Q: I’m angry at my ex-husband for not sharing our financial resources and making me go to court.
A: Just because someone is an adult doesn’t mean he or she is emotionally mature. Expecting him to be fair leads to disappointment and more resentment, as you’re dealing with someone who is about 13 right now. Anger can provide good fuel to take action, and then it needs to be released. This is important for your health as illness results from blocks and stuck, repressed emotions. Let your attorney deal with your ex, think about the good he contributed to your life–such as your children, and plan fun activities where you can meet new people each week. Do a separation ritual, perhaps go to a creek and throw in rocks representing your completed divorce, then find a token from nature to take home representing your new path of joy and expansion.
Q: It’s been a year since my divorce, but I’m still in tears and feel like I’ve been discarded and lack value.
A: Would you take him back if came knocking at your door? I don’t think so. The break up of a family with kids is a kind of death and one needs to go through the stages of grieving spelled out by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross. We all have tapes starting from early adolescence on about the humiliation of being dumped, which feed into this separation. However, I think you’ll realize you’re relieved to be free of the tension and it was a blessing in disguise.
Q: I’m recently divorced but I’m painfully jealous about my wife’s dating other men. I see guy’s cars at her house when I drive by.
A: In her book about the physiology of emotions (The Molecules of Emotion), cell biologist Candace Pert, Ph.D., says there are no bad emotions as long as they are acknowledged and allowed to flow on. Try acknowledging the feelings as they come up and also do physical exercise like walking or cycling to help them move on. You can also try “cognitive restructuring,” thinking about what the positive lessons you’ve learned and what you can apply in your interaction in adventures meeting new women. Think of this as a time for you to play rather than thinking about what she’s doing. Have fun being a single guy again and keep your focus on the present rather than the past. It’s water under the bridge.