DG reader Devon wrote:
All divorced people are in a different place along the post-divorce road. I met someone wonderful last summer, attraction, chemistry, great sex, good conversation and we had fun. It lasted 3 months, I was ready for a companion, he was still recovering from the break up of his family and the stress of a recent divorce. After 4 years of being single I have a different outlook and want something different than a newly divorced man. I wonder if anyone has put a name to the stages of recovery from divorce, there must be similar things people go through. I would guess we all go through a rediscovery of (good) sex.
Some of the men I’ve dated might have been keepers if the timing had been better. Since the healing process is different for everyone the whole thing is rather unpredictable. Any thoughts?
Good point, Devon. Yes, I think there are stages of recovery after a the end of an important relationship. However, it can be hard to identify where you are in your own recovery, let alone determine someone else’s. Here are some steps on the path.
First, you need to grieve the loss of the relationship and your life with your ex. If you jump too soon into a new relationship, you aren’t fully available to be with a new person.
The path includes admitting how you contributed — even a bit — to the decline of the relationship, even if he treated you hideously. If you don’t look at why you got into or stayed in a dysfunctional relationship, you’re doomed to repeat the same pattern until you identify your part and work to heal it.
Once you are healed, you learn (if you hadn’t already) how to enjoy time by yourself without needing a man in your life. Once you are centered and happy, you can choose to open your heart to another and begin dating. If you start before this point, you will be frustrated and disappointed about the men who you attract to you. Even after this point, you may still attract men who are not good matches. But it’s all part of the process if you learn from it and don’t make judgments about “all men are jerks, cads, sex crazed, etc.”
What are your thoughts on the relationship recovery path? Are there steps missing in the above? What would you add? How do you know where you are on the path — or how to tell where someone else is?
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