Advice For The Divorced Man or Woman: Ending A Romance

What You Say, How You Feel When A Post-Divorce Romance Ends
by Gene Griessman, Ph.D.

The World of the Formerly Married, that wonderful classic from the sixties by Morton M. Hunt, has some poignant insights about how divorced people feel when a relationship ends.

There’s often the feeling, Why did this happen to me?  Why can’t I make love last?  It’s not uncommon at all for divorced individuals to feel this way, that what is happening is unique, or at least very rare.

Actually, from a sociological and psychological point of view, the world of the formerly married is a fairly predictable place.  With that thought in mind, shares this except from Morton M. Hunt to tell you that you are not alone.

“Formerly married people usually have a brief flare-up of the old separation symptoms—depression, insomnia, loneliness, and the like—at the end of a love affair. Offsetting the new sense of failure, however, is the recognition that they have come through it before, adjusted, learned to make their way, and found new partners and new love.

“The depression and misery are therefore short-lived, compared to those which followed the end of the marriage. And still there are many things that remind them and stab them to the heart…But most of the Formerly Married know how to live with all this, and recuperate fairly fast.

“Indeed, after the first feelings of anger or hurt have subsided, they are very likely to have a tolerant and kindly attitude toward each other, and to speak well of each other to mutual friends. They have learned through experience that people whose love does not last are not so much guilty or imperfect as they are victims of their own needs, and that the needs of two adult people seldom dovetail perfectly.” 1966:195

So, what do you say when you have come to the end?  Don’t say anything to your former best friend or love that’s so hurtful it will be remembered forever.  The anger will eventually burn itself out, and you will be sorry for anything you say that’s reckless or cruel.  And it won’t do any good to say anything nasty.  Do you think your angry words will effect a lasting change for the better? So don’t burn the bridge down.  It’s one thing for a relationship to end, but quite another to make a lifelong enemy.

It’s also a good time for self-talk.  Whenever the pain rolls in, say to yourself, “It will soon pass.  It will soon pass.”   That’s good self-talk for any kind of depression or grief, and it certainly is appropriate when a relationship breaks apart.

—Gene Griessman is an award-winning professional speaker, actor, and consultant. His video “Lincoln on Communication” is owned by thousands of corporations, libraries, and government organizations. He has spoken at conventions all over the world. To learn more about his presentations, contact us at 404-435-2225 or Learn more about Gene Griessman at and

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