Archive for the 'Divorce Recovery' Category

Divorce Recovery Means Pain and Suffering

Friday, August 23rd, 2013

Even when divorce ends a bad marriage gone terribly wrong, a divorce does not make people happy. Pain and suffering are natural and inescapable consequences of any divorce. Even after the divorce, waves of pain and suffering shoot through consciousness. Something hurts, but the memory remains. Sadness and anger, fear and anxiety, sorrow and denial — all race like alternating current, back and forth.

In the face of this, divorce recovery is a do-it-yourself project. Divorce recovery means acceptance and the ability to go forward. The ability to keep a perspective, a sense of humor (even a dark one), but in the end people recover by putting one foot in front of the other and living.

After a divorce, getting through the day often seems no small accomplishment. There is no single right way to survive a divorce; there is no universal right way to start over. A person does it by doing it. Even with help such as counseling and support groups, the surviving divorce is a self-help project. The ancient Greeks believed that the reward of suffering is experience, and so it is with divorce.

Stages of Divorce Recovery

Many counselors agree that a divorce takes a person through stages very similar to those described by Elizabeth Kübler-Ross, in her landmark On Death and Dying, including denial and isolation, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.

Dr. Kübler-Ross pioneered methods in the support and counseling of personal trauma, grief and grieving, associated with death and dying, and she also improved the understanding and practices in relation to bereavement and hospice care.

The five steps she identified as the progress associate with death and dying overlay neatly with the grief and recovery associated with divorce. In denial a person refuses to accept facts, information and reality (“I can’t believe this is happening”). Anger follows denial. Bargaining sometimes means making hypothetical deals (“Can we still be friends?”). Depression prepares a person for grieving. And finally acceptance.

While Dr. Kübler-Ross’s focused on death and bereavement, her grief cycle model offers a useful perspective for understanding, not only our own but also other people’s pain and suffering in the face of personal trauma and change, such as divorce.

“Time,” as Thomas Jefferson said in a letter written in connection with the death of his wife, “is the Great Physician.” The same is true for divorce.

Safe Sex After Long-Term Marriages

Friday, August 24th, 2012

Most people don’t want to jump right from divorce into another committed relationship. There is nothing wrong with this, but for those who come out of long-term marriages seem take it for granted that just because they have not spent years sleeping around they are safe from sexually transmitted diseases. When they begin to date and enjoy the company of the opposite sex, casual dating leads to casual sex because older divorced folks are dating older divorced folks. There is a dangerous assumption that just because someone is older and was in long- term marriage that there is no need to use protection when engaging in a sexual relationship.

Women past child bearing years are especially at risk for sexually transmitted diseases because they feel that since they can no longer become pregnant that a condom isn’t needed. They fail to realize that it isn’t about becoming pregnant. When a person sleeps with someone, he or she is sleeping with every partner his or her partner had.

Casual sex is unsafe at any age. In a survey conducted by the University of Chicago it was found that nearly 60 percent of unmarried women ages 58 to 93 said they didn’t use a condom. On Ohio University stud found hat about 27 percent of HIV-infected men and 35 percent of HIV-infected women over the age of 50 sometimes have sex without using condoms.

It pays to play it safe according to those statistics.

Five Steps to Happiness After Divorce

Monday, August 29th, 2011

“To achieve a positive outlook and keep the emotional baggage from undermining… life after divorce,” one divorce consultant and educator advises a five-step program. Deborah Moskovitch, the author of The Smart Divorce: Proven Strategies and Valuable Advice from 100 Top Divorce Lawyers, Financial Advisers, Counselors and Other Experts, suggests these five steps:

1. Acknowledge that you are grieving and deal with the emotions.

2. Put your children’s best interests first.

3. Learn about your finances – develop a monthly budget, understand your assets and liabilities.

4. Think about how you would like your life to look like after divorce and start doing some of those things now, to help you get there.

5. Prepare for the friend dynamics. It’s not about you, but how friends react to divorce itself.