Editor’s Note: Our friend, The Gentleman Adventurer, Adam Piggott, opens up about his personal trauma. We appreciate him sharing this with us, and hope that anyone who might be going through this sort of experience can find some value and possibly comfort in his words. Read his other works at his site.
It’s been ten months since my now ex-wife nuked our marriage into orbit because feelings. I now feel capable of writing about the lessons that I have learnt over this time. I write this purely as a future reference for readers who unfortunately find themselves in the same situation as I did. To clarify, there will be no personal details about what happened as that is private and apart from me only one other person on this earth knows the real truth.
Let us begin.
First of all, there is nothing worse that you will go through. I have been through personal chronic illness, deaths of close friends and family, job losses and natural disasters.
They were all child’s play in comparison to a divorce initiated by your other half.
I dread to think what I might have done had I not spent a good 30 years making a man of myself. That monumental effort got me through the last ten months. That and that alone.
You will not want advice in this period. You will not want to talk to anybody after the initial shock. I spent the first couple of days calling everyone I knew and after that I clammed up. Because nobody else understands, even if they have been through it themselves. It is your own personal misery and it is deeply troubling. One thing that I have really learnt going through this process is that I will not give any advice in the future to anyone going through a divorce. I will listen, but I will not give advice. The advice is here if you want to read it. Consider this advice to be hard won.
You do not know anybody.
You may think that you know your wife but you do not. In fact, you know nobody else on the planet. There are only two entities that you truly do know – yourself and Jesus Christ. Everyone else is a mystery. For many people they do not even know themselves. I know myself because I have spent my life being continually tested. The realisation that you are truly alone in this world is quite frankly horrifying. The Church exists for a very good reason.
Do the opposite of what your instincts tell you.
You are not Clint Eastwood or Sean Connery so in the emotional turmoil of a divorce thrust upon you, your emotional decisions will be incorrect. Do not plead. Do not attempt to reason. Do not attempt to rationalise the situation with her. Do not attempt to find common ground. There is no common ground when she nukes your marriage. She has betrayed your trust. So do not attempt to get her back. It matters not all of the moments that you passed together. Remember, women rationalise their behavior and they can rationalise anything.
Let her try to get you back.
In other words, you need to turn the tables on her. Ideally you need to do this before she nukes your marriage. I knew what was happening months before but I chose not to see because the reality was too awful. You will know by her tone of voice alone, by her reaction to things that you do. Your personal quirk that made her smile and laugh when she was into you will cause her to frown and view you with contempt when things are going sour. I had plenty of warning as will you. Do not ignore the warnings. Instead, turn the tables on her and initiate the breakup yourself.
This takes a supreme level of willpower and ability to play it with a straight face. By initiating the breakup you remove her power play completely which will cause her immense confusion. Throw her out and then do not talk to her for at least a month. No contact, and if you do have any contact then act as if nothing has really happened. Be aloof, be uncaring, be the exact opposite of what your inner emotions are screaming at you to do.
This is the only real chance that you will have.
If you are reading this and she has already pulled the plug then you have a very small window of opportunity before her heart completely hardens to the ice cold stone that it will most certainly become. Once she initiates the divorce you must attempt to turn the tables by the same method of cutting off all contact for at least a month and acting as if you don’t care either way when you eventually see her. Even then I give you at best a 10% shot but the other option is a 100% screwed option so what do you have to lose?
After 4 weeks have passed you can initiate contact. But you must be completely indifferent when you see her. Do not talk on the phone. Send a very brief text to meet up and then cancel a couple of hours beforehand. Do not apologise for canceling, no explanations are required because you are indifferent, remember?
The more that you try to get her back, the more she will be convinced that her original decision was the correct one.
If none of this works, if it is indeed all over, then go full thermonuclear war and salt the ground behind you. Be merciless because she is going to be merciless to you. Do not let tears or emotional games deter you from your thermonuclear path. Get as much as you can from the marriage and then get some more if you can. Transfer funds, lock off access to resources, do whatever you have to do and if you can’t then just burn it down in whatever way you can get away with legally.
If you have kids then know that she will use them against you in whatever way that she can. I do not have kids but my parents divorced when I was 12 so I speak from bitter experience here. My father did a lot of things wrong but how he dealt with his two sons after the divorce was one of the most courageous things that I have ever seen. He knew that their mother was doing her very best to poison the minds of his sons against him so he did nothing to counter her. He did not say a single bad word about her. He did not attempt once to defend himself because he knew that any attempt to do so would play directly into her hands.
All he could do was wait and hope that his sons would one day realise the truth. My brother was 9 when the divorce played out. My dad had to wait until my brother was 26 before he got the phone call that my brother wanted to talk. That takes a lot of patience and courage as well as the willingness to know that the phone call may never ever come.
In other words, walk away. It’s over, don’t fucking embarrass yourself.
One other thing – you don’t take her back after the fact. By divorcing you she demonstrated a total lack of honor, and honor is the most important personal asset that a woman must have for her man. The number one asset that a man must possess for a woman is personal strength, which is why my advice for halting the divorce is correct – it displays strength. But no honor means no honor, period. Once dishonorable then always so. Which is the real tragedy.