By: Debby Couture for Divorced Moms.
“You are broken inside.” Sitting in front of a psychic in her apartment with my close friends a few years ago, on a hot and humid July day, this woman, who didn’t know me and whom I had just met, said I was broken inside. I was broken; she was right. He had left for another woman.
As she was making note of the lines on my forehead to indicate the hardship I had recently been faced with, my thoughts immediately started to race back to when my ex walked out of our marriage and of our home while I was holding our daughter tightly in my arms, crying inconsolably, scared and in shock, not knowing how to handle the situation of grieving a lost husband, caring for my three children who were so young and getting myself through this unbelievably challenging time.
The sun had set, the next door neighbour was pulling into her driveway, coming home to find me outside standing on the front lawn, looking at my husband get into his car and drive away, with a defeated and scared look on my face. She knew what had just happened and, like me, she was at a loss for words. Tears coming down our cheeks, she held me and my daughter. Her hug meant the world to me at that moment, and I didn’t want to let go of her embrace.
Getting to know me throughout the process of being cheated on and ultimately left for another woman, was so frightening. Nothing prepared me for how to deal with the pain I experienced when I realised my marriage and friendship with another person would never again be the same. For almost 20 years, I had been someone’s partner and as such, many of the things I did and the way I thought about my future was very much centred around another person.
After spending months crying over a failed marriage, mourning the loss of a future I had imagined for our family, I came to realise that I had defined much of who I was based on this partnership and I felt lost. “What now?” “How do I move forward?” “Who am I?”
For months, after I found out about the affair, I hated that my mind arbitrarily drifted to thoughts of the affair and that it made me feel like these thoughts had taken over my emotional and mental sanity. I couldn’t make sense of what was going on, with him and with myself. He was a completely different person than the person I had known and loved for all of these years.
What had happened to him, to us? I also, rather quickly, felt like I was becoming a crazy person… I couldn’t recognise myself and the things I was doing. For some reason, I was convinced that I could somehow make sense of it all by rummaging through his cell phone and computer. That I could uncover evidence that he did still love me and would not leave me for another woman. Convincing myself time and time again that we would be okay and that all we had to do was to figure out how to get through this bump in the road.