I’m leaving you,” are the hardest words for a woman to hear, when she is under the illusion that she is in a stable marriage.

There are two common responses to this scenario. Linda took one approach while Rene took another.

Linda felt as if her world had turned upside down. She immediately began to lose her sense of self-worth and could not help but wonder, “What is wrong with me?”A whirlwind of self-defeating thoughts leaving Linda depressed and felling helpless followed. She put her happiness and her life in his hands. She believed her life was over.

Linda constantly phoned or sent emails and texts to her husband pleading with him to reconsider. She promised him she would change. She would do anything to win back his love. She refused to leave her house except to go to work. Her performance at work was suffering. She cried all the time. Her anguish prevented her from taking care of her children properly. She did not bother getting dressed or fixing her hair unless she was going to work or her husband was coming over to pick up the kids.

Renee reacted in pure anger. Her first impulse was to take Jim for everything he had. She wanted to give him a taste of his own medicine. She began telling everyone every single horrible thing that Jim had done. She posted mean and nasty things about him online. She immediately began removing all of the money from their joint bank accounts to a personal account. She told her kids that he was a horrible person for leaving them.

Renee wanted Jim to suffer. She wanted to strip him of his dignity, his friends and his financial stability. She wanted him to know that leaving her was the worst mistake he ever made. She imagined him crawling back to her on his knees, begging her to take him back and promising to do whatever she wanted. She imagined herself being in control.

It is natural to be sad and angry when a person you believed you would spend the rest of your life with leaves. However, it is very mentally unhealthy for you to bask in these feelings for months or years after the fact. Rather, you are acting out of desperation or out of anger; you are allowing the other people’s actions control how you feel about yourself and your happiness.

You are responsible for your feelings. No one can make you feel a certain way. You choose one thought and then allow your thoughts to follow in that pattern. Think about it, you can never be sad or angry enough to make another person happy. Likewise, you cannot control another person’s feelings or actions.

If you find yourself in the same situation as Linda or Renee, you can begin to regain control of your life by paying attention to what you are thinking. When you think a thought makes you feel bad (sand, angry, revengeful etc), reframe it to an empowering thought that makes you feel good about yourself. A simple statement like, “I am responsible for my life,”is empowering and can begin to lift your spirits.

Talk to someone about your feelings to learn to accept your current reality. Feeling your feelings and being conscious of your thoughts are the first steps towards healing and finding inner peace. Take time to dream about the future you without your ex in your life. Take the time to dream of the future possibilities that await you. Now is the time to enjoy being YOU!

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Filed Under: Emotions, Life After Divorce, Separation

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