When my husband and I first truly split apart, it was hard not to focus on what he was doing and who he was with.
I had been with this man for over 17 years.
I was 19 when we first got together.
I had worked so hard to put things right while we were in counseling… To find out that it wasn’t going to work sent me into a spiral. I remember my husband calling me on the phone. He was working out of state and that is when he told me that he wanted a divorce. I was devastated. I couldn’t believe that the man I had loved truly did not want to spend the rest of his life with me.
I couldn’t believe that the man I had loved would call me over the phone to tell me that he wanted a divorce. I cried and begged for him to change his mind. He grew cold and angry and defensive. I became close to hysterical. I felt such a loss of control and my mind began to spin.
Who was he with? I thought.
Why did he want to leave?
What did this new life have to offer that a life with his family could not offer?
For the next few months, it was very hard not to live in my head and get carried away with my thoughts. It became so bad that I would look for answers to validate my fears. I caught myself looking through phone bills, credit card records, rehashing everything he had said and trying to see it in a new light.
What exactly had he meant when he said that?
Had he planned to divorce me all along and was just going through the motions of trying to make it work?
Some of my fears were validated. There were many discrepancies in what he had said and did. Did that help me? No. Did I feel any better finding these things out? No. Did it bring me to a calm, centered state of mind where I was focused on myself and my own growth instead of my husband’s? No.
The problem with getting carried away is that it only hurts me. I am the one who feels the physical pain, frustration, hurt, abuse, anger and sadness. Not my husband. He did what he did. There is nothing I can do about that today. I can not change what happened by looking for answers. I will never find logic in what he did no matter how hard I try to piece it together. I can’t take back what has happened. I can’t take back the past.
If I become carried away in real or make-believe drama about what is happening in the present, in my spouse’s new life, I am only sending myself into a state of shock, panic, and pain. I’m choosing to focus on him instead of myself. I am devaluing what I have today, who I am today, and what my new life will bring me. If I let myself get carried away… I am allowing myself to be abused. Not by my spouse.. but by myself. Do I want to spend my new life abusing myself? Do I want to spend my new life focusing on someone else? Do I want to spend my new life wasting time on thoughts that will only cause me pain? No.
“Dear God, help me to stay in the moment. Help me not to become carried away in thoughts that will only take away my peace of mind. I can do nothing to stop my spouse from walking the path he has chosen. Help me to focus on myself and keep my mind busy with the thoughts of my every day life.”
I am been there before! Then you have to decide to want to pick yourself up and dust yourself off and start focusing yourself…..it hard but one day at a time and learn and discover our own self again….because like myself I seem to forget who I was after spending so much time him and everyone else (my family and.or friends)….for the first time in many years I had a couple of months truly by myself….its scary because its new…but finding out who I am again and what I like again is simply wonderful.
I am SO glad to hear that Susan… so glad… it is SUCH a great feeling when you realize what you want and you begin to live a life that is authentic to you! 🙂 D.
My analytical self has been doing literally everything you’ve described. I know living in the present moment is key and I must help myself do that.
I knew far too much of what my husband was doing and each time he’d lie to me, it just intensified the pain. I kept hearing it’s not my fault yet the lies and the path to divorce just accelerated. No matter how much I tried to “solve” this, it made things worse. He was already gone; he was already planning and moving into his new life. I was and am still trying to understand how to feel and move on. I know I must let go of all this chatter of what happened – it won’t ease my mind. I don’t want to go back yet I still sit in this “space” where my mind wants to put these things to rest but can’t seem to.
It’s almost not fair! I understood our marriage was ending , but where is my exciting new plan?
I am grateful to have friends, a job (although I’m sensing it’s not the right one long term– it’s adding so much stress to my already stressed mind), and a place to live that is comfortable until I decide where I want to be.
So much up in the air, yet my soon to be ex has already moved on.
Getting into the present and staying there … There are glimpsed of that at times .
Yes… the person who has made the decision to leave is always several steps ahead of the mate who is just finding everything out and still trying to catch up with what is happening. You weren’t “planning” a new life like your mate was! I really thought about all the things I had wanted to do within my marriage that I hadn’t done and started building my world towards those goals… I found out very quickly what really mattered to me… and what didn’t. It was hard sometimes to focus on the present and future when I was still hurting from the past but by the time the dust settled I had accomplished so much just by moving forward. You will get there! 🙂 D.
I am so thankful for this site…. I am in the middle of the road to divorce and its like this site is watching me somedays with the meditations!
Kristi I am so sorry to hear that you are going through a divorce but I am very glad my words are here for you! Just keep moving forward… you can do it! 🙂 D.
My heart goes out to everyone here. And I appreciate the thoughtful and caring words. They are so needed– including what’s clear here that “you’re not alone”. May we all be even stronger and better, and gain direction and happiness as we pass through this turmoil .
Thank you Patricia…. 🙂
I could have written this post word for word. You have spoken every thought that has trampled my mind for the past year. I was so consumed with the same questions, even though my gut was telling me the answers. It still pains me that my husband told me too over the phone 1500 miles away that he wanted a divorce. It pains me that he didn’t think about his kids when he made this decision. His happiness was more important than his kids. How can someone be so selfish?
Keely… it amazes me as well that someone can make a decision like that but one of my mentors said something to me that really hit home… I was lamenting his behavior and his decision and the end of our marriage and I said how I wanted him back and my mentor said, “No you don’t.”
I thought she was being really callus and then she said, “Because you don’t want your son to grow up and treat women like that and you don’t want your daughter to grow up and believe that it is okay for a man to treat her that way.”
Wow… was THAT a perspective shift!
Today, I am thankful for the new man in my life… the one I never believed at the time I would ever find… who is loving and kind to my daughter and his… a great role model for my son… and PRESENT mentally and physically in our lives… You will get through this…. you will find happiness again and your life WILL be better… just keep moving forward!
I’m here for you! 🙂 D.
You speak such kind words. I too was going back and forth in my mind thinking that I want my husband to come to his senses. When you state the obvious, I know that I don’t want my sons and daughter to be like him. Its amazing the disrespect that my husband has for me, as if I am the guilty party. I have been with him for 13 years and out of everyone in his life, he treats me the worse, (while putting the OW on a pedestal), I guess being the mother of his children doesn’t matter. My 4 year old asked me tonight, “Mommy, Daddy does’t live with us because he doesn’t like you?” This just breaks my heart, my kids are very aware that their father doesn’t talk to me at all. What do I say to him? I can only imagine what is floating through their innocence minds every night. Even though I am still sad, I am also getting back to happy again. My kids bring me so much joy and laughter. I realized that I was bottling so much of myself, for the sake of being the perfect wife to a man who never really had me as a priority in his life. There were so many obvious red signs, that were over looked by the sheer fact that I loved my husband unconditionally. It took me a while to finally admit that to myself, I guess I am finally coming to a place of acceptance.
Yes… it is so difficult.. it is such a roller coaster of conflicting emotions. My ex-husband made me believe that I was the problem to everything and the OW was the answer to a new and better… happier life… but everything he did to me… he eventually did to her… jumping into a new relationship before a prior relationship has been ended doesn’t serve anyone well and doesn’t create a good foundation for anything to follow.
My ex-husband also said things to our children which were inappropriate and confusing. Try to stay on the moral high ground and not to take the bait! I know it is difficult… infuriating really… to see children used in such a manner. It leaves you to be the only example of how an adult should behave (adult, loving, and kind) during the end of a relationship but I know you can do it.
I’m struggling not to think of my ex. I initiated the separation. Now that I’m on my own and free my mind goes backwards to him. He’s got a lady, all the things I wanted him to do with me – movies, walks, vacations etc he does with her. It pains me. I want to focus on me but thoughts of the man I left keep flooding – the good bad and ugly.
I did the same, Carolyn. I can tell you that in my situation what looked like him moving on to a happy life all came tumbling down. He cheated on her, he used drugs again, he is currently recovering in a halfway house and she is an emotional mess. From my experience, people who really don’t take some time on their own and figure things out tend to end up back in a bad place. It’s like the go from A to M with you and then stop… THEN they start over with someone at A and it seems all fabulous and new and then they get to M again with that person and it fails miserably.
Statistically, 2nd and 3rd marriages are over 60 percent likely to fail.
Not that we would ever wish the worst on anyone but just note that jumping from one relationship to another, with little regard to your ex’s needs or feelings, leads to repeating the same pattern in your new relationship.
You will get through this… you will move forward… you will stop thinking about him on a daily basis. My husband wanted the divorce, but then refused to file, I filed, cried, and now…. years later I am happier and healthier than I have ever been in a new relationship with someone who is kind, respectful and wants to work through things and achieve success together.
I’m here for you! D.