Divorced But Not Over It?

The divorce may be final but is the left over pain and anger still eating you up? Here are ten tips to help to process the hurt and get on with your life.

1. Physical Damage Prolonged anxiety, stress or agony of any kind hurts you physically, not just emotionally. Get ye to the track and run off the hurt, lift weights and scream, dance until you sweat. Eat right and drink water, not booze. Give your body a break. Self destruction will not make the relationship recover. If you are losing it or feeling suicidal, ask your doctor for antidepressants for a few months.

2. Think in Terms of Success If you managed to have a relationship, any relationship, even if it ended badly, at least you have known passion, partnership and perhaps, parenthood. All that may include pain, too. Would you rather have never felt anything for anyone?

3. Save the Children Are you trying to continue to be a good parent but your ex-partner would rather eradicate you? That situation may push desperate panic buttons. Remember the story about Solomon and the two mothers. Let the child live in peace and stay as involved as you possibly can. When the child is around ten, they see the truth. Just give consistent, unconditional love and time will do the rest. Never make the mistake of screaming at your children out of frustration with your partner or making the children the go-between.

4. Hot Anger Hot anger is, well, hot and not that different from passion. If you are still embroiled in someone else’s life and what they say or do, you must still care. If a stranger said or did similar things would it bother you? Probably not. Admit you still care and get some professional help processing the left over love that is masquerading as hate.

5. Blind to the Next While you are pouting in the corner, your perfect match may be watching you. If you are still all tangled up in your old dead relationship, you will not notice. Double loss.

6. Get Out of Town Remove yourself from triggers that jumpstart the feelings all over again. Take a trip to Rome or Baltimore, anywhere that is new and different to help put a relationship crisis in perspective. It is only a relationship. As much as it may hurt right now, it is not life-threatening HIV or cancer. You will recover.

7. Numbers Reality It is true that of all marriages in America, 50% of first marriages end in divorce and 67% of second and 74% of third marriages also end in divorce, according to Jennifer Baker of the Forest Institute of Professional Psychology. The distribution as shown on is as follows:

Age at marriage for those who divorce in America



Under 20 years old


20 to 24 years old


25 to 29 years old


30 to 34 years old


35 to 39 years old


Relationships are much more difficult to hold together in this time of stress and easy divorce, especially if you were too young.

8. Take Responsibility No matter how awful your relationship may be now, you made a long series of choices that have brought you to this place. Take responsibility for your fifty percent of all the decisions and also the problems. The blame game is immature and fruitless. Learn from your mistakes and try harder next time by selecting a more compatible partner or by learning to be a better partner.

9. Long Term If you share a child, you will also share grandchildren and great- grandchildren at weddings, graduations and birthdays. Animosity for the past will affect the lives of your future descendants as long as you live or as long as you hold a grudge. Sweet innocents will love Grandma and Grandpa and your venom at their parties will poison them. Not fair to the little kids. If you remain in the same town, your friends and co-workers will have to compensate for your botched relationship and inadequacy to mend hurt feelings. Supervisors may read that as inadequacy to resolve other issues and pass you by for the next promotion. Like rings from a stone in a pond, the bad vibes will spread all around you.

10. Time is Short

Your life is ticking away. Wouldn’t you rather be smiling, sailing, hiking, discovering new miracles of science or gardening, rather than making war?

©2009, Molly Barrow

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Dr. Molly Barrow holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and is the author of the new book, Matchlines: A revolutionary New Way of looking at relationships and making the right choices in love. She is an authority on relationship and psychological topics, a member of the American Psychological Association and a licensed mental health counselor. Dr. Molly has appeared as an expert on NBC, PBS, KTLA, and in O Magazine, Psychology Today, Newsday,,, Women's Health and Women's World. Please visit: or Take the new relationship compatibility test, Match Lines Systems for Successful Relationships for Singles, Couples and Business at Molly has a radio program, Your Relationship Answers at

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