Love On The Rocks - Bad Relationships - Good EndingsCHAPTER ONE – NOT ‘IN LOVE’ WITH ME ANYMORE
“He said he still loved me but he was not “in love” with me anymore.”
The house was listed for sale and we were looking for a new place, when he sent me an email telling me he wanted a divorce. An email!
She was 30. Beautiful, smart, skinny, hip and “only his business assistant.”

I’ve always been suspicious of the relationship. A woman always knows.
I was 50. Just a little overweight – but what do you expect after six children and catching food on the fly as I drove the kids to all their activities in the suburbs?

A typical hockey mom who needed a haircut and who did not have “manicure and pedicure please” in her vocabulary.
“We had been married 25 years and I had gone through all the bad times with him. Now, he was at the top of his game. Powerful, rich and still very attractive.
He was out of town. I called him immediately to see if this was some kind of a sick joke. He said he needed a change.
Obviously, the only antidote for this news is suicide.

NO.
We have no time for that kind of thinking. No one is worth your health or your life. No one. And if you think this will bring him back – you are wrong.

He has probably already made up his mind.

It also gives him a wonderful excuse. Who could stay with such a “crazy lady?” You are not a crazy lady. Your strength at this point is he knows you very well and will underestimate your capability of playing hardball.

But you must. In spite of the SHOCK – there must be a stronger word but it will have to do – you have to act immediately. Speed is important.

Here is your initial plan.

You go to the bank. Go to your broker. Get certified checks – not cashiers – for half of any liquid assets available that include your name and have them made out to you. If anyone questions you, tell them it is for a real estate closing.

Then, you go to a different bank, open a new account in your name alone and deposit the checks.

Why?

Because men use money to control. And you don’t want to have start begging for money for groceries and your kid’s school trip. You think your husband would never do this to you, but they do.

If the accounts are drained, you need to get an attorney immediately.
He doesn’t think you would do this. Just do it.

Next you go into his home office. All of his IRS, bank statements, stock market statements will probably be neatly stored. He does not give you credit for being clever so they are probably there.

If the drawers are locked, call a locksmith. You lost the keys.

Put all the records into a garbage bag and have everything copied. Every piece of financial paper you can find. Information on pensions, contracts with his employer.

Take these copies to your mother’s house or your best friend’s and put them in their basement. Return his records to his files.

Sure, you can get these later but your having these records will save time and money later because your attorney will not have to subpoena for them.

Attorneys charge you by the minute not the case.

You are not allowed the luxury of having a nervous breakdown yet. There is more to do.

Look at your credit cards. Are they in your name or are you a signature on your husband’s account?

If you are, call the credit card companies and have them issue cards in your individual name. Tell them it is easier for you when a store asks for an ID.

Pay extra for FEDEX to get the cards immediately.

Next. Stay with me. I know this is hard.

You have several friends who have been divorced. Call them up. You don’t have to tell them this is for you. You want the names of the TOP divorce attorneys in the city – maybe for a good friend of yours. They may have been the lawyers who represented their former husbands. Gather three or four names and call their offices and make an appointment to see them.

Right away. Divorce attorneys may not charge for an initial visit. If they do, pay the consultant fee. Your future is at stake.

It could also prevent your husband from using these top lawyers because they will now have a “conflict of interest.” You have visited first.

Listen to your intuitive gut. You will get a feeling of who you can work with in the future if you need to. This could be a long, drawn out process so you want someone you like – someone you feel is capable of protecting you and your children financially. You don’t have to hire anyone just yet but make a preliminary decision. It will make you feel more powerful and you need this now.

This is not a good time for you to move – so if your house is for sale, cancel the listing.

Things are too unsettled right now to consider or even make a good decision on where you might want to live in the future.

Keep things status quo for you and your children at this time. You need to maintain a stable environment. Everything else in your life is going up in flames.

OK. You can fall apart for now. You have done some tough work. Work out of your comfort zone.

The fireworks are about to begin.

At some point, there will be a meeting. Perhaps he will have second thoughts. Maybe even agree to marriage counseling. And, who knows? Maybe even reconciliation. For a moment or a while. Do the best you can with what is for now.

Even if the counseling doesn’t work, the therapist could act as a mediator in an eventual divorce and help you and your family to adjust to this radical new situation

. In addition to a couple’s therapist, get one of your own. You need someone to talk to besides your mother, sister or friends.

In any event, don’t back off from the actions you have taken financially until you have a bullet proof legal agreement.

One cardinal rule.

Do not bad mouth this man to your children. It is tempting but it will hurt them. And it will not help you. They will have their own angry feelings, maybe even blame you, and you don’t want to add to that by tearing them apart by choosing sides. He is their father and hopefully, will continue to act as such.

Now, stop. Let time pass

Your inclination is to sit in your chair and stare at the ceiling. And that is okay. You feel as though your life has ended and although it has not, no one will be able to convince you of that just now.

Try to force yourself to get up and do something. Even if it is just walking to the corner to mail a letter. It doesn’t have to be a lot right away. But, be kind to yourself. You have post traumatic stress disorder.

Fortunately, you have to take care of your family which will force you into some semblance of activity. You have to shop, feed them and do the laundry.

Elizabeth Kubler Ross, in her many books, talks about the five stages of grief.

Denial. “This can’t be happening to me.” Not accepting or even acknowledging the loss.

Anger. “Why me?” Wanting to attack or get even. Lots of blame.

Bargaining. Trying to make deals with the spouse who is leaving. Making deals with God. Begging. Wishing. Praying that he will come home.

Depression. Feelings of hopelessness. Mourning the future you will not have now.

Acceptance. Not resignation. Just realizing that it has happened. This will take time.

You need help with all these stages. Get it. It not seem possible but you will survive. Healing will come.

Don’t let anyone tell you when it will happen. You have your own time frame.

And one day, you may meet someone who loves you and is “in love” with you too

Love On The Rocks - Bad Relationships - Good EndingsYou will find the rest of this book on Amazon

Disclaimer: Please note that this article is the sole opinion of the author who is not an attorney. Please consult your own legal counsel

For all of Corinne’s books, click here

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Book coverIntroduction

This book seems to be about a middle-aged widow making the adjustment to single life. But it isn’t.

 Although it opens just after my husband’s death, it is not about grieving. He had been ill for many years and had suffered so much, my grief was almost all used up by the time he left. Although I missed him and was lonely and disoriented, it was a relief to let him go to a place where there was no more pain.

This is about women. Single women who are also perhaps mothers, friends, credit card jugglers, carpoolers, entrepreneurs, lovers, workers, gardeners, even grandmothers. In short, women who are trying to be everything to everybody and still have a life.

I know there are some serenely, happily coupled women out there who do all of the above and do it well. If you are one of them, I don’t want to exclude you. You never know when you might need a reference guide to what it’s really like out there as a single woman.

And male readers? Sure. Come along. It wouldn’t hurt for you to learn something about how women really think.

This for those of us who talk self-sufficiency but are furtively casting about for that guy who will defend the entrance to our cave.

With all of our bravado, we are still whistling in the dark to keep ourselves safe. And no matter how successful we are, how many clothes we collect, how many pedicures we pay for, how many trips we take, how interesting our jobs, we cringe when we hear the question “Are you seeing anyone?”

Our secret is that we feel deficient without a man. We are apologetic to our families for being single. We give reasons and excuses to our friends (there’s no one out there). We put pieces of our lives on hold until “he” comes along.

I wasn’t aware of how prevalent this kind of thinking is until my husband died. I had been married for quite a while.
This book did not start out as a collection of letters and poetry. I wrote the prologue poem, “You only get a minute./The stone has not been set/before you hear the question/‘Are you seeing someone yet?’” just for fun. I could not believe that people were asking me a question like that almost immediately after my husband’s death

It made me frantic. Panicky! Desperate. I had to replace this man. Plug up the hole. Don’t think I am exaggerating when you read that on one sleepless night, at 3 AM,  I was counting how many men I knew whose wives were sick and were likely to die soon.

Who could admit to such a shameless thing? But you see, I didn’t know you were going to be reading this. I was writing for me. Kind of an exorcism. Poetry is the way I get my feelings out.

The poems grew and grew. One day I shared them with my friend Arlene. She said, “Make a book. The poems tell the inside story. Tell what is happening on the outside in your everyday life.” She suggested that I share my journey in letters because everyone is an eavesdropper at heart. And there is something exciting about receiving letters. E-mail and the telephone just aren’t the same. So Arlene is to blame for this whole thing.

Will this book change your life? Are there big answers for you here? Probably not. If you are looking for a how-to book or life-changing strategies, you won’t find them here. I promise you if I discover something  pivotal, I’ll let you know.

This book is one woman’s story—my story— entwined with family, friends, lovers and assorted dropins. A voyage from numbness to rebirth and from confusion to some clarity—with a lot of detours.

What I found, and what you might find here, is the awareness that women, no matter what age, situation, or color, are more alike than different. There is some comfort in that.
The inspirational books we read make a thunderous announcement: No thing and no one outside us can save us. Not even a soul mate. Serenity and peace cannot be found except in our own hearts.

That realization is our ultimate target. But most of us are not there yet. Glimpses—even epiphanies—come and then seem to vanish on this roller-coaster ride we signed up for. However, in between the hairpin turns and the high skydives, it’s helpful to know where we are going.

If there is one message in this book, it is this: The most powerful instrument women have is our intuitive talent for nurturing, whether in our homes or our businesses.

We must broaden our vistas to include more women. We need to help each other more. This is not a rally to exclude men. Bless them. We need them. But we could steal a page or two from their good ol’ boy network manual.

Our experience can support a new mother who is determined to nurse a baby successfully. Our wisdom can mentor a woman who is challenged with a personal or career decision. A favor done at just the right time can make all the difference. In many instances, being present and listening are enough.

The best thing about talking to girlfriends is that we permit their difficulties to remain unresolved. Even if we say, “Why don’t you quit that job?” or, “Get rid of that jerk,” we allow each other the option of taking no action on a problem. Ultimately we know what to do. We appreciate direction but don’t need advice. We just need someone to hear us out.

So now, after saying that, I am going to give you some advice. No matter what your situation this minute, you can survive whatever heartbreak and loneliness you are feeling today.

What they say about time healing wounds is true. But how much time you need is up to you and not some psychological calendar. It takes as long as it takes. I can’t tell you at which point I started turning into myself, but it did and still is happening. It can’t be hurried. Don’t let anyone tell you when.

And if there is a right person—a soul mate—I believe he will show up at the perfect time, which is somehow not determined by us. We just have to follow our intuition and be alert to what is around the next bend on the roller coaster.

Neale Donald Walsch, in his beautiful book, Conversations with God, recounts that the most important question we can ask in any situation is “What would love do now?” I have those words taped on my computer screen. That guidance holds up under most circumstances. Remember to include your own happiness and welfare when you answer that question.

Some famous authors were kind enough to give me endorsements for my book. I am grateful. But comments from women, ordinary people like you and me, are also encouraging. Linda, who is thirty-eight, said, “It’s all here. I laughed. I cried.” Dawn, twenty-nine, wrote, “I could not put this book down.” And Susan, forty-eight, called to say, “I thought you had been reading my mail!” Different ages. Different situations. We are all writing the same story.

Thanks for listening to my story. You may find some of your mail here. I hope it will make you know you are not alone.

My mother’s favorite expression was “In the light of all Eternity, most things don’t matter.” She was probably right but the events in our lives sure feel important today.

Even if things don’t really matter, go for the gold anyway! Every way you can. And every day. You are a beautiful, extraordinary woman—with or without a man. And you have a unique contribution to make to yourself and to your world.

 

This is just an excerpt of A Woman Without A Man

To  find the whole book on Amazon in Kindle click here.

You can find and read the paperback here.

 

ce computerYou can find all of Corinne’s books on Amazon, in Kindle and Paperback  here.

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