I jumped on the opportunity to review Formerly A Wife (A Survival Guide for Women Facing the Pain and Disruption of Divorce) by Welby O’Brien. While I am a VERY private person, I had a very rough separation and divorce. The relationship with my ex-husband spanned over 20 years. We were high school sweethearts, grew up together and have four beautiful children. The life I had with him was all I ever knew and suddenly I felt broken, useless and worthless.
I will admit that I lost my sense of self over the years. I knew how to be a wife and mother usually putting their needs before my own. My children were at an age where I was semi empty nesting and my life was changing drastically. Change can be hard, I didn’t like it! I know I’ll always be Mom but, when your kids move out of the house and your going through a divorce it just feels EMPTY! I went from having a full house of six to half a house and it’s been a huge transition for me.
The most important thing I wanted to do was work on me! I needed to grieve, learn to cope and heal before I could move on. I still have one minor that my ex-husband and I co-parent. Our three older ones are young adults. I felt alone as though no one could possibly know what I’m going through. He was my best friend and I loved him with every part of me. When I walked away from our marriage, I still loved him but, some things seemed irreparable and it was toxic. I needed to get out!
Welby O’Brien is writing from experience and sharing her truth with us! She covers so many topics like moving on, the other woman, defining new roles, triggers and so much more. I honestly wish I would’ve had this guide three years ago. We were separated for one year and we’ve been divorced for two years this month. I will say that it does get easier with time but, take as long as you need to heal. Divorce is devastating and nothing you just… “Get Over!” I’m just getting to happy.
Formerly A Wife gives you a checklist for survival, encourages you to arm yourself with scripture and pour your heart out to God. There is a scripture for every situation and the way you may be feeling. I’ll admit that I needed and continue to need constant motivation and inspiration to get me through some rough patches. I drew closer to God and took everything one day at a time. There were good days and bad days. I was so used to being “strong” and I got tired! I learned to pray and give it to God.
Welby O’Brien holds a master’s degree in counseling from Portland State University and a teaching degree from Biola University. She is also a contributing author to Chicken Soup for the Soul: Divorce and Recovery, Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Spirit of America, as well as Shepherding Women in Pain. Actively involved in leadership and teaching for over 30 years, Welby has also been a welcomed guest on radio and television, as well as featured in video productions. One Takeaway: You’re NOT alone!