1. If only he would have loved you more
2. If only he would have shown you affection in public
3. If only he would not have had an affair
4. If only he would have shared his feelings
5. If only he would have treated you better
6. If only he would not have drank or used drugs
7. If only he would be the man that you knew he could have been
Even if you believed that your marriage was going along fine, and then BAM – he left and you felt completely blindsided, you played a role that led up to it.
From the time you were a little girl you have been deciding three things each and every minute of your life.
1. What to focus on
2. What your perception is about situations or people
3. What you choose to do right that moment
Let’s focus on number two – What your perceptions about situations or people are. There is always more than one way to look at things. It’s all about what story you put behind the circumstances. Even in your divorce there is your story, your ex’s story and everyone else’s whose lives were impacted by your divorce.
After telling yourself the same story for so long, it becomes a deep ingrained belief, that impacts the choices you make. This could be something as simple as how you react if he didn’t eat the dinner you cooked or whether or not you laugh at one of his jokes.
If you were ever physically, sexually or mentally abused, the story you tell yourself about it has a HUGE impact on your everyday life. You either continue to see yourself as a victim, as a survivor, or as a winner.
Most people have been mentally abused in their life – by someone. The question is how big of an impact did it have on your life? For example, you could have been bullied in school, you could have had parents who told you that you were too skinny or too fat. Perhaps, your mother told you that a woman was nothing without a man. Maybe you received multiple unwanted sexual advances at a job. Your ex could have been controlling and demanding. Regardless of where the abuse came from, at some point you may have believed you were the person that these other people told you that you were.
I was sexually abused by my father, plus two family friends while growing up. My dad was also mentally and physically abusive. I have forgiven him. My coping mechanism was making my dad two different people. I had the horrible dad, that I did not like being around. I also had this great dad, that was funny, supported and loved me.
By the time I was in my mid-teens, I knew I wanted away from him. I almost eloped with my boyfriend when I was 15. Then at age 16, I met Earl and fell deeply in love with him. I married him at age 18. Earl, was my good father, with the addition of the mental abuse. I never completely trusted Earl. Looking back, I can see that the lack of my trust was founded on “my bad father.” I completely expected Earl to hurt me, every bit as much as my dad had. In time he did.
Not knowing myself, not knowing that I had a choice in my life, and not understanding the wounds I had from the abuse, helped lead to my divorce. I didn’t want it. However, my lack of trust played a key role in many of my decisions throughout the years. I reacted, Earl reacted and thus went the crazy merry-go-round, of him blaming, criticizing and telling me who I should be, and me crying, begging and promising to be different. It got to the point where I had no clue who I was. I decided to leave when I felt I only had two choices left … 1) give up and die or 2) leave.
It’s time for you to do some self-reflecting about your own life, marriage and divorce to discover what role you played. You may wonder why you should do this as it can be a very painful experience. The reason is that it empowers you. It helps you to understand who you are and what beliefs that you have chosen to adopt. It gives you the opportunity to choose different beliefs, that support you in the path you want to take in your life.
You are not broken. You are valuable. Love yourself through this process. You are a beautiful, unique, magnificent woman. Moving forward and creating the happy and peaceful life that you deserve and crave comes down to loving and accepting yourself exactly as you are.
Are you ready to find that beautiful, strong woman within, but don’t know how to go about it? Schedule a Getting Unstuck session with me, where we will uncover some next steps to help you move forward.