Live, Laugh, Love Again; A Christian Woman's Survival Guide to Divorce
By Michelle Borquez, Connie Wetzell, Carla Sue Nelson
Well, now that you've faced the shock, you ask yourself the $64,000 question: What in the heck happened to my husband? The choices are obvious:
a. Someone cast an evil spell on him.
b. His brain went on vacation.
c. He was abducted by aliens.
d. He got hit in the head with a [insert appropriate sport for your hubby] ball, causing his mind to snap.
If you selected (c) then you feel like we all did-that he was surely abducted by aliens. This thinking leads to the conclusion that, more than likely he will return back to Earth during the process or even after the divorce is final and realize the wonderful new life he so desperately wanted lacks something: you!
You may be hoping that by then you'll be echoing Carole King, able to march up to his face and sing, "Well, it's too late, baby, yeah, it's too late . . Or maybe you fantasize that you'll make him grovel a little (okay, a lot), but when he's on his knees you will agree to forgive and forget-then fall into his arms for a mad, passionate making up and making out session.
Ha! That is so not likely to happen, ladies. It may be true for Disney characters and in the occasional Hollywood blockbuster romance, but in real life the fantasy rarely becomes reality. In real life, after the initial shock of the announcement that he wants a divorce, has moved out, or has taken up with someone else hits you head-on, the next stage in your emotional process is most likely going to be denial. You simply refuse to admit the truth or face up to this new reality.
If you really think about it, you may find that all through your marriage, you and your spouse swept feelings under the rug, thinking that by doing so you'd avoid conflict. You denied your true feelings. You hoped that with time, things would change. That's what we all do. Perhaps if couples would face their feelings head-on and deal with these issues earlier, judges wouldn't have calendars jammed by divorce cases waiting to be settled.
The reason we don't confront problems is because we don't know how to deal with conflict positively. Most of the time it causes more distance between us because we don't know how to resolve our problems effectively. Now hubby's denying the truth about how his decision to leave you will affect you. And you're denying the truth that he is really leaving at all! If there is cheating going on, he's most likely thinking with his body and not his brain, if you know what we mean. He thinks the new babe is the answer to ever)-thing he has been looking for and that she is his last chance at happiness. If he's not cheating and just wants out, he's probably convinced you'll both be better off without each other. He has completely lost his ability to reason properly.
Before you chime in with a "Yeah, that's true!" remember you're not much better off. You may be thinking that if you make his favorite foods, lose ten pounds, dress seductively when he comes to pick up the kids, or tell him it was all your fault, he will suddenly realize what he is losing.
In the denial stage, we tend to pray we will wake up from this endless nightmare that the marriage is ending. We try to convince ourselves the aliens will bring our husbands back intact and hope they'll realize what they are doing to us and the children. We tell ourselves that they won't go through with it, that when they wake up tomorrow they'll see the light. But tomorrow never comes. The man we trusted with every fiber of our being has turned out to be, well, a lot less than Prince Charming. How could it be? How could we have been so fooled? Was it all an illusion?
Connie "The Aliens Messed with the Wrong Italian"
If you, like us, have received the ultimate blow and are trying to figure out which way to turn next, you're probably scratching your head and wondering, What happened to the man I married? You're looking at him, and his voice sounds the same, and he appears to be the same, but this clearly isn't him at all. Perhaps he's had a twin you didn't know about all these years. I refer to this horrible discovery as "The Alien Abduction." Yes, some spaceship has come down to Earth, kidnapped your beloved husband, and dropped down a clone-an exact replica of his physical self, but not really him.
I remember looking at my husband and saying, you look like Fred, you sound like Fred, but you're not Fred. Who are you? Or are you the real Fred, and you just pulled off lying to me for twenty-six years? My Lord, you deserve an Oscar!"
I think that was the real $64,000 question for me: Was he just faking me out for the last twenty-six years trying to be the man I wanted him to be? Was he that good at hiding his feelings from me and our family and friends? Or did he really just change within a week's time? Because the man I left and said goodbye to the day I took our daughter to her internship was not the man I returned home to one week later. I still don't know the answer. Only God knows for sure.