"It's Finally Over"

It's Finally Over: Take a Look Around

Visit dating websites, look at men in stores and cafes, start imagining yourself with some of them (one at a time, of course). You need to disassociate yourself from your spouse and rationally put yourself beside someone else. Though you may relish the solitude, don’t think that you have been sentenced to a life of isolation. And you don't need to imagine a "forever" relationship, imagine what you need--but just imagine.


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It's Finally Over: Voodoo Fingers

Face his room, his car, his seat, or the general direction you think he is located and, with absolute conviction and all the anger and hate you can muster, gesture lewdly. Give the finger. Fly the bird. Make a face. Stick out your tongue. Thrust whatever you want in his direction. What an outlet. It always gives me a rush of satisfaction, makes me feel brazen and not the compliant woman waiting, waiting, waiting for things to happen.


Maybe you can add a voodoo sound to the mix.


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It's Finally Over: Banish Despair

Recall dreams that you had before you became embittered and poisoned with a narrow-minded focus on your pain. Bring back the laughter and joy that were once part of your life—you know it was there—and let it invade you, pushing out, even temporarily, the pain you are living through. This pain is—must be—only temporary, there must be an end. As there is no pure happiness, so, too, there is no pure unhappiness. Let the smiles and joy filter in, past the veil of disappointment.


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It's Finally Over: Life Lessons

List the things you have learned going through this ordeal. Cast your net wide; don’t restrict your list to yourself and your spouse or ex-spouse. Friends: who proved to be friends, and who was not supportive. Things that were right or not. Things you were proud that you did. Things that you were disappointed in how they turned out. Did you go to the right lawyer? Was he aggressive enough? Were you still walked over? Why? Therapy, did it help? Should you have gone?


Look back. Even if it bites. It will help you look forward, and plan for the future, and live--always--at least part of the day, for today.  


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It's Finally Over: Name Game

I’ve named some more things.

  • Name of my bed: No sides taken
  • Name of my first blooming plant: New growth
  • Name of my car: Freedom rider
  • Name of the smaller size pants that I will eventually fit into (when I stop overeating from life-ache): Welcome back
  • Name of the divorce decree that came later rather than sooner: The End and The Beginning 
  • Name of my new lipstick: Eagerly awaiting
  • Name of my bedroom: Open retreat

 Have some fun and come up with some of your own.

It's Finally Over: Party Time

I can’t wait to have my D-Day party. (It's on-hold until I am out of this house, and can truly feel divorced.) If you’re planning a party to celebrate your divorce, what will you wish for as you blow out the candle or candles on your divorce cake? (Hopefully, without ruining it for me) I will fervently wish for happiness. I think I deserve it.  As do we all.


I wonder if I should have one candle, for the year to come, or one representing each year of the marriage?


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It's Finally Over: Material Girl

So much time and energy and money is spent on buying things for our homes. But so many of those decisions were made together, or under the direction of that someone special. At some point you need to think about what you like and what you don’t, about how you want your home to look and feel--even if it's still just a vague dream for the future. Take some time to think about what things you liked or did not like, and what you would have wanted. 


·         Things you want from your life together.

·         Things you never want to see again. 

·         Things that make you break down.

·         The first thing that you would like to buy for yourself, for your own place.


* * *


The first thing that I think about buying is a mezzuzah. While it is supposed to be a reminder of God's presence and of the commandments, it is the first thing that you do (affix it to the doorframe) when you move into a home, so for me it signifies my freedom. My freedom to answer to God and my understanding of how my life should be lived, and not to let the imperfect motivations of a man deter me from that commitment.


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It's Finally Over: Scenes & Images

During my marriage I had not embraced as fully as I would have liked the freedom of interacting with people and traveling. So much of who I was was defined by the two of us, and what we did or did not do, or what was wanted and then compromised away. Now I like to think about doing the things I want to do, without considering anyone else’s foibles and interests. Daydream about:

·         Places to go

·         People to meet

·         Things to do

·         Things to create


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It's Finally Over: Niceties

Remember some things that people have done for you or said to you that made you feel good, and which were done out of a pure expression of love and friendship. Even in the midst of all the badness, there has been some goodness—remember that, and hold onto it. You need to lose your claustrophobia that every relationship will be how yours was. Then you can begin to create and find openings in your life.

It's Finally Over (7): Old Boyfriends

In the grand scheme of things, all of your old boyfriends probably seem better than the one you selected. But were they really better? Wasn’t there a reason why it didn’t work out with them, why you broke up or broke out? Instead of reminiscing about what could have been and making yourself feel worse for your choice, really think about why they were not your “it” men. This may also help you focus on where you need to go from here when you begin thinking about the next stage and getting out and dating. Try to remember why they were Mr. Wrong, as well as why Mr. Right ultimately became Mr. Wrong. 

It's Finally Over (6): QUEEN FOR A DAY

Feel good about yourself.

Think of some things that you did in spite of your husband:

  • things that show how much better you are for yourself than he has been to you or for you;
  • things that show how you have been supportive and loving in the face of his negativity or reign of terror.

It seems to me that I have done good deeds not simply in response--out of weakness or fear, but out of loving and caring, and, more importantly, because I am a good person. I did not always act in response to his actions, but in response to who I am. He did not, fundamentally, change my core, or embitter my soul.

Remember those things now, and hold onto them, let them embolden you.

It’s Finally Over (5): Good Times and Bad Times

Was your whole married life a sham? Probably not. Take some time to think about some good experiences that you had together, some experiences that show that you have known happiness and fulfillment and pleasure in your married life.

Next, to reinforce your conviction to get out or that you did the right thing to get out, remember some bad occasions. Remember when your husband violated the sovereignty of your soul, when he made you cry and question yourself, when he was not your Prince Charming.

Remember the good and the bad. Don't deny the love, but don't deny what was done to violate that love, that trust that you had in him. He cannot be your soulmate if he makes your soul curl up in anguish.

It’s Finally Over (4): Basic Human Needs

The following are what I perceive as the basic human needs of a woman living with a controlling man, or in an abusive situation, or recovering from being in one. These are based on my life and my thoughts, so they may not correspond to what you need. So, once you go over this list, think about yourself and your own needs, change the list so it reflects the basic needs of your situation. You may also want to note if you have fulfilled those needs, or what you need to do or happen so that they will be fulfilled.

·        Confidence that you deserve more than you are getting from your marriage

·        Hope that you can get out of your current situation safely and that things will improve

·        Space where you can feel safe and free from interruptions, tantrums and abuse; a place where you can be and feel free

·        Encouragement from people who listen to you and support you as you work towards imagining and creating a different future

·        Human touch a hug that reminds you that a physical touch is a wonderful thing, so that you do not forgo thinking about being loved and loving again

·        Outings with friends to make you see that there are people who care about you and are concerned about your well-being

·        Career so that you can fill your days with experiences and memories other than what your marriage is depriving you of

·        Job even if you still need monetary support, it will enable you to feel self-reliant and will give you pride of accomplishment

·        Money to hire a lawyer and begin the process of separating and divorcing, and distancing yourself from your hurtful present

It’s Finally Over (3): BLAME GAME

Spread the blame around. Looking at the people listed below, try to see how you can apportion the blame. It’s not all your fault is certainly true, for no one is individually to blame for any failed relationship. Now is the time to see how much everyone else is to blame, too. Just don’t make this into a bitter mental list to carry around with you. It’s just an exercise to think about where others might have been better for you and to you. It can help you reach out for help; understand how you can have a more successful life and relationship in the future, and to focus on where things went wrong. Remember, though, it is your life and you are responsible for making it better.

  • Husband
  • Child(ren)
  • Parents
  • Family
  • Spouse’s family
  • Current friends
  • Former friends
  • Old boyfriends
  • Spouse’s friends
  • Teachers / mentors
  • Spiritual leaders
  • Therapists
  • Lawyers
  • Lovers
  • God

"It's Finally Over" (2): Game for Miserable, Separated & Divorced Women

The second game in this It’s Finally Over series of games is composed of questions to ask yourself. All of these games stem from my own need to understand why my marriage had failed, how I had failed in my marriage, how my husband had failed me, and then, eventually, what I could do to get myself out of the funk and on my path to being the contented—or even happy—person that deserved to be.

Why did it take so long to finally begin the process of ending this horrible relationship? For so long there was no love between us, there were no conversations (that is, if you don’t count his insulting me and me telling him to stop insulting me), there was nothing except a past. That seems to be a critical question. Here are some things that I thought of in response; you can add to this list or change it to suit your situation. These are simply some basic questions to help you contemplate your marriage and yourself.

Essential Questions:

Did I stay in the marriage so long because I felt that:

-- I deserved to be in a bad relationship?

-- I deserved the insults?

-- There was truth in the insults?

-- I was committed to the marriage (I had to stay in)?

-- I could not survive on my own?

-- I could not support myself?

-- I could not find anyone better to love me?

-- No one else would love me?

-- I would be alone?

-- He needed me?

-- He would be lost without me?

-- I was being selfish?

-- The marriage would improve?

-- It was just a temporary bump?

-- I would be a failure if my marriage failed?

-- It wasn’t so bad?

-- It was too hard, confusing and uncertain to embark on a divorce?

-- I was the failure and I needed to improve to make things better?

-- If I was better, wiser, stronger, lovelier, smarter, thinner, …, the marriage would improve?

-- Life together was better than life alone?

-- I still loved him?

-- It takes a long time for love to work its way out of your system.


This occasional series will present some ways that you can be playful during and after your divorce process (or even when you are in the decision-making phase). For me, there was so much stress and sadness that led up to my decision to get divorced, and in that interminable process of getting a divorce, that I thought up these games as a way to relieve my own stress. And boy, did I have fun coming up with these ideas. They brought much joy to my life (and some perverse smiles, too).

As someone who generally (okay, always) skips the “reflection” or “fill-in” sections of self-help books, you’re on your own here: you can do what you want with them (there’s no checklist at the end). But, whatever you decide to do, know that they were created as an outlet for my thoughts—and yours.


So much of our lives are lived in our heads, with thought bubbles instead of conversations, we keep so many words and thoughts and discussion to ourselves. Now is your chance to think beyond the standard, to expand those thoughts and the people you want to talk to. You can, of course, say what you want internally; write it down then send it, or rip it, or save it; say it out loud—shout it out loud; or tell that person in a face-to-face conversation. I had a lot of fun coming up with this list—and making my own thought bubbles. (I must admit, I even let myself get nasty! But I never went past the thought bubbles.)

You might consider matching people to conversations that need to be said, so take one from column 1 and one from column 2, and then express what you need to express.

Column 1—People to talk to • Husband • Child(ren) • Parents • Family • Spouse’s family • Current friends • Former friends • Old boyfriends • Spouse’s friends • Teachers / mentors • Spiritual leaders • Therapists • Lawyers • Lovers • G-d

Column 2—Things to say • Regrets • Realizations • Remembrances • Accusations • Disappointments • Questions • Expectations • Hopes • Statements • Connections