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Lessons From the End of a Marriage

A “How to Thrive” Guide After Divorce


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It has been tough reading some of the responses on the Huffington Post piece.  Many people are supportive, lots have questions, and others seem resolved to point fingers and assign blame.  I knew that this would be a result of choosing to make my story public; I chose to share intimate details of my life and divorce knowing the mudslinging would come.  What disheartens me is that others in similar situations face the same vitriol even though they choose to keep their stories out of the public eye.

Divorce is devastating to anyone who crosses its path.  It is equally damaging to men as to women.  It is agonizing to the divorcer and the divorcee.  It is hard without children and even harder with them.  It is a torturous loss of what was and what could be.  None of us is immune to its touch, regardless of the stories we like to believe.  It may never happen to you (and I hope that you are able to escape its singular pain), but it may touch a parent, a child, a sibling, a friend.  At some time, in some way, one that you love and care for will be facing the devastation of divorce.  It is so tempting to reduce the end of a relationship to simplistic terms, but that is never an accurate portrayal.  People are complicated and multi-layered and relationships even more so.  The only way that any of us can learn from tragedy is from approaching everything with an open mind and open heart.  Listen to each other.  You just might learn something.

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33 thoughts on “Reaction

  1. Nonsense! Head up, chest out, smile through it all. You are a talented and amazing woman. You will never achieve complete harmonious criticisms. Take it with a grain of salt and keep sharing your words and experiences. I appreciate your blog so much. Love and light…Millie

  2. I loved your HuffPost article. LOVED IT. My divorce was gifted in a text message, as well, though a very different message. Anyway, as I read your post, I couldn’t help but think of the short poem by one of my favorite poets, Mary Oliver: “Someone I once loved gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this, too, was a gift.”
    I must have read these few lines over and over through the months and months my divorce dragged on. I now know…it was a gift. One I’m not grateful for.
    Thanks for sharing your experience and pain. It’s nice to know we aren’t alone out here.

  3. Having read many of the comments on Huffington Post I too was amazed at the blame shared by many – thought – sounds to me they were discounting your experience and feelings and then justifying their views by blaming you for what they concluded were faults that in their opinion you were NOT supposed to have as a married lady. Therefore, it was about them and not you – thank you for this blog – my divorce was 20 years ago and this is the first time I am reading helpful information to regain my power – another book that i just found prior to finding your blog that is helpful is, HE’S HISTORY YOU’RE NOT Surviving Divorce after 40 by Erica Manfred – I was 59.

  4. Lisa, having been through divorce myself, I can certainly relate to your article. Although my experience was not the same as yours, I am well aware of the resulting pain and loneliness, along with other feelings that are difficult to categorize. My present concern of working to help save marriages was birthed out of that experience and my realization that it is possible to approach marriage from a very different perspective than I had in my first marriage. Having stated that, I want to encourage you for allowing your story to be shared in such a way that compelled and allowed others to satisfy their need for validation, showing support and even hostility and blame. I feel that writing the way you do requires much self examination as well as the ability to press through the ugly backlashes expressed by readers.

    I can also relate to experiencing public ridicule after having shared areas of personal trauma that I had hoped would help others to not feel isolated and in bondage by their own suffering. I am learning to use the negative responses of others to develop even greater determination and diligence to keep producing. We must learn to face and overcome the bullies of the press (and cyberspace in general) who dwell in anonymous comments, seeking opportunities to unleash their own misery in the form of “feedback.”

    I pray that you stay strong and not allow the negativity of others to deprive eager readers of your gift in writing. DrMJ

  5. To borrow from Deepak Chopra, some people are still operating at a very low level of spiritual development – not to mention reading comprehension skills! Being in a very similar situation recently, I stumbled across your blog when I was searching for something, anything, that would help me cope with the crushing visceral grief I was feeling. Your bravery in publicly delving into some very personal and painful areas has made me feel less alone and more hopeful that life can be real and good once again. By reaching out to a wider audience, perhaps your insights and observations will be easier to find when the next woman goes looking for that lifeline, as I once did. Thank you.

    1. Thank you for reaffirming why I chose to share my story. I know that when I first went looking for support almost three years ago, all I could find was anger and spouse blaming. That has its place, but it certainly won’t help anybody heal in the long run.

  6. People react according to their own situation and state of mind. You can’t take responsibility for that. You wrote of your experience and some people will empathise and others will attack…again, you can’t take responsibility for that. Be who you are; write as who you are. There are those of us who are unable to write like this, maybe because we have children and will always have to be linked through that and others for other reasons, but know that for every detractor, for every person who is lashing out at you for your honesty, they are reacting for their story and not for yours. xxx

  7. Wow! The above are great comments! All those are comments that I would have expected on huff post.

    After reading that people were being negative, I was thinking I should drop by huff post and beat somebody up. 😀 How dare they diss Ms Lisa.
    But after reading the above comments made by cooler heads, I will just say… Thank you Lisa for being so wonderful, for lifting us all up, and it’s nice to see that other people deeply appreciate you for what you have given to us… a Good Gift!

    Every post of yours that I read, takes some of my pain away. How could I not appreciate you for that. You are truly wonderful. It is indeed true that you have improved my life in many ways; and that I am finally venturing into a relationship with hope-because you have helped me become a different person. Thank you so much.
    Rascal (a better man)

  8. First, I will applaud the above comments. Second, I will point out that my concern with Huffington Post comments is that they are loaded. These people came to your article with their minds made up and their hearts brimming with anger and judgment. I guarantee you that they are the kind of people that you and I would meet and immediately run from. There is no peace, no equanimity, no integrity in their comments. They are so vicious as to be ridiculous, expecially the one who goes on… and on…. and on about the cooking. Seriously? Is this 2012 or 1952? As an unnecessary but entertaining aside: My dad, who left four wives before finding true love with the 5th (!) once told me, with a perfectly straight face, that a woman need only be good in the kitchen if she’s bad in the bedroom. 🙂 Personally, I’d say the same is true for a man. Food is great. Sex is better. 😉

    Finally, please don’t let the haters dissuade you. A lot of people who read blogs devoted to “Divorce” due so to find like-minded people to validate their positions. Calm, healthy people like you threaten them. And that’s not your problem. 🙂

    1. Well said gait! You have nicely stated what I could not. btw, I am encouraged by your dad’s persistence. His comment made me wince and laugh at the same time. idk if makes any difference, but I find you and the others who are calm, healthy, constructive, to be amazingly attractive because you are calm, healthy, constructive, objective, etc. Thanks for encouraging me by your example.

      So…if a man or woman is good in the kitchen, why not just have sex there instead of the bedroom? I mean….really.


  9. Thank you for sharing your story. I have been abandoned by my husband who felt it necessary to inform me with a three sentence email. That was the last communication form this individual. Your story touched me that it is possible to come out of such devastation with new hope for a better future. You are such a wonderful example of how to deal with this tragedy in such a dignified manner. Thank you!

  10. Woman people are idiots! Help one woman or person and it’s worth it. PS. I had a fan bash me in March on twitter, and I only defended myself and it waged a war of all wars, but in one day it upped my followers from 2,000 to 12,600 and today she actually apologized for being mean. It’s never about you, it’s about them. You are their mirror. Great work here in this blog.

    1. What? “Woman people are idiots!” WTH? Are you missing a word or two in that sentence?
      The rest of your comment is lucid and your title is great. 😀

  11. Remember that every pauper has 2 cents to contribute but a prince(ss) gives of their self.

    About HuffPost commentors…”raging over the price of gas” (reference taken from an email) while at the pump is something we all do at onetime or another but those who still carry on about it in a movie theater hours later make me uncomfortable too.

    HD Thoreau, paraphrased not quoted, wrote “I was born into this world not to make it a better place to live in but to live in it as best I can.” and “A life left unexamined is one not worth having lived.” We do our best, admit our shortcomings then move on to whatever the future has in store for us.

    1. LOL It was entertaining! As someone else said recently, perhaps you were simple seeing if we were paying attention. 😀

  12. This is written with so much wisdom and compassion. I am so proud of you . Your courage is an inspiration. You are being the voice and advocate for many. Stand tall and celebrate YOU. I sure do 🙂

    1. Well said. And thoughts shared by the rest of us. I am impressed more than ever, Ms. StillLearning2b 😀

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