Below is an email from a woman whose husband left her, along with my divorce advice.
Married 18 years and I always thought we were so happy. People said they wanted a relationship like ours. Then he dropped the bomb! Now a year later the divorce is final and I can’t seem to move on.
He is still with the girl (she is 15 years younger then us) and they are both divorced & ready to continue this relationship. They have been together over a year (they were together before we separated). Now they are moving in together and marrying.
Our two teenaged children hate her and he barley speaks to our kids or sees them because they are not accepting her in their lives. He tries to act like some hot young stud who doesn’t have a care in the world.
His oldest daughter is 3 years younger then the girlfriend and she refuses to meet her, so he isn’t speaking to that child anymore either. He missed his oldest sons graduation to spend time in another state with the new girl. How can someone so new mean so much that you throw away so much? Is this true love? I don’t understand. I’m so angry.
I hate that I can’t move on! I hate that he found a happily ever after so soon after leaving all of us in turmoil.
I hate to say this, but this divorce scenario is very common, and I say that because I know so many women (and some men) in this exact situation.
The husband (or wife) cheats, thinks he or she finally met the love of their life, and wants everyone on earth to understand and jump on board in support of their bliss. Everyone at the beginning of a new relationship is self-centered and in their mind, the whole world revolves around how happy they are, and they think everyone should embrace it, including their kids, and even their ex! It’s kind of crazy.
Here is what I typically see happen. They prioritize the new spouse over the kids, and if the kids are upset, they have the viewpoint that the kids are being selfish. ‘I gave my life to raising and supporting you. Now it’s my turn to be happy, and if you aren’t happy for me, than tough shit.’ That is what the person is thinking, which in my opinion is so wrong, because your kids are always your kids, no matter how old they are—even as adults. And because of that, a parent should always understand how a divorce feels to their children. I don’t care if the kids are 40 years old!
The other thing that tends to happen is that the person who cheated and is apparently so blissful in his new relationship becomes angry and mean and resentful to the spouse he (or she) left! They do this because it’s easier to make that person the villain than to hate themselves (which is what is really going on.) Did you hear me? Deep down, he hates himself for what he did. He had some unhappiness in his life and he tried to fix it by having an affair with a younger woman. And now, he hates you (and isn’t thrilled with your kids) because subconsciously he knows he’s a liar and a cheater, and that he took the cowards way out.
“I hate that he found a happily ever after so soon after leaving all of us in turmoil,” you say. First of all, he didn’t find it “so soon after leaving,” he found it DURING the marriage, which means his new, blissful relationship began while he was cheating. Would you want YOUR relationship to begin that way? AND, it wasn’t even like he could say, ‘We were miserable. Our marriage was over.’ You had no idea! You thought you were both happy, so how bad could the marriage really have been? If he was unhappy, he could have tried to talk to you about it, but instead he chose to cheat.
Listen to me. He did not find a happily ever after. He found a Band-Aid for some deep rooted issue of his unhappiness. And honestly, if he stays with her forever and is happy, it has no affect on you anymore. You have to find a way to let it go and focus on your life. In case you haven’t thought of this, you have a whole life ahead of you. I’m not saying what happened to you is a good thing, I’m saying it happened, so now, it’s time for you to get tough, NOT play the victim, and go out and start a life that you want for yourself.
As far as your kids, he is messing things up with them in a huge way, and that isn’t your problem. The only thing you can do is be there for your kids, listen to them and NOT talk badly about your ex. They will remember what he is doing forever, and that doesn’t sound like a happily ever after to me. You, on the other hand have a chance at happily ever after! That should be your focus, and I’m not talking about a man, (although that can happen if you want.) I’m talking about your life. In other words, go get your happily ever after!