uninvolved that you could easily dismiss a love relationship? So, bear
the unavoidable grief for a few weeks, then get on with building a
It is commonly said that the cause of a break up or divorce is
shared, that it's 50-50. That isn't necessarily so. It may be largely one
person's responsibility--their needs, personality, irrational ideas, or
emotional problems. It may be neither's responsibility; they may
simply have different interests, values, opinions, life-style, etc. which
are no one's fault. You don't need to assign blame, but it would be
wise to understand what happened so the same problems can be
avoided in the future. (Young children often blame themselves for their
parents' divorce, how sad. Shaver and Rubenstein  suggest this
results in self-doubts and shaky relationships many years later.)
How can you help yourself through the loss of love? Stearns
(1984) deals with getting through a crisis. Many books specifically
address marriage problems (see chapter 10) and divorce or breaking
up (Fisher, 1981; Bloomfield, Colgrove & McWilliams, 1977; Gettleman
& Markowitz, 1972; Kranitz, 1987; Krantzler, 1972; Krantzler, 1977;
McKay, Rogers, Blades, & Gosse, 1984; Phillips & Judd, 1978; Weiss,
1975). Make use of one or two. Broder (1988) focuses more on coping
as a single adult after a divorce. Books for children are by Gardner
(1971), Franke (1983), and Richards and Willis (1976). Bernstein &
Rudman (1988) review several books for children suffering through a
separation or loss. The pain of divorce on adults and children is dealt
with more extensively in chapter 10.
Some advice by parts of the problem
Level I (behavior): Find a friend or two to talk to; really pour out
your feelings. Accept the support offered by friends and family.
Immediately put away all visible pictures, cards, clothes, anything that
reminds you of the lost lover. You don't need constant reminders.
If you are still "down" after 3 or 4 weeks of post-divorce grieving,
find more things to do, go places, have some fun. Some people want
to avoid the opposite sex for a while, but other people find that the
best way to forget an old love is to go looking for a better love. When
you are stronger, say 4 to 6 weeks after separating, take all the
reminders of the former partner, even the out-of-sight ones, have a
good cry, say goodbye to them, and throw or store them away
permanently. It is time to start a new life.
Level II (emotions): See the last section of this chapter and
chapter 12. Desensitization or a "depression chair" may lessen the
pain of remembering the past.
Level III (skills): Social skills, assertiveness, and decision-
making skills may be helpful (chapter 13).