Finding Light After Divorce

Jilted by a philandering husband and defrauded out of my share of the assets, I made a convincing victim.

“You are righteously angry,” a friend counselled.

Perhaps so, but something niggled at me.

“A man does not stray unless there is a reason,” someone said, and I felt as if she looked right through me, could see the flaws at my core.  My mother’s repeated warnings came back to me:  “No one will ever love you.”

What is wrong with me?  my broken heart wailed.

Urgency drove me to find answers.  I never wanted to go through this again.  I had to know why my life had turned out this way.

I read.  I read Daphne Rose Kingma’s Coming Apart, and Susan Anderson’s The Journey from Abandonment to Healing, and The Mastery of Love by don Miguel Ruiz:  all offering glimpses of insight and understanding – something I could hold on to.  So many books passed through my hands and desperate to learn more, I turned to a galley copy of a book I’d received as a bookstore owner.  A commercial piece, now released, but that I’d never bothered with in the past, having stashed it beside many other soon-to-be published editions.

It was Relationship Rescue by Dr. Phil McGraw.

“Too Late for this, really,” I told myself but I decided to give it a chance.

Dr. Phil wrote the words I had suspected all along:  good relationships begin with the self.  His advice made sense, and more than that, I felt like I was finally onto something.  I attacked the book as if reading a how-to manual, highlighter in hand and pencil at the ready.

Relationship Rescue delves into the different “bad spirits” that we bring to our relationships, and as I read along, I began to recognize bits of myself in the “scorekeeper”, the “fault-finder”, and the control freak, but when I reached the eighth category and began to read, I felt as if I’d been punched in the stomach and wanted to throw up. I was the “bottomless pit”.

I told myself that I didn’t need anything so that I wouldn’t be a burden.  What I was actually doing was sabotaging my partner’s chances of ever meeting my needs.  “He should know without me telling him,” was another one of those false beliefs that I measured by husband against.

The spirit I brought to my marriage was ugly.  I had so many expectations about what I wanted and didn’t want based on my parents failures that any partner was destined to fail.

With understanding comes change.  It would not be easy, and I am still a work in progress, but Relationship Rescue gave me solid understanding so that I can be accountable and achieve a healthier relationship.

My challenge this week is to write about (or submit images of) a book that made you sit up and pay attention.  What book(s) made a difference in your life?

 

 

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25 comments

  1. Those kinds of comments – there’s always a reason for a partner to stray, that nobody would or could fully love you anyway – are so damaging, not to mention wildly untrue. I’m glad the book was a fresh perspective and insight for you in dealing with what was obviously a traumatic and awful time. There’ve been a couple of ‘sit up and listen’ books, one was in my late teens I think “Overcoming Overeating” by Carol H. Munter and Jane R. Hirschmann as gave me new insight into being kind to myself, and it ‘spoke’ to the reader in such a profound yet down to earth way that really resonated. x

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Wow, thank you for sharing this insight and journey- sounds like Dr Phil is so onto it- I admire your honesty, and hope you feel happier now? We all deserve to be loved and understood, even at our worst moments 🙏🏼

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Accidentally posted this to the wrong blog, lol, but glad you enjoyed it. I’ve started a weekly challenge for those who want to indulge in a little introspection and growth. I wrote it for that. Life is so much better now – hindsight and perspective are everything.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Very insightful, love your raw honesty … but Invisible Me makes a very valid point about those negative messages you told yourself! You are loveable and there is no excuse for straying or violence.
    Already done a post ages ago on books that impacted me … happy healing!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Makes me want to read this, thanks for the idea – always been a Phil fan anyway. ‘Courage to be Disliked’ by Fumitake Koga and Ichiro Kishimi was a book I found very insightful. I also found ‘Wild’ by Cheryl Strayed very comforting at the beginning of my separation.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. V.J, after everything that has happened to you, it takes real bravery to look into the flaws within yourself. Your ex-husband leaving with those assets is honestly annoying to think of. I hope you are doing great during this time. I see that you made this post last year. Hopefully between last year and this year you have made some improvements. I am so so sorry to hear about all of this.

    Dr. Phil is right in saying that we need to first be in a relationship with ourselves, before we begin a relationship with someone else. We need to know our flaws. That is right. However, in my opinion, God is the beginning of all relationships. When we know the Lord and read the Bible, God shows us where we are weak. God does not just stop there, a continued relationship with the Lord and growth with the Lord brings about changes in our behavior. God also does not stop there, he knows what we need and he likes to bless us with the things that we need. God knows that no matter the age of a person, we all need human love in our life. God is able to lead you to the right person for you, or lead the right person for you to you. God is the core to everything, and prayers are a great way to connect with the Lord. Yes sure, God expects us to work hard, but he is going to bless our efforts with success. God is real and prayers work. You are already on the right path, you are working on yourself by seeing where you might have gone wrong. That is great. Prayers are a great addition. I am sure that our heavenly Father would be happy to hear from you. He who gave up the life of his precious son for us, can do anything for us. A relationship with the Lord begins with faith in the Lord, prayers to God, obedience to the Bible, and a passion for Christ. God is ready, the question is, are you?

    The Bible says in Philippians 4:6
    “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done”.

    The Bible says in Matthew 7: 7-8
    “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened”.

    God says in Isaiah 41:10
    “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.
    Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
    I will strengthen you and help you.
    I will hold you up with my victorious right hand”.

    God says in Jeremiah 29:11
    “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope”.

    If you do not yet have a relationship with the Lord, I would strongly suggest that you begin one. There are a lot of blessings that comes from knowing the Lord, and being in fellowship with him. If you already have a relationship with the Lord, that is good, keep believing and working to deepen your relationship with him, and I am sure that he would come through for you somehow.

    If you want to know about God in more detail, you can find further information here https://christcenteredruminations.wordpress.com/2018/10/23/a-few-things-that-i-have-learned-about-god/ And Here https://christcenteredruminations.wordpress.com/2018/08/29/how-to-build-a-relationship-with-god/

    May God’s blessings be with you, Amen. ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I appreciate that you have taken the time to read and comment in such depth. That your faith is strong is evidenced in your words. As you suggest, you have no further knowledge of me than the struggle I reveal on this page.

      Liked by 1 person

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