Even though I was basically unhappy with our marriage, I still felt like I had been dumped by my wife. I was the dumpee.
(Click below for the text of the audio clip.)
Jerald's Story – Overwhelmed by Rejection and Fear (beginning at 0:13)
I’ve been divorced twice. They have given me some of the most difficult days of my life. One was the day my first wife called me at work to inform me she had an attorney and wanted a divorce.
We had been in couples’ counseling for a year. We talked regularly about the need to go ahead and get divorced. However, neither of us wanted to take the first legal step out of fear of what may lie ahead if we actually did get divorced.
Nevertheless, I was totally unprepared for it when it actually happened.
Gainesville Florida. Eight o’clock, Wednesday morning. A bright, beautiful spring day. The school year was winding down both for my wife, who was a middle school teacher, and for me, a professor at the University of Florida. We had been married for ten years and had two daughters, Kristen 8, and Timara, 6.
Sheryl dropped me at my office and then went on to her work. An hour later, I was sitting at my desk when the phone rang. It was Sheryl. She said, “I am seeing an attorney today. I want a divorce.”
Total surprise! Completely out of the blue. Never mind that we had been talking about it for over a year. It was like all those conversations never happened. Total panic. Overwhelmed by helplessness and hopelessness. I felt rejection, the likes of which I had never known to even exist. Shell shocked and grief stricken, I ran from my office and walk/ran half way across town, crying my eyes out, until I reached her middle school.
Humiliating? Sure. But so what? My world had just ended.
I asked to speak with her and begged her to reconsider. To say I felt terrified, like a loser and a failure is an understatement. I was totally at a loss for what to do. I was afraid I would never survive this.
Thankfully, Sheryl called our couples therapist and made an emergency appointment for me. All I can remember is crying uncontrollably and being reassured by the counselor that things would get better and work out for the best. I didn’t believe a word he said, but at least hearing his confidence helped calm me down.
Some of the Common Issues We Confront
Finally, I was able to voice my concerns to the counselor, some on that fateful Wednesday, others over the next week or so. The biggest issue that had me all but paralyzed was:
“I will never find true love again. I will always be alone and lonely.” I could not conceive of being able to find someone to love and who loved me. Forget about the horrors of having to start dating again! And the thought of living the rest of my life alone felt like a death sentence.
The next immediate fear I had was: “What will I tell our children? My parents? My friends & co-workers? Will they blame me? Will friends side with Sheryl? Will I be left without any friends at all?”
As the days went on, the anger began to grow:
“How could she do this to me!?” “I am so hurt and angry I could spit!” And, “Why now, dear god, why now!?” As if there is ever a good time to go through hell.
I felt helpless. Things seem totally out of control. I worried, “How will I ever get through this?”
Then months later as the process dragged on, I grumbled: “Why is it taking so long? When will it ever end? Will it ever end?”
Finally, as the legal procedures ground to a climax, my issue turned to: “Why won’t my soon-to-be-ex be reasonable and cooperate?”
I just wanted the pain to go away. And, I never wanted to go through this ever again. But, back then, I didn’t know what to do to make it happen.
Does any of this sound familiar to you? Are there other reactions you are having to your breakup?
What You Can do to Recover from Your Divorce (beginning at 4:33)
Even though this is one of the most painful times of your life, be reassured your reactions are normal. The apparent loss of many of your hopes and dreams is tragic.
However, you will get through this. The Smooth Divorce Transition Program will help you end the pain of divorce and dissolve the fear of life after divorce. Plus, it will do it up to 10 times faster than any other method.
Click here to see how the BeFree Divorce Transition System can help you. See How the BeFree System Can Help You