Arguments, heartbreak and marriage problems can distort your perspective and make your decision making skills equivalent to a love sick teenager.  One of the most challenging things I realized days after my separation was that I wasn't over my wife or my marriage.

I had to acknowledge the reasons why, in order to let go and move on.  

A few days away

The first night was tough.  A lot was said, discussed and planned.  And still yet, I wasn't prepared for the emotions I was experiencing.  I missed my daughter, my home and my life.  The apartment was blank, white walls and limited furniture from Goodwill®.  I couldn't sleep, cry or think.  I just felt terrible.  Like I was living in someone else's life.

It didn't take very long to realize divorcing was not at all what I wanted.  I still felt like I had a choice for my wife to stop loving me.  In fact, the only choice was to let her go or live indefinitely with this pain I felt.  Our separation followed an emotionally charged confession about an addiction that threatened our relationship from years back. Her confession after 2 years of lying, covering up and deceit ripped through our 10 year marriage in less than 30 seconds.  Shock.  I felt an unbearable shock. 

The crime itself suddenly became less important and the lies were all I could think about.  Quickly my mind raced through the last two years of our life; thinking of every time I thought something was not right, but somehow convinced myself it was- 

Thinking I was a pretty good judge of character, as a husband, I became relaxed and comfortable in love.  In a matter of seconds, my self esteem and emotional intelligence went right out the window.

Until that moment, I believed wholly in my spouse, perhaps like she could never do anything to harm me.  In fact, it was the one part of my life, along with our children, that I knew I had right.  Sadly, she was up against her own greatness.  If she was any other wife, I likely would never have been so hard on her.  But, I adored her and still, today, I think she felt the same about me.  But, I felt betrayed and angry and at that moment made a decision to end our marriage.  An ending of which I was not prepared.  It took years from my life but it didn't take my life because I finally realized what I needed to do.

Get over the moment in time that nearly destroyed my life

She had time to adjust; 2 years she prepared. I had one moment in time and I failed...

One of the most chilling things I realized after my separation was how dreadfully I responded.  I said and did things that were completely terrible.  The shock was 100% negative and she was my 100% positive.  Part of me was in disbelief in what she was saying was correct.  I knew she was confessing, but I couldn't believe her or what she had done.  It just seemed surreal.

This was the one time I cried.  I felt so powerless to stop hearing what she had done and my emotions just took over.  I told her to leave and that she had cheated her entire family.  I said terrible things about everything I could think.  It wasn't because I believed in everything I was saying. 

Looking back on it, I realize I responded with an intent to hurt her as she hurt me.  I struggled for a long time to understand and accept what she had done as an on-going break of our relationship, but it took years.   All the while, she seemed to recover the separation and divorce far better than I.   Then one day, I realized why.

Every deceitful choice she made over those two years removed a piece of her love for me; I still had all my love for her the moment she confessed.  But, she was already there, ready for the end. 

She hurt me, but I wasn't perfect either

It was awful for both of us.  It doesn't mean my behavior over the preceding months to her confession was stellar.  It's like I knew she was falling out of love with me, but I lived in denial.  Instead my subconscious fears elicited snide and painful comments.  I'm sure my behavior spurred some of her poor decision making.  We fueled each other's path to our marriage's end.

Getting past that moment in time

It's time to let go. Those days following our separtion actually lasted for years.  The separation and divorce didn't just end my love for her.  I seemed to wake up in those 3 days after our separtion for the next 3 years.  Depressed, resentful and missing her.   I finally knew it was time to get into therapy.  I needed to find a way to take my life back, but without her. 

I regretted waiting so long.  But, I think in some ways I knew therapy would be like the "The End" of a movie that was clearly over for years.  I was that person sitting there watching all the credits and bloopers knowing it's over but somehow still sitting there expecting more.

I knew my feelings I still had for her were harmful to my moving forward in my life, but I couldn't bring myself to reconcile with them.   I thought if I asked for help it would be to remove my love for her and I wasn't ready to do that.  Now I see that holding onto a relationship that was completely over was pointless.

Love is a two-way street.  Not only was she no longer in love with me, but as my therapy progressed I realized I was no longer in love with her.  I was in love with who we were when we were truly in love.  My therapist didn't work my love out for the wife I loved, she worked out my obsession over my lost marriage.  She helped me accept my ex wife's choices and believe in new beginnings.

Since then, I have changed a few things, improved a few things and let go of the past.  I had to first accept the choices my wife made without me.  I found a way to forgive her and myself for all that happened that ended our marriage. 

It took awhile, but finally I acknowledged it's not a contest to see who can let go first.  Everyday I focused on the future - the past and my pain slowly just dwindled away, naturally.  

Focus away from the past

In letting go, I finally experienced the opportunity to start over.  I understood this was the final stage of divorce.  I have a better outlook on my life and future.  I finally decided what I needed to achieve a better life wasn't my former relationship with my former spouse, but my own happiness.   This was something that I lost while our marriage was failing.

It may take awhile to find your happiness, but the only way you can start is by focusing on it with unlimited self-potential.  Let go of the "spouse you were" while married and be the individual you are and want to be in the future.  You don't need to change everything, just change the things that hold you back.  Don't expect to do this 3 days after your separation.  But, don't let those days turn into years. 

Life will go on and you will survive, but you need more

If you let the past control your life, the most you will do is survive. Take control and enjoy life again.  Find what you lost over the years or denied yourself from achieving.  Be who you are destined to become as an individual first.  There is no better time to accomplish this goal.  As your personal successes build, your lost love and failures will quickly fade in the background. 

Life is strange.  We sometimes fail to realize what we are living in is what we are living with.  Once you rebuild your life around what makes you a stronger happier individual, you will then realize your fullest potential.   

Do more than survive.  Conquer.


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