Ten years ago, Nan (not her real name), told her then husband, Frank, that she wanted to remodel the kitchen. After over seven long months of hellish construction, Nan finally had the kitchen she'd always dreamed of.
Just when she thought life was going to return to a sense of normalcy, she got the rudest awakening of her life: Frank announced that he wanted a divorce.
She thought he was joking but when he didn't smile or back peddle, she knew something else was up. She said, "Are you having an affair?"
He was silent. No doubt, he didn't want to incriminate himself. He packed his bags and left lock, stock and barrel shortly thereafter.
After putting some pieces together and doing some undercover work, Nan found out that her ex had not only been unfaithful, but that he'd gotten his mistress pregnant - the man who never wanted kids was going to be a father. Of course he had to leave. He had other responsibilities.
Life would never be the same for Nan.
What she didn't know during those dark early days after he left, was that she would thank him some day. He actually did her the biggest favor anyone could have in the sense that she hadn't realized how much she had compromised herself by trying to please him.
Given all the anguish she was in, Nan sought out as much help, therapy and support as she could.
The result? She bears very little resemblance to the woman she'd been while married to Frank. Nan is now in a happy, loving and healthy relationship and loves to facetiously tell people (like me) that she gratefully "lost" 200 pounds and kept it off in her divorce.
On the more serious side of Nan's situation, aside from the emotional devastation Frank's abrupt leaving had on her, Nan said, "To add insult to injury, he went after everything he could." After all, he had a new family to support. Yes, he continued to deny that he had an affair.
The house that had been hers before the marriage (they were married later in life) had been refinanced about halfway through their nuptials. She thought she should put his name on the deed in case anything happened to her. The court saw the house as a community asset. He got half. He also took a huge portion of her retirement.
Although Nan is still upset about what she feels was his warped sense of entitlement, she maintains that it was the best thing that could have happened to her and worth every penny for finding herself in the end.
Divorce, like so many things in life, is a mixed blessing indeed.