Red Responds: Finding Peace After the Divorce

Donna in Calgary writes:

My ex-husband, who I considered my partner for life, walked out on me more than two years ago. I still blame myself and haven’t gotten over him, or accepted the fact that he recently remarried someone 27 years younger than him. Will I ever accept this latest news and stop blaming myself and find inner peace, happiness and love with another partner like I once enjoyed with my ex?

Dear Donna,

I don’t know that you will ever completely get over your ex, as you will always have a place in your heart for this man. But blaming yourself for everything that went wrong does absolutely nothing to change the situation.

I’m not going to gloss over that you weren’t perfect in your marriage, that you made mistakes, and that you often saw things the way you wanted to see them rather than the way they were. You understand that now, and you take responsibility for the part you played. But, ultimately, he is the one that threw in the towel and walked out the door. It hurt then, it hurts now and it most likely is going to hurt ten years from now. Blaming yourself inflames the pain, keeps it real and alive – but doesn’t change a darned thing. I know that you know this logically and realistically, but emotions tend to be neither logical or consistently realistic. So, if you sincerely want to move forward in your life and find the inner peace that has been so elusive, then you are going to have to work for it.

I know that you have talked with people about what you are going through, but sometimes that isn’t enough. The best thing you can do for yourself is to start from scratch, and find the therapist that is right for you. I see a 40-ish female psychiatrist who really resonates with you. It is going to take you a bit of effort to find her, but if you put in the effort, you will. She may seem a bit cold at first, but she has a wonderful way of quickly getting to your core issues with compassion. There is a methodology about the way she practices her craft that is more interactive than just talking, which has quite an impact on your ability to release some guilt and get back in touch with your personal power.

Your ex has moved on, married his choice of arm candy, and no level of shock and dismay can change that. You have no choice but to accept it. That doesn’t mean that you have to like it, nor does it mean that you are responsible. It just is. So, while there is no turning back or reunion for you and the man you were once married to, finding love doesn’t have to be this out-of-reach daydream for you – you just need to focus on healing yourself so that you will be able to recognize the opportunity when it comes your way.

Donna, your future is in your hands. Right now I see you going through the motions of living, but you have yourself so submerged in guilt and loneliness that you forgot where you keep that spark of life. Your ex-husband wasn’t and isn’t everything, he is just where you placed all of your hopes and expectations. Seek the help that you need, and you will essentially be changing your fate. You aren’t sentenced to be living your life alone and always looking back at what once was – you are choosing not to move forward and experience how lovely life can be. I do see you having a happy and healthy relationship in your future, but it is still a few years away. While that might not be the best news you’ve heard all day, keep in mind that it only happens because you do what you need to, and that is what paves the way.

Good luck,
Ext. 9226

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