It's been six years since my divorce!

by Lost
(Seattle)

It’s been six years since my divorce. I’m even remarried to a wonderful man. But I still have very strong bouts of anger, frustration, and a sense of loss. I usually start feeling this way when my daughter struggles and “misses daddy”. Or I hear about all of the fun things she does with her dad, his girlfriend, and her daughter. Or when I witness him be a family man for someone else.

We met in college. He called me his goddess. We were instantly inseparable. I had dated so many jerks before him that I thought I had truly found someone who showed me what love really was. To everyone around us, we were the perfect, happy couple. *I* thought we were the perfect, happy couple. We both had grand dreams how our life and family would turn out. We dated for five years and we were married for eight. But after our daughter was born, that is when I started to notice things changing. He wanted more time apart. We weren’t so “inseparable” any more. I admit, I didn’t handle this transition very well and I started getting down and worried that something was wrong. Plus, I had gained a little bit of weight after having our daughter, so I was insecure about that as well (not a lot of weight, I had always been a trim, fit person, so for me to put on 15 lbs was hard for my ego). He pulled farther and farther away. I got more and more worried. He started to work out and lost a bunch of weight. He also started buying new clothes and looking more fit and handsome. These were all telltale signs of an affair, but I couldn’t prove it. And of course, he made me feel “crazy” for even questioning him. One night he didn’t come home. He called in the middle of the night and told me he was leaving me. And of course I finally confirmed his affair. I was devastated. I was devastated for myself and also for my 20- month-old daughter. I did everything possible to try to convince him to work on the marriage so we could provide a nuclear family for our daughter. I know that all marriages have rough spots and good marriages take two people to make it work. So I was ready to dig in and figure out MY role in our downward spiral, because I know that no one is perfect. But it seemed that everything I tried to do to hold us together only pushed him further away. I watched the love of my life, my family, my hopes and dreams, and so many things important to me all drift away as he closed the door behind him. I felt worthless. I felt unlovable. I knew I wasn’t perfect, but I also knew that I wasn’t an unreasonable person. I wasn’t an alcoholic. I wasn’t into drugs. I wasn't abusive. But I never had any idea what he was thinking or feeling. While married, his actions told me how he felt in subtle ways, but never once did he sit down with me and tell me about his unhappiness. Not once did he say “You know, things need to change or I’m outta here.” He just told me he loved me, told me all the right things, while he let his actions tell me otherwise. I still, to the day, don’t understand how it all turned so sour. But to him, the marriage had become irreparable and he had no desire to work on anything - not for me, not for our daughter, not for anyone. He blamed me for his unhappiness, said he needed to “find himself” and “make his own decisions” and then he was gone.

I don’t quite understand how I can still feel quite this much pain after six years, and especially since I am remarried. I am starting to wonder if I will ever put this behind me. But I can’t seem to accept and be happy with this path that he handed to me. I never imagined that my daughter would have a divorced family (my parents are still together, my grandparents were still together, my aunts and uncles are all still together). I never imagined that my daughter would be shuffled between homes. I never imagined that my daughter would have step-parents and step-siblings. I never imagined that the man who seemed to love me so much would selfishly walk away and never look back. It is all so foreign to me, that I just can’t seem to find complete happiness with it, it’s like I short-circuited. Obviously, I make the best of it and it isn’t like I sit and stew about it every day. Plus, I have married a wonderful man who steps up and fills in where my ex left off. But I can’t seem to forgive. I can’t seem to let go of the pain. It can still feel so fresh sometimes. And I don’t know what to do about it.

Comments for It's been six years since my divorce!

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Jun 09, 2014
Dear Lost
by: Anonymous

I send you love, compassion & peace.

Apr 16, 2014
I am with you
by: Anonymous

I am so sorry for your loss, yes it is a loss, I too went through similar to you, my daughter was 19, we had been married 26 years when I found out about his affair, we went through a messy divorce, he declared he had no money, treated me like scum, I could not get my head around it, why he would treat me so badly after so many years together, he never once sat down to talk about it, he just packed his stuff and left. I too am married again to a wonderful man, I always say he saved me, because without him I wouldn't have coped at all, even with simple things like paying the bills, I love my new husband so much, but like you, I still feel so much resentment, and pain, I am constantly trying to work it out in my mind, I think the main problem for me is that he never spoke to me, explained why he did what he did, it will always be a mystery to me, I feel all the feelings you have my dear, jealousy of the relationship my daughter has with him and his girlfriend, I feel so left out of my daughters life, and my granddaughter who is 11 months old, I hurt when I hear of there get togethers, they go on holidays together, they go out for fancy meals, my husband spoils my daughter rotten, he has spent thousands on her, and I mean thousands, all from the spoils of his business that I helped him build up, when I divorced him, he declared he had nothing, now he has a 350 thousand new house, they both drive new cars, they have holiday homes, here and in spain, they go on fancy holidays all the time, yet he never gave me anything in our whole 26 years of marriage. yes it hurts, but you can't let it take over your life, easy thing to say, and so hard to do, I am with you on all you are saying and feeling, your not alone, I can't tell you how to cope, or how to move on, as I don't know these things myself, but please know your not alone, I am out there somewhere, feeling all that you feel. take care of yourself, and those that love you.

Oct 24, 2013
It's been six years since my divorce!
by: Doreen UK

Dear Lost I hear what you say. You will know when counselling has been enough and you are moving forward and healing from your past. I understand how you feel about your EX and wishing that nothing had changed from your life. Explore in counselling why you feel jealous about his getting on with other women but not YOU. But don't take it personally. We all have quirks in our personality that will work with a certain person and not the one we want or are with. It could be this simple or not related at all. I think it may be tied up to the statement you mentioned that your parents are still together, and also your grandparents. You perhaps feel that you have somehow broken this cycle of PERFECTION. You probably see it as a failure and can't move beyond this point. Make sure you get the right counsellor/therapist. A therapist would work at a deep level to explore more what is trapped in you and causing you difficulty moving beyond the point you are in at the moment. It will work itself out. Best wishes.

Oct 23, 2013
Doreen UK
by: Lost

Thank you thank you thank you for giving me advice on the "how" rather than the "what". I know what I need to do. My brain knows that I have to let it all go in order to move on and finally be happy. I just don't know how to do it. And I don't know how to stop being jealous when I see him be the family man with someone else. She is a nice person and she is good to my daughter...I have nothing against her and there is a part of me that is actually happy that he found someone nice (his previous girlfriend was not so nice). But there are times where I just can't stand it! I can't stand that he couldn't do all of this for me and my daughter! Especially after 14 years together! I just get so confused, because when I really sit down and think about it, it isn't like I want him and all of his issues back. Not now. But I can't stop wishing that he was different 6-7 years ago so we wouldn't be here now, if that makes any sense. Sigh. Ok. I will go look for a good counselor. I went to counseling for a year after the divorce, but apparently that wasn't enough. :)

Oct 22, 2013
It's been six years since my divorce!
by: Doreen UK

Dear Lost, Due to lack of space I have to expand on my first post.
Many people can offer their opinions to you and sometimes based from their own experience. In all the time I was repressed all I would hear is FORGIVENESS. I struggled with it for years. I felt damaged and everything was all tangled up and I couldn't separate it. I didn't know who I had to forgive for what. When I went into counselling my therapist never once mentioned forgiveness. His skill in therapy brought my repressed feelings up to the surface and they evaporated. I never had a problem with forgiveness after that. It was never THE ISSUE. Which is why I often get annoyed with people who use FORGIVENESS as a way of finding release from HURT. Having been healed after counselling. I don't have a problem with forgiveness. I can let the problem go. In forgiving someone I believe that we don't have to maintain a relationship with the person we have forgiven. We can go our separate ways and maintain a life without them in it. But we can be FREE in our Spirit when we don't hold anything against them. This is what forgiveness is. Releasing a person from any hurt toward them by our actions. I don't think you have a forgiveness issue. Everyone has a right to express how they feel and have their feelings validated without being judged. You just need to work with someone who will be sensitive enough to let you express your hurt and any anger around what your husband did to you. I hope that life does improve for you and that you do get the support you need so you can move forward with your life. Best wishes.

Oct 22, 2013
It's been six years since my divorce!
by: Doreen UK

Dear Lost stop beating yourself up, as if you have done something wrong for your Ex to behave the way he did. He is irresponsible. What your EX did was to disturb your comfortable secure life. Because he was having an affair and you suspected it, has caused you to look deep within for failings. Perhaps in those 6 years you did not process things and just repressed them and tried to move on with your life. So what is happening now is that all those repressed feelings are pressing for resolution and you don't know how to resolve your past so you can move on with your present and future. Best thing to do is firstly: Go and see a counsellor and resolve in a counselling room those years with your EX and what it did to you. Any repressed feelings will come to the surface and will never bother you again. (that is if you get a good counsellor and the right one who will help you move forward in the right way). It is possible. I DID IT. All my repressed feelings came to the surface and almost magically evaporated and never bothered me again. I am a much happier person for it. Counselling was the BEST INVESTMENT I ever made in my life and I did it in my 40's when I was married with 3 children. It was painful, and expensive. But worth every cent. I lost my husband of 44yrs. to cancer 17 months ago. Only good thing now is I don't have to worry about losing him to another woman. Often a woman can come along and steal your man, and it has nothing to do with you. Secondly: you can keep a journal and write out all your angry feelings towards your EX and what He did to you and your marriage. How he blew up your world etc. You will find it a very cathartic experience and has its own therapeutic way of Healing from loss. Then you can find a way using your journal to change the way you think. Letting go of the past is not easy I struggled with it. It became all tangled up and I couldn't separate it all so working with a good therapist worked. A good therapist is able to bring what has been repressed to the surface so you can deal with it. Often if our hurt and past is all locked up we can't get to it to let it go. But it is possible so don't give up HOPE. Also NURTURE YOURSELF. Do as many special things for yourself every day to build up your self esteem. I nurtured myself this way from grief. What your EX did to you was CRUEL. He built you up and then let you down. Make up your mind that NO MAN will ever do that to you again. You are worth more than that. Once you get your EX out of your Hair those past memories will never bother you again. What has happened is your daughter's interaction with her father has dredged up old feelings and triggered off your past life. It is not easy to heal from that. Then CONCENTRATE on the Man you have in your life and Love him so much and never let anything INTRUDE into your happiness now. REFUSE to let your EX spoil your present and future. BE HAPPY. Don't look Back. Best wishes.

Oct 20, 2013
Your choice
by: Judith in California

Thanks for writing back. Your writing " Hope it's just a phase." You say that as if you have no choice or control of your thoughts. It's when we forgive someone the awful actions inflicted on us that we become free. That way they o longer have control of us. We choose to set them free and no longer associate ourselves with them or their actions. Most of us have been rejected by someone in our lives and we moved on and had happy lives. Your selfish, narcissistic EX does not deserve your thoughts or time.
I was married to my husband of 35 1/2 years . He passed 3 years and 1 month ago. There are things he did that were very hurtful and made me very angry but I loved him and was his caregiver for 3 1/2 years until his death and I , for a while , kept struggling with my anger over the hurtful wasted times but I chose to forgive him and let me and him be in peace. We just have to realize that some people will dissappoint us and that it isn't about us at all it's about them. Tell your daughter this. IF you still struggle with this then maybe some counseling will help you sort it out.

I pray for and your daughter a long and happy life with your new husband.

Oct 20, 2013
You are right
by: Lost

Yes, Judith, I am quite aware of that. I know what I am supposed to do. It's the "how" that has escaped me for six years. And the weird thing is that I felt pretty good for the two years leading up to my wedding this summer. It has been the adjustment for both me and my daughter after he moved in that brought everything up to the surface for me again. I'm hoping it is just a phase.

Oct 19, 2013
More to loose now
by: Judith in California

DEAR LOST, You WILL RUIN THE PRESENT RELATIONSHIP IF YOU DON'T LET GO IF THE PAST. THE NARCISSISTS THAT LEFT YOU BEFORE WAS HAVING AN AFFAIR. HE JUST STOPPED CARING ABOUT YOU. AND THAT'S THAT. HE LOST INTEREST AFTER YOU HAD HIS CHILD. MEN WHO CAN'T HANDLE THE CHANGES OF WHAT HAPPENS TO A WOMANS BODY AFTER CHILDBIRTH AREN'T MEN OF CHARACTER. THE MAN YOU HAVE NOW DESERVES HIS WIFE IN THE PRESENT TO HAVE A GOOD FOUNDATION. STOP THE WHAT IFs. You have more to loose now.


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