If you think of life as a journey - a long walk down a long road - your spouse suddenly leaving presents you with a junction in this road. For a number of years you have shared the walk with this person and then one day without warning, they disappear and you are left standing alone at a crossroads.
You look behind you and you can see where you have been - maybe there were children, a wedding, buying a house, holidays together - you can look back and see what you have shared. In front of you, however, there are three roads.
The first road is the most painful. This is the road that your spouse has now taken, with someone else. In the initial stages of grief, you might try to follow them, you can hear them laughing together, always around the next corner, but you can't catch up to them. The road is full of jagged, sharp rocks that pierce through your boots and every step hurts. Objects loom up with no warning and knock you over. As you zig-zag back and forth through the grief stages, you often find yourself on this road, tormented by his sudden cruel abandonment, and the pain of rejection with no explanation. As time goes on you start to realise that by choosing this road, you are hurting yourself, and you start to question your desire to travel this way.
The second road has a large detour sign across it's entry. There is no way around the sign, you can look up the road, but there is no way of getting on to it. This road was the future that you thought you were going to have. In the distance, you can see grandchildren, overseas holidays, the block of land that you were going to retire to together. You can see all the things that you were looking forward to as a couple. But it is all a mirage. A man that can turn off his emotions and cause you this much pain and anguish never loved you. His actions speak, his words are all lies. None of those things would have ever happened, if it hadn't been this woman, there would have been another one. He is a player of games, a cold, calculating user of people and those dreams only ever belonged to you, he was never committed to a future with you - he is incapable of having a decent, healthy relationship with anyone.
The third road is your only real option. You can't see what lies ahead because it all depends on you. You have the choice to start living your life to the fullest and forget that man who was never what you thought he was. You loved him, you did everything to make him happy, but in the end it wasn't enough because he was always on the look out for someone else. It wasn't you - he is a sad individual who knows no other way of relating to people except through lies and manipulation. You are a genuine, honest person who had no idea that people like that existed, and the positive thing now is that you are free of him and you can control your own destiny. He will continue his self destructive behaviour alienating people until there is no-one left. My ex-husband now lives a lonely existence in a rental house, hardly working, just getting by, with the amazing new woman just summoning him, once in a while when she has nothing else to do. He has lived his whole life, using and abusing people, he now has little contact with family and friends because most people that he comes into contact with, at some stage realise that he is a fraud. My revenge on the pain and anguish that he has caused me is the fact that I know he will never be truly happy, because he doesn't know how to live an authentic life. I, on the other hand, after various false starts, am starting to own the third road. I have forgiven myself for allowing myself to be treated with such disrespect and for falling into the trap repeatedly. But I know I have to put one foot in front of the other, my head up and my shoulders back and get on with my new exciting journey down this unknown road.
This road is full of possibilities. I go out with friends and I have made new friends through Meetup.com. Through the Meetup groups, I am doing all sorts of things that I wouldn't have contemplated doing before - wine tours, yoga classes, pub scrabble. Rediscover your passions - get into the garden, download a fitness app and start walking. Learn new skills like a language, a musical instrument or a craft. Keep a Gratitude Journal and every night before you go to bed, write at least three things that you are grateful for that happened that day. Even something small, like that orange I had at lunch time was so juicy! It really does make a difference to how you feel.
You can remain stuck at the crossroads, you can try to chase him up that painful road, or you can stare wistfully up the road that could have been, but you know what - you only have one life, don't waste a second more on someone who has nothing to offer you but disappointment. Get on your road and strut like Beyonce!
Every now and then, you will have moments where you look across and see what could have been, on that other road, but remember it was all a mirage - the future with him was never real. Also because you can't see the first road from your road, you can have a tendency to imagine what is happening over there. So you imagine him and her in a blissful relationship, sipping Pina Coladas as they stare into each other's eyes. Think about it - is he really going to change patterns of behaviour that has been his modus operandi up until now? If he cheated on you, on his first wife, if he has always been a liar, a drunk and a manipulator, do you really think the outcome of this new hook-up is going to be any different? When you have those moments, focus back on you - he has already taken up enough of your time. I have a meditation app on my phone that is handy for these moments.
It's all about you now - you are in control and you can do anything. You don't need to compromise or take anyone else into account anymore. Get out there are live your life!
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