Divorced women over 40 may carry unresolved issues around for years – maybe forever. In that case they will go on repeating the relationship lesson they have not yet learned.
What lesson is that? The way your husband treated you during the marriage probably made you feel a certain way. At least that is the story you tell yourself and probably all of our girl friend and anyone who will listen to you.
Since misery loves company you will not have trouble finding other angry, hurt women to listen to your complaints. Well, actually you more likely share poor me stories.
Yet you were never the victim in the marriage. He may have treated you without respect and maybe never honored you at all.
So here is a question: did you go into the marriage expecting him to make you happy? Did you look to him to build your self esteem? Did you need praise from him to feel good about yourself?
And what if he never provide any of that once you were married?
The thing is he treated you the way you taught him to treat you.
He observed (subconsciously, perhaps) the way you treated yourself. Did you take time for yourself to do things you enjoyed? Did you do and say things that said, “I love me! I am terrific just the way I am!”
Loving yourself means doing what you want to do for you. It is not selfish. It is fulfilling our own personal desires not just the desires of everybody else in the world.
Think a moment of some of your friends. I bet you have at least one friend who, when she says she is on her way over to visit you scurry to get the house straight and neat.
That person loves herself and expects others to treat her with the same honor and respect she shows herself. You know that from experience. For that reason you tidy up the place when she is coming over.
Now think of a friend who comes over dressed kind of straggly. You wouldn’t give a second thought to straightening or cleaning the house, no matter what. That person settles for how others treat her. This is not about being understanding this is about not feeling worthy or deserving of good things.
See the difference? Do you also see how you taught your husband how to treat you?
Whatever behaviors he exhibited toward you either left you feeling good or feeling bad. You always had a choice to accept or reject his behaviors. You could always have let him know his actions bothered you or were not acceptable to you.
If you did so great for you. If you didn’t then you cannot blame him for how treated you. He mimicked how you treated you to the best of his ability.
When you fail to object to how someone treats you, in essence, you give them permission to treat you that way.
There is no one to blame for all the stress of your marriage that still bothers you. Don’t even blame yourself. Chalk it all up to one big learning experience.