The title says it all. There you have it: a peek into the mindset of the kind of person who ghosts a long term marriage without notice.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you free Cliff Notes version of your runaway ex’s motivation. Look no further. Don’t waste any more time and energy looking for causation and correlation. It’s no more complicated than that.

There’s no hidden psychological meaning to your ex’s leaving you. It wasn’t unresolved childhood psychological abuse that ‘drove’ him/her to do what they did. They simply did what they did because they wanted to. Period, end of sentence.

Coming to grips with this very harsh fact is the first step on the road to healing and getting back to living life your life pain free.

I have to say that I was a very slow learner where this was concerned. I was forever grappling with the need to find a reason that would not be as harsh as the ugly truth that is stated above.

But my truth really did turn out to be that harsh.

Out Of The Mouth Of Babes

One day while I was just two months into the grief process, my 17 year old son (a grandson that we raised from birth as our son) was riding along with me to a counseling appointment. He was well past the point of patiently enduring my incessant gut wrenching crying and sleep-robbing sobs every night. He screamed at me and said, “Why do you that?!”

“Do what?” I asked.

“Why do you keep wasting all your time and energy grieving and crying over him? Why do you keep thinking that you are going to find a reason for all of this? The cold hard fact is that he wanted to, Mom. You want a reason? There you go. There’s your reason!”

But Son, You Don’t Understand …

I poured my heart out about how I was the kind of person who HAD to find an answer to the WHY question.

He again repeated the question, in an increasingly louder tone, this time challenging me with “Yes, Mother but what—specifically—will knowing that information change?”

I proceeded to explain that if I could know why it had happened, I would then know where to file all of the pain and anguish in my mental archives. I also could learn whatever lesson that I was supposed to learn. I concluded by telling him that then (and only then) would I be able to begin healing and move on.

His response was immediate, curt, and laser-accurate.

He said. “No Mother. You think that if you can discover the WHY, then your next step will be to correct whatever you found to be wrong, and things will magically go back to the way they were. That is NOT going to happen. What you do not see, and what you do not want to accept, is that this is not fixable—because you can’t fix crazy! Dad’s got some very big issues–call them emotional, mid-life crisis, or whatever–but they’re his issues, and only he can fix them. Or not. Your job is fix yourself and figure out how to move on … because it’s over. He’s simply not coming back.”

Well That About Covers The Fly-By, Doesn’t It?

I was dumbfounded by the sage words of a 17 year old, who was also struggling with being abandoned by the same man. I’d like to say that I was able to internalize his advice and immediately let this go, but the truth is that it took quite awhile. A long while—years, actually.

As it turned out, my son was 100% correct. That’s exactly what I was trying to do.

As an administrator by profession, my job was to fix things. It took me several years to fully accept the fact that there are things in life that I will never be able to fix/change. Now that more time has elapsed, there are many things that I would never wish to put back into place.

There Are No Magic Bullets … Only Time

Another thing I learned during this process is that change—whether that change be improvement, acceptance, or resolution of a long standing issue—is a process and not a lightning strike event.

I was blind and in denial to my own limiting beliefs. I wanted an instant fix to end my pain. The reality is that it simply doesn’t work that way.

Similar to contractions when in labor, one has to sit with the pain. One has to feel the pain—not be afraid of the pain. (It’s survivable.) It was only through this agonizing process that I became reacquainted with myself.

It was only though this process that I was able to  uncover (partially with the help of my son) many things I had been errantly believing that were causing me to stay in pain longer–at my own hand.

I always wanted to meet someone famous. I just never expected it to be Mr. Machiavelli.



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