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,
My husband and I seperated three years ago after 24 years of marriage. We have both moved on and are seeing other people, but at a recent gathering my adult children, ages 21 and 22, I saw him with the second other woman. They were so disappointed in their dad and felt like he was disrespectful to me and to his family. I keep telling them to be better as adults than their father and I are. I don’t want them to feel that because our marriage didn’t work that means that they won’t be successful at love. One issue is that I haven’t filed for divorce yet, at my lawyer’s advice, because my ex is being sued from a previous business he owned. Because we live in a community property state, it could cause problems for me financially if I do, so I shouldn’t be representing myself. He and I don’t communicate at all and I feel so abandoned and empty. It’s like my life is going in slow motion. How can I make this sadness go away? I have accepted the fact that I am the ex, but when it comes to his family, but how do I move on with my life without feeling like a failure to myself and my kids? — Signed, What Now?
Your sadness is likely related to the fact that you have never let the relationship with go emotionally. After being married almost 24 years and separated for three years, you have a lot of emotional baggage that you are dragging. For whatever reason, you have not taken a serious look at your baggage and lighten your load by dumping issues. I have a hard time buying your excuse for not getting a divorce. If you lawyer is recommending that you do not file for a divorce because you should not represent yourself, why is he your lawyer? His role is to represent you. If this is his advice, it is time for a new lawyer. It is obvious that your husband has moved on. His bringing someone else to a graduation after being separated from you for three years is not being disrespectful. This is more an issue for you than your adult children. As painful as it may sound, you must unpack your emotional baggage with your marriage. It takes two people to have a true marriage and it seems as if you are the only one holding on to the hopes and dreams of a marriage. I recommend that you seek individual therapy to process why and what are you really holding on to. It is only after you decide not to continue to pull the old baggage that the sadness will leave and you can move on with your life. Do not be hard on yourself. A divorce does not mean failure Life is too short to remain emotionally stuck in a relationship. –Dr Sherry
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