With nearly 50 per cent of marriages ending in divorce, there is no shortage of advice to encourage people to try again in the quest for true love.
What nothing prepares you for is the utter devastation that a divorce generates.
This is even more the case when there are children involved and the estranged couple see each other regularly and must co-parent.
A client said: “The pain of a divorce is just like the one experienced with a death. The difference is that the corpse keeps popping up.”
A divorce is a death of some sort. It’s the death of the dream of a life together, the end of projects once shared. It is often the end of a family and the end of living standards or status.
It is not uncommon for people who are divorced not to be invited to dinner parties. Divorced women can be viewed as dangerous, preying on friends’ husbands. People tend to move in similar circles so married couples will socialise with married friends. A friend who finds themselves suddenly single, especially if not out of choice, may find that invites don’t happen. They are a reminder of the frailty of relationships.
People deal with a divorce in different ways. Some jump into a new relationship straight away, others are put off permanently and can’t bring themselves to trust another partner, and some take time out to lick their wounds. There is no right way to do things, but it helps to take time to mourn the loss of the relationship.
True friends and family will offer solace and companionship, but also allow for time alone. Many people say that in an effort to keep the relationship going, they lost track of who they used to be, their dreams and passions. Time alone can give us the opportunity to find who we used to be and to be able to set new goals for our future.
Anna Dallavalle is a counsellor working with individuals and couples and has a private practice in Morpeth. For information visit www.steppingstonesne.co.uk