The Emotional Rollercoaster of Divorce

by bye2mrwrong

If you’re going through a break-up or a divorce, and if you’re anything like me, you must have devoured all the articles, psychological digests, and relationship blogs there are on the topic.  And by now you’ve heard consistently that when you break up you go through pretty much 5 stages of emotions: Denial, Pain, Anger & Resentment, Depression, and Acceptance.

So having read about it for the zillionth time, I had half expected everything to go smoothly and precisely as all the articles explain. I wish I could say it was that simple for me. That the stages went exactly in that order without any hindrances or backlashes. That I could see the progression as I moved from one step to the next. But to be honest it wasn’t. Come to think of it, those articles never give a time constraint on these emotions, do they? So yes I went through those stages. But I went through them time and again, back and forth, repeatedly. Reliving the emotions I thought I had already passed over and over again.

I guess you could say that I was already in DENIAL long before I found out about my husband’s infidelity. In retrospect I can see now that I had been keeping my eyes wide shut, denying the truth for a long time. Spineless and afraid of what would happen if I confronted it, what I might lose. The signs were there, I just didn’t want to believe them.

Then when I finally did find out the PAIN was immense and it consumed me. Not only was it an emotional pain but it was physical as well. I was sick from disgust, I wanted to throw up, I couldn’t eat, couldn’t sleep.  I screamed, I yelled, I cried.

But unlike what you read about wanting time alone – for me it was exactly the opposite. I didn’t want to be alone. I wanted my husband to show me that he wanted to be with me. I wanted affection and love. Sure he had just given his love to another, but I wanted him now to give it to me. Now more than ever I wanted him to become what he never was before – affectionate.

And though you expect at this point to draw your lines, get angry, and say NO MORE, DENIAL crept in again when my husband first mentioned the D word. All I could think was “this isn’t happening to me”. I was not going to get divorced. Not for the life of me. Divorce was just not an option. I was going to fix this marriage, if it killed me. My husband would never really leave me. After 10 years together he would surely choose me over her.

But as the weeks passed by and there were no signs of repair, PAIN was slowly sinking in again. My husband was not coming to his senses, as I had irrefutably expected. I couldn’t believe that this was really happening. That after 10 years together, we couldn’t find a way to make it work. We couldn’t reach a compromise.  This time the pain was different. It stemmed from bereavement for the love I had lost, embarrassment for what had happened, shame that I couldn’t keep my marriage going, and hurt that I had been deceived. I felt like a failure. I was not a good enough wife, lover, or friend.

This time however, my pain was mixed with feelings of ANGER & RESENTMENT. At this point I was still not blaming my husband. It was not his fault. He was also a victim of this temptress. He had fallen into her spider web, through no fault of his own. I was mad at her, the girl who had stolen my husband away from me. And I was going to make her pay for it. Irrational thinking and violent ideas consumed me. I would wreck her car, scratch it, puncture the tires, or even loosen the wiring. I would tell the world who she was, and what she was capable of. I would make her ashamed to walk into work, to go to church, or even to look in her father’s eyes. I had many violent dreams and even hallucinations of choking her, of hitting her. Thoughts of seeing her and what I would do or say had become an obsession.

As time passed by I became bitter. I had been keeping this dark secret inside me for so long with no friends to share it with, no outlet to relieve the pain. I had become quiet and recluse. I had stopped calling my family, stopped meeting with my friends, afraid that I If did, I would let it all out.  The only people who knew now were my psychologist (who at the time I didn’t feel was helping as he was playing devils advocate) and my husband’s parents (who took a distant neutral stand, so as not to get their hands dirty).

Out of desperation, I began trying to negotiate anything and everything to try to save the relationship. I began compromising my true feelings. I asked him what I could do to change. What was he missing from ME in our relationship? I did everything in my power to please him. I took him out to dinners; I booked us a weekend get-away. I agreed that SHE could stay working with my husband, if he promised not to speak to her. We both knew this was not possible. I was being subservient and slowly I was loosing me.

But everyone has a red line that cannot be crossed, a point of no return, something that just jolts you out of your dream, and wakes you up. The affair had been my line, my border. We were standing right on it, wobbling from side to side. But I was trying so very hard to shut it up, to ignore it. Until he went too far, told another lie (bought the slutty red car) and pushed me over the edge.

At this point, I let everything out. And with that came relief; relief that no one was angry at me, or disappointed with me, or saw me as a failure. But with relief came the realization that the breakup was really happening and I was no longer in control. Had I ever been in control?

DEPRESSION brought with it more pain and sadness, more tears and feelings of loneliness and regret; regret for the things I haven’t done, or maybe did wrong. Questions like “Did I do everything I could?” “Is this my fault?” “Was I not good enough?” crossed my mind.

After depression came more anger, more resentment. My blaming finger was pointed at everyone. His dad for not talking some sense into him, his mom for having already taken my pictures off her wall, his brother for dating the slut (that’s another story in itself) and thus making sure that she was now an inseparable part of this family, and his friends for supporting him through HIS difficult time. I was angry at everyone and anyone that was even slightly on his side. But most of all my anger was directed at my husband. He had made the choice of having the affair, and he made the choice that he wouldn’t stop talking to his mistress, and he made the choice of continuing to lie to me. There was no excuse. Yes, she wasn’t a saint and had her share in the blame, but temptations are part of life, they always have been; and he should have just said no.

So where am I now? I’ve finally reached ACCEPTANCE. But even that has gradual stages, setbacks and at times allows pain and depression to creep in. It started with first accepting that his friends and family are HIS friends and family, and that they are there to support him, no matter what he did. Then came a higher level of acceptance. Accepting that maybe this is for the best; that maybe this affair happened so that I would open my eyes to the kind of life I was living. Finally see how I was really being treated. And now there’s the last level of acceptance. The one where I realize I deserve better, the one where I’m really moving on, going out, socializing and secretly excited for what lies ahead.

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One Comment to “The Emotional Rollercoaster of Divorce”

  1. This is your most outstanding post so far. Carry on!

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