Coming out of a 32 year marriage and suddenly becoming single was certainly a big change, to say the least. You go from being a duo, a couple to solo, single. Since my marriage had become very toxic in the last 5 years prior the divorce, I savored every moment of being single. I became calmer, relaxed with alot of time on my hands. The first 2 years were years of adjustment and transition. Many times I pinched myself with euphoria that I was no longer in this relationship. I felt that I was freed from prison after serving a life sentence. New adventures and experiences were on the horizon.
I started by taking back my maiden name. It took alot of work. I had to change all my personal documents to reflect my maiden name, ie: Driver’s License, medicare, SIN, passport, life insurance, the list goes on . A new Will and Testament had to be made. It took over a year before all the changes were done.
I went around the house and started to pack away family photo’s of him and any small personal items he left behind. Painters were hired to repaint the master bedroom. I redecorated it to become “my room”.
However, I was still living the drama of my failed marriage. Everytime I met up with friends we would talk about it. Family occasions were difficult; the kids now had to share their time separately between Mom and Dad.
I needed to understand when and why the marriage started to break down. It was an obsession. I spent countless hours revisiting our past conversations, his changed behaviours, pouring over letters and occasion cards he had written to me. I also surfed the internet to read up on narcissism. My therapist had suggested he might be a narcissist, based on what I used to tell her about my relationship.
When I finally discovered who his long time mistress was, I was shocked and angry . It was someone I knew! She became another of my obsessions. I needed answers!
My ex sister-in-law advised me to confront her, to have a physical altercation with her. Actually her words were something like this, “you need to defend what belongs to you and you must grab her by the hair and show her that no one touches what belongs to you.” Yes of course my basic instinct was to do just that and obtain revenge . Instead I chose civility; revenge was out of the question.
I did confront her to obtain answers, which of course she refused to give me. With great calm and dignity I told her what I thought of her. I know after our interaction she was not too proud of herself.
This confrontation was something that I needed to do for my peace of mind. It felt as if I had a sense of control over the betrayal. Does that make sense?
As a side note the Mistress did not end up with my ex; he has another woman in his life.
Three years ago I happened to cross paths with the mistress. I said hello and asked about her. She was happy to see me. After a brief exchange about our present lives she paused and asked for my forgiveness. That was something I wasn’t expecting. I accepted her apology. At that moment all the shame she felt evaporated. I saw it in her demeanor. Her face lit up and she asked to hug me. We hugged. It was healing for the both of us.
I no longer carry any anger towards her. That too is quite liberating.
A quote from Josh Billings:
There is no revenge so complete as forgiveness.