It's still a weird day for so many reasons...it's the third anniversary of my divorce and it brings up questions but it also brings up resolve and even joy.
The questions are all retrospective and deep. Why did I stay so long?! What were the things in my childhood that lead to me being a "fixer," an empath, the one whose responsibility it was to make everything seem fine when it was really all very wrong? How does being unloved and not knowing what true, unconditional, healthy love looks and feels like, set you up to choose a mate who also won't be capable of loving you and, more importantly, not harming you? How does growing up in a dysfunctional environment prevent you from recognizing red flags and make crazy seem normal to you? How do you recover from giving up decades of your adult life (your prime years) and coming face to face with the stark realization it was all a façade? How do you start over financially, emotionally, and professionally?
During my marriage, I did the "work." I did everything anyone's ever heard of, read everything, watched DVD's, you name it, I tried it to help my marriage, to make it better, to make my husband see what he had (a loving and loyal wife and family.) I self assess everything. I self-monitor. Much like then, I'm sure my ex-husband has not assessed his behavior then or now that created the destruction of our marriage and family as we knew it. I am being transformed and growing. So many lessons learned, and you will learn them too, but you can't learn them until you are free from the constant stress of unmerited anger, rage, unfaithfulness, and sociopathic, narcissistic mind games made even worse when coupled with spiritual abuse by someone who claims to be a person of faith. There is something about living under that kind of controlling, raging spirit that doesn't allow you to think straight. You are in survival mode
But, then there is resolve. One day, miraculously, you see the truth. You can't make any excuses for this person any more. He is a grown man and he's not getting better; he's getting worse and you will finally say, "I will not continue to live this way. I will not continue to let you treat me and your children the way you that you do." Once you say those words, he knows it's over. You have seen the light. The day you resolve that you will not accept his behavior and you or you and your children are leaving is the day you will see him shift. He will quickly find a way to take everything from you, if possible. I've seen this happen too many times (after seeing it happen to me.) My resolve is to help you achieve your freedom by speaking the truth even when it's hard for you to hear so that you understand the gravity of the situation you are in.
Know that while they may leave with everything; all of the money, all of your joint belongings, etc., they will unknowingly leave you with the most invaluable things. You will drive into your driveway and not dread going home. You will actually be glad to come home again. You won't be on constant alert trying to prevent blow-ups. You won't have to walk on any eggshells at all. Children in your home will be able to have normal emotions and work out their feelings. You will be able to have peace...and all of a sudden you will notice that everyone is just kind of hanging out together laughing over something funny that happened that day and enjoying a meal together...you know, normal family stuff with no one being on edge. That is what it's like to be free and I am thankful to God for setting me free. Do I wish my husband had been the great guy he pretended to be? Absolutely. Do I wish my children had an intact family? Absolutely, that's why I tried for 27 years. I couldn't change my husband--as much as I loved him, and I must tell you that you won't be able to change yours either. He has to want to change and if he wanted to change, he would.