What should I do if I realise my husband is too good for me but I can’t stop being horrible to him? He’s just left me and I don’t blame him, he’ll have such a better life on his own.
To begin, by writing you’ve proven two things. You are able to identify a negative behaviour and then you had the courage to write and express your fears.
A perceived flaw in our character does not mean everything about us is bad.
Everyone has things about themselves they have to work on every day. We are only making assumptions if we think someone’s life is better without us.
Another positive in what you’ve written is that expressing this guilt for your behaviour suggests remorse. That is a very good sign.
Remorse can be the first step to changing behaviour. Remorse means you don’t like viewing yourself as ‘horrible’ and inside you there is a desire for change.
You are capable of this introspection so what you need to do now is consider how you can change these behaviours as you move into your future. Remember that these are behaviours- personal choices made in certain circumstances and not the sum total of your character.
We all have things we’d like to revisit but the past is just that –the past.
Just because you treated your husband as you did does not mean that has to be what happens in the future.
You say he will have a better life but has he said that? Perhaps the greatest critic in life is ourselves and our self-esteem is the target.
Is this separation temporary and you want to consider reconciliation at some point in the future? If that is possible then you need to review a few things.
What are the triggers that create those ‘horrible’ times? Determining beforehand what it is that prompts your behaviour is a step toward self-control.
This might be something for you to explore with a counselor. Anger is hardly ever about the other person involved but more about an inner struggle with loss of some personal control.
How we relate to others- what kind of relationships we have begins with understanding how our past links to present day behaviours and a counselor can help you make those connections.
We all live with baggage from our past. I know from personal experience that with the help of a professional we can deal with it and change.
For the immediate, look at ways to exercise self-control. If reconciliation is a possibility then do this gradually.
Spend time together doing things you’ve both enjoyed and talk about what went wrong. The goal is to understand and learn from what has happened.
One of the mistakes made in many conversations is that we forget to listen.
We are too busy thinking about what we want to say and miss what the other person is saying. Or we try to put words in their mouth. Active listening requires eye contact and your full attention.
When you talk with your Ex remember to enter those conversations with an open mind and pack away any assumptions.
If reconciliation is not an option then you need to decide the shape of your future relationship with your Ex-husband. If there are children then there will be some interaction.
Again this is where identifying the triggers that led to the difficult times will be helpful. As well, those meaningful conversations with him will help you both accept the past, reach a level of civility and move on. It is never too late to be decent in your dealings with him.
Change in behaviour takes time. Acknowledging past behaviour is the first step to making changes. Decide what you want in your future, commit to those better personal choices and celebrate every victory.
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ABOUT LINDA SIMPSON
“I take strength from your calm, your honesty, and the hope you give me for my future.” Cheryl
Linda is a fresh voice in the divorce advice world. She offers a pragmatic, common sense approach to life after divorce issues based on over twenty years surviving and thriving following a very traumatic divorce.
As a single parent, her sons are an enormous source of joy in her life. She is a loving mother and grandmother to four delightful grandchildren.
She holds a degree from the University of Waterloo with concentrations in sociology and philosophy and guidance counselling certification from Queen’s University.
She is an accredited trainer for The Peace Education Foundation, a leader in conflict resolution training. The institute is ‘dedicated to educating children and adults in the dynamics of conflict resolution and promoting peacemaking skills in home, schools, and community.’
In a long and successful teaching career, she also served as a counsellor and workshop facilitator for SEL (social emotional learning) programming and The Peace Education Foundation throughout her school and school district and was a frequent conference presenter for SUNY Potsdam Faculty of Education USA.
She writes for The Divorce Magazine UK and her blog is seen regularly on Huffington Post Canada where the focus is life after divorce and parenting issues.
She is a writer and poet and is presently at work on a book based on her divorce experience.