It’s been almost six years since Debbie first found out about her husband’s infidelity. That was the beginning of a journey that meant confronting the trauma and sadness of pedophilia and suicide. The emotional toll of those events is unimaginable and yet here Debbie is undertaking a charity half-marathon. Debbie has shared how difficult it was for her to find resources that spoke to her specific circumstances and knowing that I asked her if she had any words of wisdom she would share for anyone facing a similar situation. Here’s Debbie:
During the darkest time, I did not trust the ground beneath my feet. I felt like I no longer knew anything. It was not so much my loss of trust in my husband but my loss of trust in myself – trust to know what was true or not in everything.
I questioned everything I had ever been told by him and experienced with him. I remember a few years ago, in some type of Facebook question and answer quiz, I was asked to finish the sentence,
“What I really want to know is ….,” and my answer was
“.. if he ever really loved me.”
I still struggle with that.
There are two episodes with my therapist that I remember distinctly. One was a day that he told me three things:
- It will never make sense
- There will never be justice
- It will never be fair
This was very helpful to me and definitely advice I would pass on to others. I’ve repeated those words over and over, almost like a mantra.
Another time, my therapist advised me to look at it as having crossed paths with insanity and gotten out OK.
OK is a matter of opinion. Whether any of us are actually sane is a matter of opinion but that’s how I try to look at it. And honestly, like other women who’ve shared their story here and said they can’t regret their marriage, I would do it all again just to have my son. He’s the greatest thing in the world.
I realize that what happened is a part of me but it’s not who I am. What I would say to somebody in a similar situation is not to feel ashamed or that someone else’s behavior reflects on you. Realizing that I didn’t have to keep my husband’s secrets, that I had the power to make my own choices was very liberating.
I could let this break me or I could find a way to get through it. I think a lot of people say, ‘well, I had no choice,’ but everyone has a choice. There are people who breakdown, there are people who get into addictions or they fall apart. I think I knew that very early on and I made the choice that it wasn’t going to break me.
The way you approach things and the choices you make are the control you have and no one can take that away from you.
The Divorce Coach Says
Amazing what we would go through for our children, isn’t it? Do you ever wonder if your ex ever loved you?
I think all of this is sound advice not just for people facing divorce but for life in general. Realizing that someone else’s behavior is not a reflection of you is a big one for me. I can think of numerous times in the past when I’ve not told a friend about the way someone else treated me because I thought it would reflect on me.
My ex was never really comfortable with my being the primary breadwinner and the corporate position I held – he would invariably get very angry and jealous when I had to travel somewhere on business. Often times, the locations were top resorts but there was little time for relaxation or exploration. In response to him, I would be sure to keep the trips as short as possible and I never talked to anyone at work about it.
Sure hope I’m wiser now …