Ask Deepak: Overcome Your Dependency Issues
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Each week, spiritual teacher Deepak Chopra responds to Oprah.com users' questions with enlightening advice to help them live their best lives.Q: I found out my husband was having an affair with his young secretary. When he finally admitted it, we decided to try to work it out. We went to counseling and tried lots of things. It always seemed like something was wrong; he never seemed truly sorry. After eight months, I found out he was contacting her again. I made him leave the house, and we told our shocked kids that we were getting a divorce. It was a shock to everyone who thought we were a happy couple.
Now he has moved on. I am left to keep things going for the kids. He swoops in every other weekend for Daddy fun time. I am a mess mourning my marriage and my life! How do I move on? Why is it so unfair? I am a stay-at-home mom, having left my job 11 years ago. Now I have to hope my ex will give us enough money to survive. Where do I find strength in this horrible event?
— Melissa L., Audubon, Pennsylvania
The telling sentence in your letter is the hope that your straying husband will give you enough money to survive. I'm afraid this bespeaks some deep dependency issues on your part. Having clung to him before, you want to cling to him even now. This man cheated and betrayed you; he has abandoned his responsibilities as a father and no doubt is thrilled with himself for getting away with it.
If you haven't turned to the courts for redress, I can't imagine why. Stop wishing. Stop waiting for him to be generous. You must grow out of your tendency to feel like a child and stand up for yourself as an adult. Such a move may be painful. You will certainly feel the role doesn't quite fit. But until you take steps to claim what is rightfully yours, how can you reclaim your life?
I'd also urge you to find a mature, stable person who will serve as a sounding board and hopefully more. You need guidance, because at present there is a hole in your self that your husband used to fill. Eventually you must fill it with your own strength and sense of worth. But that's asking too much in your present vulnerable state. Let's see if you can fill the hole temporarily with another person's strength. Until you find such a person, keep looking. There is a way out of this difficult situation, but I fear you won't find it alone, so don't force yourself to.
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Deepak Chopra is the author of more than 50 books on health, success, relationships and spirituality, including his current best-seller, Reinventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul, and The Ultimate Happiness Prescription, which are available now. You can listen to his show on Saturdays every week on SiriusXM Channels 102 and 155.
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