My ex had left me alone AND 50 pounds overweight. I was miserable, insecure and lonely.
During our 20 years of marriage, I held it all together by a string, seeing a therapist twice a week and coping with the knowledge of his two affairs and flings he had on week-long business trips. Even after all the bargaining and negotiating and trying on my part, he didn’t want to save our marriage. I sacrificed my pride and even my dignity trying to keep him and my marriage. Yet, in the end, all he wanted was to relive his lost twenties with younger women and a newfound bachelor life he’d never truly had.
“How did I not see this coming?”, I thought.
Within two years, he was remarried to a 32-year-old big-breasted divorcee. I spent my days obsessively calling my friends, complaining, crying and urging them to spy on the new happy couple and report back with the latest scoop.
My nights were usually spent tossing and turning, plagued by the idea of my husband moving on with another woman as if it was the most natural thing in the world. “How could it have been so easy for him?”, I wondered. The idea of it was killing me— eating me up inside, building a whole larger and larger, filling me with self-doubt and depression.
As the months past, I tried to join some dating sites—even though I had very little interest in truly moving forward. I talked to men and went on a few dates, but I couldn’t escape the pain of my failed marriage. I felt like a failure.
After a year and a half of counseling and listening to motivational speakers, I tried to detach myself from all the negativity surrounding my life. I thought to myself, “if I feel lousy on the inside, perhaps if I make myself feel better on the outside, it’ll heal me all-around, transferring my positive energy from the external to the internal.” Shallow, you might say, but it worked!
I made all sorts of amazing changes. One of the most major changes happened after watching a segment on the Rachel Ray show. She introduced a serum called the 3 Minute Facelift that irons out your wrinkles. “Ya right!”, I thought. Yet, despite my skepticism, I purchased a bottle and was surprised by how much younger my skin looked. With this huge boost in my confidence, I began eating better, watching empowering videos and working out. I was also dressing better and wearing makeup on a daily basis.
I felt so proud of myself. I also became inspired by other women my age, who were incredibly fabulous and confident, showing me that there was a whole world out there beyond my small setbacks. But, with all the progress I was making, I still couldn’t erase my ex from my mind. Deep down inside, I still wanted it to work, believing that winning him back would somehow validate my worth. In some way, I felt like my personal growth didn’t really matter if he wasn’t there to see it. So, on a ridiculous caffeine-induce impulse, I added him back on Facebook. I wanted him to see how happy and improved I was.
Within three days, the jerk contacted me. He wrote the three perfect words I so badly wanted to hear, “you look good”. I felt incredibly attractive and ecstatic as if I had won some contest. Interpreting the message as an invitation to talk, I asked him if he’d like to meet up for coffee—even though my better judgment knew I was about to dine with the devil.
After finalizing our plans to meet, I was scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed and saw something that knocked the breath out of me. It said, “If he’s not doing anything to keep you, then why are you fighting to stay?” Then, it all became so clear. I realized at that moment how blind I’d been. I would never reach true happiness until I no longer needed my ex’s approval and continued chasing someone who was willing to let me go. I realized right then and there that the only person I needed to impress was herself. And that is what I now spend my time doing!