The man I thought I married is dead! Yet he is alive and well. Confused? So was I for twenty years. Twenty long, abusive years for not only myself but also for my children.
I guess we were separated for almost two years before I realized that I was not dealing with the same person I married. Yet I was. When you still care about someone you're to close to see the truth for what it is. It takes a lot of time and emotional strength to get past the ties that bind two people together.
There is a very fine line between love and hate. That line is hard to distinguish most of the time. As long as one person can generate feelings in another there is still an emotional attachment. Be it love or hate or some where in between, it affects your life. And there are many aquired habits that just don't seem go away. You are used to reacting in certain ways. You expect the other person to react in certain ways. It can be very frustrating and confusing when dealing with emotional attachments.
Once I realize that I could not move on with my life unless I got him out of mine once and for all, I decided to do something about it. I decided to mentally kill him, have a funeral and bury him. I know that sounds a bit unorthodox but it worked for me. I killed him by making a list of the good and the bad things about our marriage and the way we interacted. Need I say that the bad list was a whole lot longer than the good.
Killing him included removing the things he had left behind when he moved out. Everything I could find I boxed up and gave to his mother. Family pictures went into storage because I felt it would be unfair to my children. He was their father and they might want the pictures sometime in the future. A big burden was lifted from my shoulders by getting rid of his belongings. Life got a little easier.
It was now time to have his funeral. I worked through the mourning phase of my plan. This was the hard part. No matter how good or bad a marriage is you always sense a feeling of great loss when it's over. We all have a lot of mental garbage to get rid of. I had to work through all the emotions that still ran rampant. Twenty years is a long time to work through. Some how I got through it.
Once I could talk to him or see him without getting emotionally involved I knew I had buried him. He was dead. Gone. The person who he once was no longer existed in my life. I saw him as someone who looked a lot like my exhusband. He saw a great change in me and didn't like it very much. That was his problem not mine. He tried many ways to get to me but couldn't I'm proud to say. Today, if I run across him I can look him in the eye and not be effected at all. It's sad to say but he can't do the same thing. We've been divorced since 1986 and the man still can't look me in the eye and carry on a conversation..
I know the way I chose to deal with my situation is a bit unorthodox but it worked for me. It could work for you too if you find yourself in a similar place. It's not going to be easy but the peace of mind and the restored self respect are worth it.