Do you have some advice for this newly divorced man? I sure do!
My divorce was finalized a couple months ago, though we split of up 3 years ago. She remarried recently and I can’t seem to move on. I don’t know what it is. I’m not sure I ever got over her. Or maybe my sadness is because I feel like I let my daughter down. Either way, I can’t shake this feeling of blame, even though we’re approaching the 4th year of being split up, and with her being remarried, etc.
Regardless of who wanted the divorce or what exactly contributed to the demise of the marriage, when a spouse moves on—to the extreme of being married again so soon, it is never easy. Even if you have no desire to get back together, I think knowing your ex got married again is really, really really difficult. Gut-wrenching, actually. I can’t explain it, it just feels very sad, and sort of like he or she moved on and you didn’t. Like he or she is doing great and you aren’t. Like your marriage is a distant memory or has been erased from his or her head. It doesn’t even matter if you are in a relationship or still single, it hurts. It just does. So there, I just validated your feelings.
What worries me is that after three years, you are still punishing yourself. Why is that? “I can’t shake this feeling of blame,” you write. Well, guess what? It’s time to shake it. You deserve to shake it. Right?? What is holding you back? If you feel you were to blame for the divorce—and let’s take it to the extreme and say you were the worst husband in the world. Mean, selfish, maybe cheated (not saying you did but just making a point here). And maybe she begged you to go to counseling and you wouldn’t. Even if you were horrible, isn’t three years enough time to dwell on the fact that you are to blame?
I don’t know how old you are, but I just turned 50, and I sometimes feel like time is running out, which is a shame because I feel so much smarter than I’ve ever been. Why are you wasting precious time in life dwelling on the fact that you are to blame and that you let your daughter down?
What I’m trying to say to you is that it is enough. I personally think that your ex getting remarried could be the kick you needed to realize that it’s time to come to peace with the past.
There really is a silver lining of divorce, which is that it teaches you how to be a better person, a better partner, and make better decisions. You of course have to be self-aware and have the guts to admit your contribution to the divorce for the silver lining to be of any use. But this email sounds like you are.
So, what are you waiting for? You have time and health (I hope) and a daughter. Enjoy your time with her. Enjoy your time alone. And enjoy time with friends and family. I believe in second chances and this is yours. But your guilt for whatever happened is paralyzing you to move on.
The key in accepting the past is liking yourself and forgiving the mistakes you made. God grants forgiveness, so why is it so hard to forgive yourself?
I hope this helps, and I hope that you soon shift from “I’m not sure I ever got over her” to “I deserve to be happy,” which entails accepting the past, being the best ex-husband you can be—for the sake of your daughter, and perhaps opening your heart to a romantic relationship.
Aren’t you tired of being sad? You’re the only one who change that. Best wishes.