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Ask the Divorced Woman!
by Maria Costa
Title: Broken Heart in Texas
I found your name on the web. I need an impartial person to talk to. I
hope you can give me some insight into this most painful time I am going
Let me give you some history:
My husband and I have been married for 19 years. He was in the military
for 17 of those years. In 1991 I was diagnosed with Breast cancer. I
went through a double mastectomy and chemo, he was somewhat supportive
but began to build a wall between us. He was so scared of my illness.
I went 4 years without any problems. And then 4 months before his
retirement all hell broke loose. I was diagnosed with bone mets -
metastatic cancer that has occurred in my bones. I went through 6
months of chemo, and two bone marrow transplants. During my two month
stay in the hospital, which is a 2 hour drive from home, he visited me 4
times for no longer than 3 hours. He brought my three children only on
one occasion. He began drinking and staying out until all hours,
neglecting me and the kids (after I came home) I was very weak and
needed a lot of help to run the household and he wasn't there for me. I
began to harbor a lot of resentment toward his way of NOT dealing with
what was happening. His coping mechanism was to stay away from home and
drown his sorrows. I stayed clean of cancer for 15 months. Last Nov.
It came back with a vengeance. I am now considered terminal and they
give me about 2 years. We have been like two tom cats living in the
same house, hostile, circling each other. It had become a vicious
circle. He told me once that he just couldn't carry on alone. I know
it has been hard. The last week of May I left to go to Canada to visit
a dear friend. My Dr. suggested that I have some off time, to relax and
have a stress free vacation. I took two of my kids with me. I came
home last week to find that he had thrown my 16 year old son out of the
house, ( he is staying with my sister). And was having an affair with
another woman. I am devastated. I know we were having problems but
thought we could fix them. As a matter of fact, that was one of the
things I reflected on while I was away. He says the affair was just
something that happened, he was lonely and needed someone. It is over
he tells me. He wants us to be friends and wants to "take care of me".
But he never has before, why start now? He is living in a little rental
house. We don't see him often. He is still continuing with the
drinking and partying lifestyle that he says he wants. I just want
things to be normal again. I know this sounds like a script for Jerry
Springer, but dear God I am actually living this. Initially I wanted to
just shoot myself. I mean, In the limited time I have left, I have to
become a single mom, live on a VERY limited income, take care of home
and kids...and prepare for the inevitable. All the while living in a
tiny town (1600 people) where everyone knows everyone's business. And I
will know what he does, where he goes, who he sees, etc. etc. and when
I don't know where he is or who he is with, I sit and wonder because in
spite of it all I love him. We have a lot of history.
Well, gee, I seem to have written a novel here. I apologize. Do you
have any words of wisdom for this broken hearted woman?
I suggested we go to counseling, but he isn't too keen on it. Although
he didn't say no. I feel like this should be in Ladies Home
Journal....."Can this marriage be saved?" Ha.
Sometimes in a morbid depression I just wish he could have waited a year
or so. Women would have flocked to the poor widower. This has been so
horrible. I can't function. I feel frozen. HELP
Thanks for any advice you can give.
What a story. I am so sorry that you are going through an even more
difficult situation than you need to at this time! But no time is ever
good to go through what you are experiencing.
First of all, you have done nothing wrong and should hold your head up!
He is the one that will live to regret what he is doing. If I were you I
would concentrate on maintaining my health and keeping very active with
How are they handling both situations? Why not spend all of your time
and love on them and make these last couple of years very special for
them so that they can have extremely happy memories of their mom instead
of a broken-hearted one.
I wouldn't waste any more energy or emotions on him! Turn your emotions
to your children and to God to help you!
Best of luck and feel free to write any time.
Pick up my book "When the Vows Break: Living Through Separation &
Divorce" it will help you with the above questions plus how to join
support groups which you need to do! If you can't find it in your local
bookstore call my toll free number 888-267-3929 PIN #7176.
Maria Costa (Author & Seminar Speaker) A well known certified speaker
and seminar leader, continues to inspire, motivate and challenge people to push their envelopes farther, both before and after experiencing divorce. A graduate of National-Louis University,
with a Masters in Management, Ms. Costa is very active in her community. She
is President of the Board of Directors of the Women's Resource Center, Fredericksburg, VA, President of Hispanic Internal Revenue Employees (HIRE), IRS, Washington Chapter and board member of Professional Women's Network. Be sure to visit Maria Costa's web site
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