I’m a father, 43, divorced, now in a happy relationship. It took a lot of hard times to get here.
My younger sister had health issues requiring a lot of attention from my parents throughout her childhood. I’ve learned through a very good therapist, that the reason from my growing up angry and carrying it into my adult years, starts back then when I wrongly felt that I was second-rate, not good enough for them, and unloved.
I stuck close to the first female who “loved” me in high school. She alienated me from my family and made all decisions for me/us.
We married as soon as I finished my college degree and had two children.
But her persistent “control” over me became our main arguing point. I’d get verbally belligerent and she’d respond with more rules and orders.
But I was succeeding at the job I managed to get.
When I discovered that my wife was cheating on me, I was almost relieved. It was a way out.
You are correct when you’ve written that divorce, even if necessary, is hard on kids and my two sons were no exception.
But here’s the surprise: After I got over the difficulties of having to move and saw a therapist “for the kids” (but it continued about me), I felt I was starting my life anew.
While divorce shouldn’t be the answer to everyone’s marital problems, it saved my relationship with myself and most importantly with my children, who are now adolescents.
Best result is my having a true partner in life who’s great with the boys and has brought me closer to my sister and our parents.
My question: You recently wrote that there’s no best time to get a divorce if a marriage is troubled... but when is the best time for getting counselling? And when should you go on your own even if your partner refuses to join you?
Second Chance Happy
Getting counselling should be seen no differently than seeing your doctor for a pain or condition that’s not getting better with regular remedies.
Dealing with mental health concerns is as important to well-being as treating a persistently bad cold or flu. Ignoring them makes you feel much worse.
To all readers: Don’t delay talking to a psychotherapist, psychologist, couples’ counsellor or other mental health professional, when you’re persistently feeling depressed, angry, anxious, sad, constantly stressed.
(Free access to mental health information is available in Toronto, for example, at 1-866-585-6486).
A Google search will lead you to licensed therapists in your locale. Many see clients virtually during the pandemic.
Readers’ Commentary Regarding people who get involved with “Bad Boys” and “Bad Girls” too (Sept. 22):
“Some of the women attracted to bad guys, for example, end up alone for their whole lives. Most are intelligent, beautiful women that get tangled up with these studs who are only interested in one thing.
“A lot of those men are egotistical and narcissistic, and they typically treat women very poorly.
“My stepdaughter’s 38, slender, athletic, intelligent, has a great job and is single!
“She’s attracted to those studs and has brought several of them home over time. They act like “heroes.” But each time, the relationship only lasts six months!
“Then she’s devastated and wonders why.
“I’ve told her to seek someone who’s equal with her regarding values and education.
“It’s so hard to see her in low spirits because of these guys.”
A dear friend passed away recently. Her obituary shocked me. For 50 years, whenever together, she railed against her husband.
She was well-respected among her professional peers, but her recently deceased husband never kept a job and was a party animal.
Yet her obituary was completely baffling to me. She’d described him in glowing terms though she’d never before said a good word about him.
Why do people do things like this? I now feel used for all the time/help I freely gave her over five decades.
Was I Mis-led?
Perhaps she realized, when writing her own obituary, that it wouldn’t comment well on her own judgement in staying married to him, to denigrate her husband publicly as she had to you.
Or, close to her own passing, she wanted to depart with a semblance of charity in her own profile. OR, venting to you all those years, helped her stay with a man she actually loved.
Tip of the day:
Don’t let negative self-images and mental health issues stunt your life. Seek professional counselling online, or through referral.