Still Hurting After Divorce
Dear Annie: After 46 years, my husband decided to leave me soon after he met a gold-digger overseas.
He went about it in a cowardly manner, looking for his condo in secret, although his friends were in on his plans. I was devastated when I accidentally found out and confronted him about it. He admitted that he wanted to leave, and, soon after, did so.
For some time, I believed it was a late midlife crisis and he would soon come to his senses. But after several years of living apart, he demanded a divorce and I reluctantly agreed.
Soon after the divorce, he asked to become friends with me. I could not see having a friendship with someone who had treated me with such a lack of consideration and for whom I still feel anger and resentment. I am afraid that I will never have closure on this because he has not acknowledged how much he hurt me or how badly he treated me.
There is some satisfaction in rejecting his offer of friendship. I hope he has a twinge of regret for what he cast aside so cavalierly. Am I being unreasonable or vengeful in your opinion? -- Hurt and Angry
Dear Hurt and Angry: No, you are not being unreasonable. In fact, you don't have to worry about how you are acting toward your ex-husband right now. Your life has been turned upside-down, and he is the one who caused it. Seek out a good therapist or counselor to work through some of your anger and frustration. Do things that make you happy. Don't worry about what he is thinking or doing. This is your chance to focus on you and to think about how you can heal and come out a stronger person.
It is understandable that, when we are hurt, it feels good to reject or wound the one who hurt us. Don't judge those feelings negatively. Just acknowledge them for now and know that eventually you will find forgiveness -- not for him but for yourself. Then you can move on. But don't rush the process. Best of luck to you.
Dear Annie: It's time people stopped taking offense to kind deeds.
Just because someone is being kind to you, it doesn't necessarily mean they're doing it because you are elderly. Even if they are, so what!
I am a woman who just turned 60, and I have tried to be polite to people most of my life, regardless of their age. I have held doors for people who were both younger and older than me. Age has nothing to do with it. For instance, I've picked up something that was dropped and handed it back to the teenager who dropped it. I have opened a door for a mother who had her hands full with children and a cart full of groceries.
You see, if everyone would just stop taking offense to a kindness shown them and accept it for what it is -- a random act of compassion -- perhaps anger would abate entirely, making room for more kind gestures. Having something nice done for you is never a reason to get upset, no matter your age. Enjoy the fact that someone cares enough to do something kind. -- Continuing to Be Kind
Dear Continuing to Be Kind: I love your letter and am printing it for your wonderful message. Continuing to be kind will make the world a better place and will help make all of our lives more rewarding and joyful.
"Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie" is out now! Annie Lane's debut book -- featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette -- is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to firstname.lastname@example.org.