A divorce, especially a divorce at midlife, is like a huge wrecking ball that comes out of nowhere and leaves you sitting in a pile of rubble that used to be your life. It’s a huge life-altering disaster. At least that’s how it feels. And it is life-altering. It does not have to be, however, an unrepairable disaster. What CAN be a disaster is if you refuse to let go of making your ex-husband responsible for the rest of your life. You absolutely cannot ignore his bad behavior. You can hold him accountable for his lack of integrity. You can be angry that he has made such ridiculously bad choices and has hurt, not only you, but your children, your extended family, your friends, not to mention the damage he’s done on other fronts.
But here’s the deal: He is not responsible for your happiness. You are. He is not responsible for how the rest of your life takes shape. You are. Forget about making him pay. Forget about making him understand. Forget about thinking he will feel badly about what he’s done. At the beginning of my divorce, I thought I could do all those things, but I couldn’t. You can’t either. God will do all that stuff. God will take care of that. You can’t. You have no control over your wasband or the choices he makes.
Here’s a great statement from Richard Carlson in his book, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff: “Blaming makes you feel powerless over your own life because your happiness is contingent on the actions and behavior of others, which you can’t control. So blame him for his bad choices and destructive actions, but stop blaming him for your life. Your life is your life, and you are responsible for how it turns out. When you realize that, you’ll be amazed at how truly incredible life can be because you can take actions every day to make it that way.
“Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath. For it is written, ‘It is mine to avenge, I will repay,’ says the Lord.” Romans 12:17-19
P.S. The picture above is a real-life RADiCAL woman from Kansas City!