July 21st: Getting Over What Other People Think

green-ferns

It doesn’t matter.

Repeat this to yourself.

It doesn’t matter.

When I first began to walk through my divorce, I couldn’t stop myself from worrying what everyone would think.

I felt myself spiraling out of control.

I felt lost.

I didn’t want to talk on the phone.

I didn’t want to go out.

I was afraid.

What if someone calls me and they ask me about my spouse?ย 

and…

What do I say?

How do I stop myself from rambling on about all of the intimate details of our relationship?

How do I limit what I say and still sound adult, loving, and kind when speaking about my former spouse?

Every time I opened my mouth, I caught myself telling people more than they should know.

I would hear justifications in all of my statements.

I would leave the conversation feeling worse than I had to begin with like, I had revealed a private part of myself, my life, to an acquaintance and now that person could take that information and use it in any way they wanted.

They could tell my former spouse.

They could gossip.

Everyone would know.

I felt that I had made myself look bad by speaking about my spouse in a way that was inappropriate.

I didn’t want to give up my private information to someone outside of my marriage.

I didn’t want to say hurtful things about my spouse.

No matter what part my spouse played in the break up of our marriage, I had spent many years loving and caring for this man. I did not want to speak badly about him to anyone.

I would cry to myself, swear that I wouldn’t do it again and then… I would run into someone and catch myself once again trying to manipulate and justify what had happened in my marriage… trying to defend myself… what I did in the marriage… what I didn’t do in the marriage… to someone who wasn’t much more than a stranger.

I was giving them power over my life.

It was not their business.

The cycle was hurting me.

I had to keep repeating to myself:

It doesn’t matter what they think.

What matters is what I know.

Repeat that to yourself:

It doesn’t matter what they think.

What matters is what I know.

And what did I know?

That I am a good person.

That I loved and cared deeply for another human being.

That I gave all I had to make my relationship work.

That I have value and that I brought value to my relationship.

That I did the very best that I could and no one knows that better than I know myself.

No one can take that away from me… what I already know in my soul… in the deepest part of my heart.

People can gossip and say what they want, but it is up to me not to let other’s opinions of me diminish who and what I am.

I am a good person.

I am a child of God.

I am a caring and compassionate person who gave my best to my relationship.

It doesn’t matter what other people think.

What matters is what I know.

“Dear God, help me to believe in myself. Help me to let go of what other people think of me. Help me to remember that you and I know the truth about my relationship with my spouse and that’s all that matters.”

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12 thoughts on “July 21st: Getting Over What Other People Think

  1. I think this is absolutely one of the most powerful posts you’ve written. You blew me away with your honesty and touched right inside of me. How often I have felt the same way! The vulnerability as I go through my divorce sometimes leaves me gasping for air. You wrote this so well – thank you.

    • Thank you Judy. I really struggled with this one during my divorce. Then one day, much later, I started realizing that people weren’t as interested in my problems as I thought! LOL and that often they were just waiting to tell me what they were going through and explain their side of things… so funny to realize that!

      • I think the part that is most wrenching is the challenge of containing the pain from divorce. It takes a lot of self-control for me to hold back divulging personal details. The weakness is the hard part. What other people get from that wasn’t important for me. I just want to feel like I am more in control!

  2. This is so beautifully on the mark! Thank you so much for giving me words to focus on… At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what ANYONE thinks (including my former spouse) it only matters what I know. Thank you!

  3. Even without divorce, I often find myself in this position. My family invited him to stay with them for two weeks, but he missed his flight because he was too intoxicated to board. I don’t even have the stones to tell them! I just said the airline messed up and didn’t elaborate…… But it feels like CRAP.
    It’s probably only a fraction of what you go through every single day, and having to justify your own actions is probably an even heavier burden. My thoughts are with you.

    • Oh I remember those days… the missed flights… the missed events… I used to cover for him often for fear that they would never forgive him… but after a lot of work… and it is difficult I know… I just told the truth and continued to tell the truth… and tried to stay in the “10 words or less” conversation (ex. He was drunk and missed the flight) over time, he realized I wouldn’t be covering for him and that he would be dealing directly with the consequences of his actions… it is really difficult to change that dynamic but you will get there! ๐Ÿ™‚ D.

  4. I agree with Judy …
    And I’m finally to the point where I realized I’m not covering for him or ME anymore. I was hidden, I was making excuses for the little things and the big commitments .

  5. Wow! You are a much bigger person than me. I spent our whole marriage making excuses and covering up for him, no more. I am not mean but the facts are the facts. The further out I get the less I feel the need to really explain anything.

    I still am finding it hard to love myself. I know I am “fearfully and wonderfully made” but his narcissism did a number on my psyche. I hope one day I can claim to know these things. Thank you for your insight.

  6. “The further out I get the less I feel the need to really explain anything.” That’s it right there, Michelle. As time passed… people saw the truth and people will continue to see the truth. I was so worried that someone would think that he left because I wasn’t good enough… or that I hadn’t tried hard enough… or that he would talk about me to other’s and try to make me look like the “bad guy” in all of it as he tried to cover his tracks. It was a blow to my ego and I was sure everyone must be talking about us and I had to “put it straight” make sure they “got it right.” What I found is that he did try to make me look bad but the people who had witnessed our twenty year marriage knew better… they had seen it all go down… and as time went on…. and he soon… began using again and cheating on his new wife… the few people who had sided with him realized that I had been telling the truth all along. Today I almost always keep my tongue and watch and wait in a “he said she said” and wait for the truth to be revealed over time.

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