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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20 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

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