Survival Tip #1: What to Expect When You’re Expecting the End is Near

Note: The photos are from Longwood Gardens near Philadelphia. This is not meant to be “Play Me Hearts & Flowers,” but just some beauty in the light of a difficult divorce.

Most of us have clues that our marriage is in trouble and choose to ignore the rumblings.  The first rule, then, is to “listen to your gut. “Your gut never lies, as my therapist Joyce has told me.  Don’t ignore that queasy feeling in the area of your stomach or the “clues” you may be getting and ignoring.

Have you noticed that your husband isn’t very affectionate lately? Does he avoid eye contact? Does he barely kiss you good-bye in the morning or when you are taking the kids somewhere? Does he feign exhaustion too often when you want to make love? Or do you?  Maybe none of these signs is there, but you just know something is wrong between you. Screw up your courage and ask him if he’s having an affair?  Or just ask, “What’s going on? Catch him off guard or after a great dinner. Unless he’s an expert liar, you’ll know. If you are the one stepping out of the marriage, maybe it’s time to “come clean.


 

If you are getting strong vibrations or suspicions that something is amiss, face them head-on. This won’t be easy for most midlife women brought up in a culture that placed the husband at the head of the house, or as the TV sitcom of earlier decades stated,“Father Knows Best. Nonsense! Father does not always know best!  Gather support from trusted friends and family. Try some “couch-time,” as my son calls therapy. Go somewhere quiet and pray, whether it is a church or a forest.  Buy a dog and run with it, as one reader recommended.  Get a babysitter for the week-end and go to a lovely spot where you can think and come back with a couple of plans, a main one and a contingency, back-up plan.  Write it down!

If you have been writing down your thoughts (a good time to start a journal if you have not already done so), sorting through your feelings, talking with trusted family and friends, then when the beginning of the end comes, your bounce-back time will be easier.  Because you have fortified yourself ahead of time, the support you have established will provide a kind of safety net.  Not until my divorce did I realize how many true friends I really had, and I learned to accept help as a sign of strength instead of weakness. I needed that support. Being a strong woman does not mean doing it alone; rather, strength also means knowing when you need help, whether it be a long talk with an old friend, some couch time, or a good cry.  Take time to have some good cries. good cry does wonders for the heart!


 

CRYING

The car is a good place in which to cry; no one is watching as you drive by.

You can weep and curse and scream a release; no one hears you, you can cry in peace.

The shower’s a good place to let the tears flow; they mix with the water & you can let go.

The stream of the shower drowns out your pain. You need to cry so you won’t go insane.

Crying’s one way to deal with divorce, but it won’t feed your kids, of course, of course!

But after the tears, like after a storm, you can hug yourself—feel safe and warm.

So cry in the car, or cry in the shower. Don’t be afraid, you won’t lose your power.

The tears will soften the pain in your heart…

Help you begin again—-Let’s start, let’s start.

If you are quite sure that you are headed for divorce after spending quality time with yourself, make at least some small steps in that direction.  But first, take one big step and remove your name from any joint credit cards you may share with your husband, whether they are personal or business joint accounts.  My ex-husband claimed he was going to destroy our joint cards.  Since I had my own personal credit cards, taking my name off the cards never occurred to me, because I left him in charge of the business, and trusted he would do as he said.  Big mistake! After our divorce was finalized, I received a bill for $7,700 from one of our supposedly defunct credit cards. My husband was going bankrupt and my name was still on the card.  I could not pay the bill and spent three years reinstating my credit. What I needed to do, and did not realize, was to contact all three credit agencies and let them know about the divorce, alerting them to remove my name from any joint credit cards.

 

If you feel your credit is in jeopardy, contact the following three credit reporting agencies:

www.equifax.com

www.experian.com

www.transunion.com

If your husband admits or announces he wants to leave the marriage, you may not be prepared for the sinking feeling in your heart, no matter how prepared you think you are.  Even when you make the first move, the shock (or relief) may still happen, because once he leaves, all hope of ever making the marriage work vanishes. A friend once said told me that until the end finally comes, there is still some thread of hope that things will work out.  Once you (or your spouse) has actually left and the end is for real, all hope dissolves and you may not be prepared for what you will  feel.  Finally, no matter what you do when you expect the worse, you may not be fully prepared when the end finally comes.  So, expect the unexpected, and keep your support system around you.  It will really make a difference!

 

 






 






One Response to “Survival Tip #1: What to Expect When You’re Expecting the End is Near”

  1. Paula Buchak Says:

    Good advice! Beautiful poem! I missed this one in August. I was at Cathy’s.
    Paula

Leave a Reply

Subscribe