How to Move On When Your Husband Leaves You (Why Me?)

It’s natural to think that divorce is a terrible thing. So much about it does feel terrible.

So many women I work with start our work together wanting to know, “Why me? What did I do to deserve this? Why does he get to move on with not even a slap on the wrist, and my life is completely destroyed?”

I do have an answer. And once you think about it a little, you might even agree with me.

Here’s what I have to say about the why of it all (and I tell some parts of my personal story that I’ve never shared before):

Not a video person?

Here are some of the highlights of what I share in the video:

  • What if you would never be able to do all the things you were meant to do . . . if you stayed in your marriage? Stay with me because, in the video, I explain what I mean about this.

  • What if divorce weren’t happening TO you?  What if it were happening FOR you? Again, I know this is a triggering idea, but stay with me. I explain.

  • But right now . . . owwwww. You can’t feel and know what your destiny is.  Not right now, in the midst of the shock and worry about what is going to become of you.  You might not even care because, every day, the pain is so great. The pain is true, too. It’s not something you should just ignore, or “get over.”

  • The message I want to give you today is that help is all around you.  But if you’re looking down, you can’t see it. You’ll feel so alone.

  • What if the fact that you’re watching this video right now is a sign?  A sign that things don’t have to be soooooo difficult. If you’ve been stuck in the same place for a long time, and you’ve given up on the life you wanted to have, it’s a sign. A sign to stop looking down and to look up: Because the answer is almost always right in front of you, but you haven’t been able to see it. (More on how to see the answer, and what to do —in the video.)

  • And, I share some embarrassing things about my own upbringing — things that predisposed me to have a less than amazing husband and marriage (you’ll have to watch the video to hear what I say about that).

Give it a watch. It will truly be worth nine minutes of your time. Sending hugs your way!

Divorce Client Story: Cinderella Into Queen

case study 1 cinderella.jpg

Welcome to one in a series of Dynamic Divorcee Method client stories. No names are given, and identifying details are masked in order to protect the privacy of the clients involved.

These are real women, not composite stories, and each one represents an individual, life-healing, divorce-recovery journey that the client undertook with me. Each one is a hero’s journey.

Meet the Dynamic Divorcee in This Story: A mother of three whose fairytale second marriage turned into a nightmare she could never have imagined. Having a second marriage implode was really too much for her to bear.

Her Dream: To be a stay-at-home mom, and to have a husband who respected, loved, and encouraged her, and who could provide at least his share of the family’s income.

The Reality: In both marriages, a pattern repeated (despite how each husband behaved before the marriage) in which she was responsible for nearly all of the family’s income, and “was so busy trying to survive that I did not have the time to enjoy my life with my kids or to be able to have to time to be who I am.”

Before The Dynamic Divorcee: She came to me in a state of shock and bewilderment. She thought she had found the love of her life, and he had turned into a monster. When everything she had held to be true turned upside down (for a second time in her life), she no longer knew what to believe, whom she could trust, or how to move on from this. The wound was just so great.

The Lightbulb Moment: We discovered that she had carried her “Cinderella” position in her family of origin into her adult relationships. This was an early wounding of her spirit that carried on throughout her life. She was put into the role of caretaker in her childhood family, and as smart, beautiful, and capable as she was, she was held back by beliefs about herself. When men presented themselves as heroes, she wanted to believe, and ignored these men’s inherent weakness. She ended up, each time, with an adult man that she had to mother, in addition to her children. Once she realized this, it was much easier to overcome the heartbreak of her second divorce.

Challenge: Moving on. Accepting the learning experience, understanding the choices that she made (and why it would have been impossible, then, to choose better partners). And, most importantly, the challenge of seeing herself in all her beauty and amazing talents — and grabbing on to her dreams with both hands.

Solution: In a very short period of time, we focused on who she really was and whether she was living and projecting her attraction power, personality, and truth. We broke through the shell to reveal the parts of her that she felt she had to hide in order to make her husband appear stronger, and more of a man. We looked at the rage she felt, and how that could be transformed into power she could use.

The Transformation: We worked on transforming her wounds into strengths. Instead of trying to bury her life so far, we looked at what parts of her past were actually dear to her and were parts of who she still wanted to be today. We transformed her rage, sadness, and anger into a huge amount of power and drive that she used to go back to school for not only a bachelor’s degree, but a master’s degree as well, in a field that made use of her skills in caring for others. But this time, those skills were in the service of her OWN life and goals, not in the service of those who leaned on her without reciprocating her love. She received scholarships and awards to help her on her way. And, she accomplished all of this at lightning-fast speed.

Today: She now revels in a professional career in which she is loved and respected for her talents and abilities. Along the way, she has made many new friends, and reclaimed her outgoing, magnetic personality. She now lives life on her own terms, including international travel, and lots of social activity and fun.

In Her Own Words: “This process helped me to see that there’s nothing wrong with me, just with the relationship. I’m not just this drudgery Mom person. I need to learn to act more like the person I really am. ‘Mom-identity’ attracts the wrong kind of men.”

Do You Identify With This Story?

Would you like to explore how to heal the heartbreak of your divorce and find a way to let those experiences light your way into the future? Your life so far does not need to continue to predict your future. It can help you create a happier future, instead.

Would you like to experience greater understanding of where your life has taken you, and how you can transform those experiences into beauty, power, and strength?

Click here to tell me a little bit about your situation.

Podcasts Featuring The Dynamic Divorcee

Interviews, divorce podcasts, and divorce workshops with Rosetta Magdalen, The Dynamic Divorcee.

Check out some of Rosetta’s interviews and online media appearances.

Rosetta is interviewed by Rachel Lankester for The Magnificent Midlife Podcast from the UK. Hear her talk about divorcing in midlife, and the special challenges and exciting new opportunities this brings — even if the prospect doesn’t feel too thrilling at the start.

Telesummit workshop for Find the Fire.

Rosetta helps you to dig deep to gain clarity about who you are post-divorce and where you want to go from here.

If you feel that you’re in a fog, with no idea what you’re future life will hold, this is for you.

It’s designed to be listened to even without the visuals, but the slides will let you know when to pause the audio, if you'd like to download the activity sheets and complete the exercises for each step.

Rosetta is interviewed by Diane Dempster and Lynn Anderson of Women Warriors Radio.

Rosetta tells her story and talks about how you can move on and prepare to be loved the way you want to be loved in new relationships going forward.

Rosetta talks about how her life became chaos when she discovered her husband’s secret life with another woman.

Just Stay Curious podcast host Gillian Rose interviews The Dynamic Divorcee on her divorce drama, the development of her 7-step method for quick emotional healing post-divorce, and more.

How "Acting As If" Helps You Move Forward After Divorce

Has your ex left you feeling like you’re nothing? Does it feel as if he’s snatched away everything you worked so hard for, everything you sacrificed so much of yourself for? Now, he’s living it up with some other chick — and he’s giving her all the luxuries that you were doing without . . . and all the love that you’d grown accustomed to living without?

Do you find that the more you try to figure it all out and try to make sense of everything that’s happened . . . the sadder and emptier you feel?

If you’ve had about enough of feeling like leftovers that can’t be reheated, good!

Let’s try something different (that I hope will make you smile, too).

How I discovered the acting as if technique

To tell you the truth, I’m not sure where I first read about this technique.

But, I started using it right about the time that my divorce became final. Before that, I had been in the first flush of, “Wow, my husband is no longer around to make me feel like garbage every single day . . . .” I was doing some dating, everyone said that I looked ten years younger overnight, and I was feeling pretty cocky. Nothing wrong with that.

But, then . . . . In one month, all of the following things happened: my divorce became final, the building that housed me and my business burned down, I had to hustle to find a place with a roof and electricity, I was diagnosed with pre-cervical cancer, my mother’s terminal illness took a final turn . . . and, suddenly, I wasn’t the hopeful divorcee anymore.

That’s how The Dynamic Divorcee came to be. She was my “act as if.” She was my “fake it ‘til you make it.” Except that I wasn’t going to fake it. I was going to be it. I was going to be that woman that I had always felt I was destined to be.

What happens to your emotions after divorce is final: Things can change, not always for the better

I know that many women don’t like to refer to themselves as “divorced” and prefer to revert to calling themselves “single,” but I wanted to claim my badge of honor as someone who had blown a kiss buh-bye to my lying, cheating ex and was able to set my world on fire with class and sass. Or something like that.

I sure wasn’t feeliing it in 2007 when my world crashed. But, I picked myself back up. Then, in June 2008, my divorce was final. Just in time for the Great Recession, and all that other stuff I mentioned above. Happy happy.

So my Dynamic Divorcee alter ego was me saying, “I can be my own super hero.” But, I can’t be her unless I believe I can.

How to believe

Inside you, there’s a woman who has all the answers (or most of them), and knows how to get the answers she doesn’t have at the moment. She’s the strong, powerful, intensely beautiful, Dynamic Divorcee version of you. And she exists at this very moment. You can call her into being at this very moment.

She’s not a fairy-tale. She’s real.

If you want her, she’ll show up. And you might feel a little bit shocked at how much she knows about you, and how much she can help you get what you want in your new post-divorce life.

One way we can find her is by using the “acting as if” technique.

What is “acting as if”?

Can you conjure up a picture of who you want to be? How do you want to handle tough situations with your ex, with your family, with your kids, with your boss, with your co-workers? How do you want to be treated by a man? What is (and always has been) totally unacceptable?

Pick a muse . . . pick an inspiration

Do you have someone in your life who never seems to be unduly stressed out, and who seems to be able to step out of the way of any catastrophe — but she still handles it?

If you can imagine yourself as having all of the qualities you want (but don’t feel you’re embodying right now), OR, if you have a someone in your life that you can use as a role model (even if she doesn’t know that you’re drawing on her example), you are ready to try acting as if.

How to create her (which is really you, except you don’t know it yet):

Start with who you are right now (not 50 pounds lighter, 20 years younger . . .)

Come up with the most fabulous image you can of a powerful, charismatic, super-magnetic woman who’s your age, your size, your personality (introvert or extravert — let her be you). Make her someone who’s so sure of herself that she can’t be bothered with the goings on of some guy who didn’t treat her right. She knows when to stand up for herself, as well as when to let it go because it’s not worth the agony.

What does she wear? What does she do when she wakes up in the morning? What does she like to eat that makes her feel energetic, healthy, and amazing? What kinds of boundaries does she set for the people in her life? How does she fight for herself when necessary? What’s her style of communicating?

All of the above are the qualities that the “as if” you possesses. Let’s now look at some of the things you may currently be thinking and be doing that your “as if” does not do.

She does not:

  • Catastrophize. She does not worry about what she’ll do when this or that horrible thing happens (none of which has happened yet, or is likely to happen).

  • Build a merely angry an annoying ex into a monster. She doesn’t imagine the average, garden-variety lying and cheating guy into a raving narcissist (by giving him too much room in her mind and emotions) — because things just get tougher on her if she does.

  • Believe that a man who wants a divorce or who has cheated on her = that she is unlovable and without value for the rest of her life. (She knows that his actions are nothing more than his actions, and painful as they are, they do not reflect negatively on her. In fact, his actions do not reflect on her at all — no matter what he says. Remember, men are trained from childhood to blame others for their shortcomings so that they can continue to feel like “a man.”)

In short, she does not give away her power and her self-belief to anyone else.

How to move forward after divorce by acting as if

Instead of wrestling with agonizing emotions about your ex and his happy new life (to give just one very common example), you can put your “as if” alter ego to work.

As soon as sad, self-defeating thoughts present themselves (which — let’s be real — could be many times per hour), you immediately turn to your “as if” personality. Talk to her. Say, “Okay, how would you handle this?” Would the fabulous version of you be giving this even five minutes of your precious time? Act as she would.

Some of you might be wondering: Aren’t there times when I should be venting my real emotions, feeling crappy about myself, comparing myself against the other woman, and meditating on my ex’s criticisms of me . . .?

Read the above paragraph one more time. Would you advise a dear friend to beat herself up this way?

I don’t think you have to worry about not letting your true emotions out. They will be coming out. You will be feeling them. Probably many times a day on most days.

You are dealing with your feelings. I’m simply suggesting a technique so that you won’t hurt yourself with your own feelings. So that you won’t allow yourself to develop a harmful view of yourself based on the feedback you’re getting from your ex (and oftentimes, a view you’ve internalized about yourself over many years of a dysfunctional marriage).

Just try it. This will surprise you.

What do you have to lose by trying a technique that many women in my 1-to-1 coaching have loved? If nothing else, you’ll have fun creating your super hero personality. You can talk to her and ask her advice, and take as much of her advice as you choose. It will be fun. You can even journal by writing a question to her, sitting still for a moment to hear her answer come to your mind, and writing that down, too.

If you’re like most of the women I work with, the same mental tapes play in your head day after day, so having the internal guidance coming from your stronger, “as if” self can be something to return to whenever you need it. Go back to your journal and you’ll see her previous answers to the same things you may still be worrying about. You’ll have her answers and advice on how to handle the issues you’re going through — today and tomorrow.

Want some help with this?

I’ve only scratched the surface of the ways you can use the as if technique to create the version of yourself that you’ve always wanted to live. I have lots more to share about how to use this technique just for you.

Working 1-to-1 online together, we’ll come up with a very three-dimensional feeling of who your inner Dynamic Divorcee is. What does she look like? What does she wear? How does she speak? How can you get advice from her on the parts of your life that are causing you the most distress right now? By doing this, you quickly learn that you can trust your own judgment, and that you are the woman you always wanted to be. It just takes a little bit of digging beneath the surface to find her. And, it can help to have a guide.

PLEASE NOTE: The scheduler below will automatically book a 2-hour window for your first appointment, but we will be together for only 60 minutes. The second hour will be scheduled for the following week, and we’ll arrange the day and time together, at the end of the first appointment.

Don’t see a scheduler below? If you’re on your cell, switch to the desktop view by hitting the vertical “ . . .” in the upper right corner of your browser and checking the box next to “Desktop site.” Still don’t see it? Click here.

Divorce Client Story: Scared Empty-Nester Turns Explorer

Welcome to one in a series of Dynamic Divorcee Method client stories. No names are given, and identifying details are masked in order to protect the privacy of the clients involved.

These are real women, not composite stories, and each one represents an individual, life-healing, divorce-recovery journey that the client undertook with me. Each one is a hero’s journey.

Meet the Dynamic Divorcee in This Story: A mother of two nearly grown kids feared what her life would be like after they moved on to college and careers (which was about to happen only a little over a year after her divorce). She had long forgotten whether she had ever had dreams of her own, and was distraught about having to continue to live in her ex-husband’s home town in close proximity to him and his new wife (the woman he had left her for).

Her Dream: To be someone’s first choice. To no longer be ignored by “friends.” To be valued and paid attention to by her kids. To feel that she doesn’t have to keep earning people’s love (and it never worked, anyway). To be strong enough to let go of a relationship with a married man who was the first person to treat her as if she is beautiful.

The Reality: Because she had never truly felt worthy of notice, she married a man who she now believes never really loved her. But not being loved was the way she had always felt, from her earliest memories. The desire for love and acceptance was so strong that it made complete sense that she would become attached to any person who gave her even a little bit of attention. This included friends who ran hot and cold, and a post-divorce romance with someone who was definitely not available and never would be. It had been impossible, so far, to break the pattern of “something is better than nothing.”

Before The Dynamic Divorcee: She said, in our first appointment, “I look in the mirror, and I don’t like what I see. I feel like I’m backsliding into a black hole. When I look back, I feel like my ex-husband was just settling by marrying me. For the last ten years of marriage, no attention, no intimacy. He was always going places without me, or on the computer or tv when he was home. Now, in terms of men, I feel I’m a jerk magnet. And I’m so scared of being alone.”

The Lightbulb Moment: When we were able to uncover some of her dreams — and when she was able to remember some of the things she had wanted to be and do — she was able to take her laser focus away from thinking that only a man could make her happy. She came to understand that no man could truly do the job of building her self-esteem; it would be exhausting. But if, instead of catering to someone else’s needs, she became fully herself, then friends, family, and men would have a complete, three-dimensional woman to relate to. They could take her or leave her — and she could take them or leave them — because, finally, they would see who she truly is.

Challenge: The fear of becoming someone that no one would like. She felt comfortable in her role of adapting herself to what others wanted from her. She kept giving and giving and hoping that someone would recognize her and give back someday. Since that had never worked, she was afraid that if she dared to be her true self she would be left totally alone.

Solution: Explore her worst fears. Be herself and see what happened. Make her preferences known. Ask for what she needs. She could always revert back to her old self, if she didn’t like the early results that we got in the first couple of weeks of implementing The Dynamic Divorcee. We took steps in a way that felt safe every time because we would implement, watch what happened, and then discuss in our next call.

The Transformation: We worked on so many things. First, getting respect and attention from her children by asking for what she wanted (things that had never happened in her life before: flowers for Valentine’s Day, time together on Mother’s Day . . .). She was shocked at how easy it was, and how much her kids really cared about her feelings once she talked things over with them. She used the same kinds of techniques with friends, and took the lead in scheduling get-togethers. She learned to set boundaries when she felt friends asked too much of her and didn’t value her time. She wanted, and got, fun time with her friends and no longer felt used as someone who was never called unless someone needed something. She easily made the move away from her ex-husband’s hometown to a place closer to a beloved area of natural beauty where she rekindled her love of nature photography. And, she got a better job nearby. Things she thought would be impossible fell into place because of step-by-step coaching in which she experienced her own abilities and value as a human being while we just took one thing at a time and built a new life from those steps.

Today: She recently made one more move: She is now living in her absolute dream location with a new job (again conveniently located). She’s free to explore the wilds of her favorite landscape while still near enough to many of her best and most supportive friends (who also live in the area). She leaves behind a host of other friends and co-workers who love her a lot. She now knows that she is first choice for many people. Will she find “the one”? It’s not as big of a priority now because total freedom is a nice thing to have. It’s fun not to have to compromise who she is for anyone. But, she also knows how to explore dating from a position of strength and let the right one find her, if he can.

Do You Identify With This Story?

Would you like to explore how to heal the heartbreak of your divorce and find a way to let those experiences light your way into the future? Your life so far does not need to continue to predict your future. It can help you create a happier future, instead.

Would you like to experience greater understanding of where your life has taken you, and how you can transform those experiences into beauty, power, and strength?

Click here to tell me a little bit about your situation.