I want to respond to a comment from the inspirational ultra marathoner, Olga:
One day I hope to find someone to be happy with. Right now I keep asking same question: I broke my husband's heart by telling him we need to split, and I have no regrets. The thing is, we never were friends. We were lovers, parents to our kids, co-workers...but never friends, never much to agree upon, to share an opinion about. Now seems like the whole "home-country" world is blaming - it is always a woman's fault for not been able to "bend" and keep the marriage. It is ok for a guy to see other women, yell, give commands, make decisions. It is not ok for a woman to step away from it, especially if the kids are involved. Looking back at SR's blog when his wife just left him - it feels miserable for him then. But it lead him to you. I have one of my best friends who left her ex-husband, and her new husband was left by his wife. Both men (ex and new) were basically dumped. Both had gone through pain of adjusting. Both happy now. How can I show the way to my husband that he will be happy one day, if he just lets go right now?
This is a difficult, complex question and I love it. I can tell we are going through similar things with our ex-husbands, despite having different types of relationships with them.
I 'm thinking back to the book Anna Karenina. In the book Anna left her husband to be with someone she had fallen madly in love with. I remember being so happy for her in the book and I so badly wanted to feel love as strongly as she did. But in the end, everything goes wrong for Anna. Her life falls apart and eventually she is hit by a train and killed. What a terrible ending. Tolstoy is a great author and a deep thinker. But in the end, the point of the book was that women will eventually regret leaving their husbands. I was so angry at the end of the book and was amazed at how strongly I disagreed with Tolstoy. My ex-husband had also read the book and how poignant it was that he agreed with Tolstoy and not me.
The reason I bring this up is, Olga, we live in a a society of guilt. And then add to this the all-too-prevalent belief that women should be subordinate to men. I spent much of my young adulthood living in France, and the belief that women are intellectually and emotionally inferior to men is still evident even today. One of the most influential thinkers in France was Jean Jacques Rousseau (a sexy name I'll admit), who did not believe the French government should waste money educating women. And I think this goes a long way to prevent healthy relationships between men and women.
So we have two big issues to deal with in terms of other people judging our lives from the outside. And then there is the even bigger issue of hurting someone we cared about.
But I'm telling you Olga that we are lucky. We are educated, self-assured women and we have been encouraged to value our own ideas. I do believe that only women who have this can find truly mutual love. And, of course, you need to find the right man. But if you keep your eyes and heart open, Olga, I truly believe you will find him. And it will be so worth the wait!
The other thing I will add is that guilt is an unhealthy emotion. It is as unhealthy as any disease. And probably as unhealthy as jealously. I can tell you realize this, though, since you don't have regrets. We have to realize when we have the power to make someone's life better and when we don't. And when we don't, we need to focus on what we can do. So you ask how you can show your husband the way to be happy again, and I honestly don't think you can (or should feel like you need to). Our exes need to find happiness again on their own, and when they do, they will be much better off for it.