It has been so eye opening for Divorced Gal to meet and interview several guys, who have lost their marriages. I admit that I was naïve about a lot of stuff! Guys and gals are supposed to be so different that it is famously said that we come from different planets..right? Well I have discovered, that when it comes to the ravages of divorce, if it is the husband that is left or betrayed, they actually experience very similar emotions and use the same kinds of coping mechanisms, as the gals.
While cheating is only one of many reasons that marriages break up, I was under the erroneous impression that it’s mostly the guys that are the guilty party..….sorry guys!! I am hearing more and more (and more) stories about it being the gals that are cheating and wanting out of their marriages…..
This made me really want to get a feel for what could be going on and what the guys are going through. I still don’t have any answers for the infidelity epidemic, but I humbly admit that meeting guys who have been betrayed has made me drop some really outdated stereo -typical notions that I (and many gals I know and have met) have been holding onto!
Yes!!!! – DG knows that there are two sides to every story!! And these chats with these divorced guys showed me …… the guys side!
Divorced Gal talks with some Divorced guys……..
Divorced Gal talks with some Divorced guys……..
The first great guy (let’s call him Deep Thinking Guy / DTG) I spoke to is turning 40 soon, has two small children and his marriage recently ended because his wife cheated on him. While it has literally been weeks, since his world exploded, DTG seems to be keeping it all together remarkably well. I had chatted to him a bit by text, before we met and it was impossible not to empathize with the gut-wrenching pain that he was in. A lot of people who are betrayed, wrongly think that it may have happened because they are no longer attractive. Because of this, I think it is important to mention that I immediately noticed when I met DTG, that he is not only really cute but also really well built. I have met some really beautiful woman who have been betrayed! And they feel so shitty about the way that they look. Of course, it doesn’t matter if you are Brad bloody Pitt or Gigi flipping Hadid, the fact is, that when you been cheated on, you feel like a Swamp donkey! Gals who are cheated on, often rip their themselves apart, looking for physical flaws and question, whether or not they need to see a cosmetic surgeon (and the answer is, that they don’t!!! ).DTG is no different. His self esteem has taken a knock! Meeting DTG was just another interesting reminder that affairs are not about the way one looks…..
I have to mention, that apart from the shallow aspect of being attractive, I found DTG to also be really sweet and likable.
He has been on a bit of a wild roller coaster of emotions, as one would of course expect after such a shake up to his universe. He has however survived (even though there were days he thought that he wouldn’t) and rather swiftly exited ‘Shitville’ (the shitty place one dwells in after being so badly hurt). DTGs has days that are “ok “ and he feels like he can move forward and other days when he feels like he is “going round in circles” and feels “really low”. He says that in order to survive to this point, he has needed a mix of time alone and also support from family and good friends. He has been so fortunate to be coached by Stacey Lewis of www.thedivorcesource.co.za for several weeks. He says these sessions have really helped him to get out of bed, because Stacey’s advice has been very practical about what he needs to do. She has also helped DTG to look at his marriage and himself in an honest, less emotional way (even though that kind of introspection is really tough), so that he can try and grow as an individual and use this experience to thrive.
What DTG has to share with us
“Look at the crap – the negative place – the shit – the desolate feeling – as an opportunity for growth and as an experience to reconstruct in a way that would not have been possible before – don’t waste the opportunity – the pain can transcend to making you great” (Wooooo hooooo!)
“Sticking to routine and structure has helped me cope – taking out my frustrations at gym has also been a life saver” (DG recommends endorphins too!)
“No matter who you have in your life, at the end of the day,it’s still just you….there is something to be said for having quiet time to feel the pain and also to surrender yourself to a higher power..I wrote and prayed a lot in the beginning..when I had nothing else, and didn’t know how I would survive…my faith kept me going”
The second guy, that bravely shared his story (let’s call him Figuring It Out Guy/ FIOG) is 43, has two children and is also in what I call the ‘early days’. He is still struggling to come to a sense of peace and closure.…..
FIOG feels that because his wife’s parents got divorced, that it made her very open to the idea that divorce is an acceptable way to solve things, rather than working them out together. He saw her as his “life partner” (sniff) and even though there was a lot that wasn’t working in their relationship, he still misses the happy and good times that they shared. He feels that his wife’s personality altered drastically, leading to the end of his marriage. (This seems to be a common thread amongst those that have been betrayed). FIOG used the words “mid-life thing” to also explain why he feels his wife did what she did.
One of the most traumatic things he says that he has ever been through, was when his wife convinced him to leave their family home. He felt that she had given him no choice at that stage and hoped that by doing so, that perhaps it would be a way to sort things out….. “To pack my stuff and actually leave was soul crushing….the next crusher was telling our children. I find it incredibly hard not to live with them anymore”. He felt sick that their children’s home was going to be “broken” by him leaving. Sadly he quickly realized that his wife had no intentions of reconciliation……
But something positive on a personal level has transpired, because even though it has been very tough for FIOG, to confide in people about his marriage crashing, he started reaching out to friends, which he had never done before….
A good friend helped him to think about the separation in a new way. “Never think of being together for the children..it’s far better for your children to grow up in 2 happy households…rather than one miserable one” (Sounds about right to DG – what do you think?)
Ironically, when he found out that his wife had not been faithful, it wasn’t another kick in the balls (you know what I mean!!). It actually gave him some solace. He realized that she was not the honest person, he had thought her to be and knew that even though he had not been a perfect husband, that he had given it his all to rescue things and much of what led up to their split, finally made sense to him.
“When one door closes, another one opens”
“You always have ingredients for lemonade” (Love this!!)
“I have faith that we are exactly where we are meant to be”
“Even though I’ve thought about vengeance, I have let that go now….its a destructive thing to dwell on and really a waste of ones precious time”
“I’m still unsure sometimes how I will survive this and I long for the day that I know that I will”
Last but not least
It was great to meet this 47 year old guy (let’s call him Silver Lining Guy/SLG), that has not only forgiven his ex wife for her infidelity, but, is also happily remarried, content, has a new baby and a big smile. And heard that Divorced Gal likes chocolate, so brought her one (big points, beeeeeeeg ; )!!
SLG’s ex wife had an affair with her employer and went through such a major personality change that he says, he suddenly found himself living with a ‘stranger’.
He says that he would have stayed married to her ‘forever’ and that not only were there no warning signs before things exploded but also that he was blind sided because he believed that they had a ‘good marriage’.
The thing that he found hardest to accept was that for that crazy period of time, his ex not only ‘rejected’ him, her family and her friends but also, devastatingly, their two small children.
His mother in law was a massive support to him (which really warmed my heart) during that nightmare of a time. And his kids were a driving force pushing him to get through…He knew that it would be up to him to make sure that they would be ok!
Several years after his divorce, SLG, met the stunning new Gal that he is now married to. He feels blessed to have her in his life and had the wisdom not allow what had happened to him, to tarnish his future…….
“If my marriage hadn’t ended…I would not have known what else was out there and been free to move forward to being happier…” (profound)
“Although I missed being a family unit, and would have been willing to make it work for that, I came to see, that I would rather be happily divorced than unhappily married” (: ) )
“I have really grown since my divorce..I now know that we all have the right to be happy and should not settle”
“I do not have trust issues. I have faith and believe that what happened, was for a reason”
“I have learned to count my blessings and that we need to be happy with what we have”
“Be happy on your own first”
I left SLG, really feeling inspired! It was pretty great meeting someone who has weathered such a bad storm, but was able to see the silver linings on the clouds !
Thank you to all of you courageous guys for sharing your stories….
Wishing all of you deep thoughts, a way to figure stuff out and silver linings!!
Lots of Love,
Divorced Gal xxx