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Rio Lerma Photo's Journals
If it is the last thing I do, I will get even with him for what he did to me. And such is the daily song sung by many divorced women that I have met through the years.
Consequently they spend their time cooking up ways to nurture their songs of resentment instead of trying to overcome the hurt that was caused by the breakup, and finally begin to grow.
One of the subtle ways they get even is to remain helpless. They cannot take care of the car or make decisions about money or get minor repairs done on the house.
Instead, they call their former husband in a rage. “See what you have done to me, leaving me all alone, I cant survive by myself. You have to do it for me.”
He often feels so guilty he agrees to her wishes. He rationalizes. How can he leave her without someone to help her do the things he always took care of. You might agree that he deserves the guilt for leaving and not doing what he promised to do - at the alter – and for a lifetime. The greatest harm these women are doing is to themselves and not to their former spouses.
They have convinced themselves they cannot do things for themselves that they cannot go on and learn new things. They cannot do things because they are hanging on to their former husbands for constant help – never really looking for a new love. They have never worked through the fears and resentments which would allow them to maintain a healthy and new relationship.
I know one woman that is constantly calling her former husband 4 years after their divorce. She cried when she told me about this. He left telling her he could no longer take her clinging behavior.
Sine then she had been working hard on her behavior, attending classes, reading books and then calling him weekly so he could see how she was changing – all in hopes that he would return – even though he was now living with another woman and he told her he wished she would stop bothering him.
We all change. Change is good. Unfortunately this woman was not changing into something she wanted to be. She was trying to become something she thought her husband wanted. It was making her miserable.
After 4 years she was not emotionally divorced. She was desparately hanging on to the wrong ideas – that she could not survive without him, that she could not live by herself and be lovable – but even worse, that if she changed or was miserable enough, she would get her husband back.
Her chances of survival and happiness were going to be greater the minute she divorced him from her heart and mind and became as independent as possible.
Knowing that you can take care of yourself - financially – physically - and emotionally – feels much better than hanging on or getting even.
“WHEN OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS, HE CANT STAND THE NOISE…
ANYBODY YOU KNOW?
Your family members or best friends or neighbors – each afraid to make a change.
Consider the young man that spent many years studying music. A great career was predicted for him. with friends regularly inviting him to sing at parties and weddings.
Then a successful band leader heard him perform and asked him to try out for a spot in his band. He never did.
“I’m just not ready to perform professionally, yet,” he said, “’I’m just not good enough.”
He’s now 30, working as a sales clerk constantly complaining that opportunity never comes when he’s prepared for it.
But tomorrow, he’d have the same answer, “I’m just not ready.”
A woman turned down one promotion after another never running out of excuses.
The first one would have meant too many hours at work.
“I value my evenings and Saturdays,” she said.
“Some time for play is important, too.”
Her friends agreed.
“Do it your way,” they said.
Another time she would’ve been moved to a department where she didn’t like the people she would be working with.
Another time she didn’t like the atmosphere of the new office she’d be in – “Too stuffy and depressing, I’d never be able to stand it,” she confided to her friends.
They nodded sympathetically.
Another promotion meant too much travel – “It’s just too awkward – finding someone to take care of my garden and my dog each time I’d have to pick up and go.”
Again friends nodded sympathetically.
Today she is 45 - in the same position she was at 30.
Some of her sympathetic friends have been promoted out of jobs she turned down. No one is asking her to move up anymore, yet she whines that the right opportunity never presented itself.
“Life just isn’t fair,” she says.
Making a career of fence-sitting a 50 year old man won’t look for another job even though he hasn’t liked his work for some time now. He refuses to pursue other avenues or do what he enjoys.
When great jobs were available, he didn’t apply.
“They wouldn’t want me anyway,” he said.
Later, he admitted he was disappointed they hadn’t offered him the job. “Which just goes to show they didn’t want me,” he said.
He longs for another job and vaguely hopes he’ll screw up the one he has so he’ll be fired and forced to search for something more gratifying or enjoyable. It doesn’t happen.
He wants change, but won’t pursue it. He hates his fear, but he is fearful. He blames his family for his decisions – saying any major change would hurt them hence there is no effort required of him and no remorse will be his should he fail.
Opportunity requires us to search for it. It isn’t dressed in familiar threads. It approaches us before we’re ready for it and could require more work, worry and self-confidence than we feel prepared to give.
But it offers an invitation to stretch our imaginative muscles, to take charge of our lives, to reach beyond laziness and fear and aim towards fullfillment and personal victory, and it requires only one immediate answer: “I will get off this fence of discontent and do what’s right for me.”