Why No One Understands When Your Husband has Left…what to do, how to treat you, or what to say. They are all clueless and their reaction makes it so much worse.
Jennifer’s husband came home from a 3-day work event and by then she had a ‘hunch’ he was having an affair with a co-worker. She waited till he arrived home, and as he walked to the fridge and opened it she asked, “How was your trip?”
What she endured from that moment was learning that her husband had indeed fallen in love with a woman from work…a woman 5 inches taller and 10 years his junior…a woman he called his “soul mate”…a woman who was so nice, she had friends that liked her….a woman he was sure would be a perfect fit to their current family just as soon as Jennifer got a chance to know this new Goddess.
Jennifer had trouble breathing that night and weeks following. Her world fell apart. No longer was the future with an imperfect husband and father of her children certain. It was like standing at the edge of a cliff, hanging onto a weak branch, hoping not to slip.
Jennifer slowly reached out to friends. While she didn’t want to throw her husband under the bus, he certainly didn’t seem to mind or care that his kids and wife as well as their community and church friends were going to be living a new life w/o him being part of the old family.
He was happy. Excited and full of life. Jennifer, on the other hand, lost 10 lbs in a week and had trouble going to sleep and getting out of bed in the morning. She got up for her kids. They needed to see her strong. Her fake smile they all knew was not her. She did it. No one knows how, not even her. But she got up…made breakfast, made lunch and made dinner. Most of it was pasta, pizza and cereal…but no one went hungry. No one died.
During this time Jennifer reached out to was many friends and family. Everyone was supportive. No one wanted her to be with her husband any longer. Problem was…she did.
During a call with her sister-in-law, her sister-in-law flat out said, “Jennifer….you have to take a reality check. He wasn’t happy with you. He has moved on. He’s happy now. Let him go…”
Jennifer was heartbroken. How could her sister-in-law say this?? What about their 15 years together? Their 3 kids? All their fun memories? Didn’t her sister-in-law realize that her brother wasn’t happy because he wasn’t happy with HIMSELF? Not because of Jennifer? Jennifer also said she was sad because she had always been a support to her sister-in-law. Always. Specially since Jennifer was there when her S-I-L had endured her own husband having a cheating experience. And Jennifer stood by her. Walking her through her emotions and calling her daily until her husband got rid of the dingbat girl (sorry, only a dingbat girl will go with a married man – no matter what he says to her), apologized and all was well again. And now? Her S-I-L was declaring defeat? How could she? She was telling Jennifer it was over. And that was not what Jennifer wanted to hear or feel.
What Jennifer also shared with me recently which was so odd, and so bizarre, that I had to write her story just so I could get to the end….
What You Didn’t See:
Although Jennifer and her husband worked through the devastation that happened to them 5 years ago and are fine in their marriage, their best friends living 2 doors away are not. Their friends had been married around 14 years with three kids as well. The 4 adults (both couples) had become so close living close and having kids around the same age…that when the neighbor’s husband bailed on their marriage one night, my sister-in-law (like the wife) was completely baffled.
Jennifer’s sister-in-law called Jennifer to share this new development about her best friends/neighbors and how sad and devastated she was that this man had just LEFT his family?? Jennifer recalls her sister-in-law saying in shock, “How could he just do that??”
Jennifer was quiet and listened for a good hour to her deeply saddened sister-in-law until a moment arose when she said, “You know…this is exactly how I was feeling 5 years ago when your brother left me…”
The sister-in-law was quiet. Jennifer was sure a light was shone and that she would be finally understood. But instead, her sister-in-law said, “Oh…no…this is WAY different. They were happy…”
Jennifer was happy too. Yet it’s all in the perception. Either way, I found this story so interesting, complicated and reminiscent of what others really believe in their own heads.
So if you know of a woman or a man whose spouse has recently bailed on them, do the following:
- be a friend.
- don’t give advice….just listen. They may sound like a crazy person (that happens when your world goes upside down)
- compliment them.
- then love and support them and tell them tomorrow is a new day.
- make sure they are eating and taking care of themselves as best as they can.
BE A FRIEND:
It’s a long road and if they have ANY desire to be with the person that left them, let them feel that way. It will all work out in time. But if you can help turn them away from anger and right toward compassion, love and understanding….they will become stronger inside and in the long run will be so much healthier.
(that last paragraph is NOT to be shared with the person who has been ‘left’ or they will throw a heavy object at you. Because that statement is insane to them. It may take months or even years to get there…but help them get there….let that be your goal.)
If it’s YOU reading this – the one who is left…you may have already ‘left’ this page!! But if you are still reading…keep coming back and RE-READiNG.
Know you are here…and you are loved.
Coaching is available: the wife expert @ gmail . com (just take out ALL of the spaces)