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It has been exactly one year ago today that I left my spouse.  The transformation that has occurred in the last year has been nothing short of a miracle.  We were married for almost ten years and together for long, and in that time he broke my spirit.  During the last years of our marriage I thought death might be a better option than continuing to live in the horrible situation I was in.  My mother told me she had noticed that eyes look dead and the sparkle that once filled them was gone.

Over the past year, I have had a lot of learning to do. 

Firstly, I had to find myself and learn what I actually liked to do.  It sounds crazy as I am an adult woman and I have no idea what I like or don't like.  I also had to learn how to have fun again.  You don't realize when you are in this awful abusive situation that you forget what it is like to have fun and laugh until your stomach hurts.  I was fortunate to make a friend who taught me what it was like to have fun.

I don't know where I would be without my girlfriends.  I am surprised they were willing to let me come back to them after I had basically shut them out of my life for the last several years.  I realized I was so unhappy that it was easier to not have to talk to them than to tell them what was really going on.  I was also embarrassed to tell anyone that I was in an abusive situation.  I am an educated person, how could I allow this to happen to me. 

Through the separation process, I did lose friends including one woman who I thought was my best friend.  I made the effort to make new friends this year and I can honestly say I have better friends now than I did before.  I think a lot of that had to do with me and allowing myself to be vulnerable with them.  Tough to do but the results are amazing. 

For those contemplating divorcing yourself from abuse, I understand the fear you are feeling. 

I was terrified.  I would recommend finding a counselor to help you with deal with your feelings.  As part of my journey, I committed to being healthy in all aspects of my life and part of becoming healthy again was to deal with my mental health.  The support I received not only from friends, family and my counselor helped me become healthy again.  I also began running regularly.  There is nothing that a good run will not help after an awful.  For those who do not run, I would suggest going for a walk or doing yoga.  Do something you enjoy doing.

Life is too short to be anything but happy.  I encourage everyone to find their own joy and happiness again. 

Written by a community member here at First Wive's World.

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