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Ask Dr. Sherry: ‘He Left Me For Her, Now What?’

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Dr Sherry Profile Two

You've seen celebrity clinical psychologist Dr. Sherry Blake, author of The Single Married Woman: True Stories of Why Women Feel All Alone in Their Marriages, keep the Braxton sisters calm on the hit show Braxton Family Values. Now it's your turn to sit in her chair...

Dr. Sherry,

My ex walked out on our marriage, divorced me for another woman and married her a few years ago. Since then we have been fighting like never before. There are times when we try to talk and he gives me hints that he is unhappy and he made a mistake, but then the blame game happens and the anger starts all over again. We were married for a long time, so I know him well. He has said this to me as well, but as far as I’m concerned, he made his decision. I don't know what he wants from me. I get upset because the other woman plays him like a fiddle, pitting us against each other, and still to this day, he still cant figure out what she is doing. I still love him even when I don't want. He made a choice to be with this other woman, and now he is miserable. The worst part is, our children are just as miserable and angry at him too. What now?

Help,
Anonymous

If your husband walked out on your marriage, divorced you and married someone else, why are you still talking to him? Other than verbal exchanges regarding your children, it seems like he has said it all. The fact that you continue to engage him in conversation suggests that you are not over him yet. You say that you know him well. Obviously, he knows you from cover-to-cover too. Not only is he reading you, he is playing you for all you are worth. As long as you entertain him, nothing changes. The question is not what does he want from you, but rather, what do you want from him?

Why are you allowing yourself to ride this emotional rollercoaster with him when it should have ended when he walked out on you? It sounds almost as if you enjoy the ride and you enjoy believing that he is not happy. If you allow it, you will quickly find yourself shifting from the status of ex-wife to mistress. I am not sure if you would reject this role in hopes of becoming his wife again. While you are legally divorced, it is clear you are not emotionally divorced. When women are not emotionally divorced, they compromise their values and their desires. They also often unknowingly drag their children and other people into their issues. It is likely that your children being “miserable and angry at him” are a function of your own anger and misery toward what has happened. I would highly suggest that you seek therapy to resolve these lingering emotions and conflicts with your relationship with your ex-husband. You deserve more in a relationship. However, you cannot move forward while still holding on to the past. The only person you can change is you. Think about it. -- Dr. Sherry

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