Why Did He Leave? (Divorce)

whydidheleavedivorce

Often I have asked myself this question.  More hours than I’d care to admit, I’ve rehashed this question in my head, with my trusted inner circle of friends and with God.  Heck, I’ve even asked my STBX (soon-to-be-ex), but I could never get an answer that helped me to heal.

Until recently….

It seems that there are many of us who are dealing with marriages which have ended or are ending now.  I have met so many women who had their partners just not want to do this anymore.  Some of them have been on the separation/divorce roller coaster for awhile like me and others are just dealing with the sudden separation and currently are trying to straighten it out in their heads so that they can move on.

You remember those days, don’t you?  The looking back, trying to find what missing piece you didn’t see?  The questioning of yourself of what you did wrong or what you could have done right to make him stay?  The blame game we play on ourselves when we are the one who was left – so it’s our fault that we didn’t make them happy enough to stay, etc.  The vulnerable state of ‘poor me’ that we can stay in if we don’t figure out an answer that we can live with in response to why he left.  Or the opposite anger state of rage that can follow.

Here’s the answer I found.

His leaving was a gift to me.

Yikes!  How can I say this to you without sounding all Pollyanna-like and delusional?  You’re ready to hit the delete button, aren’t you?  You may be thinking:  Forget her, she doesn’t understand what I’m enduring.  But wait.  Please.  Stay for a moment.

There are gifts in his leaving you.  There’s a freedom in allowing yourself to continue to grow in mind, body and spirit without restraint.  Most of the time when a spouse leaves, when we really look back honestly in observer mode, we can see how the marriage hasn’t been satisfying to us either for awhile before the break up.  That takes vision though and sometimes it takes healing time or a really good friend to show it to us.  But it’s there.  Believe me.

Once you realize that, you can see how the disconnection between you and your spouse has grown which can be a natural offset of stress, work, children, responsibilities, etc. and you can begin to understand that sometimes the disconnect becomes so wide that there’s not enough to bridge the gap.  And that’s when it all falls apart.

Honestly, I never wanted this situation in my life.  I never wanted a divorce, nor a separation.  I loved him and I hoped to continue to support our marriage and weather the storms.  Frankly, we’d been through a lot in our marriage and I thought we were a bit shaky, but that the foundation of love and commitment was still solid.  I was wrong.

But I’m seeing the light of freedom.  Part of our crumbling relationship was that we weren’t growing together, but instead, we were growing apart.  Where I thought I was giving him freedom to play his sports 3 nights a week for stress relief, I was also enabling his disconnection from our family.  The darker his moods became, the more my love light repelled him.  I thought that my compassion for his stressful job and gratitude for his hard work would help to bridge the widening gap between us, but instead, it made him more resentful.  His darkness grew as my light grew.  Now years later when we are divorcing, it’s evident that even though he left, he’s still extremely unhappy in his circumstances.  Even though I was devastated to be left, I am now thriving.  I still haven’t changed my glass 1/2 full, rose-colored glasses sense of self.  I am still kind to him.  I am still me, and even more free to be me and starting to blossom as the days inch closer to the final divorce.

So my advice to you is to see the good in what is happening in your separation and divorce.  I have financial worries myself so I know it’s not all roses because those thorns are sticky.  I’ve lost an entire family unit (his) as a result.  But what I still have in my life are my kids and myself.  I’ve grown stronger since he left.  I’ve been learning to like myself, I mean, really like me and appreciate my inner loving light.  I am evolving into whom I have always known myself to be innately and it feels good.

I want to help you on this journey.  Reach out.  Sometimes in telling our stories, we can make sense of what’s happening when we hear ourselves recount the story in our head of how it came to be.  Sometimes a kind listener in observer mode can be helpful as well because we’re not in your story.  Or we’ve had a similar experience in our own lives and we can shed our life wisdom with you.

I’m here to support you, to help you, to hold your hand while you endure the unthinkable in your life.  Don’t be shy.  We are all here to help one another through the life lessons that this journey gives us.  We don’t have to do it alone.  Strangers can help when needed – remember the line, strangers are just friends you have yet to meet.

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Inspired By The Precious Moments

preciousmoments

Do you notice the precious moments in your life?  Do you take the time to acknowledge them when they happen?  Most of us are too busy in our lives to stop and feel the stillness in a moment as there is so much on our list to do everyday.  But perhaps a gentle reminder to be aware is needed.

In every single day, there are precious moments that happen.  Moments when we connect with someone else, nature, animals or even with the spiritual plane.  These are the precious moments that inspire us, bolster our spiritual journey and many times make us feel more alive.

Taking the time to feel in the moment is key.  Most times, there’s nothing earth shattering that can’t be put off for 5 more minutes while we enjoy that precious moment, but instead, we get caught up in the hustle and bustle and allow the precious moment to vanish into thin air without acknowledging it.

Life can be chaotic, but in slowing down, we can actually become more at peace.  Sparkles of precious moments are all around us if we only become aware of them.  Moments that we can glow with love and light and connect with others.

For example, yesterday I looked out my window and saw that my rose bush was blooming.  In the midst of a divorce, moving and juggling a thousand balls in the air, my mind said, yup, rose bush blooming and moved on hurriedly to pack another box.  But a little tug in my heart as I was packing away a vase made me stop in my tracks.  I planted those roses years ago in my yard, at a time when we were happy here.  I am moving so I will be leaving them here for the next family.  These are the last blooms I will know here in my home.  So I felt the precious moment, went outside and cut a few blooms and brought them in the house.  I put them in the vase that I was about to pack and placed them in the middle of my kitchen table.  As I looked at them there and felt that moment, I realized that the aroma of the roses was powerful, unlike we had ever had before from them.  A tear ran down my cheek and I smiled.  A precious moment of healing came over me and I felt at peace.

Noticing the precious moments as they whizz by brings more of them to us.  It’s like when you notice your child did something good and you praise them and they light up like the stars in the sky.  You made a difference in that precious moment.   You acknowledged their good efforts and connected with them.  Don’t we all like to be appreciated?

Well, precious moments do too!  And the more you notice those precious moments, the more you are grateful for them, the more will come to you!

Today see if you can spot a precious moment or two in your busy schedule.  Take a deep breath and be grateful.  Appreciate that unique and special moment for sometimes they are fleeting.

If you are inclined, please feel free to share!

I’d love to hear about your precious moments!

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Feeling Lonely

feelinglonely

We all get that lonely feeling at times, especially when there’s a break up in a relationship from a divorce or dating or a friendship or even with family.  There’s a point where we realize we are alone because we are no longer involved in that relationship and it can feel lonely and scary.

I know when my husband left the marriage, I felt very alone.  I couldn’t fathom how to navigate the days that followed when we had been a couple for more than 2 decades.  I had been so in love with the man I married and yet over the years, I hadn’t realized how much either of us had changed.  Voila, one day it was simply over because he declared it to be and so it was.

I mourned the loss of him greatly and grievously.  But as time began to heal me, I realized that my loneliness was a product of my choices and I began to change my choices.  I am one of those who is comfortable being alone and comfortable being with people, but I need a little alone time to center myself.  What I was equating as loneliness was simply my need to center myself.  Once I realized that, I began to heal.

Because let’s face it, we come into this world alone and we go out of this world alone and we alone are responsible for ourselves.  Don’t mistake me, I know there’s a mom who births us and perhaps we will have loved ones with us when we pass away, but we do it all on our own.

So alone-ness is not loneliness.  Being alone is one choice which is quite different from being lonely.  We can be lonely in a marriage, lonely in a family, lonely in a crowd of people or lonely when alone.  What we need to do is to strengthen ourselves so that we are happy being alone, happy with ourselves and work on our own person so that we are never lonely when alone.  We can reach out to connect with other people when we are feeling loneliness, but we can also fill the void up within ourselves.

Does that make sense?

So if you’re feeling lonely, just stop by here.  I’ll set out some sweet iced tea and a few cookies and we can sit on the front porch in the rocking chairs and chat.  Or we can simply sit quietly in companionable silence and watch the wildlife go by.  Come on!  Join me!

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How Divorce Affects the Whole Family

howdivorceaffectsthewholefamily1

There’s no denying that divorce affects the whole family.  Not just the parents who are divorcing nor the children involved.  It affects the whole family unit, including the other family members who are now tossed into the fray and choosing sides.  It’s never easy to navigate the treacherous waters which become mired into team wife or team husband (for simplicity, I wrote team wife/team husband, but it can be however your partnership looks).

Choosing sides is human nature I guess and even though I was hurt, it was natural that his family went with him and mine with me.  Every relationship is different and I will not extend my experiences onto the masses of how the disruption in the family unit affects the others outside the nuclear family.  It’s unique to every family and every individual in the family.  Even their most well-meaning comments or attempts to be kind are laced with the knowing that he is part of my family and therefore you are now not.  It’s hard to have been a part of an extended family unit for years, only to be dumped unceremoniously by the entire herd.

There are exceptions, although they remain quiet.  Those who understand, but must keep peace with the herd.  Those are the ones who reach out quietly to me and to whom I find their friendship even more precious.

Social media is difficult to navigate with extended outlaws now as well.  Having been unfriended, I have now blocked them all.  There was too much of my STBXMIL (soon-to-be-ex-mother-in-law) trolling social media, reporting to her son and getting between us as we tried to peacefully navigate the divorce.  It got messy, so now I am grateful that we are now in no-contact mode.

I feel as if I have been a team player throughout the separation and divorce process.  I have always remembered to send a card for every holiday to his whole family, even when he did not.  But that was the last straw.  I am hurt because I thought we could remain friendly.  But that is not to be.

Has anything like this happened to you?

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The Narcissist Buzzword in Divorce

thenarcissistbuzzword

Recently I’ve met a few women who are separated and divorcing.  I guess it’s only natural since that’s the spot I’m in as well.  We are all in different stages of the marriage falling apart.  Some are just beginning the journey, some have already divorced and moved on, and some are in the middle of the divorce or close to the end of it like me.

When we start to share our stories which invariably happens when we find out that we’re in similar situations, the word narcissist often emerges as they share about their STBX (soon-to-be-ex).  I find it fascinating these days how many women state that they were married to a narcissist.  I’ve done a ton of research myself because I wanted to know if mine had narcissistic tendencies and it amazes me how many of these men fall into that category.  Could we all have been that dumb when we were younger to marry a narcissist?  Or did the men develop into narcissists?  Or has narcissist just become another word for his mid-life crisis and the eventual breakdown of a marriage?

Is it a fad to say you were married to a narcissist?  It seems like it’s a buzzword these days.  There are so many articles written about divorcing narcissists and the empath women they leave in their wake.  I love that there is so much research to be found on it.  Truly, I applaud all the authors of these articles because I’ve learned so much from them and have begun healing because of them.  Thank you!  But, I wonder if we were really married to men who were narcissists?  I’m not discounting the stories I’ve heard, but truly, in every one of them (and there were quite a few), they each described their ex’s as a narcissist.  How could there be a posse of them now divorcing their wives all of a sudden?

So my question is – Do you describe your ex as a narcissist?  With what specific evidence do you claim he’s a narcissist?  Or is it just that he developed some narcissistic tendencies like mine so he can fall into that category?  Because honestly, I am sad for the whole female population if we are so under the spell of these male narcissists for such a long duration of time!

I know I sound skeptical and please don’t be angry with me.  It’s just that I was thinking today about it and wondering if we were all just too young to see the narcissistic tendencies as they were presented when love was brand new?  I wonder how we all could have been so hoodwinked as to not see things the way they were?  Or were we all just too blinded by love and manipulated by a narcissist so that we didn’t even know what the heck was going on before it was too late?

For me, I know that in the beginning, there was a sense of equality of power in the relationship.  He was a good man and frankly, still is.  He’s just not the man for me, nor I the wife for him anymore.  But, we were in love back then.  However, as time went on, I began to allow him to make more of the decisions as that’s how both of our sets of parents role-modeled marriage.  I thought I was being the good wife.  Then, it began to be easier to keep peace and to not upset him, so I stayed quiet and just kept trying to be the good wife.  I now see how I didn’t hold onto the equality in the marriage and I allowed myself to be subservient and to give him the control.  But I don’t blame it all on him necessarily.  I could have spoken up.  But by the time I tried, the pattern was too well-worn into the marriage and there was no wiggle room.  I hold myself accountable for that part.  It’s not just poor me.  It’s foolish me.  I relaxed my equality stance that we had begun the marriage with and detrimental patterns emerged from there.

I’m not saying you aren’t married to a narcissist.  Please don’t misunderstand me.  I’m not saying it’s a catch-all phrase for controlling men and the women who loved them.  I’m just putting out the question –

Do you think being married to a narcissist is the new buzzword in divorce?

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Radiate Love

RadiateLove

Radiate Love

It sounds like a simple request – radiate love – but sometimes we find it hard when our lives are seemingly filled with chaos, frustration and grief for the circumstances we find ourselves in at the time.

I know for me, there is much going on as I am sure there is for you, for these are trying times we live in these days.  News headlines are filled with negativity which in turn affects us all.  Unrest and fear seem to evade every newscast.  In addition, there may be frustrating circumstances beyond our control that add fear to our sensitivities.

So what can you do?

♥ Radiate Love ♥

There is an easy way to radiate love and it’s simple.  Choose love instead of fear.  Choose love instead of hatred.  Choose love instead of sadness.  Choose love instead of lack.

Choose to love yourself with all of your self-imposed flaws.  Be grateful for all of your gifts.  Be kind to yourself as you are kind to others.  Choose a little bit of quiet time each day to remind yourself that you are loved.  Hold steadfast to the knowing in your heart that you are good.  Take the high road.  Speak with kindness.  Be mindful of your words.  Do not speak of lack.  Trust in the higher power you possess inherently.  Remind yourself that peace within expands peace outwards exponentially.  Love heals so once we begin by healing ourselves, the love within expands love to the world and thus you can radiate love simply by being special, unique you!  Please give yourself permission to SPARKLE!

It’s a choice to radiate love or to radiate nothingness.  Remember that what you give out boomerangs back to you.  So radiate love and love returns to you.  Drop all the criticism which keeps you in a low vibration.  Instead, send blessings to those who bother you and soon enough, their annoyances will cease because you will have changed.

Our world needs more of your love.  Expansion of love brings healing, peace and harmony.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could all do our part and radiate love?  Imagine what a lovely world we would all enjoy!

 

via Daily Prompt: Radiate

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No Explanations

noexplanations

I stopped explaining myself when I realized

people only understand

from their level of perception.

~ Unknown

I am learning this lesson, slowly because I innately believe in the power of love and connection.  When you tell me what’s going on in your life, I immediately get in your shoes, try to understand your feelings and connect with what you’re trying to tell me so that I can be there for you.  I guess it’s just the way I’m built.  Empath?  Or because I’m someone who has packed a lot of difficult experiences into almost 50 years of living?  Whatever the reason, when you confide in me or talk with me, I’m there with you, holding your hand, walking on the path with you, if that’s what you need from me.

But there are people in my life whom I’ve realized that when I have a difficult time, they cannot go there with me.  Instead of wading through the rough waters with me, they stand on the shore and shout commands or question why or throw out barbs instead of a life jacket.

Like most women of our age group, I have had my share of past experiences which aren’t easy.  The current situation of getting divorced, having to sell our home and move, all while being the primary parent because he’s moved away, makes it difficult to plan my future.  Sure, I have goals I want to accomplish, but I’m in a bit of limbo at this point, a holding pattern of sorts which feels like torture at times since I’m a planner.  I like to know what my next step is and where I am going.  But instead, I’ve had to let go and go with the flow.  Of course, I’m steering my boat, don’t get me wrong, but I’ve had to just allow the future to unfold.  Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not a controlling kind of gal either.  I just have pets, my kids and me that I’m fully responsible for and time is ticking and we still have no place to go and start over.

If you’re going through a divorce, you will probably ‘get it’ but there are those who haven’t been through this type of situation, who just can’t get into our shoes because it’s too hard to imagine.  Or because they can imagine it and they think it’s easier than we are making it out to be.  Far be it for me to judge anyone else, (and I don’t), but I think there’s a bit of compassion missing when others refuse to understand the enormity of emotional, mental and physical drain a divorce, a move and financial stress have on women.  Let’s be honest.  We are all at once, taking care of everyone else’s emotional and psychological needs, plus our own and trying to stay centered throughout all the while trying to start over.  Dealing with a STBX (soon-to-be-ex) is stressful enough, but it gets worse when family gets involved.  Then there’s selling a home and moving which forces us to stare financial reality in the face and deal with it because – who’s responsible?  We are!  Yikes!  I don’t want to go to the dark place of pity.  Nope.  I refuse to dwell there.  I just simply stopped explaining myself to certain people.  Let their perceptions be just that, their perceptions and I will go on my merry way, doing what needs to be done to the best of my ability.

Thanks for reading…I needed a friend today.

Hope you are having a great weekend.

 

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