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The Emotional Aftermath of a Broken Marriage

By Darlene Oakley HERWriter
 
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Separation and divorce is a growing epidemic in the Western world.

The Statistics

Although the American government is no longer collecting and measuring divorce statistics, it is generally accepted that nearly half of all marriages end in divorce.

Since Canada introduced the “no-fault divorce” 30 years ago, the number of marital break ups has increased over 600 percent.

But all around the world marriages are breaking down and families are splitting up.

A New Direction

Given the above statistics, it is reasonable to assume that a good percentage of the women reading this article have experienced a marital break up or are going through that right now. It is EmpowHER.com’s goal to be a resource for all women and to reach women where they’re at. This means getting a little personal. Getting beyond disease descriptions and symptoms, and connecting at a heart level.

Women find comfort in sharing their experiences with people who have already been where they are. Women find comfort in giving comfort to those who may not have experienced these things before. Women can connect with women in a way that men simply cannot. That’s what the new Marital Discovery and Recovery chat group will offer for EmpowHER.com women--a forum to find support and encouragement and to offer support and encouragement to one another.

Once a week a new article will be published regarding those of us who have experienced or are experiencing a marital break up. The assumed permanency of marriage brings with it a whole different set of questions and issues when the marriage breaks down--different than shorter-term dating relationships, and deeper than sexual issues. While generic comments will always be welcome on the main site, those of you who wish to share your more personal comments and stories can do so on the new group. It is hoped also that through sharing more topics will be raised for articles which can help other women deal with things where they are. This includes longer-term common law relationships.

Add a Comment8 Comments

amandaroya

Thanks so much Flidais. The divorce will be final at the end of March and with that date coming up, I am starting to make new dreams, ones that I may not have been able to do while married. It is exciting now. But sometimes it is difficult to have hope for future love.

February 14, 2011 - 4:42pm
Flidais

I agree, the loss of dreams, along with the loss of time (years spent in a relationship) and the need to let go of memories.
Like yourself, Amandaroy, I kept holding onto those plans and dreams. They kept me going for a long time. Then, I found that it wasn't enough to hold me in a relationship that had ended years prior.
Yes, we are starting over again, and it's important to be sure and take the time you need to heal, get to know yourself again, create some dreams for yourself and enjoy life. Then, when you aren't expecting it, love will find you again. I believe.

February 14, 2011 - 3:12pm
amandaroya

I made an account so I figured I would repost my comment:
My story is a little different. We got married young and it ended in his infidelity, which seems to be common in our age group. It took me awhile to realize what my pain was really about. It wasn't my love for him, it was the love I had for our dreams together. Dreams to buy a home, have children, travel. We had very specific ideas of where we wanted to be. And now I am back to being young and single, and while that sounds so shiny and new, I still have that "wife" in me, who wants a partner and that comfort of knowing you have someone next to you.

I am not sure if I will get married again, the hopeful part of me does, but the realistic can't help but think that a lasting marriage is an unrealistic dream.

Also... if there were as many papers to fill out and hoops to jump through to get married, maybe someone of us wouldn't have commited!

February 14, 2011 - 12:16pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

My story is a little different. We got married young and it ended in his infidelity, which seems to be common in our age group. It took me awhile to realize what my pain was really about. It wasn't my love for him, it was the love I had for our dreams together. Dreams to buy a home, have children, travel. We had very specific ideas of where we wanted to be. And now I am back to being young and single, and while that sounds so shiny and new, I still have that "wife" in me, who wants a partner and that comfort of knowing you have someone next to you.

I am not sure if I will get married again, the hopeful part of me does, but the realistic can't help but think that a lasting marriage is an unrealistic dream.

Also... if there were as many papers to fill out and hoops to jump through to get married, maybe someone of us wouldn't have commited!

February 14, 2011 - 12:00pm
Darlene Oakley HERWriter (reply to Anonymous)

Thank you for sharing your story. Yes, this too is a part of the grieving process - the loss of the dreams. It's not only the feelings of betrayal and disappointment.

I do believe that lasting marriages are possible, I just think that many have unrealistic expectations of how that's going to happen. People don't always want to give up or change or learn about their partner and work at being marriage. I think some just expect it to be easy and it isn't.

I'm also one of those who knows I belong with someone...not sure that's as a wife though (will talk about that aspect in another article I think).

Thank you again for sharing your story.

February 14, 2011 - 12:50pm
Flidais

What can I say that none of us don't already know?
My divorce was my choice. Sixteen years married to an alcoholic who didn't work and I couldn't take it any more despite the counseling and excuses. It just sucked the life out of me.
Then, to add insult to injury, the divorce financially devastated me. I lost my beautiful home and 1/2 my retirement to a greedy, self-centered man who sat home and drank rather than hold down a job.
Now I am trying to get over the anger and loss. You lose more than just the marriage and the stuff. You lose in-laws, mutual friends, pets, memories of life events. You grieve, think you're over it, get angry and grieve some more. Forgiving doesn't bring comfort because the scars and reminders are still there.
So now I am starting over with a zero balance. He sits pretty with his home paid for and plenty of my hard-earned dollars in a retirement fund. While I, at age 58, feel like I am at the bottom of a very steep hill. Do I have the strength to climb to the top again? I will be working well past retirement and don't expect to ever own a home again.
I am trying to look at it from a different viewpoint....I just bought myself a new life. Yeah, it was very expensive, but I deserve it.
I am free to move on, live where I want, how I want, with someone who appreciates me for the extraordinary woman that I am.

February 9, 2011 - 12:31pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Flidais)

Hi Flidias,

I am amazed at your courage. I am going through a similar problem, except that he is not fully addicted to alcohol. He's a sensible man when he's not drinking ( !!!!). but I guess i have reached my tipping point. I love your last line. Keep going, lady !

Hema

March 29, 2012 - 2:12am
Darlene Oakley HERWriter (reply to Flidais)

Thank you for sharing your story, Flidais. You're right you lose so much more than just the marriage. I think that aspect would be a good future article topic...I'll write that one down.

I also identify with having the life sucked out of you. I will also be delving into that in a future article.

I also like your last statement: I am free to move on, live where I want, how I want, with someone who appreciates me for the extraordinary woman that I am. I believe the same. After 14 years of being married to a man who didn't love me and who was supposed to have been my best friend, but turned out to be a person I ended up not trusting with many things...I'm looking forward to finding that someone who will appreciate and love me for my extraordinary-ness. I, too, believe I deserve that -- of course this will also be another article topic.

Thanks again, Flidais, for sharing your story.

February 9, 2011 - 1:14pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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