One fine morning, Anna* woke up looking forward to the day doing everyday normal activities. She started looking through pictures of her adorable dog on her iPad and got quite a shock when she came across evidence of her husband’s infidelity. After 45 years of marriage, her world came crashing down in an instant. Adding to her disbelief and making the situation even worse was the fact that he had been able to hide his indiscretions for a couple of years.
She felt betrayed and deeply hurt. She kept asking herself what were the reasons behind his actions? Was it because he was tired of their relationship? Was it because he no longer found her attractive? Insecurities crept in and she started blaming herself – Surely, she thought, it was because she had grown old and unattractive- these thoughts consumed her days and became overwhelming.
She decided to move out of the house she had set up with the person she had once considered to be the love of her life. At 71, Anna* found herself alone and helpless. Fortunately, she met someone also going through a rough divorce who recommended The Women’s Center. Anna immediately reached out to The Center and started seeing Amanda McKenna, a therapist at The Center. Her life began to change for the better.
For the past year, Amanda has helped her navigate through her difficult journey. “Amanda has always been on my side, cheering me on and lifting me up every time I speak with her. She always points out the positive things so that I’m able to appreciate life no matter how hard my situation is. I especially remember this one time when I wanted to confront my ex-husband about the affair, but Amanda let me know that I probably might not get the answer I’m looking for. That advice was eye-opening and helped me navigate my feelings in a healthier manner,” she says.
With Amanda’s guidance, Anna has made tremendous progress in her path to mental well-being and she has been able to reduce her counseling sessions from once a week to once every two weeks. Besides counseling, Anna* has utilized numerous resources offered by The Center. She has taken part in Divorce 101(A) & 101(B) workshops that helped her prepare for her divorce settlement and agreement discussions. She also participated in several financial planning calls that equipped her with the knowledge to make educated financial decisions while going through a divorce.
One of the most difficult parts of the whole process has been navigating her family and relationships. “My grandkids were very close to their grandpa but that dynamic has changed since our separation. My children are extremely displeased with their father and are not on speaking terms with him. I, of course, advise them that they shouldn’t change the relationship for me; that they should feel free to talk to him as they used to. However, healing looks different for everyone and I am hoping that with time, things will improve,” she shares.
As Anna looks back at the past year’s journey, she shares that she has come to a point of acceptance and although she is still hurting, realizes healing completely will take time. As part of the ongoing healing process, she will spend time doing things for herself. She plans on taking painting classes and in the near future travel to Hawaii. She admits that holidays are the hardest, however making plans and keeping busy helps her get through them. “I’m taking it a day at a time because I no longer want to waste my energy on looking back,” she shares.
If you or anyone you know is struggling in their life and is seeking help while going through a divorce, separation, life transition, please make an appointment at The Women’s Center.
*Name has been changed to protect the client’s identity.