How to save your marriage?
I know that is harsh to hear and trust me I know it. Not long ago, I was in your position. My husband uttered those hurtful words “I love you, I’m just not in love with you.” Damn did that hurt to hear. I felt my entire world come crashing down around me and I became a woman obsessed with winning her husband back. I spent my days and nights searching for the answers online in hopes of finding the amazing way I can save my marriage.
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I came across an article that promised to show me what to do in this situation and when I started reading, it said to stop trying and end your marriage. I sat there staring at the screen and remember all that came out of my mouth was ‘what a bitch!’ I crossed my arms and wrote this woman off as an insensitive moron who didn’t know what she was talking about. I laugh now and think back to that woman because she was right. Trust me you will not feel this way right after it happens and every word of advice someone gives you will fall on deaf ears. I tried marriage counseling but my husband refused to go. I hated when someone would tell me that it will get easier and it takes time. All I could think of is what did I do wrong? how can I get him back? how can I save this?
A week passed and I was a ghost of a person. I lost around ten pounds, spent most of my days walking around in a bathrobe and would drug myself to sleep at night. One day I thought I’m going to get all dressed up and invite my husband to dinner and not talk about the split. Thats what every article said to do. Just act like I’m not bothered about the split and my disinterest will make him come crawling back to me. It’s the perfect plan, right? No, not at all. It was a disaster. The dinner ended with me on my knees on the streets of Newport Beach sobbing uncontrollably and my husband staring down at me like a psychopath while people walking by stopped and pointed. I knew that I had ruined everything and ended up dragging my sorry ass back to my parents house defeated.
Fast forward two weeks. There I was sitting in my bathrobe with my unwashed hair tied in a messy bun. Not one of those sexy messy buns that takes hours to create, it was one that looked like a bird decided to settle on top of my head and start a family nest. I had lost nearly twenty five pounds at this point. I was on non speaking terms with my husband and had to hold myself back from calling and texting all the time. It was only a few hours until I needed to start getting ready for my company Christmas party but I didn’t want to go. It was there in that moment I realized that I needed to do something. I went on booking.com, reserved a room in Las Vegas, packed a bag and hit the road. It was the only way I could think to clear my head and for the first time in a long time just have some fun.
Four hours later I arrived in Las Vegas and met up with my sister. I put on the most sparkly dress and did my hair and makeup and didn’t recognize myself in the mirror. She was beautiful and didn’t have a care in the world because she was here to have fun and not thinking of the disaster back home. We grabbed our bags and went out and boy did we go out. Looking back, I always mark this day as the day the old Ellie died and the new Ellie came to life. Let’s fast forward to the next morning shall we. When I woke up and looked over to see the handsome stranger sleeping next to me, I burst out laughing. The stranger & I ended up taking a walk down the strip and stopped for breakfast where we told each other our life story. He told me about his job, friends and life back home and I told him about my divorce and the uncertainty of my new life ahead. A few hours later, we said our goodbyes and parted ways. To this day we are still friends on Facebook. This person will never know it but I will always be thankful to them for that day.
I returned home a different person. For the first time in a month, I felt somewhat happy. I started seeing clearly and saw that there were so many people around me that loved me. I had an amazing family and awesome friends who helped me stand up again after such a bad fall. I finally got it into my head that my marriage was over and it won’t be the end of the world. In fact, it was the beginning of an amazing new life.
Now back to you. The way I got to this point is I had to be honest with myself and look at the cold reality of the situation. As Louis C.K once joked, “no good marriage has ever ended in divorce.” That could not be more true. You will reach a point that you want to open your eyes and take a hard look at your marriage. The more honest you are with yourself, the more you will understand how this happened. I look back at the end of my marriage and think what the hell I was thinking? I was MISERABLE!!! I was married to a complete loser. He never told me that he loved me. He never tried to build me up, he always knocked me down. He was more in love with drinking and getting wasted than spending time with me. He always had a wandering eye and it made me never feel good about myself. The question was no longer how could I have saved my marriage? It was now why the hell did I stay unhappily married for so long? It has been over a year since the split and very recently divorced and I have to say it has been the best year of my life. I am now in a loving relationship with an incredible man who tells me he loves me everyday and only has eyes for me. My marriage just feels like a bad dream at this point that I can look back and think thank god I got out of that mess because I would never be as happy as I am now.
For those of you who are in pain and going through a split in your marriage, you are not alone. As much as you hate hearing this (oh man did I hate it), it will get better in time. I leave you with this advice that is only based on my personal experience and I hope it will help guide you to becoming the new you.
- It’s okay to be kind of crazy. This is one time in your life that you can act like a crazy bitch. I sat in the tub eating cheddar bunnies and would cry as loud as I could. Who is going to tell you to stop? You are in pain and going through a tough time, wail and cry away. It feels good
- You will go through a roller coaster of emotions and its perfectly normal. I would be happy one minute then sobbing then incredibly angry then I would sit in silence exhausted.
- Try not to obsess about what your husband is doing. If it was like me, it won’t end well and will not make you feel any better.
- Spend time with friends and family. You have been so distracted trying to keep the image of a happy marriage, you forget about spending time with these people. It’s amazing how a shitty spouse can make you not realize you have family and friends who love you.
- Go shopping. The divorce diet is a real thing and retail therapy will make you feel better. I was down to my fighting weight and shopping made me feel confident and happy.
- Pick up a hobby or throw yourself into your job. It is an amazing distraction while you are healing from a break up.
- Invest in a punching bag or sign up for kickboxing. You will be amazed how much you feel better after going to town on a punching bag. When I was at work and frustrated with my divorce, I would go to the warehouse and have a few rounds on the punching bag. My problem would quickly disappear.
- Have fun. Go dancing, take a vacation with some friends, do something! Once you get out there, the world will start to look much brighter.
- Go on some dates. This isn’t to meet your new spouse. I signed up for Tinder with a friend and went on some pretty fun and extremely awful dates. My friend and I would meet up and laugh about the terrible dates we went on and its some of the hardest laughing I have ever done.
- Don’t go out with the intent to meet Mr/Mrs perfect. You will be disappointed. I met my boyfriend believe it or not on a Tinder Date. We both signed up to just meet people and have fun. We learned that we both had our hearts smashed around the same time and found solace in each other. We now live together with our dog and can’t be more in love.
- Try to see this as your new life. It’s your chance to start over and do things your way. Life is so exciting and so short. Don’t waste your time hung up on your spouse who doesn’t want to be with you. Why would you want to stay with someone who doesn’t want to be with you?
- Stay positive. It can be so hard but it will save your life.
I know it hurts and you think I’m a terrible person telling you to move on. Not long ago, I was in your seat. It will get better and I cannot wait for you to find happiness. It’s okay to dwell and be sad and of course take your time but take comfort in the fact that the best times of your life are ahead of you. I promise.