I was over being scared the day I realized that I had finally had enough of pretending this was a workable relationship. That fear that I wouldn’t be able to support myself is what kept me there for so long. I said I cannot let that fear keep stopping me because I was losing more of myself the more I argued with myself to stick it out. “Be grateful for what you have” is the comment I got from people. “At least you have a man.” And then I would remind myself of that over and over, day after day, year after year. “Get out before you have to stay there and take care of him”, my friends would say. And I said that I didn’t want to abandon him even though I felt as though he had abandoned me years earlier.
And I did move out temporarily to live with my brother while I adapted to this new reality. Immediately I had a sense of relief and knew that I would rather be alone than lonely in a relationship. Then I focused on being in my own place. Finding an apartment, getting rid of “stuff”, years of accumulated things to help me feel better in my lonely marriage.
I don’t know how to be grateful enough now. When I go home to my apartment it is mine! I sit there in peace and quiet and I can find myself. It is different. I did not miss him – I did not miss anything about the life I left. I was very ready to be done with it.
I knew in my heart that a relationship is more than just taking care of someone else. I kept trying to make myself happy in that unhappy relationship. I was constantly trying to argue myself into being happy with what I had – that it was enough. But I was really trying to make it something it wasn’t. We went to a marriage counselor one time. As I heard him describe me to the counselor and realized he does not see me as his partner. I am his keeper. I took care of everything and I would be the one to take care of everything until the day he died. I had become the caretaker and that is what he missed about me.
At last I am not torn between two things. There was nothing left there. I was the maid, the accountant, there is nothing for me there and it was a relief that I didn’t have to keep arguing myself into staying there. The whole mind game of weighing the time I had invested or trying to make something out of what was no longer there was over.
My brother said: “You are a vibrant woman and you are smart and you need to have love in your life”. Just to keep him quiet I went on a couple of dates and they were awful. “You have to kiss a lot of frogs to find a prince”, he said. Then, just as I was arguing against this dating thing, I got a message from an old colleague that he was coming to visit his son. I thought it would be nice to catch up with him and his life. So we had dinner – and then dinner turned into something more. And now for me, the conversations are about care and new things we are discovering every day! I am still cooking and cleaning and I have a partner who will carry the vacuum downstairs for me – it is very different and I like it. I like it a lot!
If you want to help your client find their happiness, explore these questions with them:
What do you say about your current situation to make it OK?
I you had a blank slate and could have what you want, how would you feel right now?
What fear is keeping you from daring to make that dream reality?
Do you want to learn more about how to help your clients to make better decisions about Divorce and to claim their happiness?
Register for our free webinars from the calendar on our home page or request a complimentary discovery session to find our of Divorce Coach Training and Certification supports your goals to make a difference with the work you do. Our next CDC Certified Divorce Coach Program starts May 11. Class size is limited to 12 people.