Friends, a coach, and books got me through the early days of my divorce. But questions lingered for most of the last few years; what kind of man completely cuts off communication with a spouse of almost 30 years? Who abandons everything, not even taking pictures of his child?
That is why I am so grateful that I discovered "Runaway Husbands" by Vikki Stark. Based on the Sudden Wife Abandonment Project the book is a study into Wife Abandonment Syndrome; "the devastating experience of being told by your husband that the marriage or long-term relationship was over when you had no idea there were even problems."
Readers quickly learn a few criteria that set a RunAway Husband divorce from a typical divorce:
1. Former wives often experience a PTSD like experience associated with emotional, physical and financial abandonment.
3. In almost all cases Stark studied husbands had long been secretly planning their escapes and their protection plans with the help of another woman.
4. Former wives struggle with their perceptions of reality after learning many aspects of their marriage were a sham created by their duplicitous ex.
What I can share with you is that practicing extreme self-care as a means of increasing self-confidence and trusting yourself again is a must-do as you move forward to happiness. You'll focus on:
A physical self-care routine includes getting a lot of rest, taking time to move your body, and meditate. Watch what you eat and drink. Do whatever it takes to keep mood and hormones levels in check. You are in control of what you do here, so enjoy being in charge. There is nothing more gratifying than completing a work-out, going for a walk, or taking on a new physical challenge.
A mental self-care routine addresses your emotional needs, allows you to engage your creativity and challenges your brain. A personal journal is your safe place. You can dump all the negative feeling you may have. Use your journal to remember what you are grateful for. I found ending my daily journal entries with three things I was grateful for boosted my spirits.
Spiritual Self Care is a blend of how you connect with others and how you relate to a higher form of your self. Expressing your spirituality might be spending a few minutes in quiet meditation, practicing gratitude, or socializing with others who have similar values. You'll find your ability to cope with stress is increased. I spent a lot of time outdoors and connected with nature.
A therapist or coach will help you get started and stay on track. I poured over books that struck a nerve or were recommended by my coach. If you are interested in the book list that helped me navigate the emotional rubble of my Runaway Husband, click here.