Separation and divorce roadblocks to recovery – The eternal question of ‘WHY?’

‘But whhhhyyyyyyyyyy?’.

In the early days, weeks, and even months after my surprise divorce, this was a sentence that would frequently pass my lips between tightly gritted teeth as deep, gut wrenching sobs escaped my body.

Why had my husband abandoned me? Why wasn’t I good enough? Why did he think it was ok to have an affair with my best friend when, as far as I knew, there was nothing wrong with our ten-year relationship? Why did he choose to wait to do this until we’d finally had the baby that he had wanted so much? and why, why why did he think she was better than me?

These big WHY questions haunted me for so long.

The first place I sought answers was from my husband, but after multiple conversations with me in tears and him looking at me with not one shred of emotion, the best he ever gave me  was ‘It just happened. There was nothing I could do’.

And so I continued my search alone.

The ‘whys’ continued to run around and around in my head day and night like a crazed swarm of angry bees. I was determined to make sense of it all and to find the answers I so desperately needed; the answers that would free me from my torment.

During this long and painful process I discovered two things:

1. You cannot force the whys to be answered and;

2. As you heal, those whys will change. This is because you will have different whys from your ex-partner. In your future life, his whys don’t actually matter, and in the early days, yours don’t even exist yet.

Let me explain….

Asking ‘why?’ is a normal part of healing after a traumatic event. No one wants to believe we live in a world where good people suffer for no reason. Asking why helps us to make sense of it, to find purpose from it and a reason that makes the pain feel tolerable. If you are in the position where your ex-partner is willing and able to answer your whys and give you some closure to assist you with moving on, that’s great. If not, however, you are not doomed to live in torment for the rest of your life…

Because, as I eventually found out, none of the whys I so desperately needed answers to actually mattered. They were never going to bring me peace. They were never going to give me my life back. To this day I still have no answers to those whys.

And now I don’t need them.

Those ‘whys’ are his to carry, not mine.

because I’ve found my own…

Why did this life changing casserole of nonsense happen to me?

So I could find myself again
So I could find my voice again
So I could connect with a vast range of like-minded souls
So I could write my book
So I could start a magazine that fills me with love and pride
So I could actually do something worthwhile with the ‘guts and determination’ I’ve been told I have my whole life
So I could be a better mother
So I could travel to all the places I’ve always dreamed of travelling
So I could move back home to the state I missed so much

They are the whys that have freed me from my torment.

They are the whys I live with, not the whys of my ex-husband.

And they are so much more pleasant.

So, if you are finding yourself at a place where you are stuck in the eternal circle of asking why someone has done something to you and not finding your answers, as painful and difficult as it is, try to let it go.

Have patience, shift your focus to nurturing yourself as much as you possibly can, accept help, discover what makes your heart sing again, don’t worry if it feels like it’s taking ‘too long’, and then one day, if you are open to them, your very own self-healing whys will find you.


NAOMI GORAHi! I’m Lift Magazine’s editor, Naomi. Together with single mums from Australia and as far away as New Zealand, Canada and the UK, we’ve created Lift to be a place where you can find hope and empowerment, and know that you’re not alone as you journey into the transformational new phase of life that is single motherhood. If you’d like to read more about my story, you can do so in my blog where I’ve been writing about my life as a single mum from Day 1.



1 Comment on Separation and divorce roadblocks to recovery – The eternal question of ‘WHY?’

  1. Fiona
    May 1, 2017 at 12:38 am (3 years ago)

    Thankyou so much for sharing your story. Just as I felt I was going crazy with the tumultuous storm that is separation and divorce, I read your blog. It made me feel normal. Its so grounding to be able to silence the noise and hear your story. I was able to draw parralels to my own story and see that there is hope even though life seems so unfair eight now. Big thank you!!!


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