I have a secret to confess.
Everytime I visit the beach condo I used to co-own with my ex-husband I suddenly become my two-year- old self and think “Mine. Mine.”
What do I mean by that?
Well, this is the condo we eventually bought after a 12 year debate, then used for 2 years in its original condition, (think 25 year old everything – sofas weighted with years of sandy visitors, plastic laminate cabinets, bed headboards, dressers. You get the picture. It was a beach rental.)
Only after those two years, did we began the redo, which I was responsible for. I also hand stripped the 30-year- old wallpaper, then repaired and repainted every stinking one of the walls (including the creation of stripes in the master bath. Don’t get me started on what a brilliant idea that was – not.)
I sweated through the chaos during three-weeks between painting and decorating where strong contractor types ripped the kitchen and both bathrooms out; while the new toilet sat in the middle of the living room like a throne and I showered grime off in the public bathroom by the pool downstairs for lack of hot water.
I poured blood, sweat and tears into this place, literally. And walking through the door now– I see it all again, the memories. Everything is the same, up to and including a hand-written note I put on the frig to welcome visitors some 13 years ago.
There is even a stack of guest books on the console, two from the time we were still married. Two that tell the story of the life that exists in this condo now. Reminding me oh so subtly that although my imprint is everywhere, this is not mine anymore.
You see, somehow in my creative little brain, I imagined that when the divorce was final all the angst, anger, sadness, disappointment, fear, indecision, doubt, all of that would finally disappear. Funny, right?
Now who’s living in wonderland?
Don’t misunderstand, I still believe it was the right decision to make for all of us. But man, when you are submerged into a world from the past old patterns emerge.
Why do I feel this way?
I think it is because at the time I divorced, I felt I had no other choice.
Like somehow, I was forced to do it.
I’ve learned since of course, I always have a choice, always. Always. Coaching showed me choice. Writing helped me get there.
I want so much for you to have that gift too.
To know that you control you and you can choose.
So, before you DO anything, spend some time with that magnificent creature your husband pursued, wooed and married. Take a minute to remember her…not for his sake, for yours.
Unless you are terminally ill or on the verge of being evicted you can do this. I know you can. I see you. You are strong, capable and resourceful.
I am not telling you stick to it out. I am not telling you to get a divorce.
I am suggesting that you make choices from a place of strength and empowerment. I am saying that getting insight into why you got married, why you don’t want to be married anymore or why you believe your marriage is over, will keep you from NEEDLESS SUFFERING.
What I was doing at the condo, was suffering by choice. I’d spent 18 years trying to convince my ex-husband that I was irreplaceable. And here I was surrounded by all the evidence of how hard I tried to do that AND looking in the face of my replacement at the same time.
Can I just say OUCH?
So, now you have my confession, BUT, MUCH more importantly, you have A THIRD OPTION to a miserable life or a divorce. You can get back in touch with your magnificence before you do a damned thing.
Start here. Create your own survival manual, one you can use for either course you take,
- FIRST, arm yourself with a supportive group of women.
- Second, find one accountability partner to help you with the things you have declared that you want, or want to do. (Trust me when I say this person will be both your guardian angel and your worst nemesis. It’s a thankless job, so pick someone you won’t kill when it gets bad!).
- Buy and begin to keep a journal. Every time you think to yourself, “That’s it, I’m outta here.” Spend at least 15 minutes writing why you feel that way. Why YOU feel that way, not what he is doing wrong, or what he said, or anything whatsoever to do with HIM.
- Focus only on YOU
Stay tuned for further steps to “Writing the Cure,” a survival manual for beautiful women in an ugly place.