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Ask Suzanne Your Own Question
Suzanne, Mental Health Professional
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 919
Experience:  LCSW, RN. Mental Health, Relationship & Parenting issues.EMDR, Hypnosis.
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I have finally accepted that the divorce is going forward

Customer Question

I have finally accepted that the divorce is going forward even though this is NOT what I want. I just spent a week alone at OUR Lake House and that was so hard. I sent my husband a text asking if we could spend New Year's Eve together...his response was "this is unfixable"
I spent most of yesterday reading Contemplating Divorce and I think that I realized that I took my unfiltered emotions and filtered them into my own story that IF I could break up the affair...expose marriage could be saved...but instead I only made things worse.
I don't think I will ever get closure from this relationship of 38 years and I don't know how I can ever move forward without it.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Suzanne replied 5 years ago.

It sounds like you've been doing a lot of contemplation and figuring things out. Thinking that exposing an affair would fix things didn't take into account that something had to be wrong in the relationship long before the affair ever happened, or it wouldn't have happened. If your husband wasn't the type to sit down and talk things out before, there's virtually no chance he'll agree to it now.

The up and down swings of your grief are absolutely normal, as is your feeling that things are left unfinished. That is the nature of divorce. There will never be a time when you feel that you know everything you wanted to know, or said everything you needed to say. When you're able to change your focus from what happened to looking to the future, and how you want the rest of your life to be, the craving for closure will diminish. It won't happen right away, as you're still in the grieving process, but it will fade from importance with time.

It would really be a good idea to get a local counselor to help guide you through this process. It's important to have someone outside the family to vent to. Your children, although they know you were wronged, will still have some loyalty to their father, and venting your pain to them will put them in an awkward position, emotionally. And they may have a hard time visualizing what your new life will look having a new person to help give support, perspective, and inspiration will really help.

Be patient with yourself, and expect the ups and downs to continue for awhile. You've been through a major upheaval in your life, and it will take a fair amount of time to adjust to it. Spend some time each day thinking about any dreams you had for yourself that you were never able to may find the seed there of the new life you want to create for yourself. If you had a talent or passion in your youth, look into taking some classes in that area. Distraction offers some relief from the pain, and can help you keep perspective.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I have realized just how much our lack of communication has gotten us to this point. Al found a letter that I wrote (to myself) when he and my daughter were packing up our home in Vermont to sell. He never would tell me what it was...he just said it stuck in his mind. My daughter is the one that knew what it was about and she told me just recently. We had only been in Vermont for two months when our daughter was put into a facility for trouble kids (admitted on her 16th birthday no less) and we had other troubles after that with CPS and foster care. I am sure the letter Al read was something like "why in the world would he move us back to where he grew up and expose us to his past life of foster care, CPS and family court. I guess the truth hurt him be we NEVER talked about it. He told me just recently that he had done everything he could think of to save our marriage, bought the lake house, celebrated our 38th anniversary...(which I didn't know was a "test") but he NEVER told me. So many issues past and present I have never dealt with and I do plan to take your advice and begin therapy.
Expert:  Suzanne replied 5 years ago.

So it does sound like the issues run pretty deep, as well as the pattern of not communicating about the really important stuff. Interview a couple of therapists by phone, and look for someone with significant life experience as well as training. I've found that it's easiest to build the therapeutic relationship when the therapist is at least the same age or older than the client. (Not a hard and fast rule, but generally true).

Here's a link to a directory to give you some clinician names in your area:

I wish you all the best as you start the process of designing a new life for yourself!

Suzanne and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I'm back. My life has gone from BAD to WORSE. Have to go to court 02-24-12 and my daughter I live with has been involved in my case with my lawyer. She had to call her Dad yesterday on my behalf through my attorney trying to help. We had a talk last night and she said she needed to remain neutral...said some things that made me cry.

Called my other daughter that met the OW trying to get some help...she said maybe she should have taken Dad's secret to her grave and maybe none of this would be happening.

My son in getting married in April...he had to ask me if it was OK to invite his Dad to the wedding. Oh my gosh...we are all hurting so MUCH just because of HIM.

I went to the site you sent me and sent some e-mails but never got any replies. I just called today to see if I could get into counseling...I thought I was making progress going through all the stages I am back to step one...Sheila

Expert:  Suzanne replied 5 years ago.

You must feel as if you've been through the wringer...and back. I'm sure every new contact re-opens the wounds. I hope your ex is not bringing someone to your son's wedding...that would be salt in the wound this early in the whole process.

This has got to be hard for the kids too, and I can understand them wanting to remain as neutral as possible. (Even though deep down inside I'm sure they're not happy with his actions.) Even grown kids have a hard time accepting parental divorce...they expect their parents to stay the same forever.

When contacting therapists, it's much better to call than email..lots of my colleagues are not very computer-savvy. I hope you can find one you're comfortable with--it sounds like you have a hard couple of months ahead of you.

Suzanne and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I have never felt so all alone in my life...I really have no one to talk to. I do wish I had seen someone local when this first started because I don't think I would be in such a state...I just really thought I was "getting through this" by myself.
Expert:  Suzanne replied 5 years ago.
I hope you'll be able to find someone to work through this with...and I'm a big believer in finding a therapist with more life experience (read: older). There are challenges at the different stages of life--a divorce at 30 is very different than a divorce at 50 or 60.
Of course, you're always welcome to come back here, as well, when you can't reach your therapist and need a sympathetic ear.
I wish you all the best through this painful transition,
If you want to reach me and this question is closed, just put "For Suzanne" as the first words in your question, and they'll send it to me.

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