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Lessons From the End of a Marriage

A “How to Thrive” Guide After Divorce

At Some Point, It’s No Longer About the Nail

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When is it no longer about what hurt you?


In the beginning, I made it all about him.

What he did.

Why he did it.

How he did it.

Where he was.

Who he was.


It was an escape of a sort. A distraction. If I stayed focused on him, I didn’t have to think about me.


What I was going to do now that my life was washed away.

Why this happened to me.

How I was going to survive and rebuild.

Where I was going to live.

And who I was without him.


But at some point, I had to decide to make it all about me. To turn my energies towards what I could change rather than curse what I could not.

Because no matter how much attention I turned towards him, it wasn’t going to help me feel any better.


When you first step upon a nail, the sharp steel tearing through tender flesh, it is prudent to focus on the nail. First by removing the offending stake and then by examining it for any signs of rust or fragments left behind.

And then at some point, the nail no longer matters.

Only the wound is of consequence. And your attentions must turn to the ministrations of puncture care, ensuring that it heals fully without infection to poison the blood.


A difficult divorce is much the same. Once the distressing person has been removed, focus on them only leaves your wounds unattended.

Because at some point, the nail no longer matters.

Only you do.
















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18 thoughts on “At Some Point, It’s No Longer About the Nail

  1. You are so wise! Nearly every time I read your words I know I should be living them! Thanks for your commitment to writing.

  2. Wow. My divorce will take place in a few weeks-months, depending on his response to some attempts for negotiation. I didn’t choose this, I don’t want it, my story is very similar to yours….and I absolutely love this post. His crisis is his & at this point, I am having to learn the hard task of release…bc the more I concern myself over him…the more I feel stuck. Release is so hard…but oh so necessary. Walking thru the pain to heal is 100% what you need to do to heal well, but I’ll be darn if it isn’t the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

  3. Wow! I’ve been stuck in this evaluating him mode for many years, following many affairs now…and I’m just realizing this and trying to look at myself. Thank you….sometimes it really feels like you are all alone in this, especially when none understands.

  4. Thank you so much for sharing your blogs. I’ve been going through this for 6 months and it is the worst feeling ever. I asked him to leave with hopes of change. Didn’t go as thought and now he’s already in another relationship. I feel like I’m obsessing over him at times, loosing myself. Reading your blogs/ people’s comments makes me realize all these feelings ups and down are normal. It feels like it will never end. I just want to feel at peace again.

  5. It IS no longer about the NAIL! I did waste lots of time on all of that garbage that got me nowhere. I guess I kept trying to validate myself for what an ass he was & no doubt is to this day. But he’s not my Nail any longer. Long since removed, & large wounds are still healing, & that’s what’s most important.
    Thank you again, Lisa, for always making perfectly perfect sense of it all!

  6. Thank you for this reminder. I’m 6 years out from my divorce and though things are so much better, and though I have finally learned to focus on myself, the thoughts of why he did what the did periodically rise to the surface again. I think when I stumble in my new relationship old wounds start to ache, as if to remind me “you could get hurt again.” Being reminded of a wound I’ve worked diligently to heal unavoidably makes one think about the nail again. It is hard to get out of that loop, but having an image like this helps.

    1. I know that fear of being hurt again all too well. It sounds like you’ve made great progress😊

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