The following are excerpts taken from my new book, You Lost Your Marriage Not Your Life. I survived crushing change through divorce and found the strength to create a new life—my way, and so can you! My story begins with returning home from visiting my ill mother to find a near empty house and no husband. The following morning divorce papers were thrust in my hands by a poor young man who I think felt worse than me, if that were possible. I went through shock, unbelief and total denial as I struggled to regain my equilibrium. I could not bring myself to accept the fact that my husband was never going to come back home. I waited every night for his car to pull into the garage as it always had, but there was no car and the only sound was my own shallow breathing. I knew the phone would ring at any moment and he would say, “Hi honey, I want to come home, I made a terrible mistake,” but the call never came.

It was one month later when my phone rang and the voice at the other end said, “Barbara, are you aware that my wife and your husband are having an affair?” My wife moved out of our home the same time your husband moved out. I sat listening in total shock and unbelief. This woman had worked in my husband’s office for seven years and was twenty years younger. I hung up feeling numb and nauseated. I then became so angry and outraged that I began smashing our photos and ripping the pictures and throwing everything I could get my hands on. I was outraged at all his lies and excuses as to why he was coming home so late and working more on weekends. I was such a fool for believing and trusting him. I felt betrayed by the man who had pledged his love and commitment to me and had promised he would always be faithful.

Up until this point, I had refused to hire an attorney because then I would have to admit that he was never coming back. However, anger can be a great motivator when you have been living in denial. Once I knew of the affair, I picked up the phone and called an attorney. My husband had closed out our accounts and taken all the money. He cancelled our credit cards and left me literally with nothing. He even took the file cabinet and every single document from our home. Because I had refused to contact an attorney, he totally got away with it. Had I acted sooner rather than later, I might have been able to force him to return our belongings to our home. Following are some suggestions to help you through the painful journey of divorce.

1. Always maintain a checking a separate checking account in just your name. If he opened a joint account, he can also close it!
2. Make certain you have a credit card in your own name. The same is true with credit cards, if you are just an added name on his credit card, he can take you off.
3. Put money aside in a separate savings account or safety deposit box. This might seem sneaky or dishonest to you, but if you find yourself in a similar situation as me, it will come in handy.
4. If your husband controls all the money, ask to see what he does with it. Is it invested and if so where?
5. Seek legal advice immediately and the sooner the better. Do not let a single valuable day go be without seeking an attorney.
6. Never walk away from a marriage saying, “I don’t want anything, I just want out.” Money is only relevant when you don’t have any! Get your fair share from the marital assets.
7. One of the most important steps while you struggle through divorce is to maintain a close circle of friends and family members to help you through this passage. Don’t try to go it alone, you need love, understanding and support.
8. I encourage you to find a good counselor to help you through your divorce. A counselor is impartial and will allow you to talk through your pain without making judgments.

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Author's Bio: 

Barbara is a writer, public speaker, and independent Medical Esthetician. Through her work the author has met dozens of divorced women who torture themselves with a life of regrets. In her book, You Lost Your Marriage Not Your Life, Barbara shares her own personal journey through divorce, financial loss and despair, then provides examples to encourage the reader to let go of all inner conflict and replace it with peace and joy. Barbara teaches how to release all self-defeating inner dialog that compromises your life and keeps you paralyzed with fear. The author's gentle and encouraging, yet straight forward approach, teaches that when healing comes to our thoughts, it comes to our life.

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