Relationship Connection: My wife kicked me out, I can’t cope

Question

My wife told me to leave our home and says that she wants a divorce. Everything is pretty much over now and I’m sitting here now in my new place completely alone and depressed. This place doesn’t even feel like a home. She has all of our furniture we bought together and all of our house stuff. She also has the kids most of the time and her life seems to be better for her now that I’m gone. At least, that’s what she tells me. I have no idea where to go from here. I still go to work, I have a few friends I can talk to, but, for the most part, life feels totally hopeless and depressing. Do you have any advice for guys in my situation? Should I start dating again once I’m divorced and just move on? I have no idea where to go from here.

Answer

Clearly, you’re in shock about your new situation. There’s nothing wrong with having a strong reaction to a situation that you didn’t want, but now you’ve got some important decisions to make not only for yourself, but also for your children.

Remember, they didn’t ask for this to happen. They’ve already lost the security of having mom and dad in the same home, so make sure they don’t lose the security of having a relationship with a healthy dad. Here are some suggestions to get you directed in your new life.

First, if there are things in your life that contributed to the divorce – addiction, anger, et cetera – make sure you take care of those issues as soon as possible. This might be a wake-up call for you to take a hard look at your life. While your wife may certainly be the kind of person that would just kick someone out of the house for no good reason, it’s more likely there were unhealthy patterns that needed some attention.

Second, get some furniture and set up your house so your children have a place to stay that feels like a home. Get them beds, toothbrushes, and toys. You might be able to survive fine in a stripped-down bachelor pad, but your children need a home that feels safe and secure.

Third, make sure you’re taking care of yourself physically, emotionally, and socially. Start with exercise, eating well, getting to bed on time, and limiting your TV and screen time. Reach out to old friends you haven’t connected with in a while. Let others know you would like to spend time with them and get support. If you are struggling to put one foot in front of the other, working with a professional counselor or your doctor can help you overcome the depressive symptoms that are holding you back.

The sooner you learn you’re not a victim and powerless to improve your situation, the sooner you’ll start to feel better. Don’t wait too long to start moving forward with your life. Your children need to see you functioning and creating a positive and safe environment for them. They need as much stability as you can provide in this very unstable situation. You can share your struggles with other adults who can be there for you emotionally. You can be honest with your children and let them know you’re sad to be away from them, but it needs to stop there, especially if they’re little.

You will eventually heal from the shock of this change in your life. Your children will also heal, but you can facilitate that healing much sooner by making healthy decisions that benefit their physical and emotional well-being. They’ll feel better and so will you.

 Stay connected!

 

Geoff Steurer is a licensed marriage and family therapist in private practice in St. George, Utah. He specializes in working with couples in all stages of their relationships. The opinions stated in this article are solely his and not those of St. George News.

Have a relationship question for Geoff to answer? Submit to:

Email: geoff@lovingmarriage.com

Twitter: @geoffsteurer

Facebook: facebook.com/GeoffSteurerMFT

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2013, all rights reserved.

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22 Comments

  • Tricia November 13, 2013 at 10:43 am

    I believe setting up your home is best, for you and the children. I have furniture for sale. Living room, kitchen, and a full size bed.

  • Maudie Fricker November 13, 2013 at 11:34 am

    WHY did she boot you out? FIX that problem first. Attend to your children regardless of your situation. If she is happier w/o you, so be it. You don’t need the furniture you bought together or ANY of the stuff you had together. You are in a new situation so make it the way YOU want it. Don’t hang on to her coat tails, just get off your duff and START LIVING! Don’t start dating anyone until you have fixed the problem that started you on this new course. ‘One woman’s garbage is another woman’s treasure’ is JUST NOT TRUE. Don’t be a sad sack of trash… Make your children proud to have YOU as their father. That is the one area you do NOT want to mess up!! (SLAP! SLAP!) “SNAP OUT OF IT!!”

    • Avoid November 13, 2013 at 12:43 pm

      Avoid the mormon church singles stuff. Some crazy, desperate single women hang out at that stuff. You show up at those single’s things, and the women think you’re lookin for a new bride.

      • Mikki November 13, 2013 at 4:01 pm

        I agree with avoiding Mormon church singles stuff. I am a single woman, but I am not so desperate to get married that I want to go out at these “meat” markets. Gaining new friends & company would be nice if you could get that without the pressure of someone wanting to get married and start a family ASAP. But I will not be committing to another marriage any time soon. I want to take even more time the second go around so I don’t end up in another situation like I found myself in 3 years ago.

  • Wonder November 13, 2013 at 12:44 pm

    I wonder how many divorced and single women there are in St George compared to divorced and single men? Someone told me it’s like 3 or 4 women to every dude.

  • Hatalli November 13, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    Let me touch on something here that Geoff really should have! No matter what led you into your current situation, you are very vulnerable right now. At this time in a person’s life, it is natural to hook up just as soon as possible. It is also the very worst thing you can do.
    I go along with the advice of others, to take care of yourself and start to move on with your life. But you will be much better off, if you can hold off dating, until you become comfortable with being yourself, by yourself. You need to become much more self-reliant than you are right now. (I am speaking from experience here!) Once you become comfortable with who and what you are, then, and only then, will it be time for you to start dating again.
    You don’t say how old you are, but I’m guessing late twenties or early thirties. Whatever, you have more life ahead of you, than you have behind you, (of course, baring tragedy of some kind.) So don’t get in a hurry. Don’t think you life is slipping away from you. Give yourself time to heal.

  • Mikki November 13, 2013 at 1:34 pm

    “…Reach out to old friends you haven’t connected with in a while. Let others know you would like to spend time with them and get support…”

    I’ve been divorced three years, and when I called up my friends that I hadn’t spoken with for a while, they are all married with kids and don’t have time for a friends who is going through a divorce. And making new friends, at least in your age bracket, goes about the same. I was lucky and didn’t have any children with my ex. But picking up and starting over after has been a real a huge challenge. I spend a lot of time alone, and I get very depressed some days. I recently started a second job so I at least have something to do besides sit around and eat comfort food with all my alone time. But I’ve been thinking about moving out of state, I figure if I move someplace where normal people are usually getting married at my age, rather than finding themself divorced with 3 or 4 kids, I might have an easier time starting over again in life. It’s a hard situation to be in, especially in Utah.

  • Curly November 13, 2013 at 4:23 pm

    Throw a party. Not many things changed my life for the better than divorcing the ‘ol lady.

    • Lil' Giant November 14, 2013 at 9:45 am

      No kidding Curly. Maybe we should throw a party for the guy. He’ll realize soon how much better life can become.

  • Craig November 13, 2013 at 4:35 pm

    What a loser. No wonder your wife kicked you to the curb. Your first thought is “Should I start dating again …”
    Not, how can I make my life and my children’s lives better.
    Here’s my advice to you…DO NOT start dating again. You’ll only make someone else miserable.

    • Good Advice November 13, 2013 at 6:14 pm

      I agree 100% my first action when I was going through a divorce was to start counseling and learn how to deal. My ex started dating and barely a year later got remarried, IN THE TEMPLE, no less. Take card of yourself and your kids. Don’t worry about dating until you are in a place to be in a healthy relationship.

      • Question November 14, 2013 at 8:15 am

        Why is it a mormon man can get married multiple times in the temple and seal those marriages, but not women? Also, if the marriage is sealed in the temple, once they get divorced in a civil court and she remarries and has children, to whom is she committed to in the afterworld, the dork she married in the temple or the man she spent the rest of her life with?

        • Hunter November 14, 2013 at 10:49 am

          Men can be sealed to multiple women as a result of the Principle…or plural marriage. While it’s not practiced on Earth (currently) it is indeed a tenant of the church. A man will need many wives in order to produce enough children to populate a planet later. Women can only be sealed to one man, as multiple hubbies does not further this principle.

          If a woman is sealed, then divorced in a civil court, she will go back to the man she’s sealed to in the afterlife. The exception is if a temple divorce is granted. This is generally only done in cases of abuse, neglect and abandonment…or if you know the right leaders and have enough cash.

          • Question November 14, 2013 at 3:33 pm

            All the more reason to avoid these women who believe in that nonsense. The funny part is this is to identify them being cleaved together for eternity. Guess their god made a mistake putting them together when they end of divorced. Or maybe it’s meant to be a god joke, haha, marry & seal the loser dork in the temple, remarry and have children, die and go back to the loser dork forever. Sounds more like eternity in hell. Maybe that explains why there are so many divorced women in St George. Who wants them since they’re already sealed forever to some loser dork?

        • Dana November 14, 2013 at 12:00 pm

          It’s all hocus pocus mumbo jumbo.
          It’s amazing how many so called educated men and women
          truly believe the teachings of the LDS “church” . Even when the science and DNA is provided to dispute their teachings, many still cling to the smoke and mirrors.

  • philiplo November 13, 2013 at 9:35 pm

    This reads like a follow-up to Mr. Steurer’s column from last week.

  • Rob November 14, 2013 at 1:09 am

    Personally i dont think divorce is a great option even if you are the one who gets kicked out. Thats what happened to me and i was heart broken but so was my wife and kids. Things had become stale and things weren’t changing so it was continuously frustrating for all of us. About 6 months after being separated from my wife i ran across the thing that saved my marriage, family, and my sanity. Its a book called Marriage Fitness by author Mort Fertel. He helps couples in any situatuin find love again. I encourage people to fight for their marriage and their family because there is so much at stake with a family. Over 95% of the people i talked with, whether they were marriednor divorced said to work it out. This book will help you or any couple to create love again under virtually any circumstances. He talks about how love gets lost over the years and how to get it back. I spent several nights awake reading the book and creating a plan and writing down some of the things that were important to me and our family and our mariage and after 11 pages and a hour and half discussion my wife and i agreed I shoukd move home. Things have not been awesome but they are getting better and ive been home for nearly 6 weeks. The last 2 weekends have been really great and my wife and i have created opportunitiesnto connect, thats what its all about. I really hope the guy who wrote this reads this post cuz it will save your marriage. I know how you feel and i think you should fight for your marriage. Your wife and your children will thank you for it one day. My best to you and anyone else who reads this post who may be struggling with their marriage.

    • Dana November 14, 2013 at 7:30 am

      You sound like a girly-man.

    • DoubleTap November 14, 2013 at 9:51 am

      Rob: congrats for sticking it out and making it work. However, not all seperations will have a “happily ever after” ending. Some marriages simply WILL NOT survive no matter what. In the case in the article, the guy just has to man-up and move on. It is not the end of the world. There are many other suitable people out there that can make this guy happy. Just keep looking.

      • Nightmare November 14, 2013 at 3:38 pm

        I know woman, divorced several times, with children, who invites her exes to every holiday and family event. It’s for they kids, they say. She’s seeing someone new, too. How weird that must be for the new guy at thanksgiving with her exes who stuffed her turkey in years past.

    • Mikki November 15, 2013 at 10:41 am

      Good advice, I wish my ex would have taken that same advice that our bishop gave us prior to getting into a rush to date and re-marry. We would have been able to work through our issues. Now he is remarried and I am working 2 jobs to keep busy. lol Guess that is how it was meant to be? Beats me.

  • barbara bailey November 14, 2013 at 10:54 pm

    Seems to me this is your opportunity to start LIVING!

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