Letting Go

Some of the hardest post divorce task I've had to tackle have been in the areas of 'Letting Go.'

First, I had to let go of material things.
Days after Bob moved out of the house, I stopped the lawn service, discontinued the wine of the month club, beer of the month club, and dinners out. I checked books and videos out of the library and joined Price Club. I waited for sales before making purchases, and for the first time I set foot in the Dollar Store and Tuesday Morning. I began to frequent Goodwill and Salvation Army stores, and scour yard sales. I even shopped at Wal*Mart regularly. Slowly but steadily I stopped paying retail and studied wholesale prices. I had no choice.

Second, I had to learn to let go of former dreams.
We had plans to build a lake house on some lake property we had just purchased. I had dreams of getting my novels published. A more immediate dream had been to visit Hawaii. All these had to be swept aside as I concentrated on emotional and financial survival.

Third, I had to let go of my former friendships.
Oh, I kept most of our friends, but the nature of those friendships changed. All of a sudden I found myself living in a largely female world. Where before Bob and I would go out as a couple, now I would meet my girlfriends for lunch. Since my divorce I've seen some of the men I used to see weekly only six or seven times. While those "couple" friends would invite single men to their parties, dinners, and get-togethers, I seldom got asked to attend them as a single woman. I had to let go of my anger and disappointment towards those friends. They were treating me in a different way. I could either accept this or move on and find a new, close circle of friends who were not intimidated by my single state. I chose to move on, connecting with old friends less often and concentrating on my new life.

Fourth, I needed to let go of the anger.
This has been the hardest task. I haven't completely forgiven Bob for giving up on "us" or forgotten some of the hateful things he said, but I have placed him far down the list of people who matter. Consequently, my anger about the divorce has lessened. I found this one thing to be true: It is impossible to love someone you don't respect. Once I lost my respect for Bob, my love for him disappeared. Once I stopped loving him, I could let go of him and most of my anger.

Fifth, I needed to stop thinking of myself as a failure.
Through 6 years of dating and 26 years of marriage I did my best. I loved Bob with all my heart. In my mind I was a good and devoted wife. Yes, my faults and actions contributed to the demise of the marriage, but I did the best I could given my background as a child of divorce and his seasonal depressions. Once I stopped thinking of myself as having failed at marriage, and once I stopped beating myself up, the healing started.

Read more on this topic:

Coping: Letting Go of Anger

Divorce Support Forum: Letting Go of Anger

Strategies to Cope With Anger After Divorce


FI0NA said...

Can you explain that friend thing? Are they somehow more threatened by a single woman than a single man? Yes my old friendships have changed too. It never occured to me that they would desert me, or have any prejudice about divorce, if indeed that is what it is, I am still me.

Anonymous said...

I just found you and started reading. I am so happy to see that the feelings I have right now will change and things will get better. My husband of 28 years left on our wedding anniversary for a woman he found on the internet. He is bipolar and I believe that you experienced many of the things that I did. Can't wait to read more!!