- Gender and Relationships»
- Separation & Divorce
You Can Have a Great Relationship After You Had a Failed Relationship
Recovery From Divorce
When Eugene started to have an affair, the light inside Barbara dimmed. then, when he left, that light nearly went out completely. but a tiny spark was still left. she just needed someone to toss fuel on that spark and coax it back to life.
As she stood looking around her at where she had lived with Eugene for ten years, it was like seeing the last of her dream disappear. Until, two weeks earlier she had been convinced she was happily married. She met Eugene when she was shooting the movie “The Despotic Leader” and got married to him six months after ten years ago.
She still couldn’t believe what happened to her. All she could think of were the good times they’d shared. There had been nothing wrong with their marriage from her perspective, and even Eugene admitted that he’d been happy with her.
“I don’t know what happened,” he said. “Maybe I was bored.”
But none of that explained to Barbara adequately why he left her for another woman. He had admitted to Barbara two weeks earlier that he was madly in love with a model in London.
She had never felt so lost and alone in her life. Everything she’d believed and counted on and thought would always be there for her no longer was. And the worst thing was that she hadn’t done anything wrong, at least he didn’t bring any wrong doing to her notice. Maybe she worked too hard, or didn’t give him enough of her time. Maybe she didn’t make love with him often enough, but he had never complained.
She and Eugene played tennis once a week, went to movies or went to dinner with friends when her busy schedule permitted. The emotional anguish she felt was almost a physical pain. She had just started going to a therapist, at the suggestion of her doctor, when she called and asked for sleeping pills, because she could no longer sleep. Her life had become a living hell. She missed him greatly. In the blink of an eye, the one she loved was gone, leaving her in an empty house that now seemed like a graveyard.
“The one you love has left you, so what? If you choose to be optimistic about your life, it’s not over for you. You’ve a second chance at love and life. If you believe with all earnestness that life holds new opportunity, you’ll find it. Many men and women have had a terrible realization after they were abandoned by a loved one. You are not alone.”
“I can’t live without Eugene,” Barbara wept.
“For someone whose love ran into trouble and honestly did not want it or see it coming, or who his/her spouse left for another person; or they simply filed for divorce, whatever the reason, if you did not want it, it still hurts like hell. In these instances you must hold on to, this was not about you. This is your spouse’s weakness, not yours. Thank goodness you no longer have to put up with his pretense and you can move on to a more healthy and happy relationship. There is someone out there for you, don’t feel that after many years of marriage you won’t find love. Be open to it and you will. Life is handing you a second run at life,” the therapist counselled.
“I loved my life with Eugene, I don’t want to start over,” Barbara said.
“It’s not starting over. Your life is in play: this is a new chapter. You don’t go back to square one. Moving on should be an adventure. Certainly there will be trials and tribulations that will rear their ugly head. But nothing good having comes free and nothing worth having comes without tests. You can choose to see these tests as problems or challenges. If you choose to regard as a challenge you will be able to, rise above, all the pains with your new found strength. What hurts the most toughens us the most. When you are ready to grit your teeth and dig in, you will find new energy and faith in yourself. It’s there you simply have no muster up the courage to bring it forward. You can!” the therapist encouraged.
“But why me?”
“Loved one taking off without notice is an ugly truth in today’s world. It happens to the best of us and when it does the fact of the matter is you’ve to go on and rebuild your life. This is your personal journey. The internal work consists of dealing with and working through any leftover attachments to your ex. You may have to work through issues with anger over an unwanted divorce. You may be experiencing fear at the idea of living without a spouse you once depended on for a sense of security. Whatever you are dealing with either externally or internally, in your transition to a new life, you have to do it with determination,” the therapist said.
“How can I rebuild my life? I’m devastated,” Barbara sobbed.
“There are three skills that will help you rebuild your life after this traumatic experience. You should be willing to share what you are feeling and experiencing emotionally with others. Talking with others of your feelings will help the healing process. Stay open and honest with friends and family. Sharing details of your emotions promotes healing. Secondly, rebuilding your life means having a willingness to take action. Rather than pull the cover over your head, force yourself out of bed. Get going and get on with your life. Start gradually and soon you will be moving forward by leaps and bounds. Thirdly, there is no healing without the belief that you can heal. Be patient, kind and loving with yourself. Push any self-doubt you have aside and believe in your own competence. If the odds seem against you, if you feel you aren’t going to make it, go against the odds. Develop discipline, push all negative thoughts out of your head and believe that you can become whom you must and live the life you desire. One day you will look back and realize that all the sorrow and challenge you experienced during your divorce gave way to some of your greatest accomplishment.
After talking with her new therapist, she still felt lost. She had never been to a therapist before, and she seemed like a nice woman, but Barbara wasn’t sure it would help. Maybe with the sleep problem, but what could she do about the rest? No matter what they said in the counselling sessions, Eugene was still gone, and without him she had no life. She wanted him back. And now he belonged to someone else. It was a devastating thought. She had never felt as hopeless in her life or as lost.
Two days later, she was back to the therapist. Her therapist was not happy the way Barbara looked. She looked depressed.
“You must take care of yourself physically during this time of great stress. Without your health, what have you got? You have to eat properly and be active. Your physical health is tied into your emotional health,” her therapist advised.
“I just don’t know what to do with myself,” Barbara complained.
“An excellent way to create a new life is go back to school. Night or Weekend University or community college courses can help you improve your skill so you can get a better job. Self-improvement classes can help you understand yourself, relationships, or parenting, for example, and practical courses can help fill the gaps that your ex-spouse left.
“You can get another man to love you if you can rebuild your sense of self-worth in attitude and appearance. Get rid of any grumpy clothes and buy new clothes and new perfume, get to the gym, have your hair fixed, get some sun and put smile back on your face. Go out to lunch with your friends, go to the beach and meet new people. Meeting new people will boost your self-esteem and your desirability. Improving your surroundings can also help launch you into a new life,” her therapist advised.
She had not been eating. She had lost ten pounds in the last two weeks, maybe more. All she could do now was keep moving, putting one foot after the other, and try not to think of Eugene. She did her thinking at night, when it all came back to her, and she heard his words again and again, and thought about him and cried. Just thinking about him made her feel sick.
She usually looked healthy and beautiful, she was always in good spirits, and even though she was forty.
“Are you all right?” director asked with a look of concern.
“Yeah. I’m fine. Barbara answered vaguely, looking numb. Her face even looked somewhat grey. She seemed exhausted and pale, and director was genuinely worried about her.
“You look like you’ve been sick. You’ve dropped a lot of weight.”
Barbara nodded, and didn’t respond, and then after the meeting, she felt like a bitch for not reacting to the director’s concern. The direction was going to be the second person she’d tell, the first being the therapist. She hadn’t had the guts, or the stomach, to tell anyone else. It was too humiliating, it made her seen like such a loser, and he worried that people would think she’d been a bitch to him. She wanted to explain, she was torn between wanting to whine, and needing to hide.
“Eugene left,” Barbara said cryptically as they left the studio side by side at the end of the rehearsal. It was nearly eleven o’clock. She hadn’t heard half of what was said, and the director had noticed that too. Barbara looked like she was having an out-of-body experience, and felt like it.
“On a trip?” he asked, looking confused.
“No. for good,” Barbara explained, looking grim.
But in a way, it was a relief to tell the truth. “He left two weeks ago. He moved to Paris with another woman. We’re getting a divorce.”
“I’m sorry to hear that,” the director said, feeling sorry for her. The poor woman looked destroyed. But she was young, she’d find another husband, maybe even have a kid. She was beautiful. “That’s really tough. I didn’t know.”
He hadn’t heard a thing, although he did a lot of filming job with Barbara. But they usually talked about movies, not about themselves. “Where are you living now?”
“In a hotel two blocks from here. It’s kind of dump, but it is okay for now. I felt so lonely in the house.”
“Do you want to go out and get something to eat?” the director asked. Barbara looked as if she needed a friend. She did, but she felt too lousy to go anywhere.
“No, thanks,” Barbara managed to force out a smile. “Maybe another time.”
“I’ll give you a call,” the director promised, and left. He didn’t know whose fault the divorce was, but it was obvious that Barbara wasn’t happy about it. She didn’t have anyone else.
When Barbara finally got to the hotel, she sat on the sofa and opened the script, but she couldn’t concentrate. She thought about ordering for dinner, but she wasn’t hungry. Again, she had promised both her doctor and her therapist that she would try to eat. Tomorrow, she promised herself. All she wanted to do now was to go to bed and stare at the TV. And maybe eventually sleep. At 24 she had a life and a career she loved.
The next day, the director took Barbara out for dinner. This was how gradually they started dating and eventually led to their marriage. So don’t give up, if though you’re divorced, you can still find love.