Dear Cynthia... > Such a failure
Such a failure
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honeydew1
1 post
May 25, 2009
9:13 AM
Dear Cynthia,

I feel like such a failure. I am going thru a second divorce. I was married for ten years the first time and 28 years the second. I never imagine that I would be alone at 60 years of age. I am so angry and sad that I am going thru this in this late stage of my life. I thought I was going to grow old my with my spouse. He did not leave me for another woman. We had a big arguement. We have been separated for 1 year and 3 mos to see if we could work it out. I felt I was trying to save the relationship and he was pretending to. I feel he was trying not to be the bad guy and just going thru the motions. I think he was waiting for me to give up and say we need to get a divorce because it is not working, when he already had his mind made up. That is what is making me angry. A month ago I told him that we should go ahead with the divorce and I had my mind made up. He decided to give it one more chance when I had my mind up to go thru the divorce. I gave in thinking he really wanted to try. Now I look back I think he was more concern about the fact that he doesn't have any medical benefits and has to depend on mine. He had me make up my mind and plans for the divorce at the time. Now he goes and decide we should go thru the divorce after all. What makes me angry is that I have to put myself in the mind set all over again. I feel that he was playing head games with me. He wants me to remain as friends with him because we have two grown children together. I told I would be civil with him in front of the kids, but I will not be his friend while I am going thru these changes. To me I would be a hypocrite if I try to be his friend now.

Thanks for listening.

Vilma
Cynthia
215 posts
May 25, 2009
12:53 PM
Hi Vilma,

First of all, it seems as if most women think of their divorces as personal failures. Secondly, it really isn't fair to yourself to think of it that way. You have had two long-term relationships, one very long-term. You raised two children together. These are successes in themselves, and I'll bet there were many other successes in those relationships. 28 years is a very long time to live with one person. We are very complex beings, and we keep changing. Probably no two people ever mesh together so well that they have no conflict of values, habits, tastes, needs, personality, temperaments, dreams, beliefs, passions, families etc etc. That you and your husband could make it through 28 years of living with your differences is amazing.

On the other hand, it sounds like the two of you may be unusually compatible, and you may end up friends. Most divorced couples need some time apart, though, before they can come back together as friends.

Being recently divorced at 60 after 28 years of marriage, is, of course, a HUGE shock. So many of your assumptions have to change, and there are so many small losses and some big ones, that they probably keep hitting you in wave after wave of grief. Remember that the grieving process usually involves anger as much as sadness, so some of those waves will be anger. Many people at this point in the process wonder how they are going to live through this, and can only see lonliness and overwhelm ahead of them.

I don't know if this is exactly how you feel, but I am describing what many people feel after divorce. You may not be ready to see any good in all the losses, but there is good coming. 60 is no longer old. Many, many people start new, exciting, passionate relationships after 60. Being out of a relationship offers you the opportunity to meet new friends, too. It frees up time, energy, and independence. Things you depended on him for, you can learn to do yourself. It's a painful, painful process, but you now have more freedom to make whatever you want of your life.

I do hope you find others to connect with, because this transition can be so excruciatingly lonely if you don't. Try to focus on what you really want for the rest of your life, and how you can achieve that for yourself, one step at a time. Think of what you have achieved already. Think of what it took for you to be married for 28 years--the work, the courage, the humility, the faith, the compromises, the disappointment, the hope, the teamwork...and think of what it took to birth and raise kids--you have done some impossibly hard things already, and you will do more.

Warm Wishes,
Cynthia

Last Edited by on May 25, 2009 10:45 PM


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Email: CynthiaLubow@yahoo.com 

 Cynthia W. Lubow, MFT

 For 30 years, compassionately helping people build self-confidence and feel happier.

 San Francisco East Bay Area Therapist

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