Not all the women I meet feel they have a “big” accomplishment to share. Some, like Lorraine are still figuring out where they’re headed. Lorraine’s email to me read: “I’ve been divorced for three years, I can’t get a date to save my life, I don’t enjoy being single, I don’t have a job anymore and can’t support myself since getting laid off. I’ve basically gone from being a happily married person with a life of adventure, financial means and a successful career to being broke and alone! I guess getting ‘through’ the divorce was easy. It’s learning how to be single that’s challenging for me.”
There was a resilience to her message that made me want to talk to her more so I met her recently at a beautiful home she was house-sitting in Boulder, Colorado. Sitting in the living room she shared her story. She’d been a military wife blissfully married to a fighter pilot for almost 12 years.
I loved being married. I’m very fortunate that I had an amazing husband until the end. We had a great life together, we had so much fun together. We just really complemented each other and I feel that we grew up together. We hit the rough patches typical of every long-term relationship – you question should I have got married, what am I doing with my life or there was a career power struggle because we both had power careers. However, we came through those and we were just so proud of ourselves – we rocked!
He and I used to do everything. We had a very active lifestyle. He was a huge outdoor adventure guy. Every weekend it would be do you want to camp? Do you want to scuba dive? Shall we go running? Shall we go hiking? We were so compatible and had such fun together. He made a very nice six-figure salary and I was making a good salary so were living quite nicely. We lived in a 3,000 square foot home in Alaska with 360 degree views. It was vacations to Bora Bora and shark diving trips. It was wonderful.
Then, the last three months of our marriage he started acting really weird, drinking alot more, very distant, grumpy all the time, stressed out about his job. He kept telling me I was the reason for his happiness and reassuring me that he would better when he got his next assignment, which was coming soon.
Well, one day I came home from work and there was an eight-word note and he was gone. I tried calling him but he wouldn’t talk to me. He’d just email me back. We did meet once at a restaurant – he kept saying he just needed his space. Nobody in a million years thought this guy would have an affair – they thought maybe he was having a mental breakdown. After the divorce was final, he did admit to an affair and ended up marrying her shortly after that.
I really felt I had lost everything. I was completely in love with my husband even though he was a brat the last three months we were married. I really wanted us to get back together.
The Divorce Coach Says
My own marriage had been troubled for some time and the discussions about separation took place over a long six months. Although it was still painful when I did decide I needed out of the marriage, it certainly didn’t have the drama of Lorraine’s break up. Lorraine says she doesn’t feel like she’s landed where she’s supposed to land yet but she’s learned a few lessons along the way…