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A Simple guide to dealing with the Divorce Tsunami and the Aftermath

Submitted:Feb 5, 2010    Reads: 115    Comments: 0    Likes: 0   

Putting ME first!
A Simple guide to dealing with the Divorce Tsunami and the Aftermath
Chapter 1
Always listen to your instinct
This is something you should never abandon. If your gut tells you, then it usually is.
Women have, through time always believed in their gut feeling and just because there have been technological advances and explorations of other planets, there is no need to abandon this primal feeling.
My instinct was telling me, no screaming at me for months that something was wrong. But did I listen? Oh, no. "Just shut up, I kept yelling back. It is all in your imagination!!!!" The tell-tale signs were there. The only missing aspect were the Vegas signboards with all their vulgarity, to point the way to Sodom and Gomorrah which was what my marriage had degenerated into. In my defence, I must indicate that I never believed that someone I had been married to for almost 10 years would defile the marriage by being with a mistress and then coming back to me every single night without any pangs of guilt!!! Boy, was I wrong? Mr. Wonderful had indeed been living the lie for 4 years and by his own admission, the past two years without any scruples because he had rented a place and used money earned within out very meager earnings to fund the "love-nest".
Women have an innate instinct about many things but we tend to shut out these "feelings" because society frowns upon them. After all, one cannot go through life basing all your decisions on your feelings. Surely, a few rational decisions must prevail.
Why then did I shut out the feelings? Why did I refuse to listen to the little voices which were no longer just a chorus by the end of last year but a fully fledged choir.I began to have many Eli Stone moments. All that was missing was the appearance of George Michael. Not that I would have minded. I was one of the legions of Wham fans back in the day! And George would have been a welcome deviation from Mr. Wonderful!
So how does a person deal with the "Always listen to your instinct" dilemma?
#1 Instinct first speaks, you listen
#2 She speaks again, you make a note
# 3 She speaks a third time, you review your notes and you develop a plan of action
#4 She begins to holler, you execute the plan and never look back
That should help you deal with the problem. Whatever it may be. I must stress at this point though, the length of time between the actions may vary, depending on the problem itself!!!
Chapter 2
A leopard never changes it's spots
A friend of mine always says "Once an adulterer, always an adulterer!" But I always believed she was just bitter from her terrible experiences with men and she was jealous of us- the women with husbands who were in it for the long haul!!! If I had bothered to listen to those pearls of wisdom several years ago, the hurt and pain would have been less than it is now.
Whenyou have invested of yourself in a marriage, it is difficult not to feel hurt and pain whenever he strays and it is often the sense of duty and perhaps some pride whichoverwhelms your decision to give him a second chance.
But how many second chances do adulterers need?? How many transgressions do you permit them to have before you realize that this is part of their genetic make-up and despite all your best efforts, they will be travelling down Adulterer's Lane again some time in the future? What guarantee do you have that the next time he strays and you feel humiliated, that he will apologize profusely and beg to stay- whether he lies and says it is for the children or that he still loves you. What is this perverse sense of duty that women feel towards husbands when this happens? Is this societal indoctrination which is instilled into girls by their mothers? Or is it the sanctity of marriage and the vows that make these decisions so difficult that you find yourself being the sacrificial lamb once again when the leopard revisits.
I suppose he believed that his heartfelt "confession" would lead to the usual forgiving and re-building phase. Ladies, it is in this phase that you feel the pangs of guilt. The phase where you begin to blame yourself for his indiscretions. The recriminations begin -if only I was a better wife, if only I had paid more attention to him instead of the kids, if only I had been better or more adventurous in bed, if only………………..The if onlys begin to pile up and before you know it, you start believing that you were virtually responsible for making -no- forcing another adult into this affair. When you are done beating yourself up, you have basically helped him with the illicit courtship- by not hanging onto his every word, after all, she did this! You also have been instrumental in getting him to drop his adult pants and hop into her bed- the fact that you were out earning the proverbial bacon while he sat around doing nothing except orchestrate his affair and execute this grand scheme and return to you every night, becomes immaterial.
So what does a girl do with her leopard? She tames him of course. What exactly do I mean by tame? Sister, this is up to you. You have to decide if you want to deal with this type of person for the rest of your days or do you want to kiss a few more frogs in the hope of finding that elusive prince. My take on the matter-
Get rid of the son-of a -*. He will never change. All he will do is beg and plead to suit his needs. This scum will lie and cheat his way for as long as it suits his puerile mind and benefits his pocket.
Dealing with the leopard
# 1Give him a hearing and decide what you want
# 2Ask yourself three critical questions
(i) Do I really need this in my life?
(ii) Is the sex all really that good?
(iii) Is he really all that…………..and more?
If you have answered yes to all three questions, then he is a keeper. If not, get rid of him like last season's Winter fashion must-have!
Chapter 3
The hardest thing
After a long hard day at the office, there is no-one to go home to……..
Yes, the children may be there and you are occupied, until they go to bed. The loneliness becomes tangible then. For nights I would lie there, unable to sleep. Tossing and turning, the huge bed seemed to swallow me up when just days before two bodies lay sprawled, inter-twined, mostly through years of getting to know each other.
This is perhaps the hardest thing for me- learning to sprawl across a bed by myself now!!! I know that I am a person who needs companionship. I need someone to talk to and someone to listen to my many thoughts or I will drive myself crazy.
Initially, I would find myself calling out for Mr. Wonderful as a force of habit. I would look for him in the study or in the lounge or the bedroom . I needed to get a hobby……………….and quickly!!!
Perhaps the frightening thing is the sudden realization that you are now alone. Despite what friends and family may say to you, they are not there when the self-doubt creeps in and the loneliness engulfs you. It is at this time that you need to dig deep and focus on the reasons why you have chosen this path.
Chapter 4
I used to be proud........
I used to be proud to be married to you. That was when I still firmly believed that you married me because you knew we both had promise to become excellent parents. That you believed we both had the potential to make magic........together!!!
You ruined that when you showed me just how self-centred you were years ago. When it became all about what you wanted and what you get despite the fact that we had young children. Perhaps an analyst would look at your behaviour and deduce that many of the issues you had stem from being from a dysfunctional family. This, I'm afraid did not give us a fighting chance and we were a failed marriage waiting to happen. It is a real pity that we did not go for psychiatric evaluations before rushing into marriage. Better still, government should insist on a couple not only having a marriage license but a certificate of good psychiatric health.(just to be sure). You would not want to sleep with one eye open after a few months into your marriage for fear you have married the enemy.
Advice to couples who intend getting married:
#1 Analyze the beast within
This basically means have a good idea of the person you intend spending the rest of your life with.It does not help when you have invested too much time…..and heaven forbid, money in this union, to discover that he has Oedipal tendencies or that she is Medusa.
Chapter 5
When there are children
What do you tell the children? Of course, Mr. Wonderful will take them to one corner and try to sugar coat his philandering habits and insist that things will never change because essentially he loves them and they will always come first. Was Mr. Dickhead putting their needs first when he dropped his pants? Was he for one remote instance thinking of them when he decided to sow his wild oats all over town? Did he have their interests at heart when he ran up debt in his endeavors to finance his affair using money meant for school fees and grocery bills?
And then of course, after exonerating himself from any guilt through this self-deprecating speech to the children, Mr. Wonderful leaves with his family(the outlaws) who are begging you to cry and let it all go……….
What he leaves in his wake are three confused children. Three faces who in their dazed confusion look to you to help them through this state of despair. So much for "cry and let it go" phase that the out-laws expect from you when you are left to pick up the pieces of the local boy-tart.
You spend the rest of that week and the next few which follow, on auto-pilot because homework must be done, exams must be written and you have a demanding job that you need to go to. All the while, Mr. Wonderful calls to harass you for a PUK number for a cellphone which he cannot access, a car which has been damaged when he was caught in the act with his two-bit whore and tries to smash up your house because he cannot get his way. Typical behavior of a classroom bully who knows only terror and instilling fear when he cannot get his way, but you maintain your dignity throughout this because you realize the children's needs come first. And above all, you are above this!!!
Tips for women in this situation
#1 Get yourself a good lawyer
#2 If he gets abusive, get a protection order
#3 Don't be afraid to use the protection order if the bastard becomes abusive. If he wants to behave like a bully in the school yard, then a short stint in jail won't hurt his sorry arse. It may be just what he needs- he may meet a fellow bully who may sort out all your other woes!!! After all, the prison system can sometimes help when it malfunctions!!
Chapter 6
How do I move forward?
This is perhaps the most profound question that begs answering. When everyone around you insists that you must "cry and let it all out" and your body refuses to listen, how do you move forward?
I kept asking myself what was wrong with me. Why did I refuse to cry? Why did I refuse to accede to the requests of friends and family alike? Where were the tears they expected of me? Where was the hopelessness and despair? Why did I refuse to comply and tear my hair out? Did I not feel the numbness, the loneliness, the deceit and the despair?
Yes, I felt it all. I ate it, I slept it, I tasted it, I lived it for days and days and then one morning I awoke and I told myself to stop being a victim………. I was not going to allow you to reduce me to a victim. You used me for years. You were like a parasite-sucking every ounce of good that you could consume in your greed to become a better person. Your need to be accepted without a day of doing anything for your fellow being except to find a vessel such as mine and use it for your own benefit.
The dawning of that realization led me to the re-awakening of my soul. I felt like a butterfly which had been trapped within a cocoon of a marriage and through all of the years of self-nurturing against all odds, awoke one day with the ability to free myself. And how great that freedom felt!!!! And will continue to feel because I will never again allow any man to smother me under the auspices of "love".
And I resolved to move forward. The mountain of debt which I have to deal with, the doubt and the hurt which you have left deep within me, the broken hearts (both of our children and that of mine) and the suspicions I have will make it very difficult for me to love again.
Granted, it will not be easy but I will do this not just for me. I will do this for the many women in my life who are to follow. For the sisters I have known and will come to know. I will move forward, slowly, taking it one day at a time until finally, I have control of my destiny once again. And you, poor you, what will you be after this experience. You will always be nothing, a non-entity because that is what you have reduced yourself to being in the greater scheme of things. You will eventually fade into oblivion because it was I that gave you a semblance of being and it is I that have taken this away from you! This realization leaves me extremely empowered as both a mother and then as a woman.
Chapter 7
"Live like there is no tomorrow, Dance like no one is watching, Love like you've never been hurt." - Anonymous
As I move forward into my life, I am extremely optimistic that things will turn out for the better. I have resolved to enjoy my life one day at a time. Life is there for living and if I am to focus on the non-entities such as Mr. Wonderful, the real objective of my time on Earth will be lost.
I pledge to focus my life on living for the moment. I don't care what people think any more. This is my life and I plan to live it to the fullest.
If you drive past a woman in a bright red Audi TT with personalized plates saying "Divorced" and she is singing along to the music in her car and her head is bobbing from side to side- be very sure there is absolutely nothing wrong with her- that woman is probably me and I am having the time of my life because I have finally realized that I have to enjoy every day and live like there is no tomorrow. I will be that one lone dancer who, when she hears a song she loves, does not care where she is at the time. She just begins to dance and enjoy the beat like there is no-one watching. I know my teenage sons will cringe with embarrassment because it is so "uncool" but this is my life and I am the main star in this movie.
I will plunge into love when it finds me as though I have never been hurt before. How will I experience the agony of lost love if I cannot remember the ecstasy of being in love and experiencing lust? My new motto in my life is Carpe Diem-seize the day!


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