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I started this blog as a reply to a blog I read on the boards. I felt what the writer felt and I know how easy it is to call a thing [anger] something else [truth]. And yet, what it really boils down to is expressing such a deep hurt that has still not healed and that is not being allowed to properly heal. I guess that is where this blog post comes from. It's not just for the writer of that post, it's for me every time I think about ISO and NEXT. It's something to print out and hang up on my desk so that I can remember that forgiveness isn't for them. It's so I can move on from my divorce and heal.

I know the feelings that make you want to write a post like this. I know them oh so very well. But the truth is that no matter what we tell ourselves to make ourselves 'feel' like we are better than she is [NEXT in my case], those feelings expressed in the post seem really based out of something deep within us that wants to not see ourselves as the 'loser'. We see 'them' in our minds as they go off happily in their little sunset.

And that is where the real problem lies. We keep seeing it as 'us' vs 'them'. It's hard not to. It is especially difficult if they don't let you peacefully recover from the pain they have dealt or the issues they left heaped in your lap. But the true heart of this is that you are still concentrating on 'them'. And that is a separate matter from the issues of the Divorce. I am talking solely of the relationship you once had with 'him' and how 'she' came in between.

When you get to where I have and so many of the other ladies who've been around the boards for a while, you will eventually get more or less beyond the anger and the hurt to a place that is almost indifference. Does it mean anything you said isn't true? Probably not. But this does show me that you are still really hurting. And we are here for you.

For all the other ladies who commented and agreed, it is necessary to let you in on a little secret... they aren't as happy as they want you to think they are. But you have been given a precious gift of freedom. Hold tight to it and learn that despite everything they threw you are moving on. Free of the things you rant about when you think of STBX's face or NEXT's red wedding dress [my own story]. And every time you start wanting to rant, decide what you want more.To look back and move on with grace, or to give yourself license to become bitter.

It is a slippery slope that cuts narrowly between the two. When I first entered this world it would have made me so very angry to read a post like this. But the truth is the truth no matter where you are in the cycle of divorce. So breath deep. Trust in the love and comfort of your sisters, and don't compare yourself to 'them'. They are in a class on their own, and they deserve no such attention. Nor do they deserve your hurt or continued anger.

Anger feels good in the present, but bitter is a poison that lasts forever. And you are the only one carrying it around. Rant about their legal stuff. Rant about the problems they continually throw in your path. And come to us when you feel like crying because the pain is there. But always remember that it is your choice to keep or get rid of the bitterness.

My grandmother was a stalwart woman who schlepped my grandfather from duty station to duty station with their 5 kids. She was a Naval Captain's wife with all that meant. Hosting senators and taking care of the wives in the lower echelons. For over 30 years she was there for him.

And after he retired, he dumped her for a woman who she later found out had been following them from base to base during the entirety of his service. My grandmother never recovered. She died alone, having become so bitter that she could barely attend family functions where he and his NEXT were.

When my own pain and dissolution happened, I experienced horror and anger on such levels that made me realize only a fraction of what her heart must have gone through. And I wept for her as much as for me. But it also made me realize that I did not want to become what she had allowed herself to transform into.

She lost her way in the anger and the bitterness and justified it all through the truth of the matter. But despite her family understanding that the truth was on her side, they didn't join in with her. They shut her off. They left her alone. Because they didn't need or want that in their own lives. They still had to maintain relationships with my grandfather. And to this day, they still smile tightly but grin and bear it when dealing with him and his NEXT.

She passed away some years ago. Her health broken. Her life having never recovered. She never stopped comparing herself to them. On top of that, I am coming up on the 5th of this month to the anniversary of my close friend, Natalie, passing away. It's the first anniversary since she passed. And I still get angry when I have to see the face of her husband. And his NEXT.

But I have to deal with them. I've lost several friends who purposefully turned away when the truth of how he left her was presented to them. They preferred to choose the easy path and not defend her. And so I've seen this story play out in front of my eyes.

But the anger and the hurt don't go away on their own. They keep us warm at night as we cry ourselves to sleep. They sit there and feed off of us. Unless...unless you purposefully turn away from them and let yourself begin to heal. And it's a hard, winding way. But in the end, you will be free. But it's a choice you have to make every day.

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  • Comment Link Sherry M Monday, 25 July 2016 00:08 posted by Sherry M

    What a great way to dishonor your grandmother. Your family is shallow and why not? It's easier to fabricate peace than to tell your grandfather what a disloyal PIG he was and is. On top of that, the family abandons that poor woman to die alone. Their and yours excuse? Ah well, we all have to grin and bear it. Here's a shocker, no you don't. You can get thru hardship in your life without taking the easy way out. In the end, YOU are the loser. You threw away a woman who needed your support and love because it was easier to pretend no live in an illusion, than reality. You STILL do. You know what, your fake, self absorbed illusion is exactly what you deserve. The next time you struggle those very same people will toss you out like trash. After all, nobody likes a Debbie downer. The greatest tragedy is how you applaud yourself while playing pretend. I'm betting your grandmother survived to live a productive life away from a Herd of pathetic relatives, enablers and Peace in Our Time head in the sand idiots. Perhaps that is what the lesson really is. I feel sorry for your inability to live an honorable life.

  • Comment Link JannaG Tuesday, 19 July 2016 17:32 posted by JannaG

    I don't blame her for struggling to attend family functions with her ex and his new wife. I've known many who have moved on with their lives after divorce. They still struggle to attend functions with their ex present. I don't think that alone signifies bitterness. I also don't blame her if she didn't want to remarry. Choosing to remain single is a valid choice, whether one has previously remarried or not. It does sadden me that she compared herself to them.

  • Comment Link Ms.Gee Wednesday, 12 November 2014 05:02 posted by Ms.Gee

    I find that anger is blocking my path to healing. I know that I need to let it go, but it's easier said that done.

  • Comment Link Guest Sunday, 23 December 2012 09:33 posted by Guest

    So stuck in the past. Caught: So stuck in the past. Caught my ex-husband in bed with my best friend, and co-worker, Dec. 17th, 2010. We had been married for 11 years, and I loved him so much. My daughters we also part of the mess as they heard me screaming hysterically at 3 in the morning. All he did was watch out the window as she left. The pain I felt? So much like the pain when I found out my 17 year old son jumped off a bridge 3 years earlier. He left on the 19th(moved in with his daughter)Dec. 26 brought me papers for a do it yourself divorce kit. Blind-sided!!!! Still experience anxiety every morning since and hard as I try to get on with my life, it's in my head. They married on Oct. 23rd 2011, which just happens to be my birthday, by Elvis, in Vegas. She was engaged to be married to her first husband again Jan.1, 2011. I can't get by the fact I had no clue and I was sure we'd be together forever. What did I do that was so bad? There's so much more I could say about her, and what Kevin(ex) and I had conquered as a couple. I just want my life back!

  • Comment Link Guest Thursday, 06 September 2012 02:02 posted by Guest

    This whole "need space, I'm not happy" thing.: Bloke here! Crikey, i can feel everything emotion there in your words. I am looking for anything and everything via these posts in an attempt to stop what i know will be a horrible situation if me and my mrs (22 years of marriage) ultimately go down this path. Nobody else involved on either side (positive and confident of that) but huge caring responsibilities, bipolar on one family line, mrs is lost in the wilderness due to my inattention (which i now recognise and desparately wish to address via counselling; individual and joint). Someone please reassure me that the grass isn't always greener on the other side and that we shouldn't throw the towel into the ring until everything has been tried. Hell it needs a wake up call like this to bring a bloke out of the cave but why does everyone here seem to be reading and writing in hindsight after all hope is gone? My analogy being that it is a fine line between contentment and boredom with the former being good and the latter being bad. At least you guys Stateside appear to be able to effectively communicate your emotional state to your nearest and dearest a lot better than here in the UK?

  • Comment Link Guest Friday, 30 December 2011 10:28 posted by Guest

    Thank you for sharing : Sometimes I forget that the hurt and sadness is universal among FIRSTs. It's comforting to read that other women have gone through exactly the same thing and have made the choice to heal. It's not easy. I have so much going for me. People see me as smart, pretty, financially stable with two wonderful children. Little do they know that, some days, the hurt fills up every hour. It's been two years since he left and I still can't believe he did it. He lives five minutes away with his NEXT (mistress while we were married) and I'm constantly running into them. Every day does get a little better though. I force myself to focus on the positive and hope that one day, way down the road, I'll find peace and happiness again. I will continue to focus on my peaceful home, with no one there to criticize me. I will continue to enjoy making all of my own decisions. I will enjoy every moment with my kids!

  • Comment Link Guest Wednesday, 09 March 2011 23:13 posted by Guest

    Getting Rid Of The Bitterness So You Can Move On : Beautifully written and just what I wanted to hear. I have been trying to move in this direction but oddly some people want me to be angry. I could go there but I know it's just a dead end and I want to move on.

  • Comment Link Guest Sunday, 09 January 2011 19:09 posted by Guest

    What kind of NEXT?: Do you distinguish between a NEXT who caused your divorce and a NEXT who is simply your former husband's next partner? Thanks.