Stupid me, I honestly thought we had the perfect marriage! I’m writing you after two years of hell from the moment my husband told me “It’s over, there’s someone else,” until I finally stopped my weekly counselling sessions of the past 18 months. I got fed up with caring about what I did or didn’t do that was “wrong.”
We’d been married for 19 years. He worked at a large company, I worked in a small one, and ended up, happily working from home.
I could even be a present mother during Covid to our three children - two girls and a boy, now 17, 15 and 13. I thought everything was “perfect.”
All three kids followed their father’s love of sports, watched all the important hockey/football/tennis games on TV and also got to attend local hockey and basketball games when their Dad got tickets. I’d always been connected to music and regularly sang in a local choir. We all had lots to talk about at dinner… like I said, “perfect!”
The kids have adjusted though the youngest was very angry at first. They now go to “his” place to watch games. They know “her.” But they don’t mention details and I don’t ask. (It kills me not to ask). My ex and I discuss the kids’ schedules, nothing else. I hate him.
So, I’m writing to ask, how do I “move on”???
Life After Divorce?
You start “moving on” by putting one foot in front of the other. That means, you still go out to walk/shop/eat with friends and family whom you like, and also trust won’t dig deeper than you wish regarding the divorce.
You also keep doing things that make you feel good - whether it’s re-joining a choir, or finding a new musical outlet, sharing some of that interest with your children - e.g. occasional tickets to a musical or a group they’ll likely enjoy. All this is about maintaining your important connections.
Meanwhile, those 18 months of counselling you attended, deserve some reviewing all on your own, and without focusing on self-blame, because the reality is that you have no idea, what really motivated his decision to leave.
A “someone else” doesn’t drop from the sky. His new partner offered him something he didn’t want to resist... e.g. perhaps, feeling younger, less domesticity, more freedom to travel, only “visiting” children, no past sticking points in the relationship.
It’s about needs of his at that age/stage that you didn’t know and couldn’t prevent. But he knew that your joint parenting roles and family lifestyle would challenge his fantasies. So, he left.
And you can now move forward in your life. Yes, you can try online dating, or just tell your close friends, choir mates, etc. that you’re willing to meet new potential dates.
You can also join a new interest group - hiking, volleyball (your kids will cheer you on), a fitness class, dance class, a book club, writing circle, film group.
Spring is coming. You don’t need to sit home vegging out on TV series. You’re already in your post-divorce-new-life!
It’s a matter of opening doors that are now more available to you time-wise, and building the self-confidence you deserve from who you are, the core values that matter to you, how you’ve grown, and where you intend to be regarding your own self-image.
FEEDBACK Regarding the “first-time granny” who suspected marital problems (February 24):
Reader – “When she visits, offer to babysit so the couple can go out to dinner/a movie. There’s little chance for “couple-time” when there’s a young baby or toddler.
“Offer them a few evenings on their own, even a hotel overnight to rekindle what obviously was once there. They’re probably exhausted from toddler days and nights. Grandma gains quality kiddie time.”
Reader #2 – “Though the mother saw distance between her son and daughter-in-law on Skype, she should keep an open mind and wait until she spends time with them before saying anything. She might see something that’d give her a legitimate reason to talk to her son. Otherwise, her parting words means she’d leave them wondering what she was on about when it’s none of her business. She shouldn’t meddle based on interpreting what she sees on Skype.”
Tip of the day:
Divorce can be very painful, but there IS life afterwards, sometimes a better life. Even with counselling help, it’s up to you to “move forward” creating your own future, taking yourself to places, activities, and people you trust.