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I know you won't believe me when I tell you that you will make it through your situation in life, if you just hang on.  Things will get better, you will get stronger and you won't miss him at all.  I often think now of how devastated I have been over the past several years; yet I recently read the things I wrote in my journal early on, and I realized that I don't know that person anymore.  I am stronger, I see him clearly and I have moved on in my life.  I am happy with the decisions I made, even when I was at the lowest point in my life.

There were times I felt completely broken.  

I had weeks where I couldn't pay bills, couldn't buy my kids school clothes, barely scraped enough money to get by. We have struggled, but I have finally reached financial stability.  I made small goals because I didn't want this to be my life.  I worked toward those little goals and then I got really lucky in being able to sell some assets that has freed me from being flat broke for another couple years. 

The relationship with the ex was horrible as he cheated, and I learned the hard way.  He was cold, heartless and downright cruel as he left.  The kids didn't deal with his behavior or the OW, so his actions really caused so much heartache and pain for all of us involved.  He didn't want to deal with the pain and suffering, so he essentially disappeared out of our lives.  Even worse, he eventually started a court case alleging all sorts of false things.  I hired the best lawyer I could find even though I could not afford it.  I really felt I was headed toward bankruptcy.  It was all just pure craziness and stress.  

Then, one day he ex decided he was done with the craziness.  He wanted to be involved with the kids and suddenly was the nicest guy you ever met.  He actually acts like the person I was married to except he is much nicer now that I am not being blamed for his every failure in life.  I don't consider myself bitter; but I do consider her a complete piece of trash that has no value in my life.  She may have gotten my husband but she didn't win.  She now is the one that has to deal with his lack of responsibility and she still has no relationship with his children.  

Mentally, I am much stronger, and my favorite word is resilient.

Above all, I never imagined that things would work out so well for me.   Yes, I took the destruction of my marriage very hard.  I cried all the time, I was horrible at my job, and I found joy in nothing.  Now, I have learned I am strong enough; I am really a much better person than the ex ever gave me credit for and I am a great mother.  I learned that it is not getting knocked down that matters; it is how you recover once you have been knocked flat.  I am resilient.  I bounced back better than I was before, I am in control of my life and I actually make far better decisions on my own than I did with him.

You decide how your story will end. 

I guess my message to everyone is to never lose hope and faith that you will end up somewhere good when you make it through the tough times.   My life got better and my anger disappeared with every positive step towards goals I had set for myself.  I read so many stories, and we are all versions of the same pain that destructive behavior of others has caused.   My heart hurts for every one of you because I understand the pain.  I understand the loss.  I just want you to know I also understand my value.  I deserved so much more; my story didn't end with a cheating, lying jerk that couldn't love me.  I will never accept less than what I deserve again. 

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  • Comment Link Yolanda Wednesday, 27 January 2016 10:00 posted by Yolanda

    I recently divorced a little over a year ago after 41 years of marriage. Although I had a friendly divorced, the experience sucks. It's horrible and hurts beyond measure. I learned that a divorce is like a death, the death of my plans. For a long time I kept silent about it until I had to talk to someone. The few people I spoke with prayed for me and my family who took it very hard. But what helped me the most was that I took my eyes off of my ex and focused on God and my children. I refused to allow bitterness, anger, resentment to enter into my life. I didn't want my ex to have such power and control over me that I would cancel out my present and future.
    I knew that God wasn't finished with me yet, so I began to seek Him for guidance and during the process I learned that God so loved me that I began to love myself. As a result I am more productive than ever and I give God all the glory for what He's done in my life!!!

  • Comment Link Sylvie Tuesday, 26 January 2016 21:28 posted by Sylvie

    You are right. But please tell me how to stay stable and sane in the midst of pain and confusion.

    I restarted antidepressants that worked for me in the past. I am starting counseling in a week (takes a while to get the appt). I used to drink two glasses of wine a night to stay calm; have abstained for two months. I walk often. I eat well. I gave notice at my job and will start a masters program once I clear the prerequisites. I've done all the paperwork for that!

    But man, the pain and confusion. I confess I do hold out hope that husband will suddenly stop blaming me for our problems. We have children still living with us; I want so desperately for them to have a happy family. It isn't even about me; my personal happiness can wait. I don't think I want to stay married as much as I want to avoid blowing up my kids' home.

    Hard in all directions. Together twenty years; only man I've ever been with. Oh my stars, the KIDS. What example am I setting? Am I teaching my daughter to stay in a hard marriage? Or am I teaching her to do what's right by her children? It isn't their fault I married their dad.

    So much sadness.

  • Comment Link basil0707 Saturday, 16 January 2016 08:16 posted by basil0707

    I think God works in mysterious ways. I needed to read this article right now. I need to decide how this story will end from a place of strength and empowerment.

    I feel like I want to kill myself right now. Just take a bunch of pills and go. I am losing hope because the ex is doing his narc lying manipulating victim thing. And he is coming out ahead. And I just can't fight back like that. He works the system and poisons my boys against me.

    Then he calls himself a hero and the man who is the mountain in front of my kids. I want to scream that he is a complete phony. That he is weak, criminal, selfish and repulsive and sickening to the soul.

    I want to just disappear because the pressure is mounting and I feel like I am being crushed to pieces. I already called the intervention hot line two days ago when I fell apart yet again.

    I wish I had the damn guts to do it but I know I can't go through with it. If I fail, the ex will go in front of the judge and take my children from me forever acting like some damn hero.

    I am filled with so much rage at him. I have never hated anyone so much in my life. I let him wreck my credit, alienate my children by acting like this "dad of the year bs" and take years of my life stating that he loved me and would take care of our family. Lies lies lies. Empty words that yielded nothing but lost time that I can't get back. He spent years where it was all about him, not the children, not me.

    I truly wish he would die a miserable death at the hands of evil selfish people..

    I have no money and live on predatory loans. I lost 35 lb because I can't afford food so I stopped eating.

    Am trying to sell that that goddamn house I bought and the ex lives in there with his nasty snarling dog trying to wreck the sale. Everyday I wake up and want to just hide away, no work, no kids. Just go to sleep and not wake up. Am at one of the lowest points in my life.

    I pray for a miracle where I can get job that pays all of my bills. I have to find a job outside of finance, although this is my field of expertise, because my credit is trashed. Nobody hires finance folks who can't even manage their own money.

    I pray for strength and resilence. I pray for hope and faith in a higher power who will let me walk beside Him in the safety and security of his love. But right now, I am alone vulnerable and sad.

  • Comment Link jacque Friday, 15 January 2016 03:20 posted by jacque

    I love that..."you decide how your story will end". Beautifully said and beautifully written. Time is our friend and I see like you, I am in a better place as well. I'm almost 7 years out and in the beginning didn't think I'd be able to go on. I was married 24 years, with him 28, started dating at 15.

    You know what I did, I picked myself up and slowly, very slowly made a life for me. It wasn't easy and in the end I proved to myself he wouldn't break me.

    Fast forward to now, I struggle financially but I have my kids and my grandkids around me. He has her and money. I got the better end of the bargain. I'm blessed beyond belief. I'm at peace and I'm contented. Thank you God for that!

  • Comment Link Emilie Friday, 15 January 2016 00:19 posted by Emilie

    I'm glad you were able to put your life back on track.
    I'm recently divorce after 21 years of marriage. Moved to CA 10 years because of my ex work and left me for another woman, so I don't have any family around to help me. Now I need to find a job so I can have independence which turned out to be the hardest I ever done. My health is not good and my self esteem is at its whole time low. Thanks for listening.

  • Comment Link urterrific2 Monday, 11 January 2016 23:40 posted by urterrific2

    Still finding our way, but this so could be written by me! She never will be considered a "step-mother" nor friend by any of my 3 kids, they are well aware of what she is! As for him, well, a year ago he had 3 kids who adored him! NOW?? He has 1 kid who barely tolerates him! His mask has been removed! The kids and I? Far closer, more open and honest and we ENCOURAGE rather than live "walking on egg-shells" to appease him!!