Divorce Issues/Post Divorce

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QUESTION: Hi,

I married my high school boyfriend and we were together for 18 years until we ended in divorce.  He was the only man I had been with the whole time.  He has a son from a previous relationship in high school with whom I keep in contact with still.  After we were married for 3 years I caught him cheating on me (as I did several times when we were in high school).  He was the boy in high school that every girl wanted so that's what made me want him more.  The marriage continued to go on...and everything seemed great...or so I thought.  We had our first child in 2002 and then another in 2005.  Just a year after our second child was born I found out he was cheating on me.  I was a stay at home mom and took care of everything for the family and raised the children.  The divorce was filed after I found out.  
I don't know why I am having such a hard time years later getting through the divorce.  I have dated several men but men that are not right for me...ones that I know I have no future with.  I have been having dreams lately with my ex husband in them...about all the good times.  I miss all the good times but obviously not all the times were good if he was cheating on me.  I have been raising my kids mainly on my own and I don't know if I have a hard time trusting men.  How do I get past this?  I think I miss the companionship but not the cheating part of the relationship.

ANSWER: Hi Kristy

I don't think there is a simple answer for you.

There comes a time in life (actually it happens several times )when we have to think in much more complex ways than we did when we were younger and it's a fairly unpleasantly challenging process.  

One of my teachers said, "We have to keep inventing and reinventing ourselves until we arrive a vision of our self and our lives that we can live with...and die with.

The process involves being far more angry than we'd ever imagined and it also involves forgiving ours self for being so foolish and naive.  And as we see our self in more complex and forgiving ways we also tend to see others in our lives  with the same additionally enhanced and enriched perspective.

There are lessons in these experiences. After all, relationships are a form of spiritual development. But what are the lessons and what are the best lessons to learn?

If you find yourself revisiting (in memory) those earlier times, it is because you are intuitively seeking lessons. You just have to do the work, spend the time thinking.  

It does help to have a conversation  partner and a lot of times a good coach or therapist can help you. It helps to talk with someone who's older and been through a bit. You are not looking for the kind of knowledge to be found in books.

Clearly one of the paths into the future you are thinking about has to do with your ex.  It might be that you will want a conversation with him.  I'd want you to get some coaching before you try that.

However, maybe your conversation is just to put an end to things so you can move on.

I don't know what would be  helpful for you at this time as far as quick advice is concerned.  I'm suggesting you take the time to have a few thoughtful conversations with someone like me.

If you're interested in a phone call or skype let me know. Maybe otherwise you want to find someone local  who feels right for you.

Feel free to follow up

Philip Alan Belove
drbelove@drbelove.com
www.drbelove.com




---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you so much for your response.  You gave me some very insightful information.  When you say the process involves me being far more angry than we had ever imagined are you referring to me getting angry at my ex?  I don't know if I ever was and maybe that's where the part of me being so naive and foolish come in.  I think I am a very soft hearted person. I am always someone who lives in dream land...the woulda, shoulda and coulda person.  I am just so tired of living in the past.  I have begun exercising again quite a bit and that has seemed to help a bit so I am hoping to keep it up.  I think that if I continue to express my feelings and have some guidance that will give me the results I need.  Do you mind sharing your phone number?  My email is . for you share your phone number.

Thank you,
Kristy

Answer
Write me at drbelove@drbelove.com
or drbelove@datingatmidlife.com
and I'll send you a phone number. We should also pick a time
I'm on Eastern time

Yes, I was referring to you getting angry at your ex.  
Sometimes we get angry when things that are very important are violated.
Sometimes we get angry when we care deeply, when we need to protect something,
when we need to insist on something.
Sometimes that anger gets translated into a kind of steady and very quiet strength.
It's a kind of protest.

You can look at my article, The Road to Hell and sometimes back, on my website at www.drbelove.com
and I talk about it there.

Anger doesn't not have to be wild and crazy and destructive.
It can be a kind if fierce insistence.

You have that strength within you and maybe you need to honor it more.

I look forward to speaking with  you.

Philip Alan Belove, Ed.D.  

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Philip Belove, Ed.D.

Expertise

Divorce is the beginning of a life review process. For many people, it`is the first intentional decision they make about their lives. The transition into the next stage of life is difficult at first, but it gets easier. The questions I can help you with: What happened? How do I take care of our children? How do I get over my anger? How do I plan a future for myself?

Experience

I am Philip Belove, psychologist and coach. My specialty is helping people do their midlife transformation work, a psychological project that creates a foundation for happy and satisfying second half of life.

Midlife Work, because it involves so much careful attention to inner truth, is notoriously stressful on marriages and on dating relationships.

The challenges of the midlife project are echoed in the typical questions asked me as a dating-at-midlife expert:

?Learning to reconcile what you say with what you do. This challenge is echoed in questions like: Why does he say this when he does that? What is really happening?
?Learning to create your own dreams instead of being the victim of someone else's. This challenged is echoed in questions like these: How do I say that I don't want to xyz? I've been lying about some things and what should I do now?
?Learning to live a life that suits you. This challenge produces questions like Is what I'm doing normal? What if my kids think I'm crazy? How can I say that this is starting to bother me?

A person doing Midlife Transformation Work needs to develop 1) A Working Vision, 2) Skills and Strategies to realize that vision, and 3) External sources of support for the project. My role for people is to be part of the support system. I help people clarify their visions, develop the strategies and skills they need, and I help them review their progress.


Education/Credentials
M.A. Counseling Psychology
Ed.D. Counsulting Psychology (Family Therapy)

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