Divorce Advice: How To Leave A Broken Home Before You Become Broken

Divorce Advice

“When people divorce, it’s always such a tragedy. At the same time, if people stay together it can be even worse.” – Monica Bellucci

Dear Chelsea,

I find myself lately asking the question, is this it for me.

I’m 38 years old and married with two beautiful daughters, who are 17 and 10 years old. I’ve been with my husband since I was 21 and 5 months pregnant. A few months later, he had his first affair with a family friend. We went through the normal ordeal after infidelity and worked things through. Obviously, it was devastating, but we gave it a shot.

Then, as the years went by, he had his 2nd affair when we were 7 years married. Also a close friend of ours. I was completely heartbroken. Our second daughter had just been born and there I was still dealing with this. As you can imagine, I had all this anger and resentment in me. I hated him. I then made the decision to divorce him.

I sold the house and moved back to my parents. When I went back to work after maternity leave, I found out the person I trained to stand in for me was now my Supervisor and I had been put out of my office.

As I’m going through a divorce, demoted at work, I still had a 7-year-old and a 7-month-old baby to raise and living with my parents again. I really didn’t picture my life like this. Then, everything settled and I found myself in love with a guy at work. Everything was amazing. He gave me back my self-worth and I could see out of the dark again. I had hope for the future again. But as things progressed my ex-husband started coming around again. I never kept him away from our girls.

The next thing I knew, I was hiding my “new” relationship from my ex. I don’t know why I was so afraid to let him know that I had found someone else. You see, he has always been a jealous, possessive, and passive-aggressive person. Then we bought a house together again to raise our kids in. We got married again 3 years later and my then-boyfriend decided also to move away from all the drama. So here I am back again with the man I hate and letting go of the guy I love. Why did I sabotage my own happiness like that?

Well, 7 years into the new second marriage, I find myself on a path I grew to hate him for. You see, I have recently started seeing someone. He is everything I always wanted in a man. He is everything my husband is not. He makes me feel brave, beautiful, in love, happy, safe, content, vulnerable. Everything I thought I would never feel.

My question now is, do I pursue my own happiness or do I stay in my loveless and dead marriage? I know it’s not as simple as that. If only life was that simple. But I can’t just make a decision like that without hurting my girls. And knowing me, I’ll probably end up doing the right thing. Ending it all, before it even began. Because that is what a good wife and more important a good mother does, isn’t it?

Life is cruel. It will present you with all these opportunities to be happy but at the worst possible time. My wish for myself is just to be happy and free. To be loved and loved back in return. I love the person I am when I am not around my husband. But as soon as he enters a room, I have my guard up and I become this edgy, strict, and angry person.

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Chelsea Leigh Trescott

Certified in solution-focused life coaching, Chelsea Leigh Trescott is a breakup coach, advice columnist, and podcast host of Thank You Heartbreak. She helps her clients save their relationship or save themselves, and Breakupward.View Author posts