Dealing With The Death of a Relationship After Divorce 
It Really Is Over - Part 4,  Divorce Tragedy or Opportunity

Harlan Jacobsen Copyright 2003

Even when both parties to a divorce want out, the divorce is still traumatic.

    It still hits you ..........

    ........right between the eyes.

Even if you feel the divorce was long over-due, when it finally happens you still feel a terrible sense of defeat.

    It brings shock, depression and a personal sense of loss.

At a death in the family or at any other trying time your friends rally around you.

    In a divorce they take sides or most ignore you because they don't know how to deal with it.

    What do they say - congratulations on your divorce - or do they say - I'm sorry about your divorce.

      They don't know - so they avoid you.

    Divorce is a private affair unless you are a movie star.

      Society should play no part.

Do not solicit friends to take sides.

    If they take your side they are doing you no good.

Some divorcees mistakenly reach for this allegiance as a life saver and they like to hear what a brute their husband was for leaving this lovely, wonderful, adorable wife for that call girl, model, or rich bitch.

  • Anybody that is seeing their former mate is the enemy.

  • Anyone being nice to their ex- is their enemy.

  • Avoid this battle lineup at all costs.

      Friends are to offer a shoulder to cry on and ears to listen but not to take sides.

        The concept of who was right and who was wrong or who failed whom has no place for social judgments.


        Divorce becomes more of a disaster in that when you need friends the most - you don't have them.

          You now need new friends.

        Most of all you need a security blanket friend.

          Your old friends are going to be of little value - .........

        ....... often making things worse by trying to get you back together again, or constantly irritating you by what your ex- said or did, etc., etc.

          A security blanket friend is one that can be of the same or opposite sex.

        One that calls and listens to you, and when you're alone has you over to their house.

          When you feel like dating they help you. meet a good prospect.

        Everybody in adjusting needs a security blanket friend, basically to always have somebody to talk to when you need help, they help you.

          When you have doubts, they give you self-confidence.

        When you feel weak, they share their strength with you.

          You need someone you can trust.

        Where are you going to find such a security blanket friend?

        This is one of the reasons for going to events and activities or functions such as PWP, support and other singles groups to develop just friends that you can count on.

          We cannot develop such a friend for you.

        You are going to have to do that yourself.

        If you want to have a friend - remember, be one.

          You have to have understanding people to talk to.

        Someone else that has been through the same thing and ideally someone that has solved and adjusted to most of the problems of becoming suddenly single is a likely candidate for such a friend.


          In colleges, they say that the highest suicide rate is among freshmen.

        They have been uprooted from a lifetime of family and well-established friends and find themselves in a strange place with no family and no ready-made friends.

          The adjustment period is highly traumatic.

        Many drop out - not because they fail academically.......
        ........ but because they just can't hack this intolerable aloneness.

          You are going through a similar experience of having to find and develop new single friends, people you can interact with.

        So, you will need to go out and associate with other singles, not so much to develop relationships with the opposite sex but singles of either sex to have as friends.

          You will find yourself making shameless, desperate calls to friends at times and even to your ex-.

        Best have plenty of friends and completely get the former mate - out of your system as soon as possible by eliminating all but essential contact.

        You will have times when you feel absolutely desperate, your stomach will feel like you are free-falling from a plane and your parachute won't open.

          Yet, you may be the world's most successful person in your field.

            You may be able to handle anything - business-wise - but
            you will still have a tremendous time being able to handle the pain
            when you lose somebody you want - but they don't want you.

          Maybe you were planning to leave them but they beat you to it.

            Nevertheless, it still hurts

              You will find yourself checking on them to see how they are doing without you.

          Any news of the ex's activities will be eagerly sought out - no matter how many steps or how big the chain of persons the news has gone through to get to you.

            You have to let go- recognize it is over.

          Turn off the blame-making machinery.
          Allow yourself a mourning period.

            Do not deny the reality that it is over.

            You will have to recover from separation shock and realize that it was not an amputation.

              You are still whole.

            Be by yourself for awhile and get the sobs over with, but do not try to deny your grief.

            As soon as you are tired of the tears bit.....
            ....... get yourself busy with something (anything).

              Get out by forcing yourself to get out even though you really don't feel like it yet.

            If you begin dating you may find yourself dating only the most attractive and desireable, calculating the effect it would have on your ex- if you happened to run into them.

              Move on to picking your dates strictly for companionship and pleasure and learn to leave your ex- completely out of the picture.

            There will be times when you have a relapse and wonder if you shouldn't have tried harder to make it work.

              Why should you try to do something you didn't want to do?

            You mulled it over and know you were unhappy for a long time before the divorce and you know you have made the right decision.

              Once again, no back-tracking, you are burning your bridges behind you and you are letting go of the past in order to get with the program of building a great new future.

            • You no longer deny the reality that it is over.

            • You will not resent your ex for not being there.

            • You will tune out your much as possible.

            • Consider it all water over the dam and you don't have time to dwell or be bothered by someone or something that has no part in your bright new future just over the horizon.

            You can now get on with the program of making life meaningful once again.

              True, you will undoubtedly have some relapses.

            You may fall into periods of hostility, guilt or even as far back as bewilderment, but you will not get locked in on these going back -less and less for shorter and shorter periods and finally not at all.

              You will have let go, you will eliminate the pull of the past and move on now into the most enriching period of your life and become a happier, stronger individual, a special somebody with your own identity.

            You have learned to come to terms with the past.
            You have recognized what is self- defeating behaviour and you are now changing

              You are now improving on the past and taking the time and making whatever effort is necessary to create a fuller life.

            You are now enroute to make life meaningful once again.

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