“The only person you have control over is yourself.” ~ A Universal Truth

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Every time I finish leading a Midlife Divorce Recovery support group, I find myself amazed at how beautiful, fun and intelligent each of the women are. I am left, once again, saying, “What in the ‘heck’ is wrong with the men who would leave these women?”

And even though each woman sitting around the table is going through likely the most difficult thing she will ever face, we are still able to help one another. Every single woman has something to contribute; a helpful insight or experience to share. It’s the sharing of lessons learned through the “ups and downs,” that make the recovery support groups so wonderful.

I will never forget a participant from a few years back. One night at support group she broke down in tears, frustrated that her wasband had never acknowledged what he had done, nor had he ever taken responsibility for the pain that he had inflicted on so many people.

An older relative of the woman in the group responded to her by saying, “picture it this way… picture him as a paraplegic and you are asking him to move the piano. He simply does not have the capacity to move the piano, and the sooner you realize that, the sooner you can let go of your desire to hear the words, or feel the emotions you want from him.” I remember how struck I was by the insight she shared, and it had been more than 10 years since my divorce!

Looking Ahead

Many women, especially those whose wasbands were unfaithful, abusive or battled addictions, struggle to find validation for their actions. The majority of the time these men indicate that if only she had somehow been different, he would not have been forced to do what he did, rather than take responsibility for his part in the matter.

The bit of wisdom that the woman shared reinforced the truth that most of our ex’s are simply incapable of giving us what we desire for closure. We have absolutely no control over anything they say or do, but we do have control over ourselves. In the end, the best thing to do is get the resources to move the piano on our own.

“Do not fret because of evil men or be envious of those who do wrong, for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away. Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.” ~ Psalm 37:1-4 (NIV)

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