I can write about now what would have been almost impossible three years ago. I wish to share some of the things I experienced. The Pain I felt and the best thing I ever did for myself and could ever recommend. Many have experienced divorce in one way or another has been affected by a divorce in one way or another. The affects on children and adults is in my experience one of the reasons why I got help.
I had the ideal life with the ideal wife and had two children at home and a stepson off to make his name in the world. I had a great job making great money, to make great money however you have to work many hours. Sometimes too many hours, six or seven days a week, seven to twelve or thirteen hours. Compound that with the commute, from Pennsylvania to New York, New York well usually an hour and a half each way.
The reasons for our divorce are complicated and many however most importantly for me were that they were all emotionally draining on me. Being a man and doing the man thing at least as I knew it in my perfect little carpenter world was not cutting it. I talked to the guys at work, my brothers, lawyers, even my mother. Nothing took away the true pain I bottled up inside. The pained look on my children’s faces as I left their home. The amount of shame I felt as I failed as a husband and perhaps father if the courts so decided.
My relationship, after twenty years had become abusive, not physically, verbally and mentally. We had sunken to name calling and degrading statements towards each other. Being a “man” I would have never considered what we were doing was abusive, wrong perhaps but abuse… I looked it up on line and well sure enough by the definitions I could find I was in trouble. Not legal trouble soul trouble, I felt like a villain, a scoundrel a rat bastrd. The horrible thoughts that ran through my mind after being called a psycho by my then wife, I wondered.
I was seeing a therapist and learning how to be a better parent and person at the time and confessed my new fond discovery and the guilt as well as genuine pain and shame I was feeling. Even with the therapist I could not lay my heart on the table. It was hard for me to just let out the feelings and my thoughts. Men I knew didn’t do that kind of thing; I mentioned I was seeing a therapist to a couple of my friends at work… Mistake, now they figure that I am not a man for not just dealing with it you know be a man! You don’t need any one telling you how to be a man! Giving me bible quotes about being the man of the house and sparing not the rod.
It never really went beyond name calling and bad statements about each other yet the damage was done. Marriage counseling twice and a letter delivered by the sheriff while we sat having dinner and my kids wondered if they were going to take me away. I left with the clothes I had and my car hoping it was all a bad dream.
The one bright spot of my week was seeing my therapist we would talk for forty five minutes and suggest I that I might read this book and perhaps that book. Each day, each week progress was made. When our first court appearance came around I didn’t challenge the petition of my children’s mother and my soon to be ex wife. Under the condition that my family, all of them got counseling. If it was helping me it would help us all.
I have watched many a friend including myself try to take away the pain drinking, or using some drugs, I have had friends kill themselves. Men bottle up their feelings not all but most as some form of manly kingdom exists that has a rule “If you ever share your feelings or ask for help you will burn in manly hell” Women are like this as well yet most of my friends are men and I would have no clue what that place would be for women.
The point is the best thing I did through out this whole situation was to get help for myself and my family. “Time heals all wounds” however “wounds tend to heal better when treated by a doctor.” I also may recommend a book…” Men are from Mars and women are from Venus” by john Gray PhD. Not only will it provide a different perspective it has many good techniques to help get over the heart break, communicate better and learn to forgive easier.
Thank you for stopping by and I hope that if you know someone that needs help you will help them get there. I wish the best to all and especially the children.