Monday, June 25, 2012

Divorce is Like a Death

Those first few months after he left are a blur. I was devastated beyond belief. Unable to concentrate, sleep or eat. I had always joked that I could eat for any reason... happy, sad, depressed, celebratory, the reason didn't matter. But I was wrong. There was no food in the world that appealed to me. I lost twenty pounds that first month. My friend Annie would call me several times a day..."eat half an English muffin"...." have some cheese"...."are you drinking water?" My son came to stay with me. He and his girlfriend cooked Christmas dinner and he took me out to eat. My daughter did the food shopping.

I walked around in a daze. I wouldn't have left the house or my bed except for the fact that my sister had a stroke and I went to Yale New Haven Hospital every day for the six weeks she was there. I was her next of kin and had to make medical decisions regarding her treatment. I felt like a zombie, surreal, like I was outside looking in at some pathetic woman. I had always been a strong person but I was afraid I would not survive. I had counted on Dave for love, support and guidance almost my whole life. I knew my family, friends and coworkers were worried but I couldn't seem to snap out of my despair. Even more frightening to me, I didn't WANT to snap out of it. I was wallowing in self-pity but I didn't care. I cried constantly and uncontrollably.

I checked our credit cards and bank account obsessively. Everyday I found evidence of his affair. Buying her jewelry, taking her to "our" restaurants and movie theaters. Finally I was informed by one of the doctors I traveled with on medical missions that he was taking her on a mission to Africa. He had been gone less than 2 weeks, still claiming to be thinking of coming home. I was stunned and humiliated. I knew everyone on that team. Even though I knew it was more of a reflection of her character than mine,I couldn't face anyone. Eventually  I had to take a leave of absence from my job.

I called the therapist we had seen as a couple and started individual therapy. She told me divorce is like a death and follows the stages of grieving. But it is NOT like a death. Death would have been preferable. His, not mine. Death is final but this was torture. I was getting hurt by new revelations every day but I couldn't stop looking at the scene of the accident.

Apparently this is almost a universal reaction to divorce. In the back of my mind it was comforting to know I wasn't losing my mind. Although when I refer to that period of time I always preface it with "that's when I was crazy."

I am happy to say the cliche "time heals all wounds" is true. My depression has lifted due to time , family, friends and therapy.  I will never be the trusting person I was in the past but I will survive.


  1. dd the dad also jump ship on the children?

  2. "Time heals all wounds" – That is definitely true! At the end of the day, what you have gone through the journey of divorce will just become part of your life’s experience. Time is what we all need to heal the pain that hurt us. And of course, with help from your family, friends, and legal advisors you’ll get over everything in time. And I hope you’ve reached that moment! Albert Gates @ Burton Law Firm

  3. “I was getting hurt by new revelations every day but I couldn't stop looking at the scene of the accident.” - This is why it's hard to deal with divorce. You know he'll never come back to you again, but you still have access to all the details of his new affair that can hurt you. I'm glad time healed your depression, thanks to your support group. I know someday you'll learn to love and trust again, and I do hope you'll be wiser in your next relationship. :)

    Sammy Jackson @

  4. I’m sorry that you felt that way. Divorce is really a tough battle. You might think you will lose yourself during the process, but take solace in the fact that it’s just in the beginning. As time goes by, you will realize that you made the right decision. At the very least, you could start over and become even a better person than you already are after going through the ordeal.

    Christine Bradley @ West Green Family Law