Some guys can see it happening. They know that their marriage isn’t what it used to be and they can feel the end approaching. Others can’t. Some guys are completely blindsided by divorce. They are shocked to discover that their happy, married life wasn’t real. You aren’t the first, and won’t be the last man left in the lurch.
You Couldn’t Have Seen It Coming
Every man hates certain aspects of their divorce but for the ones who’ve been blindsided, the whole thing is a nightmare they never predicted.
Don’t beat up on yourself. “How could I not have seen it coming? How could I have missed what she was up to? I’m such a dumbass.”
In some marriages, there may have been signs that the end was near but not in all of them. Not by a long shot. Women are notorious for telling their woman friends every last detail of problems in their relationship, but the husband is the last to know. Probably because the wife expects him to know without her telling him. Go figure.
So how were you supposed to see it? How can you salvage something you didn’t even know was broken? Human beings are not mind readers. Men are born problem solvers – when they know there is a problem. You couldn’t have seen it coming.
Don’t Be Pressured
Your wife may have left you out of the blue, but she probably didn’t just wake up one day and decide it was time to go. Chances are, she’s been thinking about this for a while. If your ex seems like she’s coping just fine, it’s because she’s had longer to plan her exit, or she already had a boyfriend she managed to hide from you.
Is your soon-to-be ex-wife pressuring you to move quickly so you can get on with the business side of your divorce? Tough. Take the time you need to make decisions that will serve you best in the long run.
You need time to wrap your head around what’s happening. You’ve been completely blindsided by this divorce. You can’t be expected to figure everything out overnight and be ready to move on just to suit her. Take the time you need to adjust to your new life and hire legal counsel that you trust to protect your interests.
Stop Trying To Figure Out What Went Wrong
You’re entitled to be sad and pissed and to spend some time mourning your marriage, but don’t dwell on the past. Especially when you’ve been blindsided by divorce, there’s a temptation to go over every detail of your marriage for months on end as you try to figure out what went wrong. Don’t do it.
Of course, you should try to come to terms with why your marriage fell apart but don’t spend too much time on it. If it’s not clear within a few months, move on. Eventually you’ll understand what happened, but if you keep looking back you will end up living entirely in the past, or totally mired in anger that she put one over on you.
The end of a marriage is almost like a death. The partnership with that particular woman has died. You didn’t get a terminal illness with a few years left to savour, your marriage died of a massive, unexpected heart attack. You didn’t get a chance to say goodbye to being with her, so do that now.
Go ahead and mourn your marriage, but don’t let it take over your life. There comes a point where you have to draw a line in the sand and accept the past while looking toward the future. As psychologist Dr. Robert Leahy says, “You have been hitting yourself in the head with rumination. Put down the hammer and pick up your life.”
Getting Blindsided by Divorce Sucks – For a While
There’s no getting around it, life blows right now. You’re alone and you had no idea it was coming. If someone had asked a few months ago, you would have said you’d be tucking your kids in and checking under the bed for monsters. Instead, you’re alone in a rented apartment watching TV and can’t afford more than basic cable. There’s nothing good about that, but it won’t last forever.
It sucks that your wife dumped you, but there are plenty of other women out there. If you want to date again, there’s nothing stopping you. (Although you should keep it down low until after the divorce is final, just to avoid giving the ex any ammo.)
There isn’t just one person out there for each of us. There are hundreds, even thousands, of women in the world who will enjoy your jokes, admire your abilities and respect your opinions. You just have to put yourself out there and find them.
If you’re not ready for dating, don’t do it. Find other things to do. Start hanging out more with your friends or finally taking your kids on that camping trip you’ve been talking about for years. Make an effort to look at what good stuff you have going for you. All those hot women out there will still be waiting for you when you are good and ready. Even if nothing about your situation changes, noticing the nice weather or appreciating a traffic-free drive to work will improve your overall outlook.
Protect Your Interests
Was she a lying cheat? Yeah, it burns, but you are better off without her. Worried you might get shafted on alimony, custody or child support? Keep your cool and get a good attorney.
No matter what, don’t let booze and rage tip you over into words or actions that will come back to bite you, especially in divorce court. That goes for rants on social media, too. That momentary release of temper can cost you in money and reputation, and can impact child custody and visitation arrangements.
Your Grass Might Be Greener
People always think the grass is greener on the other side, and most of the time it’s not. Most of the time. Maybe, for you it actually is.
You’ve been blindsided by your divorce. You had no idea that your wife was unhappy because you were happy. Or were you?
Some people argue that the secret to happiness is low expectations because you can’t help but meet them. But maybe they’re wrong. Maybe the secret to happiness is high expectations.
Maybe you settled without knowing it. You were happy within the limits of your marriage but now you can be happy on a whole new level. Think of it like this: within your marriage, your satisfaction scale went from zero to eight. You were happy because you were at an eight. But some people’s satisfaction scales go up to ten. Now that you’re divorced, you’re free to find the woman who sets you on fire. You’re free to find the woman whose scale goes up to ten.
Your Ex May Have Done You a Favor
It sounds insane, but it’s true. She has saved you from the disappointment and unhappiness of living your life stuck in a mediocre marriage, with a woman who doesn’t appreciate you.
You’re probably thinking, “Ok there are other great women out there, but will any of them want me?” Sure they will. Trust me, there are terrific women out there who are looking for a guy exactly like you.
Don’t let being blindsided by divorce ruin your life. Acknowledge what happened, learn from it, and trust yourself to be a little wiser next time.
Were you blindsided by your ex, or know somebody who was? Tell us how you found out in the comments below.
If you’re still reeling from the breakup of your marriage, maybe you’re experiencing Symptoms of PTSD After Divorce. Before you completely lose your cool, check out The Real Man’s Guide to Anger Management During Divorce.
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