My husband and partner of 15 years abruptly decided that he didn’t want to be married to me anymore.
I’m having a hard time moving on as he handled it in a way that still haunts me.
I never saw it coming, he’d always said he loved me more than anything and that he’d never leave me. We were also trying for a second baby at the time.
Then, one morning, he turned into a completely different person.
He said he wasn’t happy but that nothing was happening yet, and left for his brother’s apartment for two weeks. He wouldn’t return my calls and he wouldn’t visit with our three-year-old.
When he eventually returned he said horrible things to me about how I wasn’t good enough for him. It ruined my self-esteem.
He agreed to only go to three counselling sessions, where he just stared and said nothing.
A year later, I’m still feeling traumatized. I’ve tried to rebuild my life by moving closer to family and making a few friends, but I’m still reeling from what he did.
How will I ever recover from this?
Here’s how you’ll recover: You will put one foot in front of the other, because you must, your daughter needs you.
You will look up and see that the people who care about you are waiting to do what they can – parents or other closest relatives, friends, neighbours, even kind strangers. They want to help you heal.
This happens through re-engaging with the immediate world around you – families with children your daughter’s age, pre-school or daycare staff, local shopkeepers to whom you’ve always chatted and shown interest.
Some will know that you’ve been through a hard time… that’s no shame because so have many of them. Loss of one kind or another is a common factor in life. That’s why most decent people are kind and caring about others’ pain.
You’ll also go to counselling - not to find out how/why he could do this to you, but rather, why and how you must not let his weakness drag you down.
I say weakness, because even if he had concluded that your marriage was flawed in some way, how he treated you was cowardly, cruel and selfish.
Over time, you’ll see him in that light, with whatever was good from the past clouded by his spinelessness.
So, harness your own decency, your inner strengths and ongoing responsibility to your child, and work to put his weakness behind you.
Reader’s Commentary Regarding the winter phenomena of adults-turned-idiots during snowstorms across North America where cars abound:
“First, wherever you live, don’t believe that “all-weather” tires are sufficient. Snow knows better. When shovelled into masses (where you need to park) or frozen into ice heaps blocking the way, those tires are useless.
“Second, winter driving requires a special skill-set. Apply brakes gently through pumping them. Jam them on and you’ll skid into the car ahead or a scratchy heap of hard-packed snow.
“Most side-streets have cars parked/stuck on one side among the snow and no room for other cars to pass. Stop honking and yelling. The line inevitably moves in time.
“Learn the “rules of the road” for which car lane (if two) has right of way during show conditions.
“Next, drivers of long, large trucks should use wider main roads unless they’re delivering directly to the side street.
“Mostly, leave early, keep calm, understanding, and be helpful when possible. Spring (and likely flooding too) is coming, eventually.”
FEEDBACK Regarding a “friend” wanting to fix a recent widower up with a date (January 29):
Reader – “The man needs to talk about his wife. Why can’t the “friend” just let him do this? A sudden cancer diagnosis, death after just four months, and it’s only three months since she died.
“My husband passed away six months ago (only five months between cancer diagnosis and death) and the last thing I’m interested in is a new partner.
“I’m tired of people who want to “do something for me.” Nobody can do anything that’ll make me feel better.
“What does make me feel better is friends who listen, not people who get uncomfortable whenever I mention my late husband’s name.
“Perhaps you could mention ways to help a bereaved friend – e.g. Hospice services, Spousal Grief Group, a Bereaved Families association, grief counselling.
“And, of course, supportive family and friends who offer companionship and a listening ear.”
Tip of the day:
When a devastating marriage break-up occurs, don’t let an ex-spouse’s weak behaviour define you.