“My husband left me and I’m really angry. When we got married we agreed on a traditional setup – that I would raise the kids and he would earn the money. But my kids are teens and young adults and this is supposed to be “MY TIME” but it isn’t. A few months ago my husband decided he wants out – and in his free time he busy playing tennis with some young chick (which isn’t what I usually call her). Meanwhile, I’m working a minimum wage job to pay bills. I’m angry and overwhelmed – and I don’t know what to do.”
This is tough, Mary Ann. And I don’t blame you for being angry. BUT it is what it is – this is the hand you’ve been dealt and now you have to play it.
First of all, if you keep getting angry you’re going to make yourself sick (literally). Anger is stressful and stress has a weakening effect on your immune system.
Secondly, if you don’t let go of the anger, you’ll get ugly. The anger will line your face, cloud your eyes and destroy your spirit. There is nothing as unattractive as a downtrodden and unhappy woman – and nothing sexier as a full-of-life, happy one. So make becoming the latter your absolute goal.
You don’t say if you have a college degree. If you don’t, get one. There are many programs that will help you, including getting credits cheaply through CLEP tests and/or portfolio. Find a local college or university that fits your needs – and many of them have online learning so you can get your degree from home.
Next, look for a job in a field where you have some passion. If you can’t get paid work, consider volunteering. That way you’ll get experience and be in the right place if a job opportunity opens up.
Recently I coached a woman who wanted something in a certain type of non-profit. I suggested volunteering to get her foot in the door and she agreed. I happened to know someone who worked for a local non-profit and made a virtual introduction between them. My contact emailed both of us back and said that someone had just quit and the director was on long-term disability. They would be happy for the volunteering but wanted my coachee to fill out a job application. You never know where something will lead.
One woman from one of my classes left a thirty year marriage. She got a job but was holding herself back at work. She didn’t want to learn a new skill that would have enabled her to move to the next level – even though her boss was encouraging her and wanted to promote her. She was holding on to her anger because she felt that she should be traveling and enjoying her life, not learning a new computer program. It was a waste.
So get out of the anger/pity cycle. It’s not that you don’t deserve to feel that way. You played by the rules and honored your agreement, and he didn’t. So how you feel is understandable. The problem with it is that it just isn’t going to help you. And, down the road, when that anger shows in everything from your expressions to the way you move, he will have won. You don’t want that, do you? Of course not. You want to win – you want to be victorious, right?
So remember something that has helped me do more than one victory stretch: Victory leads to success, and success is the best revenge!!!
What is the Victorious Woman Project?
Founded by Annmarie Kelly, the Victorious Woman Project is a female empowerment resource containing articles, classes, books, podcasts and other tools for women over 40.