From a reader: Decided today we are divorcing after 30 years. He is living in Florida, I’m in Illinois. I wanted to move to Florida to be with him and he said no. Feeling horrible.
I am sorry to hear that you are feeling horrible, but if you commit to feeling better, you most certainly will … in time.
Divorcing after 30 years is a big deal, and you’re about to face a major adjustment and basically a new life. The key is going to be in you feeling empowered and free to face that new life without fear or regret.
I don’t know how long you have already been living apart, but regardless, the official status of no longer being married is certainly a major change in itself. Give yourself time to accept that change — to grieve. Whether or not it is the right thing for you two to now be apart, it still is a loss, and it’s a loss that you have to try to learn to accept.
Do what you need to do to face that loss and that pain, whether that means crying, punching pillows or just going for long walks. You know what you need to do to grieve. Let yourself feel the pain. That’s not easy, but it’s the route to peace and acceptance.
When one person is willing to do the work and the other is not, that can feel extra painful. I understand what you must be feeling. But, it sounds as if both of you “did the work” in some way for a very long time. You gave this relationship more than three decades of your life.
For him, he maybe feels he has nothing left to give and is ready to now move forward on his own path. I know it’s not easy, but I suggest that you try to look at this new chapter as a gift.
He told you straight that he doesn’t want you moving there to work things out together. While you said that hearing those words made you feel horrible, you also received something valuable from that conversation: You have clarity. It’s over. There is no more wondering if you guys can or will work things out with one another.
With that clarity, you can now start imagining a new life for yourself. It is full of possibility! Maybe you want to enjoy time alone. Maybe you want to dig in with friends and discover new clubs or interests. Maybe you want to put yourself out there and start dating again. It’s all up to you as you have control over what the next few decades of your life can look like.
For so many years, you have had to consider what someone else wants and needs. You have had to work at a relationship that wasn’t easy. Yet now, it’s about YOU. Try to get excited about all of the possibility and hope and opportunity. Of course, you feel horrible right now–divorcing after 30 years.
There is so much unknown. There is so much that you have become accustomed to knowing simply by being his wife.
But, now, you need to know yourself just as you — not as his partner.
The key is going to be this: Let yourself feel horrible. But, then, let it go. Believe that something better is coming. You have all of the possibility spread out before you. Believe that better days are ahead, and then go out there and make it happen. It won’t be easy, but with time, patience, gratitude and love of self, you got this.
Amy Lee Kite is an author, blogger, poet and editor. She received her master’s degree in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism and has had numerous articles published over the years. Amy has always turned to writing to work through anything that is happening in her life, including her parents’ divorce and her own divorce. She has published three children’s books on tough topics, including “Divorce: What About Me?” Her most recent book, “Goodbye, Gus” is about the loss of a pet. Her books are available on her website and on Amazon. To learn more about Amy, visit her website: www.amyleekite.com; follow her poetry and writing on her Instagram account: @amyleewrites and follow her on Facebook.
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