It’s embarrassing to admit I’m still “stuck” in the vicious cycle that divorce creates. I’ve struggled to move on after divorce and I’m not proud of it.
Naturally, I signed up for counseling (I’m a former educator and counselor). In short, it didn’t work. I desperately wanted to get away from being stuck in the past. I want to move forward after divorce.
How I Taught Myself to Move Forward After Divorce
Here’s my story.
I’m at the local airport when I see the bracelet on her wrist. I don’t know if it is a higher power showing me a sign I can no longer deny. There are signs before this, but I choose to ignore them.
This woman wearing the bracelet looks vaguely familiar, but I can’t place her at first glance. The bracelet, on the other hand, (no pun intended) is unmistakable. It’s exactly the same bracelet my husband gave to me for my birthday. It has beautiful heart-shaped turquoise gemstones linked together with heavy silver links.
My husband said he had it custom made just for me.
It’s unique and beautiful. One of the hearts has an inscription on the back. Later, I wonder if he’s written endearing words on the back of hers.
How do I notice something so random in this small but bustling airport? People are everywhere. How do I see that one person with the bracelet? Maybe I am deeply aware of my surroundings at the time. I will never be able to figure it out.
My husband and I are going to St. Croix to visit my brother who moved there some years before. He and his wife have a dream to open a restaurant on an island. They are living their dream.
A few days before departure to St. Croix, a key associate quit his job at my husband’s company. Unfortunately, my husband has to stay behind and take up the slack at work. I am really upset as I have so much hope for this trip.
It’s my secret desire to have some time away from everything. I think to myself, “Perhaps my husband and I can get back that old familiar way we have of communicating. The connection between us feels broken. This is the chance to reconnect.”
Over time, very subtly, we grow apart in many ways.
He says he knows how important this trip is to me. He encourages me to go without him. Feeling weird about doing that, I go anyway.
How I Found Out About the Betrayal
I have always loved to be a people-watcher at the airport. There is less than 20 minutes before boarding; and so, I continue to observe and take it all in.
The woman wearing the bracelet is strikingly beautiful, and I think it’s the gorgeous blonde hair that I notice first. She hurriedly walks up to the gate station next to mine.
A few minutes later, she sits down in the next row adjacent to mine but facing me so that I can see her very clearly. When she reaches for her suitcase, the sleeve of her jacket moves up, revealing the bracelet. It is the same bracelet that my husband gave to me. I couldn’t believe my eyes.
How Could This Be?
A cold shiver runs through my body. My heart starts pounding hard. My breaths come in fast. Right in that moment, many different emotions hit and take over my body. I feel pain, hurt rage, and betrayal all at the same time.
Now that my awareness is on alert, my memory makes the association. That woman’s face is one I have seen in a picture somewhere. Then, it hits me. It’s the woman my husband dated before he met me.
How could this be? Could this random spotting be a coincidence? How am I able to see that bracelet at exactly the right time?
I find out that he has been having an affair for some time. I feel humiliated, angry, and depressed. As a result, I play the “victim” for many years. After a reasonable amount of time, I continue to use the situation as an excuse for not taking responsibility for where my life is. As a result, I do nothing to move on.
Does this sound familiar?
Fast Forward Many Years
I am over 50 and divorced. It isn’t just about having to sell my house. I also have to start living a different lifestyle. There are financial matters that I didn’t face before. Desperately, I want to get control back over my life so that I can pick up the pieces and rebuild it.
I struggled creating a satisfying, purposeful life. Consequently, I can’t figure out how to get out of the vicious cycle I was trapped in.
To be really honest, I was waiting for something or someone to come along and save me from the mental bars that were around me at all times.
Nothing happened, and no one came.
Why Do I Need A Fresh Perspective?
- If I can’t find a way to change my mindset, I won’t be able to overcome inner struggles I face.
- I won’t grow into the person that I am meant to be now.
- There’s a chance of not feeling the freedom, power, and control to explore what my new purpose in life is
- I risk not experiencing life lessons I need to learn to become more resilient, courageous, and confident.
I’ll miss the adventures and journey that a forward-moving life creates.
Answers Are Inside
I searched for answers outside of myself. Additionally, I realized that the mindset and transformation has to begin within.
I started asking the tough questions and learned the right answers::
- How do I discover a way to pinpoint exactly where I am in divorce recovery cycle?
- What is the process to create the well-being of mind, body, and spirit to create inner power and strength?
- In what manner can I use the past to help me make the right decisions?
- What are my new roles?
- Who do I want to become?
By answering these questions, I found solutions. I created goals with action steps to move forward after divorce. Working through the action steps empowered me to embrace a new beginning. I created a new life and rebuilt it on my own terms.