Suddenly you're single after years of marriage. This always results in a serious blow to the old ego of at least one of the persons involved. It's a traumatic experience - a time that's very difficult to live through - and a feeling that isn't easy to recover from - yet life does and must go on.
When divorce occurs, and you feel as though your life has been shattered, the first thing you should do is start leading the life of a single person immediately! You should force yourself to make a date at least once a week. Start noticing other people, join in the activities of the singles crowd, and get back into the swing of things.
Indeed, the sooner you start dating, even if it's only dinner with someone you work with, sooner the pain will subside. Basically, you should just out and not concern yourself with the "yes or no" possibilities of a sexual encounter.
It's most important however that you don't expect too much of yourself too soon. Generally it takes about two years for the victim of a divorce to get over the hurt and for most of the scars to heal. Anyone thinking or believing they're ready for any kind of permanent relationship in less time, is probably living in a world of make believe and heading for a repeat of past mistakes.
Numerous "brief" sexual encounters are the usual pattern of recently divorced persons. The are usually quite useful in rebuilding one's self-esteem. By the same token, extended periods of celibacy usually follow a couple of weeks or a month of feverish sexual activity. These times are also normal and useful in the overall healing process.
Often-times older persons suddenly find that achievement makes them attractive to the opposite sex. Prestige and age are attractive, but in divorced persons, they are very often an aphrodisiac. The bottom line is simply that younger people often have "affairs" with those older than themselves, but usually, they want "permanent partners" closer to their own age. In other words, prestige and age will get you sex, but it will very seldom bring you love.
As a newly divorced person, you'll probably experience several "transitional relationships." These are also a necessary part of your healing process, and though you may think you care a great deal about them at the time, it's best that you remember these are only temporary encounters with transitional partners. You needn't feel guilty about breaking off one of these relationships because you may very well be someone's transitional partner later on in your life.
Your best opportunities for meeting new friends and possible marriage partners are within the normal course of business and social events. It's also generally within your best interests to join in the activities of a local Singles Organization such as Parents Without Partners or Singles International. Then too, you should ask your friends and co-workers to introduce you to people they know that you might enjoy.
With your dates, you should avoid talking about your ex-spouse. If you feel you have to talk about your divorce, pick a special friend or attend some of the organized "rap sessions" for divorced persons in your area.
You should also avoid introducing your dates or new friends too quickly to your children. Such introductions too quickly can have innumerable adverse effects on everyone concerned.
You'll find that sexual freedom and less formal lifestyles have definitely changed the etiquette of dating over the last few decades. As an example, a man should not be surprised if after asking a woman out a few times, she asks him out. And a woman should not be hesitant to ask a man out for a backyard barbeque or even to a movie she'd like to see. Men should also realize that women make up their minds about sex more quickly these days than in years past. A woman of today generally isn't thought of as being a loose woman if she decides to sleep with a man on the first date.
Much of the romance and magic of the traditional courtship game still works. Soft music, candlelight, and good food are still very much in vogue. Even the grand gesture of an evening on the town in style or a spur of the moment trip to the beach or to a hideaway in the mountains.
Regardless of the pain, the bitterness, or exasperation, it's essential that you remember your children and continue to be a good parent. In fact, you should do all within your means to be a better parent than you may have been before the separation. This is because regardless of how they seem to be taking it, or what they do or don't show, divorce is more often than not harder on the children than on the parents. They usually become much more curious about your day-to-day routine, who you're seeing and your happiness.
Just remember, time and people will cure all your ills, and you will be happy again!
There is no greater emotional pain that can be inflicted upon a woman than the announcement by her husband that he wants a divorce.
There is no greater emotional pain that can be inflicted upon a man than the announcement by his wife that she wants a divorce.
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