Ask Cindy: He Holds All the Cards, Is There Anything I Can Do?

I am so discouraged at this point..I finally have the courage to leave my ex because of an alcohol/abusive marriage…I file and HE STILL holds all the cards! He has dangled…”signing off” on the divorce for the last 6 months…Do I seriously have no rights at this point? I have no way to get out of this sooner? I feel at this ex has controlled my life for so many years….and HE STILL holds all the cards! I’m so discouraged. Is there really NOTHING I can do? I am so ready to move forward! ~ DeeDee in Pennsylvania

I understand your discouragement. You want things to be over and are seeing the legal divorce as the end. As far as getting on with your life and moving forward, there is no reason why you cannot do it NOW, concurrently with the legal process.

Saying and believing that “HE STILL holds all the cards” gives him power and diminishes the power you have to control your own life. You do not want to make this verbalization a reality. You are remaining his victim by believing and verbalizing that he has all of the cards. He will continue to put off signing the papers as long as he knows it is affecting you and keeping you stuck in a state of limbo.

You asked if there is really nothing you can do. This question should be taken to an attorney in Pennsylvania. Each state (and sometimes counties) have their own divorce rules and regulations. I would imagine that there is some sort of clause in the law-books that prevent a person from delaying a divorce decree forever.

Legally your hands may be tied at the moment, but that does not mean you have no rights. You have the right to yourself and your own decisions. You have the right to be responsible for your life and to pursue your own happiness. Accept the delays in your legal divorce as potholes in the road. They are NOT brick walls.

Write a list of everything you can do that is within your power. Start living your life as if you were already legally divorced. See yourself as a divorced, not as a person stuck in a marriage. What can you control in your life?

  • Eating whenever and whatever you want
  • Dressing how you want
  • Going to bed when you want and leaving the television on all night
  • Leaving dirty dishes in the sink
  • Spending the evening with friends

Concentrate on how great you will feel once it’s all said and done and start living your life today as if it is all said and done. Enjoy your journey. Find things to be grateful for every single day. Live your life your way. Love yourself.

Ask yourself WHY you are putting off living your life. You really can live it during the divorce proceedings. He has NO CARDS in regards to how you decide to live your life today. Ask yourself why it matters to you if the divorce is finalized tomorrow or next year. You may be using this as an excuse to stay stuck and not move forward.

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