How to get over the crippling pain of divorce ten years later?

(Asheville, NC)

I am actually the one who left my husband. He was my best friend, husband and mentor. We met my freshman year of college and I truely feel that he shaped who I am today in the most positive way anyone ever could and then I left him. We were together about 12 yrs all together, until I was 30. We grew up together, worked in various cities, had good friends, loved each other's familys and then I just left him. I decided that we had no passion or at least I had little to none for him and I wasn't willing to work very hard on it. Couples counselling, yes, but half-assed. I was too immature to realize that the man he was and our relationship was the hottest thing ever. I had a gnawing feeling when I left him that I was "slitting my own throat" and now I know that is true. I've done my best to move on, and finally now I'm in another wonderful relationship almost ten years later with a man who loves me as much and now I know how to be grateful but this man is not brilliant or wealthy or liberal like my ex. He frankly pales in comparison but after all the lonely years and horrible men, I'm so grateful to have him. I do however, fear that my deep deep regret over leaving my husband and the associated guilt will eventually tear us apart. My exhusband moved on quickly and even has a new baby. I have tried to console myself by saying, "leaving my ex was the most compassionate thing I could do since he deserved to be desired by someone". But I still think what I did, in leaving him was the worst thing I've ever done or will ever do and it absolutely breaks my heart. I don't know how to stop the regret and guilt!!

Ben's Answer:

The relationships that break our heart the most are often based on an idealized image of the person that we lost. The deep pain of losing a relationship is based on the belief that your peace and your joy lies within the other person, and without them, you have no access to these feelings. We seek out love relationships so that we can feel love. Love is not something outside us , but is our very essence. I know it is possible to lose conscious contact with that inner peace and love, and I know how tempting it is to think that our love walked away when we parted ways with our dream mate - but if you perpetuate this delusion you cause yourself much more pain.

One of the best tools for moving on and letting go of past traumas, regrets, losses and so on - is Meridian Tapping/EFT. I believe it's one of the fastest methods of emotional healing and transformation available today; You can learn to use tapping on your own, or see a therapist who uses meridian tapping.

The aspects of "guilt" and "regret" should be at the top of the list of "tapping targets" to work on.

You deserve to feel love and to love and be loved. you deserve to be happy and to have a fulfilling relationship. But you have to stop punishing yourself and adding to the belief that you lost your one and only chance for true love. Don't give up on yourself or your life for a mistake you think you made 10 years ago. If you were meant to be with him you would be.

Best Wishes,
Ben Schwarcz, MFT
Santa Rosa Psychotherapist

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