I’ve finished all of the chocolate in the house, so before I start in on the Scotch, I wanted to ask if there’s any way to heal a broken heart a little faster? I seem to have nothing to live for and no happiness. My flame left me flat.
Feeling out of control
First, let me assure you that my heart (and probably the hearts of many of our readers) goes out to you. The sense of loss that a woman experiences when a divorce wasn’t her idea…when nothing seemed wrong, is like losing a loved one who dies unexpectedly. Only it can be much worse if the husband waltzes off into a lavish-looking sunset with a simpering little darling who gazes up at him with a fluttering heart and a set of eyelashes to match. Meanwhile, we ex-wives are often left to care for the kids, take over the tasks that used to be his responsibility and try to make ends meet (often the female is in worse financial shape than the male after the divorce). Who can blame us if we grow a little bitter and resentful? Life…no, make that the S.O.B., has handed us the short end of the stick it seems to us.
At the risk of getting a little mushy here, though, this is where you need to draw on your inner strength and spiritual resources. As many, many women will tell you: it gets better. In fact, my friend D. says it took her years, but she eventually met and married a man who adores her. And believe me, these two are a kick to be around, they’re having so much fun! So if D. can do it at age 50+, I’ll bet you can, too. After all, you’re the hot mamma that attracted this dynamo in the first place! Chances are, a man with an ego like that wouldn’t have sought you out if he didn’t think you were someone he could be proud of. So hold your head up!
Look at this as the opportunity to grow that it actually is. Women who are married to controlling men are usually surprised by the sense of freedom they get, once their husbands are no longer running the show. My advice is to seek all of the support available to you. You, my dear, are a trauma victim. (Bless your heart.)
Step 1: Get counseling. You deserve it! A good therapist is like a loving friend…with credentials, to boot! You’ll want to get some professional help for the kids, too, if you can.
Step 2: Try to cut your ex out of your life as much as you can. You’re only torturing yourself if you continue to look for his emails and texts, keep track of his comings and goings or have anything but the most indirect contact with him. Make sure your kids know that their daddy’s not a bad man and that you both love them very much. When he comes to pick them up or drop them off, treat him with dignity and civility for the children’s sake. But avoid the temptation to ask him how he feels (you know you are dying to do just that). Don’t!
Step 3: Develop yourself. Take up painting, hiking, bridge or roller blading. Go back to school or take a night class. This is your time to figure out what you like; not what your ex likes. Don’t neglect nurturing the spiritual side of yourself. You really need that time of meditation each morning. You need to journal. Many of us find great solace in going to a church, synagogue, mosque or getting together with Al-anon groups – whatever floats your boat (not his)!
Good luck to you. We’ll focus our positive thoughts on you for the moment and wish you God-speed.
Dear Reader: Do you have a question for the Divorce Support Examiner? Send it to [email protected] and watch this column for an answer. (Here’s my legal disclaimer: I’m not a professional therapist or coach; just a loving fellow-traveler who’s walked and is still walking along the same rocky path as you.)