article Suzy, I so enjoy your ministry and this is exactly what it is. You have a way with words that I just seem to never be able to get. From all of these comments, there are a lot of hurting people out there. It has been 4 years for me. Not only am I dealing with divorce but I find myself still dealing with the wasband too because of the effect he is still having on my grown children. My wasband is a addict, he just fell and broke his arm 2 weeks ago, wouldn’t get the drug test so workers comp won’t pay for it. He is now about to be homeless and wants to sleep on my 26 year old daughters couch. She was just married in August and has her whole life ahead of her. I know that I am better off without him due to the stress he put me under but it is breaking my heart watching my daughter who didn’t ask for this to have to deal with him. This situation is still another part of the process for me accepting the divorce, I see that I am better off now if I could just find the confidence to get out and meet more people and maybe find love again. I really have had no interest and still really don’t, I know that is ok and I will when the time is right but right now I still need to get over grieving and accept what life has thrown at me. I still have to work the 2 and 3 jobs to survive, and I don’t feel like I’m a very happy person to be around. These are the changes I still hope for, for me. I enjoy reading your comments Suzy and I truely appreciate all that you do for these ladies and gents. God Bless!

  17. Carolyn October 19, 2015 at 12:52 pm - Reply

    I just cannot stop crying and asking myself why did this happen to me. It has been a year and a half that we are separated and i cry every day. I wake up physically sick

    • Laurel October 22, 2015 at 3:57 pm - Reply

      Dearest Carolyn,
      Please know better days ARE coming!! I am SO sorry you are going thru this very painful process!! Please know I and many others are very proud of you being here, expressing yourself and being real.
      How can I help encourage you?
      Please know that you are valuable, treasured and a precious person. You matter and now will discover how beautiful and precious you truly are!
      I have struggled in many similar ways!!
      I am thankful that God has helped me and continues !! To show me how much I matter as a person, not only as a married woman.
      Please hug yourself, take care of you and keep going!!
      Keep reading info from this site and I hope and pray that you are allowing yourself to get plugged into a loving, bible teaching church. I will keep you in my prayers. You matter!! Keep going!!
      You ARE doing it!!
      Much Love,
      Laurel

  18. Joanne October 24, 2015 at 4:22 am - Reply

    Hi
    I have read the posts, divorce sucks!
    My husband wants a divorce. We have 2 kids 14b and 16g. He has been verbally abusive and disrespectful for many years. I knew this but thought I could change him and believed in “in sickness and in health” I’m learning that things happen to good people and I did my best to try to save our marriage but he did not. He has asked me to leave but I will not leave my kids. He is living in the basement and refuses to say anything to me. It is difficult to see him everyday and embarrassing when friends said they seen him on dating sights especially when we are not divorced nor seperated yet. I’m hopeful things will get better. This probably means without him in my life. I have much to be thankful for . It is difficult and I feel for every women going through it. I pray for us everyday.
    Joanne G

  19. david March 2, 2016 at 4:05 am - Reply

    Hi everyone, I’m a man suffering in the same ways you laddies are, this pain isnt just for women. Thanks for the theopy, I’ve been looking for like minded people struggling and asking the same questions as I have been.

    David

  20. Caroline March 3, 2016 at 5:50 pm - Reply

    I am divorced 1yr. I instigated the separation as he was drinking, lost his job, v controlling and critical. He said he’d never agree to a divorce, but 3 months after leaving us he filed on grounds of unreasonable behaviour. Turns out he’d met someone else.
    Had an awful year while solicitors sorted everything out. I got used to being a single parent, and worrying alot about the children, and about money.
    But I am fortunate to have a good job and so am just about breaking even.
    I didn’t contest the settlement… I just wanted to get shot of him.
    So compared to lots of others, it’s not been so dreadful, but still has had a big effect on me, my confidence, my energy etc.
    But I no longer live my life on high alert, waiting for the next critical comment, or taunting jibe, or misuse of our joint account.
    And, despite all the grief and sadness and anger for years gone by, I now feel that I am better off living alone than with him but in fear.
    Yes I am sometimes lonely but at least I am not anxious about my next move being judged or criticised.
    I am learning to love myself and realise that it’s not all my fault.
    It’s taken a long time to get here, and sometimes its felt like I’d be better off dead, but spring is here again and this year it looks more lovely than I’ve noticed for a long time.
    Anyone, guy or girl, reading this, hang in there and be kind to yourself.

  21. Elaine March 10, 2016 at 11:28 pm - Reply

    I have been married to my was band for over 20 years, they have not been easy since he suffers from mental illness, alcoholism and substance abuse. Last summer I was finally able to have him removed from our home, and filed for divorce. I’m 56 years old and have four kids living at home, they are ages 21, 17, 15, & 9. Although I was happy to finally end the madness that was our lives, it’s hard to emotionally move forward. Nothing has happened with our divorce process since my ex finds ways to stagnate it. We’ve suffered much emotional abuse, and my poor son, physical. My ex keeps finding ways to harass us, even though we have an order of protection. My lawyer seems elusive at times, I never get any firm answers on progress, or a timeline, etc. We’re in some sort of limbo. I’m not in a normal divorce but I feel so hopeless and out of sorts sometimes, even though I chose to get this divorce for the betterment of my kids and myself.

  22. Judy March 26, 2016 at 4:23 am - Reply

    I feel the same a lot of you just took me longer to get there.Once the cheating starts it doesnt stop.I tried everything I could but when someone doesn’t care as much as you do it’s time to go on.The lies and his job loss the first time and her phone calls and I was the crazy one.when we bought new wedding bans and his was destroyed I shou!d have guessed.This last time he chased neighbors wife for 2 Years but he wasn’t wanted here..Only because he didn’t want to be here.God showed me the first time he cheated and caught them together an image that’s there forever.God showed me this time I heard him talking to the neighbor on his cellphone that was the last straw.Married for 30 years.For some reason its my fault he says.Not My Fault!!!! We will be separated a year in June .I guess the worst is he’s next door.

  23. Holly March 28, 2016 at 3:41 am - Reply

    It seems that everyone on this site has a story to tell of being left by their man. I ,however, am the one initiating the divorce and am feeling so much guilt for it. I haven’t truly been happy in my marriage for many years and I have struggled with : Am I the one being selfish? I have gone to 4 different counselors to try to find how to be happy with him. I’m still not sure if the marriage I pictured is even a possibility. Are my standards too high? Do I require perfection in him? Just because he has lied to me over one thing SEVERAL times, does that REALLY mean I can’t trust him? These are the thoughts I struggle with all the time. I don’t feel loved by him with the standard that I set for ‘marriage/love relationship’. Is there anyone out there that struggles with this scenario?

    • Lisa April 6, 2016 at 12:45 pm - Reply

      I intitially my divorce and seem to be having a much harder time than my ex. He met someone 2 weeks after I filed and is already serious with her… Our divorce was final last December. My ex is a really really good guy, I struggled with the decision and still do. We spent too much time apart and I grew to have much contempt over different issues. Every time I wanted to talk or share my feelings, it was; “bullshit, you don’t feel like that, just get over it” While he never hit me, I had objects thrown at me over the past 12 years.
      I saw a side of him nobody else saw. Was I perfect? No. Did I make mistakes? Yes. I initiated counseling, we went for 5 months. He said he tried to work in our marriage, but all I saw was anger, objects thrown at me, not listening, not communicating. My contempt grew. He says I never tried to work on our marriage…. I asked if we could renew our vows, i got no answer. I asked him to watch Fireproof and do the 40 day love dare. “I don’t fucking need that” was what he said. Yet, he blames me… Has never apologized for anything??!! Says j am selfish and all I think about is mysef? I moved to a small town from a large city 2000 miles away from my family and friends…, ???
      I have so much contempt because after 14 years after blaming me, not saying he wanted this, yet in my eyes, doing nothing to work on the marriage, he has moved on so easily. Like I was nothing. It’s a small town, all I had here was his family and friends.. His family now hates me and I am the “bad” guy. I feel worthless and so frustrated, hurt and just plain contempt. 🙁

      • kristi May 15, 2016 at 5:29 pm - Reply

        You don’t have to hit to abuse someone. Blaming, throwing things, him being angry, refusing to work on your marriage and calling you selfish, later winning the family and friends over and involving them
        and them hating you because of what he said. Your Ex sounds like a narcissist. They act innocent and everything was your fault behind your back and in front of your face they make it seem like they are trying everything to help you out. I’m sure you weren’t innocent but be thankful that you dodged the 30 year bullet giving him all of your good years. I know it hurts now but you really dodges a bullet. Be thankful you can in time pick up the pieces and have a life that is good.

    • kristi May 15, 2016 at 5:45 pm - Reply

      He lies and you have lost your trust for him… you were unhappy and sought counseling but couldn’t get to the root of the problem. Something’s wrong and you cant quite put your finger on it- these are all symptoms of a marriage that you shouldn’t feel bad about getting out of. Marriage is a contract between two people that join them as one it is nothing more than a contract. To get out of a marriage that is no longer working for you, you merely ask for a divorce and null and void the contract. Marriage is just that- you once loved each other and now he has broken your trust and he doesn’t deserve to continue to be tied to you in holy matrimony. It is no more or less a contract and if you don’t wish to be tied to him any more, then get a divorce. Do not feel guilty. You should think more about Why is he lying? Sometimes it is ok to lie like if you ask if this dress makes me look fat and he doesn’t want to hurt your feelings cuz maybe you have both put on a few extra pounds- that is one thing rather than to say something very hurtful. It is the one that is out to hurt you that you have to watch out for. Be thankful..

    • kristi May 15, 2016 at 6:10 pm - Reply

      yes defiantly. You are not alone

  24. Kristi May 15, 2016 at 4:36 pm - Reply

    Lisa and Holly,

    I too now sit on the other side of a divorce after 28 years of marriage and two prior years of dating and being engaged. My divorce was final just after the 28th Anniversary. My story is similar in that I initiated the divorce because my husband was a total jerk to me and our kids, he was an alcoholic to boot- hiding his booze for the last 3 years of our marriage. My divorce has been final three years this year. I made a mistake thru loneliness and I thought I couldn’t financially make it so I let him back in to try again. That final year only confirmed that we were done.
    I was so in love him before we got married but something changed in him the day that we married. Driving back to our home from the wedding he threw me out of the car to walk in a strange city, as to show me a lesson. That week he pinned me down to the ground three times and took the distributer cap from the car so that I couldn’t leave and then he turned me over his knee and spanked me. I was appalled and I told him that I made a mistake and that I wanted a divorce and to get our marriage annulled. He began to beg me and shower me with gifts he treated me like a queen begging me and telling me that he would never do it again. I loved him so much I forgave him again we would be in bliss. Then just after I had forgotten all of the hurt and that I had wanted out he began to stop showing me his love. Soon he was angry again and he was back to himself. Everything was my fault. This pattern kept going throughout our marriage, about every 10 years I would remember that this was not what I wanted and I would express that I wanted out and each time he would suck me back in with his lies only to wait until I forgot and he would go in for the Kill once again, toying with me like a puppet. He was mean and called me names and said the worst things to me for all those years, each year getting worse. I lost my beloved fiancé… I didn’t know where the man that I loved so much was and I was waiting thinking that he could love me again as he once had shown me before. He said that I was fat or I was mean, he always put me down. He called me stupid, he said mean things about my friends and my family. He was extremely charming and handsome and very well put together, to others it seemed that I had everything. I at times even believed that he was my soul mate and that I did have everything until he would throw me off the train once again. There was so much hurt and pain. Life became like a rollercoaster, it went on throughout our whole marriage an it would always end with it being my fault. There also wasn’t any pleasure with love making he would only take care of himself. I only had an orgasm maybe a handful of times during that marriage. I did think that it was my fault, soon I would wait for him to go have a smoke or go to the bathroom and I would take care of myself. I was dying inside and hungry for love. In all of those years, I thought I was doing ok because I was standing up for myself, by asking him not to speak to me that way when he did those unloving things and said those horrible things. He even told me that my privates stunk and that’s why he couldn’t pleasure me. There was public humiliation early in the marriage and it manifested in many different ways. He would tell my secrets to our friends just to devastate me and he would do it sometimes in a mocking or teasing manner and then he’d just brush it off as I was too sensitive. Later everything was my fault. I laugh now because as I look back some of the things he blamed me for were crazy. Like I became responsible for the fact that he was FAT! I was never the victim, I always seemed to fight back or stand up for myself. I thought this was normal or that I could change him, or just love him thru it. Despite my attempt every time he did it I lost a piece of myself. Soon I realized that our children were being effected and I needed to do something. Often, he would threaten me for divorce and deny things that I would tell him saying that I was crazy. I learned not to tell him anything that was important the night before when he was drinking because he would call me a liar. So I would wait to tell him the next day, for important things that the kids needed done and often he would fight and scream so I learned to never ask him for anything and I would just do it myself. I finally lost enough of myself and couldn’t see that he would change for good if we got help, and I didn’t want to give him any more of my good years. I felt stuck he kept us in enough financial debt that I couldn’t just leave with out tipping the boat over. or he would suck me in with a new car. I prayed to God for an answer and soon I found us moving and just after the move the final straw came. That time it was our child that was assaulted, he tried to brush it off as her provoking him and that it was a normal response. I finally had the courage to keep my promise to myself and my children. Today, he made sure that he destroyed my name now I am the abuser, my children are damaged but I on my way to healing. I have reentered school and I have a bright future in Nursing ahead of me. I have met some new friends that are real friends. I am happy for the first time. This has not been an easy journey at all. My ex is a narcissist and he is always trying to find new ways to destroy my life and then act like he cares that he wants the kids to have a relationship with me.. He is always the VICTIM. I know one thing, is that he no longer has any control over me. He cannot make my life good or bad. Only I have the power to do that. I pray that each and every one of you find this power and that peace that is also within you. I do believe that you have to go through the mud puddles and even wallow in the mud to get to the life that God has in store for you.

  25. […] people dominate me. This is not real love. If you have been in a domineering relationship, give yourself time to heal, and surround yourself with people who love and cherish all of you, exactly as you […]

  26. […] depend on our attitude, not on outside influences. It’s hard to do sometimes, but we have to take responsibility for our own joy. Blaming someone or something else doesn’t gain us victory. Making the choice to take control […]

  27. Linda Stamper September 19, 2016 at 2:52 pm - Reply

    Everyone on here is saying my exact feelings. I’ve never been so hurt, humiliated and angry in my life! My ex left a week before our 25th anniversary, he said he wasn’t happy anymore and he wanted to live his life. He loves me but he’s not in love with me. He visits with our daughter often but never ask anything about my son and his 4 small children. He won’t talk about the past at all to anyone even his family, he won’t talk about what happened between us to anyone. He said he had to get away from everything and everybody. But he hasn’t stopped visiting or talking to our daughter. Why? He has blocked my calls and texts. He is now dating someone so he says!! I am still grieving the loss of him, and I still break down a lot. Its been 6 months since he left and our divorce has been final for 2 months! Why do I have to do all the grieving and wondering what happened and go through all the emotions? He’s not feeling anything!!!! I am so angry and hurt! My heart breaks for my son and my grandkids, it’s very unfair to them and cruel. Somebody explain this to me!!!

  28. […] In our effort to leave the past behind, we can sometimes put too much emphasis on the future, which feels uncertain and scary. What if, instead of looking backward or ahead, we decided to be present in the moment at hand. What are we being right now? […]

  29. Bob Mac April 20, 2017 at 2:09 am - Reply

    After 32 years together, my wife met someone who ‘woke her up’ and she fell in love, and got in touch with stuff she had suppressed all these years. After a year trying to resolve it, she left and is divorcing me. I am 59. I am reconciled that this is what needs to happen, but the hurt goes on and on. I do love her, and wanted to grow old together. We raised two kids, one on the autism spectrum. It was really hard, but we did it as a team. And just as our lives started to open up, and offer the prospect of some ability to enjoy more together, she falls in love and ends it. Our home was a refuge for family and friends who needed it. Now it is all over, and she is happily partnered with someone else. We spent our adult lives together. I will be ok, I love life and am grateful for it, but as I say, the pain of the loss keeps surprising me with it’s depth and persistence. Thanks for sharing these insights.

  30. Margaret Schoelman May 20, 2017 at 2:48 pm - Reply

    A wonderful read. Very validating to know I’m not alone. I feel hopeful and encouraged. My divorce was final 2 and 1/2 years ago. We were married 25 years and have 2 amazing adult children. We were together in raising our children then he hooked up with a little sister from his college fraternity. He stated to me that he needed someone who was “playful and exciting”. She has been married 3 times and broke up the marriage of her last husband as well. She had a career, played around while my was band and I dedicated out time to our family. I was lucky enough to stay home with my children for many years but find myself now in a challenging position career wise. I have several jobs and love each one of them but this was supposed to be the time to start gearing down. His girlfriend on the other hand is now retired and they have a brand new house together. I am living n a 400 sq foot apt that is the most peaceful place. Sometimes it is so so hard to get past the unfairness of it all but I have no doubt in my mind I am better off. Doesn’t stop the pain however.

  31. Brokenheart June 3, 2017 at 8:03 am - Reply

    I found this story extremely helpful. My wife left me 11 months ago telling me that she did not love me any more. I loved her with all my heart and had spent years building up her confidence and self-belief
    – encouraging her and offering complete unconditional love so her departure was a bitter blow which left me devastated.

    After a terrible few weeks, I slowly began to rebuild my life. I started going to the gym, making new friends, socialising with work mates and felt I was making great strides forward, despite occasional bad setbacks of profound sadness. Throughout this period I went through several phases – trying to hate her (only to break the pattern of constant longing for her), telling myself how far I’d come, wishing she would come back, writing down all the bad things of the relationship, and reminding myself of the good things in life.

    Then last week she sent me divorce papers without warning and I have now unraveled, I realise that the progress I made was essentially a mirage because I was simply in denial about what was going on….so now after 11 months I feel i have made no real progress because the realisation that she is not coming back and does not want to be with me again, feels like a form of death….because essentially it means an eternity without the person you love.

    My biggest problem is that when we first broke up I had hoped she would come back so was able to protect myself from a form of grief. Now I don’t have that false notion to help me., I realise I am being cast out of her life. and so the level of sadness is at least as bad as it was 11 months ago (minus the shock) so I feel I have gotten nowhere in a year.

    The worst thing is that everything I see reminds me of her because our lives were so closely intertwined. I pick up a cup in the kitchen and it brings me back to a memory of the day we bought it together. I see a documentary on a place and it reminds me of when we went to that place, i see a cuddly toy in my grown up daughters old bedroom while clearing away and i am back in the very moment when my wife and I bought ift for her.

    I feel an inner sense of terror and misery and wonder how others here have learned to overcome this emory issue. I would really appreciate advice.

    Finally, as mentioned by an earlier poster, your advice is needed by all victims of divorce – not just women – I hope you will expand the site to help loving caring men like myself get the support we need.

    thanks

  32. […] definitely have grief work to do and healing work to do.  But after that time of coming to grips with your new reality, you can start figuring out what […]

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