You've seen celebrity clinical psychologist Dr. Sherry Blake, author of The Single Married Woman: True Stories of Why Women Feel 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...
Dear Dr. Sherry,
I was married for 19 years and after thinking I was unhappy with our relationship I made the decision to divorce my husband. Soon thereafter, I started seeing a man in a different state. It was a long distance relationship which was fine because I still had my own life and remained cordial with my ex. I ended up getting engaged and made plans to move out of state to be with my fiancé. Sadly, I called off the engagement and soon after my ex decided to ask me out on a date! I accepted and had a great time until it came to sex. I had contracted Herpes Simplex Virus 2 (HSV2) between the time we divorced and our reconciliation. When I told my ex about my diagnosis, he was blown away by the news, which was complete blow to my confidence and affected my self-esteem. Since then, my ex has been dating a very young girl who is 20 years younger than I am and just a few years older than my oldest child. My ex and his girlfriend have been together for about a year now and while we were once cordial post-divorce and my diagnosis disclosure, we don't talk anymore whatsoever. I ended up moving out of state to marry the man I was once engaged to, however, I am not happy and I want my ex back. I'm sad because I have so many fond memories from not only our marriage but our friendship too. If only I had realized this when I thought divorcing the love of my life was the cure to helping my unhappiness. Any advice?
Your current marriage appears to be a consolation prize that you settled for after being rejected by you r ex-husband. It is almost impossible to find happiness in your current marriage living in the past. You may be legally divorced from your ex but you have remained emotionally married. The question becomes "Why?" Your ex appears to be both legally and emotionally divorced from you. Given that you continue to hold on to hopes and dreams of getting back with him, you have given him a lot of power over you. This is unfortunate because you have tied your happiness and sense of self worth to his acceptance of you. His being "blown away" with you having is likely to be related to him wanting to have sex but this put a halt to that. There was no concern for your health or the possibility of rekindling a relationship. He seemed to have used your HSV2 status as a permanent exit excuse. You must remember that there was a reason you divorced him in the first place. It is time to determine what you really want in a relationship. Happiness starts with you and is your responsibility. A man or a marriage can not " make" you happy. You must find happiness within yourself. I recommend that you seek individual therapy to help understand why you remain emotionally married to someone who is not available to you in any way. This will also give you a chance to discover who you are. Your value should not be determined by your ex or anyone else. --Dr. Sherry
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