6.05.2012

A Good Time to Let Things Go

There's a stereotype about women which states we have trouble letting go.  Case in point:  I was recently talking to a woman who got married in 1975.  In 27 years of marriage, she and her husband were separated for 12 years (they literally lived in different countries for 12 years, without ever seeing each other).  Infidelity was an issue, sometimes occurring on both sides.  Their divorce was finalized in 2002; in fact, this fall will be its tenth anniversary.  Over the last ten years, the man's continued to date and almost marry other women.  This woman has not.  I've noticed she repeatedly brings up the pain and difficulties of her marriage - some of which were quite horrendous - but there's no movement forward.  She's still the same woman she was before the 12-year separation.

She's not happy.  She has a lot of healing to do and it's not easy for a woman her age to change, grow, and progress (though it's certainly possible).  She obviously would like to get married again some day, but for over ten years, she's constantly rejected men who've asked her out.

While I get her unhappiness and understand the source of her pain, I'm wondering how to appropriately express to this woman that it's far past time to let things go.  I'm sensing fear and insecurity, and I think she uses the toils of her previous marriage as a sort of crutch.  I think she's still waiting for her ex-husband to come back and say he's sorry, and to give her the honeymoon she never got.

Or maybe I expect too much...?

Living in the 21st Century, I've grown exceedingly impatient with women who cling on like this.  There's no excuse for it anymore and I just feel like, after 22 years of physically being apart, it's time for this woman to cut her losses and move on.  After a certain age, we just don't have decades to randomly spare.

What do you think, Club Members?  When's a good time to let things go, and why at that time?

9 comments:

  1. I...honestly don't know what to say regarding a timeline for women in general, but she in particular does need to drop that baggage already. Dude clearly moved on without a backward glance, and she's only hurting herself in the process. She doesn't have to remarry if she doesn't want to, but dang - this is doing the most.

    ReplyDelete
  2. When I had my breakup with the psycho ex, I won't lie, it took a lot out of me. You care for someone and things go south, it's gonna take it's toll.

    But I also used that time to reflect, to learn, to heal and to move forward.

    To be honest with you, I'm actually proud of myself. I always feared that if I ever allowed myself to be vulnerable and open up to someone, I would become broken, bitter and jaded. And while I had some good days and bad days as I healed, I actually learned that I had more strength than I realized and I didn't become bitter. I was older and wiser but I still think it's possible for me to meet Mr. Right.

    It took me a few months, for people married for some years, it might take them longer I would imagine. But I think as long as you're healing and moving forward, that's the important thing. But you actually have to heal and move forward.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I agree with Leo. I realize we can't put a timetable on grief, but at this point she may have to get some professional help.She seems to be suffering from some deep emotional scars. My divorce was painful for me, so I found someone I could talk to about it. I don't know if she would consider that, but I would mention it to her. Ten years is a long time to be holding onto all of this. She definitely needs to move on.

    Her identity seems to be tied to her being married as well. I speak from experience.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ten years is a long time to be holding onto all of this.

      And that's in addition to being apart for 12 years.

      Her identity seems to be tied to her being married as well.

      She still sometimes refers to herself as his wife.

      Delete
  4. 22 years is a long time. This has got to be about more than infidelity and a failed marriage. I'm gonna guess that that was only the latest in a series of huge disappointments for her. I would imagine professional help is what she needs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree with Strange sista. This goes deeper than a failed marriage.There are probably some underlying issues she's not mentioning (And she doesn't have to). Again she needs to see a therapist. I felt more comfortable talking to a stranger than I did talking to family and friends. You also have people who don't even realize they need help!

      For some people relationships are like a pair of old shoes you refuse to throw away because of the memories attached to them (Or you think they may come back in style)

      Delete
    2. For some people relationships are like a pair of old shoes you refuse to throw away because of the memories attached to them (Or you think they may come back in style)

      You done said something here...

      Delete
  5. Living in the 21st Century, I've grown exceedingly impatient with women who cling on like this. There's no excuse for it anymore and I just feel like, after 22 years of physically being apart, it's time for this woman to cut her losses and move on. After a certain age, we just don't have decades to randomly spare.

    The gospel. A very good friend of mine is dealing with something similar on a smaller time scale. I personally don't understand her choice to remain in limbo (and it is a choice). I just feel like she's wasting valuable time. I consider myself fairly intelligent and I truly do not understand this line of thinking. Cut your losses and move on. But the fear of "moving on" paralyzes a lot of women whose identities are tied into their marriage.

    Let me not start on that.

    But I think as long as you're healing and moving forward, that's the important thing. But you actually have to heal and move forward.

    The truth.

    There's no set time; it can't be because everyone is different. But a person MUST TAKE THE NECESSARY STEPS to start the healing process. Talk to a counselor, go to group therapy, get some professional help. Don't make the mistake of thinking that you can fix a 12-year hole by yourself because you can't. Even thinking it can be "fixed" is fallacious because we don't live in a society where selective memory wipes are readily accessible.

    She has to want to move on, and it doesn't sound like she does.

    Her identity seems to be tied to her being married as well.
    She still sometimes refers to herself as his wife.


    I rest my case.

    ReplyDelete
  6. She needs counseling, but I don't think she'll go.

    ReplyDelete

This blog is strictly moderated. Everyone is now able to comment again, however, all Anonymous posts will be immediately deleted. Comments on posts more than 30 days old are generally dismissed, so try to stay current with the conversations.