I am struggling with acceptance and would like to know if anyone has any advice for me. I know that I have to accept what has happened, (that I can't change it, or do anything to make things the way I would like them to be) and what is going to happen to be able to move forward. Thanks, Emma

Emma: Time will be your friend. Forcing yourself to do social things that may be out of your comfort zone will help over time, as well. If friends invite you to do something, be a good sport and go. You can always leave early if you are miserable, and your true friends will understand. There will not be a day when acceptance of this divorce just washes over you, and suddenly you are fine. It will be a gradual process, and one day you'll realize you didn't think about him as much as you had done so in previous days or weeks. Then, more and more days like that will come. I am divorced from my first husband since 1998. Last night we attended Christmas Eve mass with our daughter. It brought back some good memories, but some bad ones, too. I never turned off my feelings like a switch. I'd never in a million years want him back, but at the time of my divorce I would have done ANYTHING to make it not be happening. Time heals. Sappy advice, I know. Not what you want to hear, I'm sure. Merry Christmas. Try to enjoy your day.

Emma...I feel the same way in regards to the acceptance phase in the grieving process. I have certainly gone through the other phases, but I just can't accept it at this point. What bothers me the most is that I am not sure she cares even a little bit as much as I do. I guess as long as I think of that, I will have a hard time with acceptance.

Robert and Emma, You have to remember that your partners are ahead of you in the healing process because they likely came to terms with ending the relationship many months sooner than they told you. So, although it may seem as if they don't care, they do. The grieving began for them a long time ago, whereas yours has only just begun.

Or in my case, the **** knew the marriage was over and started cheating on me way before I finally realized what was going on. So I agree with what Soft said, our exes are way far ahead of us in the healing process.

Thank you for the suggestions! I live in a very small town and due to many things I have isolated myself and lost all the friendships I ever had. I have very little family and with the lengthy marriage and separation they are having a hard time getting involved. Thanks, Emma

I don't think it's a bad idea to keep your family out of it. Less drama, it's not their business, and they can't change the course of events anyway. My family was told of my divorce when it was well under way. They asked me if I didn't want to hold off and give him another chance, and I said no no no. They never brought it up again. I quietly had my court hearing, and it was done and over without involving them for one second. It was painful, yet peaceful at the same time. Drama does not have to be part of the process. When marriage isolates and costs friendships, that may be a red flag that there is a bigger problem.

Soft, that it so true. I tell my family a bit here and there but for the most part I vent here and I vent in my journal. I have some very raw feelings that I put in it and when I have a moment of weakness or start having a pity party, I go back and read the journal. It keeps a lot of things between me and God only but my friends and family don't seem to understand how painful this is.

It is impossible for family to be objective. People who have made the painful decision to end a marriage, or those who NEED to make the decision, will not benefit from being swayed by well-meaning, but misguided loved ones.

Wow, isn't that the truth. But for me the weird thing is his parents are furious with him for divorcing me but they don't tell me - his mother emails my mother and says how upset she still is.

On the other hand, my parents want me out of the house asap. I keep trying to explain to them how the legal system works and why I can't just get up and leave the way they'd like me to do.

Families - they mean well (most of the time) but they just don't get it. His parents are like "how can you divorce her" when they are missing the point and should be asking him "how could you cheat on your wife".

My parents have no idea that infidelity was an issue. Nor does his mother. As far as I know, he never told his parents that I filed for divorce. It was final three days after his dad's funeral. It's not up to me to tell his family. They can hear from him, or not, and it makes no difference to me what he tells them. I expect him to lie, if he ever says anything, and I do not plan to expend energy defending myself. I am sure his family could easily be convinced that I am a monster, and that he never had an affair. Honestly, I could not care less what others think.

I had to tell my inlaws because in the beginning when I first confronted him he played the suicide card. I say played because I believed him and notified his family and they told me to tell him I was calling 9-1-1 and guess what? He snapped out of it immediately. Turns out when he was a child he used to threaten things like this all the time, especially when he was caught doing something he wasn't suppose to do.

I was naiive enough to think they'd take my side but as I said, while they are upset about the divorce the fact that he cheated on me doesn't seem to phase them in the least.

He sounds manipulative and childish. A pretend suicide? Glad you called his bluff. Now you know that if he pulls that **** again, you can call 911 without consulting his parents and without giving him a heads up. You may not know it today, but you are better off.

OMG, the last time he tried to play the suicide card was funny. He did it again and that night I repeated back to him what he was saying to "make sure I understand what you are saying". He repeated it and I ran inside and got my cell phone and told him I was calling 9-1-1 first, I'd have him committed for 48 hours to make sure he couldn't hurt himself and then I was calling his mother and she and I together would go to the mental hospital and sign him in for another 30 days because by law in TN it takes 2 signatures to sign someone in against their will (mind you, I made all this up to scare him). At the moment I said that, he dropped his head, looking down at his feet and stayed like that for about 5 seconds. Then he raised his head and looked at me and said, (this is SO funny!!!), "what were we talking about.....I don't remember" and when I reminded him that he'd just talked about killing himself, he called me a liar, got up and left the room!!!!!!! Oh it was so funny and at that point I realized what a manipulative little liar he is and I KNEW I had to file for divorce. I mean the cheating made me think I should file for divorce but hearing all these additional lies and the acting - wow, it was too much for one person (me) to have to put up with.

I have an addict in my extended family. Per the professionals that have been consulted, anytime someone threatens suicide, the protocol is to calmly, without drama or conversation, call 911. That gets the ball rolling, takes it out of your hands, gets the person help if it is real, and gives them a dose of reality if they were faking. Police and fire don't like fakers who waste their time coming out on one of these calls. My family member got hauled away so fast that her head spun. And, she has never uttered the word 'suicide' again.

Please tell me how you deal with a 40 year old stbx that is stuck so far up his father's butt that he chose his father over me and our daughters? After 16 years of putting up with his father running our lives, I finally spoke up and said I need more than sitting on a farm and waiting for him to come home for the 1 hour a day I would see him. We went to therapy and they told him to grow up, leave mommy and daddy and be a husband to your wife. He said NO. So they told me to get out cause he won't change. And he is jealous as hell and suspicious as hell if another man even talks to me - so is his father. It's like I'm a possession, not a family member. They all turned on me and haven't spoken to me since they chewed my *** for wanting to better myself. I'm having to divorce his father, not him and that is a living hell. Please help with any info on how to deal with this!

Wow, that's a rough situation to be in. Let me tell you that when my stbx gave me the silent treatment for several days I researched such behavior and found it to be a form of abuse. It's their way of trying to tell you they consider you to be less than a human being who doesn't deserve conversation from them or anything else for that matter. Try looking up silent treatment and/or emotional abuse online; as weird as it sounds it gave me a sense of relieve to have a name for what he was doing to me.

How much of the time are you around his father? Can you return the "favor" by ignoring him and the rest of his family??

And I may be wrong here but my stbx would ask me if I was fooling around, accuse me of having an affair or wanting to have an affair and it turned out HE was the one having the affair. So just keep your eyes open because in my experience it's the guilty person who will start accusing everyone else.

Have you filed for divorce yet?

I'm not around his family much at all, which is good, but our house (that he lives in now) is on the same property as his parents, so he sees them every day all day long. And when I see them, I smile and say hi, but that's as far as that goes. I'm trying to be civil because we have two daughters.

And funny you should mention the affair thing. He has been accusing me of having an affair since I mentioned wanting to be more in life. Ironically enough, he hates Facebook, yet when everything blew up, he signed himself up for an account and didn't tell me. I found out just a week ago that he had an account due to a few friends that found it. And it turns out that an x of his is one of his "friends".

Also, when we were in therapy and they suggested a controlled separation, he went crazy and drove home with a loaded gun in his hand. We tried a two week in home separation (cause he wouldn't let me leave the house due to his controlling nature), and he lasted 10 days - cornered me and asked me if I wanted a divorce or if I will change. The therapists said he has to change, not me, so I said if you are pressuring me, I want a divorce. He filed the next day and that was two months ago. The kids and I moved out and we are in litigation now. Since property is involved, his father is having a **** fit that I will get 1/2.

For the record, I have never had an affair, but the therapist said the same thing you did - she was wondering heavily if he was. Rumors were going around our small town that I was having an affair and he believed everyone of them, even though we discussed it. He has horrible trust issues and I think you are right it's probably because he's the one cheating.

Thanks so much for the insight....and I know it's emotional abuse. I got on our school board and they wanted me to establish a separate email for school issues, so I did and I told him I was doing that. When he saw that I had a new email, he didn't speak to me for 4 days. He plays really good mind games and that is why the theapists told me to get out - to clear my head. He's really good at mental abuse and it does help to have a name to explain it - doesn't excuse it, but it explains it.

Wow, we have another little tidbit in common. My stbx said he hated facebook too and one day well over a year ago, my daughter said she had something to show me and she didn't want to upset me but she felt I had to know and she pulled up my stbx's facebook page. He had the same picture on it as he'd used on the dating website we had met on over 4 1/2 years ago and the picture is at least 25 years old. He said facebook was stupid yet there he was for all of us to see and he'd been chatting with all sorts of friends - men and women. Well the next time I went to check, he had his settings all changed to private.

Then there was the cell phone. After several months of emotional abuse with his using his cell phone and texting "friends" while we were watching tv, sitting on the porch, out eatting dinner at a restaurant and even while we were in bed, I finally grabbed his cell phone while he was in the shower and tried to see who he's been talking to. He'd become so secretive with his cell phone I knew something was going on and when I checked his cell phone he had it locked. I ordered him to immediately unlock it and he said no so I said since the phones were in my name, I was calling Sprint immediately to have his cell phone turned off. At that he unlocked it and there were phone calls made and received from women - one in particular but not just her. The text messages had been erased but not the history so I could see who he had texted and who had texted him.

It's funny but usually someone who is sneaking around is only thinking about one thing and it ain't about covering their tracks. Thank God most cheaters are sloppy cheaters and terrible liars.

There must be a mold!