Finding Happiness After an Unwanted Divorce

80 Responses

  1. bubbachubb says:

    Not even close to overstating it when i say this is the very best thing i have read and listened to post separation. It says what i feel, but, it doesnt leave me there. Thankyou for sharing your experience with me to help me crawl through my own xoxo

    • That was my hope. Keep crawling:)

      • Eric Ashbrook says:

        Thanks for sharing this- I was blindsided when I thought everything was ok- I guess I was wrong and I’m struggling with many of the things you outlined. God bless you!!

      • andries says:

        My wise asked me ‘do you love me?’ I replied and said with all of my heart. She said’ I do not love you anymore’ she said these words after disappearing for 2 days. I felt as if I am on a horrify dream that I should wake up from instantly. Well it was real and I weeped in front of my in laws literally beginning her not to leave me. But your message will be used and hopefully I will post again in future.

    • Steven says:

      Thank you! Losing my best friend/wife has been the hardest thing I have ever started going thru. Doesnt seem like I could ever be happy again But I have hope thank you for your insight

    • Demetrius R Franks says:

      Thank you my wife is taking through it I can’t come in the house I can’t get my kids like I want and all this happened last Wednesday all of a sudden she told me how she been committing adultery and want to be with that person and don’t want me around at all I’m trying to do my best to hold it together but it’s tough I keep praying everyday and almost every hour I love my family Mama man I’m sorry if this is not like a man but I’m crying on and off even now it’s too much and all I keep asking God what to do what to do now and where to start I can’t find the answer help me if you have one please

    • Anonymous says:

      this is all new for me 8yrs ago I lost my kids bc I was a dad who worked too much and was seen unfit then 5yrs of lonieless n finding myself I met her no after three yrs of traveling n growing. like a switch she turned it off now that I loosing my soulmate after 3 yrs of bliss im totally lost. physically strong but god I hate this mental n emotional weakness. u hit most of the points right on. everything will be ok I’m 30 my children are 6 7. everyone keeps asking am I ok. how everyone I know got cheated on, left for someone else,, or abused or drugs mine just lost the love wtf. yes I know life lesson but hell I cant seem to catch a break. thk u tho yur words do make it hurt a lil less

    • Gabriel says:

      Im a 35 year old man and i cried watching your video clip thank you for sharing. Though im in much pain it helped me in my feeling alot. God bless you. You are a beautiful woman i would like to meet u some day your very inspiring.

  2. bubbachubb says:

    Reblogged this on Wordforth and commented:
    The very best article I have read post separation. The video at the end is a absolute must!!!

  3. Bowrag says:

    Great article… Love the personal video. What you say is true! Keep battling!

  4. Ashley says:

    Reblogged this on ashtx.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Thanks, this is helpful. It’s a process.

  6. I was really in love with my pretend husband too, until I realized he is pretend with everyone. I think I probably know the closest to the real him there is, but even that is a bit fake. He could be what I needed him to be, so he left to be fake with someone else. And I thank him, all the time. We have children together so I have to look at his fake face.

  7. He stays in car, or the girlfriend comes, we dont talk in person, its all done by email, he only shows up to conferences when we go to court. We are civil, he has his pretend face on, I have my game face on. So, its all, very professional. Like the game Risk.

  8. Ansley says:

    This is compelling and honest, a must-read for people who are surviving a divorce. The simple fact of admitting the marriage was not a great as you thought is a major step toward creating a new future without your former spouse.

  9. theresa says:

    Healthy thoughts

  10. Steve Webster says:

    Thank you so much for this post! I am just embarking on my journey now, and of course it seems that this pain will NEVER end! Your words and emotion are well received and I can feel your sincerity in your video. Thank you for sharing your story, it’s nice to know thank eventually “everything’s going to be ok”! Hugs to you…

  11. Scott says:

    This was a great article. I feel so guilty for my divorce, and while i know we were not happy and i even told her many times that i felt we should no longer be married, I cannot understand why i hurt so much. Everyone tells me that it will all be ok in time, and i hope that is true, as i just cannot see it that way now.

    I also feel like i have to explain every gory detail to any new person that i will date, what happened in my marriage leading up to my divorce and that scares the hell out of me. Long roads ahead.

    again, thank you for the article.

    • Time helps. It doesn’t completely heal, but it definitely helps. As to telling your story, you tell it your way and when you’re ready. Writing – and rewriting – it will help lessen some of its sting.

  12. Thank you – your video might have save my life tonight – the calm easy manner of your voice really spoke right to the heart of what I’m going through. It’s been six months since I found my wife cheating and I moved out. My world is completely shattered even now, and I often feel I only exist for my little boy who I love dearly. I still love my ex and I can’t seem to get it through my head this has all happened, that this is real life. I contemplate suicide constantly but for my son I can’t. We should be signing the papers later this week, but knowing who she’ll be with on Valentine’s Day is breaking my heart all over again. I appreciate what you’ve said and I’ll do the best I can to try to apply it. Thank you

    • My heart goes out to you. The shock is so painful and so all-encompassing.
      And I know it’s hard to see past that.

      I started my ordeal determined that I would do it all on my own. Within a couple weeks, I had to admit that I couldn’t. On top of the friends and family I surrounded myself with, I saw a psychiatrist every few weeks for the first year. She and the medication she prescribed saved me.

      People need help at the beginning and end of life. Divorce is the end of one life and the beginning of another. There is no shame in asking for help.

      Let your beautiful little boy be your motivation, not only to keep living but also to learn how to move on.

      Stay busy tomorrow. Focus on your boy and do something with him he really enjoys.

      Think of you…

    • Anonymous says:

      David! Don’t you dare think of taking your life over someone that betrayed you! I also going through a divorce that involves betrayal can relate. Yes, your son needs you. Please get to a counselor fast. Life is precious and in time you will see that. Prayers for you…

  13. chris says:

    Thank you for sharing your invaluable message! I can’t tell you how badly I needed to read it. I would not have ever believed this would/could happen to me. My wife ended our marriage last night and walked out. We just celebrated 17 years last week and everything seemed perfect. We have three teenage kids and they are also in shock. I don’t know how to help them yet. Right now I’m just trying to get a hold of myself. My heart is truly broken and I feel completely lost. I don’t know what to do next, but this helps to get me started.

  14. John says:

    Thank you , and the best thing that happened to me is that , I became closer to God and with his help, I became a better father to my 2 boys , thank u again

  15. Jeff says:

    Most clear and invaluable writing & video I’ve experienced. Thank you. After my wife battled mental health issues, culminating in her wanting to live on her own and end our 23 year marriage, I’m four months into an unwanted divorce. Your perspective give me hope for reframing my life forward.

  16. Love your writing and your honesty!

  17. D says:

    Thank you.. I am in the beginning… i can get through this and I’ll be ok

  18. Travis says:

    Great article! I was made to believe that our divorce was predicated on my failings (I’m definitely not perfect). It wasn’t till after the divorce was finalized that I found out she’d been having an affair for several years. My world has been upended and I work everyday to regain solid footing. Your message resonated with me. Thank you for putting youself out there to help others it speaks volumes as to your character. I hope your new love knows just how lucky he is!

  19. Jill says:

    THANK YOU SO MUCH! My husband walked out 2 months ago and I’m devastated, embarrassed, happy, sad and trying to hang on each day – moment by moment. I stood by him as he cheated, quit jobs, etc. and feel like a fool. But, your video said exactly what I needed to hear….and now….in this moment….I see things differently. It is a process….it’s not going to be over night…..but to take this experience as it is….an experience in life. Tomorrow already looks better……thank you

  20. lonelysattelite says:

    Oh, thank you. I’m reading this, listening to your message, and sobbing.

    My husband had to leave our home almost 7 weeks ago after a psychotic episode. I am now the focus of delusions about things like mind control, controlling the weather, etc. While it’s clear my husband is mentally ill, and that it’s impossible to get someone treatment if they don’t want it, it’s still a devastating, sudden separation. Like many people feel, I guess, the person you think you know best is now a stranger you don’t know at all. The last 7 weeks have been so dark, and I found this today at what feels like the darkest time.

    Thank you.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Only people who have gone through a divorce can relate to this. That feeling sick to the stomach all the time and still trying to keep everything together.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Very powerful MSG & SO SO much of exact feelings trying to trudge though

  23. Mary says:

    Hi, Thank you so much for the article and I love the video. My husband left a month ago for a few days and then came back. I had absolutely no idea he wasn’t happy. We had just returned from a weekend away where everything seemed great. I have been seeing a therapist and he went once with me for counseling and we were working on what came up there. We went away for another weekend where he told me he was staying and again we had a great time. He told the people at the B&b where we stayed that we would be back in October and we talked about buying a vacation home in the area in a few years. Two days before he left (a week ago) told me he thought we were doing ok. I feel like I’ve been lied to, had hopes raised and then slammed again. He hasn’t even contacted our kids and our son’s 21st birthday was a few days ago. So I go through periods of hurt, anger, devastation and sadness. However, I am making a real effort to spend a lot of time with friends, going to meditation and planning activities for me!! He is not going to destroy me! I love the idea of your 3 part journal and will be trying it. It really does hurt so very much though and I’m going to hang on to your promise that I will be ok.

  24. Anonymous says:


    Thank you so much for sharing your story and experience. I am 8mos into a separation and the divorce was final 3 months ago after a 17 year Marriage, 2 kids, & 19 total years together with my ex-wife. This was completely unwanted from my perspective. Yours is the first article & video that truly resonated with me. It gives me hope for the future that everything will be ok and I will be happy again.

  25. Dorothy says:

    You are a true inspiration, I’m at the very beginning of the end , he still lives with me but is very excited about his new apartment next week , and he lets me know it . I was with a serial cheater for 17 years who had me beleiving I was crazy , had me feeling guilty for hurting his feelings for not trusting him . Until I finally had proof . Now I realize all those times I wasn’t crazy .. it’s a lot to except . He was also extremely abusive , sneaky and mean . He drinks everyday and blames me for everything . Sounds charming right ? Yet for some crazy reason it is me dealing with all the loss . I feel like a can’t breath , I feel so lost full of panic and anxiety that he is leaving . I’m the one who filed for divorce because I do know better , I know how wrong this life is , so why am I feeling such loss . I’m to the point a can barely function . I know when he goes it’s going to be torture. I am forcing myself to make decisions that I know are right , yet I’m ripping my own heart out as he lives the party fun life . We have children together and I can not live with the guilt of setting this example of marriage or exceptable behaviour , so I push forward . I am trying to be a good mother but it is so very hard to do when I feel so devistated , I feel like I need my mom , I try my best to put on a smile and not let them see my pain , but they know I’m not the same . I pray that you are right about getting better because that is the best gift I can give my kids . I want to be strong enough , yet I don’t know if I am.
    I know I shouldn’t play the victim , but we are doing all the paying for his decisions ,
    I do have things to be greatful for , my babies , my health and the fact that he will have to support us until I can stand on my own .

    • My heart goes out to you.

      It is completely normal for to feel relief one second and second guess your decision the next. It sounds like you’re doing the right thing, but it is still so hard to leave what you know. Especially when there’s been emotional abuse (which it certainly sounds like it) that twists your own perceptions and beliefs.

      You ARE strong enough. Maybe not to get all the way through at this point, but you don’t have to get to the “end” today, just to the next breath. And then the next. And with each one, you’ll get a little stronger and a little braver.

      You are paying for his decisions. And that’s far from fair. It’s okay to get angry about that and to feel upset at the unjustness. You’re only a victim if you let him and his actions define your limits. And you’re not. I can hear your spirit load and clear through your words:)

  26. Tom DeHaven says:

    Thank you..I have read your piece 3 times already. My wife came home 4 weeks ago and said she was leaving me and our marriage that day. That was the first time she had even said she wasn’t happy. We never argued or fought about anything. Yet more and more she had been going out with friends she had and more and more on her phone all the time and I know she had mentioned pursuing her all the time. And it turns out she was excited with all the attention and wanted that new excitement more than me or her marriage. With everyone having Thier own phone and everyone knows there spouse would be unaware of any contacts night or day this makes your marriage wide open for sabotage. She was right in the range of women who could experience mid life crises. And she gave into an affair and it made her feel younger and her brain felt those great chemical feelings. Now I’m left alone with my wife being pulled from the life we shared every day for 4 years. I can’t function yet and the pain is unbearable. I think I have told every detail to everyone who would listen. We also were smoke in the middle of building her dream house and I was so involved with every aspect of that it must of gave her way to much free time to go do her own thing. I did think it was strange she wasn’t as excited about our project as she was in the beginning. I am now going to my first therapy session Monday. And I have joined a gym and hired a personal trainer. I think this will take more time to unwind from than the length of my actual marriage. This was the last thing that I thought would happen if gave my wife more than she ever had ever in her life and I worked full time and gave her all she needed and she had my total attention at all tines. She just drifted back to what she was before we were married. She was addicted to Marijuana and I enabled that 500 dollar a week habit in witch I did not indulge in. And she said we are not interested in the same things such as staying out all night and smoking. I still miss her every minute of the day and it doesn’t seem to be getting better with time.

    • So sorry you’re going through this. I’m glad to hear you’re taking the steps of therapy and exercise- that’s huge! Healing is combination of time (often more than you think you need) and actively turning your attention and energy other directions. You’re doing the right stuff. Keep doing it:)

  27. Lequisha says:

    Here I am, sitting at work, trying to figure out how I’m going to work through my depression related to the separation and ultimately the divorce. I do a google search and come up with this blog entry. This is exactly what I needed to see. I’m in the middle of the storm, but I will recover. I will get a better version of my life back. I will be happy again. I’m bookmarking this so that when I get in that low mode, this is a reminder that my life will come back. Thank you so much for this.

    • Lequisha says:

      Almost a year later, I can say I’m much happier than I have been a long time. The divorce essentially had to get started over because ex-husband tried to make it so I wouldn’t get anything so we had to get attorneys. It’s hard, but much easier than when I refused to believe I was miserable. I haven’t completely gotten my life back yet, but I see an ending to this. Thank you again!

  28. April L Hadley says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom. Between you and the, I am finding my way through the horrific, tsunami of my marriage of 23-years coming to an end. It is hard because we have 3 children together and I have to communicate with my soon-to-be-ex regularly, but as you say in your video, I will be my own hero. Keep sharing your journey! And I will share your resources with others.

  29. Kate says:

    You don’t know it, but we just became best friends. Will write more later, perhaps, when I can process things better.

    In the mean time I just wanted to thank you for sharing.

  30. Kathy says:

    Thank you so much. I hurt so badly it scares me. I moved out and know we were not working but it was the hardest thing I’ve done and I only left to try to regain some self respect in the face of his hostility and attitude that I had become nothing but a problem to his happiness. Now I’m in a dark place that seems to escalate and I feel I’m living a nightmare. I’ve been trying so hard to pull myself together but I am struggling to get past the pain. I honestly sometimes feel my happiness is over and I will continue to exist but simply go through the motions. My goal currently is simply the absence of pain. I cannot imagine happiness ever again even though my head tells me it will happen in time. Hearing from you and other people who understand is the most hopeful thing I have come across and I want to believe you so much. I’m not young though and I feel I’m too old to put my life back together and I hate him for stealing so much of my life. I will do everything you suggest as I desperately want to conquer this dark time and be the person I used to be. It is a comfort to know someone understands.

    • It’s completely normal and understandable to simply wish to not feel the pain. At the same time, keeping that as your focus means it’s hard not to feel it- much like the proverbial elephant. I found it helpful to focus on microjoys- those tiny little moments that could lift my spirits a few inches. I used those tiny smiles like lilypads to get through those hard days.

      And as long as you’re breathing, you’re never too old. I’ve personally seen people in my life become happier in their 70s and 80s. They could bemoan that it took them so long. Yet they just smile that they got there.

      Hugs to you. I know it’s dark. But it’s not endless. There is light and beauty still once the clouds clear.

  31. Anonymous says:

    dang! i really want to read the rest of this as i feel it is totally applicable but I just see the intro again and again! ;-(

    • stilllearning2b says:

      Hmmm. I’m not sure what you’re seeing. I just double checked the post and links and it seems to be fine.

  32. phoenix men says:

    Everyone’s divorce story is different. My marriage is probably not going to last much longer. We’ve only been married a couple of years, and have no children. My wife wants to separate temporarily and work toward getting back together.

  33. Diane Salisbury says:

    I’m so glad I ran across your post. You were describing me in every line. Even your ex is a clone of my husband. I’m three years into my divorce and I’m having more good days than bad. But I’m in a relapse week and am feeling weak. You words eased me back out of my head I cried as I heard them. You told me what I needed to hear. God bless and thank you for putting yourself out there for people like me. Your right I know it will be all right. I’m all right. It just takes time. To bad I’m so impatient!! Lol! Thank you..

  34. bienieks says:

    I needed this. Thank you.

  35. Marsha says:

    Thank you Thank Thank you. Married first time in late 40s. Divorce wasn’t even in thoughts. But everything is polar opposite of what we said we wanted in a marriage. Divorce is inevitable. No anger, just see my future and my happiness has to be salvaged. Still recovering from cancer diagnosis then I’ll move forward. It’s sad. But this article helped tremendous.

    • stilllearning2b says:

      Oh, my heart goes out to you. What a time of turmoil and unknown for you. Do you have a support system around you as you move forward with your diagnosis? It sounds like that is your first goal.

  36. James says:

    Hi, this post was very helpful today and hopefully I can refer back to it often. My wife of 4 years recently moved out and asked for a divorce. I had been depressed for a year (at least) and I didn’t see how our marriage was suffering. Our communication was never great and that allowed the situation to become what it is today. I was too blind to see my wife’s efforts and now that she has moved out I feel like I’ve been forced to awaken and am seeing things very clear. I love her very much and I hope she loves me as we have been talking and texting over the past few weeks and we still say I love you often but she says she has nothing more to give.. it hurts me more than anything I’ve ever experienced, I just want her back. I feel as though I will never be able to deal with this and I will only love with regret for the rest of my life.

    • stilllearning2b says:

      I am so sorry to hear about the situation you and your wife are in. It sounds difficult on both sides. I’m glad this has been a wake-up call for you. It’s a sign that taking care of your own mental health is important – both for you and within the context of a relationship. It sounds like it’s time for you to focus on your mental health. Not in the hopes of getting her back, but in the hopes of getting YOU back. Because that has to be the first step.

      I believe in you. I believe in your strength. I believe that you CAN deal with this.

  37. AR says:

    Thank you for taking time to share your emotional experiences and awakening. Your writings are helping me to face one of the most difficult times in my life.

  38. Nadia Young says:

    Thank you for writing this and posting this. It is so freaking hard still. Most of the time, it feels like no one understands my grief. It helps me to recognize it as grief. I just don’t know that it will ever end. Still, I have to get through the legal stuff and I hate it so much. I have alot to be grateful for though. That helps but it still sucks. Thanks for the encouragement!

    • stilllearning2b says:

      It completely, utterly and totally sucks. There is nothing fair or even okay about it. Use that gratitude as a counterbalance to the legal slog. And find comfort in the fact that the legal process will end and give you the space to focus on you. Sending you strength and hugs.

  39. Rachael says:

    Most importantly…do you have a new partner now?

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