Just as I thought that I was making progress, my world comes crashing down again. Two weeks ago, I was made aware that my ex was indeed having an affair. Everything I said in my last post was thrown out the window. I fell back into a deep depression, I refused to eat, I would constantly send angry messages to my ex and was on the brink of a nervous breakdown. Recovering from a break up is bad enough, but to find out that theres another woman just makes matters worse. I decided that it was time to make my WHOLE family aware of the situation. So despite my mother being on the other side of the world on vacation, I called her up and told her the news. I held back from telling her because I was afraid of her reaction, but to my relief, she remained very supportive and comforting. I guess it's true that no matter what, at the end of the day, you can always count on your family. Upon her arrival home, my mom handed me a book that my aunt wanted me to have, its called "Moving On After He Moves Out". This book is God sent. It was hard to read because I felt like I was reliving the nightmare, but it opened up my eyes to several things. There are tidbits from this book that I would like to share with you all, I hope that somehow the following will help you find yourself again...
(1) Facing the abandonment
For many months, the abandonment will replay in your mind over and over again. Even when you think that your making progress and finally moving forward, there will always be something that will remind you of the situation. Again, a wave of emotions will hit you. The anger, the sadness, the loneliness and etc. Understand that it is perfectly normal. However, don't allow yourself to dwell on "what should be" or "what could be", instead think of "what is". As harsh as it may be, remind yourself of the fact that your husband left you behind and that it's time to pick up the pieces. Pray, and commit all that your feeling and thinking to God. Everytime you bravely face abandonment, you are empowering yourself.
(2) Being assertive and realistic
Do not allow the situation to drown you in the "victim mentality". Everytime you feel that you are doing so, ask yourself, "How long will I allow this to go on? How long will I allow him to victimize me? Manipulate me with his betrayal? Will I allow this man to destroy me and my family?" Then tell yourself, "Enough is enough! I will no longer allow him to take over my life! I refuse to be a victim!" It is time to be assertive, to finally take control of your life and realize that despite everything, you are a worthwhile person! Being realistic means that you should keep in mind that change is gradual, it happens over time. You don't just wake up one day and expect everything to be ok. You will have setbacks, after all, you're an imperfect being. But don't beat yourself up over it, know that although you may stumble you always move ahead a little farther then yesterday.
(3) Choose your friends wisely
The people you surround yourself during this tough situation can either help build yourself up or drive you deeper into your problems. Avoid people who tell you to toughen up and not be bitter. These people are unreal and wouldn't be saying that if they were in your situation. You should also avoid spiritually superficial people and people who tend to take sides. Be around friends who you know are sincere and don't pretend that abandonment isn't a big deal. Be with people who allow you to cry and release your feelings but who will keep you focused on figuring out why this happened, the possibilities of the marriage being restored and if all else fails, the practical steps to be taken to recover from such a horrible situation.
(4) Physical Recovery
I'm sure that plenty of you can relate to this. During the first week after the break-up, you refuse to eat or eat too much, you put on a brave face when the kids are around only to break down behind closed doors. You lack sleep. You don't care about your appearance so much that you can walk around the house all day in your pajamas that are inside out. Tell me, are you guilty of this or what? No shame in saying yes, because I can assure you that I went through this myself. It was a horrible horrible week, a week that I never want to relive again. The break- up not only hurt us psycholically but it also took a swing at our physical body and immune system, so it is very important that we work on our physical recovery.
It is imperative that we take a good 30 minutes everyday to exercise! Exercise changes the chemical make- up of your brain enabling you to handle stress better while improving your health and self- confidence. Remember that your not only exercising to look good, but because you want to stay healthy and be able to keep up wtih your growing kids. Along with exercise comes a healthy diet. You don't have to go on a crazy fad diet or deprive yourself of the foods you want to eat, in fact, you can eat whatever you want! But be reminded of portion control and balancing out the things you eat. It'd be best if you stock up on fruits, vegetables and complex carbohydrates ( breads, potatos, rice and etc). And feel free to indulge in an occasional steak or two!
Another important factor to physical recovery is sleep. Your body has gone through alot and needs to recover. Listen to your body and don't hesitate to take a nap or two if you feel like it. It's very important that you get at least 8 hours of sleep every night. If it helps, you may drink a glass of warm milk and talk to God for a while beofre going to bed. Committing the day and all your worries and thoughts to Him allows you a peaceful and well- deserved night of sleep.
(5) Developing new skills
Now that hes gone, all the household chores that you husband used to do has now been dumped onto your lap. Don't panic! Your husband wasn't some genius that could do the impossible, he simply learned a thing or two about maintenance. If he can do it, trust me, so can you. Every time you learn a new skill, particularly something that used to be your husband's domain- you'll find yourself feeling more empowered and wondering what else you can do! So go ahead! Take a risk doing the things that you thought you'd never be able to do. You just might surprise yourself.
(6) Let people help you
Although I told you not to take on the "victim mentality", neither should you take on the "superwoman mentality". You can't do everything on your own, being a single mother isn't easy so don't be hesitant to accept when people offer you help. If your friends, family or other other groups of people offer you help, be specific with your needs and be reasonable. Keep in mind that these people are reaching out to you out of the goodness of their heart so you must be careful not to exploit them.
(7) Allow God to take over your life
I won't pretend that I wasn't mad with God for a while. I didn't understand why he was tearing my family apart, nor why me and my ex couldn't work things through. It took me scripture after scripture before I realized that God indeed had a plan for my life. Some thing that I wouldn't understand because His plan was too great for me to fathom. So I did the only thing I could think of doing, I prayed and offered myself and my kids to Him. I committed all my problems to Him and prayed that everything would work out according to His plan and that He would continue to give me strength throughout this whole ordeal. I realized that things would get harder before they got better so I felt blessed when I came upon this passage:
For the Lord says, "Because she loves me, I will rescue her; I will make her great because she trusts in my name. When she calls on me I will answer; I will be with her in trouble, and rescue her and honor her. I will satisfy her with a full life and give her my salvation." (Ps 91:14- 16, adapted).
I've printed out this passage and taped it onto several places all over the house so that I am constantly reminded of God's promise. It'd help that you do the same for yourself too. I suggest that you keep a copy in your car and in your purse. Hopefully, you learn a thing or two from the above. Feel free to message me and ask questions, the book is well written so I'd be glad to type down stuff in accordance to answering your questions. God bless :)