I wanted to get a divorce from my husband.  We had been together since we were 19, got married at 23 and had 2 beautiful kids.  I was an extremely supportive wife throughout our 20 years of marriage – I had my career and allowed my husband to figure out his passion.    He had a few start-up companies along the way – both great ideas, but neither ever really made money.  I worked hard at multiple jobs, just so that he could pursue his entrepreneurial path.

What I realize now is that my husband really never wanted to work hard.  He was not a grinder and was quite content to let me work multiple jobs and raise our kids, which gave him a lot of free time to do….well nothing.  Over the years, he became really good at doing nothing – putting in a few hours of work each day, watching television, puttering around the house,  and looking after his dog –while I juggled a career, family, and friends.   My own needs were left behind.  In my eyes,  I began to see him for who he was — lazy, unappreciative and self-absorbed, not to mention overweight, unkept and not so desirable.  A far cry from the man I first fell in love with.

After years and years of unhappiness, I finally found the courage to ask my husband for a divorce. He was devastated…. for a very short period of time.  The crazy thing is that It didn’t take him long to meet another woman, who was younger and attractive – apparently, he was a catch.   All of sudden my lazy husband, wasn’t so lazy anymore.  He was working hard at his job, working out at a gym, dining at hot spots, watching his weight.   He actually looked good, and was caring about everything, even his appearance.

I wanted this divorce, so why did I feel so bad? This was my chance to move ahead toward a better more fulfilling life. The process of getting my life back on track took me by surprise – I had no idea that I would experience such difficult feelings associated with ending my marriage.  Was it because my husband moved on so quickly?  Did I think he would wait for me to come back?  Did it seem like it was too easy for him to replace me?  I had no answers, just a lot of uneasy feelings with the ending of my marriage.

What I realized is that women more often than men, go through an emotional process after divorce.  There are many stages of emotions that I am passing through –sadness about the end of my marriage and the effects on my children, anxious about my finances and my future, anger that my husband is working hard at his job and himself to impress someone else.  But in the end, I wanted the divorce for a reason, because on the other side I am hopeful about creating a new life with new experiences and healthy relationships.  So far now, while my husband is fit, working hard and in love again, I am going to make sure that I properly process the end of an era.

Janet, 43

One Response to “I wanted this Divorce, so why do I feel so bad?”

  1. Rob

    Of course he is doing well. There is nothing uncommon about one spouse having one foot out the door, and sometimes the reasons are unclear, but they simply find themselves “unhappy” and divorce seems to be the catapult to finding “happiness” again. Unfortunately, what really seems to be the case is people find themselves unhappy, and instead of looking internally they look externally, and the closest person around is their spouse. So, they notice when they leave a shirt on the chair, or they don’t help with bringing in the groceries, or they are just annoying to them in general. When you leave your spouse, you put them into a position to go find someone else. That is one of the reasons you might chose to NOT leave your spouse, because when you leave them, they are motivated to move on with their life and better themselves. Plus, yes, they often find someone younger who is possibly a lot nicer to them than you were at times. I don’t feel bad for the author of this, because when you are making the decision to leave your spouse, considering how it will feel when they move on and find happiness, while you are still dealing with whatever internal things were bothering you, are things you should carefully consider.

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