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Divorce Dialogues: 'I Can Make My Dreams Come True Now'

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Kate Meyers: Sue S. is a Colorado-based landscaper. Her first marriage lasted six years. She has been divorced for almost nine years.

divorce dialogues
momlogic: Why did you get divorced? 

Sue S.: I think ultimately the reason we got divorced was because I fell out of love with my husband. Mainly because as the years went on, beginning with the second year, my ex had so much stuff going on in his life that he had nothing to contribute to the relationship or the marriage. It got worse and worse as the years went on.

ml: So what made you finally decide you couldn't make it work? 

SS: I had an affair. It's more complicated than that, but during all that time when he wasn't contributing to the relationship, it really ate away at my self-esteem and I, in turn, went through a tough time myself. I did try. I tried to get my ex to go to counseling and I tried to talk to him and he had no interest at all. And then I started hanging out with someone who really was interested in me and cared about what I had to say and about me as a person. It showed me that I was in a really, really bad marriage and how dysfunctional it was. And I needed to get out of it just to be happy and to be me. The affair was a catalyst, but we would have ended up divorcing ultimately. I do wonder how long I would have stayed in that miserable situation if I hadn't had it. I do regret it in many ways, but it made me see how miserable I was and that I was settling for nothing. When I say "nothing," I mean nothing: No conversation, no compassion, no love ... absolutely nothing. It was like living with a stranger.
ml: What was the hardest part of your divorce? 

SS: There were several things. The first, of course, was the failure of the whole marriage. I was surprised that that affected me, but it really did. Looking at the failure of marriage and telling my family and friends and his family was the hardest thing. I was really close to his family, so that was really hard -- especially because in their eyes he was like the perfect guy, so they couldn't understand.
ml: What helped you recover most? 

SS: Therapy. I went to therapy after my divorce once a week for like six months, and then every two weeks. I ended the affair, because I realized that I thought I was in love with this guy and he would say the same thing to me, but he just wanted to continue having an affair and I wasn't going to keep doing that. I really wanted to just be by myself and be myself and figure out what I really wanted and I needed.
ml: What's the best advice that you were given at the time?

SS: A lot of my problems had to do with my self-esteem. And the best was from my therapist. It was that I should do things for myself and not always for other people. What led me to the marriage and the affair ... to be mistreated, was that I didn't think I deserved better. I deserved NOT to be someone's Number One. So the best advice was to start treating yourself like you treat other people, and that helped me a lot.
ml: What's the best thing to come out of the experience? 

SS: That I know what I don't want in a mate and I also know what I DO want. And also, I am just so much more confident in who I am. I feel like if I had just stayed in the marriage, I would be nowhere. Once I got divorced, I started my own business and bought my own place, and if I were still married, it would still be all about my ex. I can make my dreams come true now, whereas when I was with him, my dreams didn't matter.

next: Postpartum Psychosis and Terri Moulton Horman
1 comments so far | Post a comment now
anonymous July 13, 2010, 10:32 AM

I’m not married. I’m in a relationship, a long one that’s still going. The hardest thing in my eyes are the following. He no longer woo’s me like he did before I started having kids. I don’t look much different either. It’s just that he thought he had to woo me to land me, what’s weird is I was content in the beginning….and his wooing was below the average dating couples standards. I am simple BUT how can you go from bare minimum to nothing? It’s really hard. I don’t move on because I love the man. I just don’t think men and women are educated on what is right to do in a healthy relationship. I don’t like things sugar coated but I don’t like change for the worst either. I get sad at times but what can you do if you aren’t even being met at all, let alone halfway? I never had a doubt of confidence until now. It bites that my optimism isn’t paying off….maybe once the kids are in school? If you have 2-3 kids under the age of 5 you know how I feel. One kid is a breeze but more under the age of 5 is hard on a relationship. It’s a little lonely.

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