Doubts About Ever Finding Another Mate

"I’m not getting any younger. Hey! What’s age got to do with it? Look at me, who would want me?" You are about to wake up and find out that there are plenty of good people out there waiting for someone like you! Don’t underestimate yourself!

Good Grief

You may want to turn to a support group now. Not interested? Before you dismiss the benefits of group support, do yourself a favor and take this even closer look at grief. Lucy in Peanuts may have made the phrase "Good Grief" famous, but she didn’t coin it. Experts on grief figured it out. They know what happens when the Lucy in us comes to the surface during these worst of times and the grieving process begins:

  • Shock

    The sudden realization that your marriage is over can shock you, even if the divorce was your idea. You may feel numb and mechanical, going through everyday tasks like a robot. Physical symptoms such as confusion and loss of appetite are also common.

  • Denial & Isolation

    If you are on the receiving end of the "I want a divorce", you may find yourself in a state of denial. You may know it, but you just can’t believe and won’t admit this is happening to you. You turn inward and retreat, curl up into the womb, become a social hermit. This is not good! Your best defense is to face it and talk about it as soon as possible. You are not responsible for his or her act of leaving. Your only responsibility is to accept and cope with the situation.

  • Anger

    After denial comes anger. This is normal and healthy. It means you’re moving ahead in the grieving process. It may also mean you are angry with yourself. Agreements will be hard to come by at this stage. Get a lawyer, a counselor or a mediator. Call your best friend and take a deep breath. It’s emotional crunch time and your decisions can make or break your future.

  • Guilt

    Few survivors of divorce don’t feel traces of guilt. "Should have, could have, would have" precede many of their thoughts. "If only..." Sound familiar? After your bout with anger, you’re bound to do some soul-searching: "Was it something I said?" "What could I have done differently to keep my relationship going?" "Maybe I didn’t try hard enough." These are common, ongoing quotes, and of little or no use. Move on now. Ask for help and don’t stay here too long by yourself. Guilt is self-punishment, and you need self-worth.

  • Depression

    One day it dawns on you: "It’s over." Depression is your companion now. It sits beside you, where your spouse or lover once kept you company. And it’s no surprise; your sadness is inevitable. It is normal to feel alone, afraid and abandoned. You may even feel hopeless, zapped of all your energy and crying constantly. You are grieving and it hurts. You might think, "I vowed: ’For better or for worse, till death do us part’ and I blew it." That’s grief talking.

For more information on grief and the grieving process, consult your local hospice or community mental health organization.

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NO PROMISE OF HAPPINESS -- Even when divorce ends a bad marriage gone terribly wrong, a divorce does not make people happy. Happiness, such as it is, is something that happens, if and when it happens, after the bad marriage ends, not because the bad marriage ends.

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