advice: how to move on

QUESTION FROM A GREEK TRAGEDY READER: I have been reading your blog for four years, bought both books and STILL can’t figure out how to “get over the bastard.” We were married for 13 years, and I left him last October for a lot of reasons, the biggest one being that he was a cheating fcuk. Pretty sure he cheated all through the marriage. We struggled for years to have babies and finally had our Bella three years ago in April. When she was a year and a half, I left him for the first time. We continued to see each other, and I ended up getting prego again. Now, we have another beautiful daughter, Lee. After I left him, he took up with an ex who lives in Ohio. He moved there to be with her and is over 600 miles away from us. I should hate him on so many levels, but my insecurities are keeping me holding out for him to come back. I was/am a chubby kid/grown up. I relate to all of your crazy dating stories, and I just want to find someone who loves me for me, but I’m having a hard time meeting anyone worth more than a night out. I just feel like it’s never going to happen for us (my daughters and me). Any suggestions?

straight up advice

“I just feel like it’s never going to happen for us.” It already has happened for you. You have two beautiful healthy daughters who live with you. You are a family. Stop waiting for someone to find you. Make you. 

The “cheating fcuk” belongs in your past. And lady, you already know this. Now, you need to live this. Not just for you but for your sweet girls.

So, where do you start? You set goals. Wee ones. And you meet them. That’s how you build integrity, how you grow “worth” and self-esteem. It’s not about mantras or music. It’s about changing your behaviors one goal at a time. If you really want to find someone who loves you for you, you need to first learn how to meet your own needs.

 go ahead, ask



If you have questions or need advice on anything from where to eat to how to get over the bastard, just email your question to my advice email address. Am a doctor? I don’t even play one on TV, but people keep asking, so I might as well air it and share it.



  1. Well, first of all, I would say that you haven’t even been apart for a year…it takes a long time to get over and heal and grow from what you have been through.
    And even if you heal, the cracks will be there, but they will make you a more beautiful person in the long run. It easily took me 2 years to get over a 5 years marriage and I wasn’t truly ready to be who I am and be loved for me until 4.5 years after my divorce….so…time, it does take time.
    Also: Therapy. Find one. Go. You need it right now. You need someone who is on your side and who can help you heal.
    Lastly, your ex is an asshole. You deserve better. Focus on your beautiful kids. Remember, you = happy is the best revenge.

  2. Ugh. That’s a tough story. Well – I can give my perspective – having been married 13 years to – not a cheater- but an emotionally abusive as hell guy.

    When our break up finally happened, I was a combination of totally broken and totally elated. Broken, because no matter what – no matter who wants the divorce – no matter how bad the marriage is – divorce sucks. It breaks you down into little bits. Elated, because now I was in control of my own destiny and had the ability to raise my little family in a home of peace, stability and love (the darlings were 5, 7 and 8).

    So – I moved with the darlings into our own, safe nest…tucked them firmly under my wings, and healed. Took a long time. I rebuilt myself into the person I wanted to be rather than the person I had been. I shut down the nagging, doubting voices and ignored those who said I had to find another husband to ‘complete’ me. The babies were safe – and I regained strength, and forged a strong, independent life.

    It’s been 11 years now – and the darlings are strong, grown-up, self-reliant people who had my undivided attention, devotion and love. They have an example of a woman who doesn’t need a man, who didn’t put their little psyches and bodies at risk to satisfy my own yearning for my own fulfillment, and as we near the end of the chapter of them living at home (2 of them leave for college next month), I am proud to say that we’re a million times better off than we would have been if I had stayed with that rat bastard.

    So – my advice – hunker down. Protect the babies. Don’t date. Find your own center, satisfaction and happiness. Having your daughters grow up strong, independent women, who are cognizant of your strength as a mother and woman will be better than any man to argue with you, cheat on you and leave his dirty socks on the floor.

  3. My advice would be to focus on yourself, your girls, and your life, and take a break from your love life. I spent so much time trying to find the right person, and I only would be interested in the jerks or the unavailable. One day, I decided to work on being happier, and on having wonderful experiences, and my life changed a lot. I found my husband a year later, but honestly, it makes me so happy to know that I could be happy on my own. It will also be a great example for your girls on how you don’t need a man to be happy, on having self-esteem, and also, to be very selective when chosing a mate. All great lessons, don’t you think?

    I wish you and your girls all the very best!

  4. Oh, reader…he loved you so much that he cheated on you, lied to you, and then moved 600 miles away and you still hold out hope. Please, don’t take this as a slam but as sincere advice from someone whose self-esteem was once as rock-bottom as yours is – you don’t need advice from a blogger or her readers: you need counseling and you need to take the steps needed (which your counselor can help you with) to get your self-esteem out of the gutter, not just for yourself but for your girls, as well, so they see you as an example of how to love life, not pray for life to come find you.

  5. Not sure how you do it, Klein. But you get me every time. I can’t leave this blog of yours without one bit of insight… or a snort. One request: answer my advice question!!! (Please)

  6. Facebook ended my marriage. We fight, we make up. But when we fought, he sought comfort by reconnecting with his past. It was his security blanket, what fed his ego. Afterward, I now need to feed mine. Thanks for this advice, Stephanie.

  7. Good advice, Stephanie. It applies to so much more than relationships.

  8. Yes, Stephanie is right. You ARE a family, it IS happening for you.

    And I like this as well “….. hunker down. Protect the babies… Find your own center, satisfaction and happiness.”

    Do let us know how much better you are feeling after reading all this.

    Hug those babies, hug yourself.

  9. 14 years for me…walked out in April. Four months later, I am reconnecting with who I am. I’m free to be me, finally.

    For me, it’s not about finding another husband or someone to love me. I am learning how much I love myself. I’m alive. I am no longer suffocating beneath the rubble of a damaging relationship.

    I look in the mirror and see her,someone I love and respect, smiling back at me and THAT is my secret.

  10. Your self-esteem is crap because you take back someone that cheats on you. That’s saying “this is the best I can do.” So, stop. As hard as it is, you have to know that it’s just not an option, even if you want it to be one.

    Then start working on yourself. Lose weight if the weight bothers you. Get therapy. Take some classes in something that is interesting to you. Promise yourself that you wont date for one year so that you can totally devote yourself to making yourself happy and helping your girls adapt to their new life.

    The only real way to get over him is to realize he isn’t good enough for you, which will take time and self-esteem.

  11. OMGOSH!! I just got back to work and went to my favorite blog and saw this!!! I wrote this and she chose it to respond to…WOW. It’s been awhile since I wrote it…about a year i think and so much has changed/happend for us. I enrolled in school, lost a little weight and have found somebody that really cares about all of us. Thank you so much SK!! I love your writing and appreciate the advice from you and your readers and i know it’s been said before but why doesn’t 3 teens mom have her own blog? You should lady!! I read Steph’s comments just to see if you’re there!!

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