Monday, May 19, 2014

Divorced Moms column: When the Power of Hope Becomes Your Personal Prison

My latest Divorced Moms column!

When the Power of Hope Becomes Your Personal Prison
by Lizzy Smith                    
May 19, 2014
Fotolia_42834957_XS.jpgLast week, I talked to a close friend of mine, Jenny. Jenny’s husband, Chris, just left her and, while she knows it’s for the best, she in deep emotional pain. Chris and Jenny have had a tough marriage pretty much from the beginning. He struggles with chronic migraines, has a stressful job, and at times, drinks too much. He yells, has put a few holes in the wall, and almost harasses her when they have really huge arguments. He will show up at her work, text and call her, and follow her when she run errands to yell at her some more. At other times, he emotionally shuts down, ignoring her, and refusing to be part of the relationship or to parent the children. It has been quite the rollercoaster ride.

What makes this all the more confusing for Jenny is that Chris appears to be a really nice guy to everyone else. He is funny, helpful, engaging and outgoing when they are around their friends or they are out socializing. No one would guess how Chris behaves without an audience. At times, Jenny wonders if everything is all her fault and if their huge marriage issues are not as bad as they seem. Plus (and this is the kicker) she feels sorry for him. With the migraines and job and other stressors, maybe it’s not really his fault, she says. Maybe she needs to be more understanding, right? (Wrong!)

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