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Love Letters

Rethinking the divorce


Q:

Hi Meredith,

I have been married for 23 years. I left my husband a year ago. I felt no regret as he was emotionally/verbally abusive our whole marriage. I also felt invisible. Everything was about him. I finally snapped. I felt empowered when I left and the best I had in a long time on my own. Now three months before our divorce is to be final, I am having major second thoughts. I cry constantly and am depressed a lot. I miss him terribly and want to go back. I still love him. I know that over time that we will be back in that negative dynamic because I feel he can't change ... but maybe I can put up with it again? My therapist says I am just finally grieving and it is not that I want to go back. I feel lost. I just don't know. I'm afraid to divorce and regret it. Can you give me your opinion??

– So Confused, Danvers

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A: Your therapist is right. You're grieving the relationship and dealing with what it means to be on your own.

Accept that you're going to experience a range of confusing emotions as the divorce becomes final. There might be some sadness and fear. You might have another phase of pride and empowerment. It's all part of moving on, which is what you need to do.

You shouldn't have to "put up" with a partner who makes you feel terrible. Your sadness and heartache doesn't mean that the marriage is worth saving. You can mourn your loss -- because it is a loss -- but please balance those feelings with thoughts about the future. Do you want to date? Travel? Make new friends? This divorce will be less confusing if you can feel hopeful about the rest of your life.

Readers? Will the LW regret the divorce? Is the therapist right? Discuss.

– Meredith