Dear Readers - A searing incident in one woman’s life after 18 years married to a man she loved: Her husband ended discussions and therapists’ appointments and left, permanently. His wife gave him a sandwich to take to work.
Then she went through emotional hell till she found her own power and learned to live her best life.
Julie Starr, author of Your Husband Left, Now What? is that woman. She studied to became a life coach and specializes in helping female clients who’ve experienced similar emotional trauma.
I was eager to read her book because of my own work in relationship issues. By coincidence, Starr is also a distant family member who I haven’t seen in many years.
Life coaches have become a popular resource for clients struggling with deep emotional pain, but focused more on getting through their present and future trials with less emphasis on the past than some other counselling approaches.
In 2006, Starr graduated a three-year Certified Coach program from online Coach U, which bills itself as the leading global provider of coach training programs.
“It’s who I am, a cheerleader for others, client-guided and dealing with all kinds of relationships,” Starr says.
There are many current books on “abandoned wives” and the ones I’ve read/written about have something to offer people looking for meaningful direction going forward on their own.
So, I asked Starr for her most essential tips in her own words:
1) Allow yourself to fall apart and experience a grief process, to get through your adjustment.
2) Know in your heart and gut that there’s no shame in being left. Your value doesn’t decrease based on someone’s inability to see your value.
3) Hold on to your power. Women often attach their heart to their partner. But your first relationship is with yourself. So, learn how to be happy with yourself.
4) Ready yourself for the legal maze of divorce. Read up on what’s entailed, and if necessary, hire a divorce lawyer.
5) Find and surround yourself with supportive people. Nurture them and they’ll nurture you. Your needs include body, mind, and soul through self-care, self-calming and, Starr adds, a spiritual sense, such as contemplating the larger meaning of life.
6) Be your own hero. On serious matters - e.g., money - analyze the situation, strategize and then take action as an informed individual.
I finally asked Starr, what about men who are left by their wives?
“Women leave and the husband’s left in shock. While it’s not my niche for coaching, I wish that people of every gender and lifestyle find their better life after trauma.”
My eight-year-old daughter has a very close friend whose mother has anxieties. New kids have joined their classroom and my daughter’s eager to know some of them better through playdates.
But the close friend and mother keep nailing down the girls’ playtime together for every following day!
My daughter’s upset that she can’t get to know someone new.
How do I handle this without hurting the girl or upsetting the mother? The original friendship isn’t the problem, it’s the overkill of taking up all my daughter’s time.
Grade 3 Social Pressure
Include the close friend along with a new girl.
Assure the mother that her child’s welcome often but the girls need to expand their closed circle and adapt to added friendships as part of their social skills. Encourage the mother to also include another schoolmate in playdates at her place.
Readers’ Commentary Regarding the teenage girl whose mother’s dating her friends’ father (November 2):
“For students with family issues, high school can feel tortuous.
“The girl has every right to be upset/angry. Her mother’s romantic relationship could jeopardize her relationship with her best friend.
“Moving to a new house/neighbourhood can be challenging and emotional, particularly after her father leaving five years ago.
“Additionally, moving in with two new people and the dynamics of melding families can be unsettling/difficult for most people, particularly teenagers.
“Telling her she has time to adapt and to ignore the gossip lacks any tangible way for her to communicate, and resolve her intense and valid emotions.
“If she would speak to her mother about her feelings, without name calling and judgement, she might come to a more peaceful place with all of these changes.
“A therapist would be able to help them communicate in a more respectful and helpful way.”
Tip of the day:
There are counsellors, therapists, coaches, and books to help you improve a present relationship. Or achieve a better life for yourself.