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3 things I wish I knew about those first relationships after divorce

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Eighteen months after my marriage ended, I jumped into a heady, sexually intense year-long relationship with a fellow writer and parent who was 20 years older than I was. In hindsight, it was no surprise it ended — his kids were grown, mine were tiny, our lives were at different points. But that did not make me love him any less, and did nothing to tamper the absolute devastation that pummeled me when we broke up.

Even months after we split, Sundays when my kids are with their dad and I would have otherwise spent with my ex-boyfriend, I instead engaged in unseemly behavior like walking around the streets of Manhattan while bawling uncontrollably, listening to John Legend on a loop, and reading the Wikipedia page on Carrie and Mr. Big.

I was a steaming-hot mess, deeply in a painful heartbreak like I’d never experienced — even more than what I endured in my divorce in many ways.

Not only was all this embarrassing, it was also incongruous with the events at hand. Something else was at play.

It took me more than five years of blogging about single mothers and connecting here and on social media with literally hundred of thousands of moms who are single by way of divorce, choice, separation, or other, to really understand what was happening to me.

Turns out, this pain is specific to that first post-divorce/relationship breakup, and it is universally brutal (but worth it).

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Here are three things I wish I knew about dating after divorce:

1. First thing: It can be intense 

That first big relationship after divorce is BIG, and DEEP and very sexually intense. 

2. Second thing: It can hurt 

The second lesson I learned about dating after divorce is that first relationship HURTS LIKE HELL when it ends. 

3. Third thing: It can be fun

Final big dating-after-divorce lesson: Dating is new and fresh and fun and exciting at this phase of life. You invent the rules! Try anything you like! 

Here’s what I wish I knew about first relationships after divorce:

Understanding your first relationship after divorce

What are the stages of a relationship after divorce?

After a divorce, relationship stages are similar but different than other relationships:

  • Stage 1: infatuation + intense sex
  • Stage 2: love 
  • Stage 3: turmoil — post-divorce relationships can be really hard, especially if there is co-parenting involved
  • Stage 4: (more typically) heartbreak
  • Stage 5: (sometimes) lifelong partnership 

Does the first relationship after divorce last?

It seems to be a universal experience: When that first relationship after divorce ends it just kills. When that relationship ended, it hurt like a motherfucker! Holy shit did that hurt. Ouchie!! Owwie ow ow ow! Mommy! Make it stop! Please, ow ow owie ouchie ow I can’t take any more!!!

It took me a long time, and a lot of interaction with other, divorced people to figure out why post-divorce rebounds are akin to your body dripping with infected hangnails while, at the same time, a rusty scythe strikes your guts. Again. And again. And again.

Even more than an ending love, all that pain and torment is really about contending with unresolved heartbreak from divorce. You are likely as I was: needing to go through that rebound and the subsequent pain. It served as a critical point of reference through which I dealt with the dissolution of my marriage.

Divorce often robs us of the opportunity to mourn the romantic relationship itself because there is so much practical and logistical hell to contend with at the time of the split. Including:

Is the first relationship after divorce doomed?

No! Not all first relationships after divorce end. But most do. That’s OK!

5 tips for dating after divorce

Why are relationships so hard after divorce?

Post-divorce relationships can be hard for a number of reasons:

  • You and/or your partner are nursing broken hearts and trust issues from past relationships
  • Lots of divorced people are not good at relationships to start with 
  • Co-parenting can be great, but also messy with a step-parent in the mix 
  • One or both of you may need to have some fun first — maybe casual encounters, FWB, younger-man/older-woman dating, or any kind of adult kink.
  • Parties involved are older, more set in their ways, and have more years under their belts to accumulate baggage and emotional wounds 

Read reviews for Adult Friend Finder, Seeking.com, and CraigsList Personals.

First relationship and sex after divorce

After my post-divorce rebound, I needed another rebound relationship. I happened to be his first post-divorce rebound relationship. I couldn’t believe my good fortune, especially after fear that I would never find love after divorce.

My first serious relationship after divorce

Me: “I’ve been thinking about how the first time you sleep with someone, you’re not really sleeping with that person — you’re really sleeping with all the other people you’ve had sex with before them.”

Him: “That’s right. You’re really sleeping with your point of reference.”

In essence, before you get to know a new lover’s body and preferences — as well as how your own body and preferences fit with that person — each of us is really just sorting through all of the bodies and preferences that came before in order to truly enjoy current company.

Relationships are no different. And this analogy holds most true in a rebound relationship.

There has been plenty written on the perils of the rebound. The old maxim suggests that the recently heart-broken is too angry/vulnerable/hurt to be truly open to a new love. The rebounder is at risk of attaching too quickly to the wrong person, and those dating a rebounder are subject to wandering into the line of fire of scatter-shot devotion.

I’ve written exhaustively about my own post-marriage rebound with a man who was also recently divorced. It lasted a full year and was thrilling, wonderful and dysfunctional.

When that relationship ended, it hurt like a motherfucker! Holy shit did that hurt. Ochie!! Owwie ow ow ow! Mommy! Make it stop! Please, ow ow owie ouchie ow I can’t take any more!!! Even more than an ending love, all that pain and torment was really about contending with unresolved heartbreak from my divorce. But I needed to go through that rebound and the subsequent pain. It served as a critical point of reference through which I dealt with the dissolution of my marriage.

Falling in love too soon after divorce

But no matter how much I tried to stay true to my belief that anything is possible in love, there was no escaping that I am three years out of my marriage while he is a mere three weeks. This guy’s giddy openness about starting life anew reminded me of just how I felt at that juncture.

Divorce rates for second and third marriages

I also sensed a vulnerability and neediness that was woefully familiar — in this man I could see myself two years ago when I, too, first ventured into post-divorce dating. It evoked being on a third date with my own rebound boyfriend. Anxiously, across the table in a dimly lit West Village restaurant, I stammered: “Are you dating anyone else? Because I’m not.” My barely salvaged heart could barely stand the risk of being dinged yet again.

Today, I feel differently about emotional risk, heartbreak and dating. On the one hand, bring it on! You don’t get to the good stuff in relationships without putting yourself out there emotionally. But now I don’t feel quite as vulnerable and needy. I am feeling strong and free and optimistic about love in a different, more grounded way — one that allows me to see obvious love landmines before I enthusiastically dance on one. As such, I couldn’t figure out how to make my own phase of divorce jibe with that of my recent amour.

So in a breakup email exchange, I shared more or less what I said here. I added that I hoped we could stay connected in some way, keep open the possibility of finding each other in other phases of our journeys. What I got in response was one of the most touching compliments I’ve received in a very long time. It said:

“I can’t think of anyone I would rather have lost my divorce virginity to.”

What to know about dating while going through a divorce

Can you find true love after divorce?

Answer: Yes.

One data point: Me.

I separated from my husband when I was 33. I was pregnant and had a toddler. A year and a half later I started to date. I dated like a maniac and had a blast meeting all kinds of wonderful, mediocre and weird men. Tons of sex, fell in love once or twice, made some new friends and a bunch of stories. Three years ago I fell in love with a wonderful man who loves me, loves my kids, and wants to spend his life with me.

I’m not special. I’m a little fat, pretty loud, frequently grumpy and fickle.

Is love different after divorce?

Love is different after divorce just like love is different after any major life experience. 

Love after divorce can be more intense if you are coming off of years of a loveless, unhappy or sexless marriage. You may appreciate what you have now compared with your spouse. 

Love can be more complicated if either party is still dealing with their divorce — logistically, legally or emotionally. Any kids in the mix can also make things more wonderful — seeing your new partner love and care for your kids, and vice versa — as  well as messier as you try to parent together.

Dating a widower: 6 things you need to know

Should you get back together with an ex after a breakup?

Lots of people do, with a lot of success. Here are reasons not to get back together with an ex after breakup:

  • You want totally different things and you believe you will change him.
  • You want totally different things and you are ready to make major, soul-crushing compromises to make it work.
  • Abuse.
  • You know in your heart is wrong but you’re so lonely. Or horny.
  • You tell yourself you’ll just hook up with no feelings involved.
  • You’re miserable with him, if comfortable.

Bottom line: First relationships after divorce can be tough, and enter them with your eyes wide open

You’re going to date, have sex and maybe even fall in love — go for it! But you are older, maybe wiser, maybe more broken, and your life and your partner’s life are more complicated than before. Enjoy — and watch out for red flags.

What are the stages of a relationship after divorce?

After a divorce, relationship stages are similar but different than other relationships:
– Stage 1: infatuation + intense sex
– Stage 2: love 
– Stage 3: turmoil — post-divorce relationships can be really hard, especially if there is co-parenting involved
– Stage 4: (more typically) heartbreak
– Stage 5: (sometimes) lifelong partnership 

Does the first relationship after divorce last?

You are likely as I was: needing to go through that rebound and the subsequent pain. It served as a critical point of reference through which I dealt with the dissolution of my marriage.

Is the first relationship after divorce doomed?

No! Not all first relationships after divorce end. But most do. That’s OK!

Why are relationships so hard after divorce?

Post-divorce relationships can be hard for a number of reasons:
– You and/or your partner are nursing broken hearts and trust issues from past relationships
– Lots of divorced people are not good at relationships to start with 
– Co-parenting can be great, but also messy with a step-parent in the mix 
– Parties involved are older, more set in their ways, and have more years under their belts to accumulate baggage and emotional wounds 

Can you find true love after divorce?

Answer: Yes.
One data point: Me.

Is love different after divorce?

Love is different after divorce just like love is different after any major life experience.

Wealthysinglemommy.com founder Emma Johnson is an award-winning business journalist, activist, author and expert. A former Associated Press reporter and MSN Money columnist, Emma has appeared on CNBC, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, NPR, TIME, The Doctors, Elle, O, The Oprah Magazine. Winner of Parents magazine’s “Best of the Web” and a New York Observer “Most Eligible New Yorker," her #1 bestseller, The Kickass Single Mom (Penguin), was a New York Post Must Read. As an expert on divorce and gender, Emma presented at the United Nations Summit for Gender Equality and multiple state legislature hearings. More about Emma's credentials.

246 Comments

My story, met my ex when I was 13, married at 20, had 3 boys, got divorced at 52 right before our 31st wedding anniversary. I wanted the divorce due to lack of respect and partnership. I have been working on myself by going back to school, and learning to love myself again.
My problem is, and I know this sounds childish and selfish, and here goes the but, he has started dating and for some reason it gets my upset, not the dating but that someone else has taken my place even though I don’t want him back. Really, I don’t want him back. My emotional self feels like all those years meant nothing and I can be so easily replaced. It’s gets so confusing for me at times because I love my life right now. I am school, I have great friends and I am starting to regain my confidence that I did not have very much of. So WHY do I give a s–t!

It gets you upset for the following reasons;

1) He finally has a woman who gives him UNCONDITIONAL SEX and AFFECTION;

2) You lost control over Him via withholding sex and affection.

3) Your next relationships will be the same; You get mad, withhold sex and He gets sex elsewhere.

My Name is ELLIOT CHLOE from USA. I never believed in Spells or Magics until I met this special spell caster called DR FRED.. The man i wanted to marry left me 3 months to our wedding ceremony and my life was upside down.he was with me for 4 years and i really love him so much..he left me for another
woman with no reasons..when i called him, he never picked up my calls and he don’t want to see me around him…so,when i told the man what happened. he helped me to do some readings,and after the readings he made me to realize that the other woman has done some spells over my Husband and that is the reason why he left me..he told me he will help me to cast a spell to bring him back. At first i was skeptical but i just gave it a try…In 4 days, My Husband called me himself and came to me apologizing..I cant believe he can ever come back to me again but now i am happy he’s back and we are married now and we live as a happy family..Am posting this to the forum if anyone needs the
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I feel like I am going trough this now. My boyfriend is going through his divorce and I don’t feel like I am coping well with it. He has a child with his wife and they were separated about a year before I came on the seen, I am his first gf since his wife cheated on him and left him to live with the guy she cheated on him with. We have been together for about 8 months and now my bf has the papers and is ready to sign them.We rent a house together and have his child throughout the week and then goes back to her mom, so I guess we moved pretty fast but with our situation at the time it was only so his child had stability that we started living together. I am now worried that after his divorce he might not feel the same. He tells me he loves me and that we will be OK but I just dont know.

I know this post was years ago, but thank you for writing it. I cut off my engagement two months before my wedding, ending a 7 year relationship of living with my ex (might have well have been a divorce, a house, our furniture, dogs, etc were all involved). Then I met a man months later who I thought was the total package. It was storybook, he was everything I would have imagined for my perfect man and more, he filled in the blanks that my fiance had always left out,and some. I fell in love quick and hard….until months later when I asked one evening what time he wanted to get dinner and he told me that he’d lied to me about where he was that past weekend, he’d been with his ex, was still in love with her and was moving across the country at the end of the week…but I was “AMAZING” and he was “so so sorry”. It’s taken me down so hard that I’ve contemplated looking into antidepressants. Thanks for this, at least I may not be alone in what I’m experiencing, and there may be more to it than I’ve just lost the actual “one”.

After being in relationship with him for 7 years,he broke up with me, I did everything possible to bring him back but all was in vain, I wanted him back so much because of the love I have for him, I begged him with everything, I made promises but he refused. I explained my problem to someone online and she suggested that I should rather contact a spell caster that could help me cast a spell to bring him back but I am the type that never believed in spell, I had no choice than to try it, I mailed the spell caster, and he told me there was no problem that everything will be okay before three days, that my ex will return to me before three days, he cast the spell and surprisingly in the second day, it was around 4pm. My ex called me, I was so surprised, I answered the call and all he said was that he was so sorry for everything that happened, that he wanted me to return to him, that he loves me so much. I was so happy and went to him, that was how we started living together happily again. Since then, I have made promise that anybody I know that have a relationship problem, I would be of help to such person by reffering him or her to the only real and powerful spell caster who helped me with my own problem and who is different from all the fake ones out there. Anybody could need the help of the spell caster He also help me to win lottery, his email: [email protected] hotmail .com
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Hello friends! My Name is Bridget Harrison, i have had a lot about Dr Amigo and his good works in bringing back lost relationships and restoring businesses, but i never believe in spell casters to get back my husband who left me and three kids over nine months ago. so a good friend of mine introduced me to Dr Amigo spell just because my condition was so bad and the responsibilities on my head were more than me. my husband left me for another woman just because i don’t have a male child for him. so i email Dr Amigo and told him everything, he told me not to worry that my husband will come back and i will have a male child for him. he only told me to believe in him that after casting the spell my husband will come back immediately and beg for forgiveness. Dr Amigo actually did it for me and my husband came back to me within three days. i am very happy and all thanks goes to Dr Amigo. I promised Dr Amigo that i will share this testimony to every one in the world if he make me to have a male child for my husband. and he also did it, as I’m sharing this testimony to every one out here that am with my new baby boy. Now i am the happiest woman on earth because Dr Amigo restored my marriage with 100%. For more info about him type “Dr Amigo the online spell caster” on Google to see more of his article. He can also help in the followings, Urgent spell, Return of ex love spell, Weight loss spell, Court case spell, luck shine/lottery spell, Office promotion spell, Death/Revenge spell.

This is all so true, and thank you everyone for sharing. Its valentines day and I’m sitting here feeling all these same emotions. Its good to know I’m not alone in this pain or in making mistakes,

My situation is a little different, and I am seeking advice.

Me: I am long divorced from a dysfunctional marriage, and have had two several years long relationships since then. I am well healed, and haven’t been looking for anyone new — very happy with my life.

Him: Then, remarkably, a man came to my garage sale and he kindled a huge spark in me. Our connection is remarkable. It was love in bloom for several months. I felt incredibly lucky. Then he was diagnosed with a heart defect and told he would have to have open heart surgery. (He is 65.) He “lost his mind” then, facing mortality, and dumped me by text to take up with a woman who is an avid hiker and bicycler who would push him in that activity. He told me he had met her last but still wanted to keep OUR strong connection. Oy, the pain. HOWEVER, we continued to see each other as friends and he continued to be inclined to kiss me and engage in a little necking.

Her: He met her a little over a year ago. She was in a long, long marriage, and had dated very little prior to marrying. Her adult daughter was dying of a rare disease. “My man” was kind, and supportive to her, and told her he would be there for her. She took that as a commitment.

Now: Many complications. His mother died, on top of the post surgery trauma. I have been loving and supportive and a constant comfort to him for many months now. He knows how much I care for him, and I know that he cares for me. And yet he stopped seeing me for a time because (he said) he was too aroused by me, and felt incapable of clearing his head right now. Couldn’t hold my hand; makes him want to kiss me; can’t kiss me because we will be “too close”. He invited me to go to Europe with him next year, but he is afraid to hurt her. She does not know that he is seeing me. He came to me for comfort on the day before he buried his mother, and we also see each other once a week or so and communicate regularly. We openly acknowledge the electricity between us, and have plans for common projects and interests.

Back to her: It appears that she was recruiting “my man” before her divorce was final. And, remember, she had dated very little before this marriage of almost thirty years — a marriage that turned dysfunctional because she devoted herself to their daughter’s illness. There was no affection for some time. I worry about this rebound-worse-than-divorce phenomenon. I want to find some way to preclude that from happening here. She really is setting herself up for enormous pain.

So….here is where my story is related to this message board. I am concerned about this woman, actually. I know, and have certainly learned, that going from a long dysfunctional marriage into a relationship immediately is not what a woman should do. She should get her head together, find herself, and heal for a couple of years before thinking of finding a man.

And yes, of course, I want her out of the picture. I want the “love in bloom” fully restored, because it was prematurely halted yet it’s still there for both of us. I saw him yesterday for coffee — the affection is deep. I guess I’m just writing to ask for opinions.

You are trying to control a situation that is not yours to control. If he wanted to be with you romantically, he would be. He wants to be with her. I’m sorry for your loss, but it is time for you to move on.

It’s, funny because I was searching the Web to see if I could find an article if it was possible for a rebound relationship to rekindle. After my divorce of 14 years, I didn’t want to date, for different reasons, but ultimately I just wasn’t ready. When I found out my ex was seeing multiple men, my mentality was “I’ll show her”. I did the online dating thing and it was brutal. I was totally unprepared for the dating world. I begged for my ex to come back, and she wouldn’t have it. So the very next day I went to a speed dating event.

The women were beautiful, and had strong communication skills. Almost all of them were a big upgrade from the women (my ex) I was begging and crying to come back to me the previous night. So naturally I thought for sure none of them would want anything to do with me. To my surprise, several of them were, including the women I was most interested in. We corresponded, then dated. I felt like a teenager again, always giddy. Here I was just looking for some “fun” but I had real emotions for this women developing. It scared the hell out of me. About two months into this rebound, she became more distant, then things would be great again. Hot and cold if you will. After the 3rd month it was over. It hurt, but I didn’t think much of it. I told myself “it was only 3 months, you’ll get over it in a few weeks. Which turned to months, a year, and then here I am now, 4 years later. She is still on my mind.

I’ve dated other women since, and they just don’t compare. I wonder if I’ll ever move on, and I’ve given it a valiant effort. But my situation is I think about her, and I wonder if she thinks about me. Now Valentines day is around the corner, and my feminine side is rearing its ugly head out, and I want to send her flowers. I don’t want to creep her out and make her think I’m stalking her (lol), so I rationalize I’ll send them as a secret admirer (again thinking like a teenager ).

Now that I’m removed from the situation and not blinded with emotion. I realize that I was also her rebound . We were in a mutual rebound relationship.

I think part of the reason she is also on my mind is because there wasn’t any real closure, it was just a text late at night when I was asleep, followed by ignoring me.

I would very much like to be with this incredible women again. I know it’s wishful thinking, but I’ll probably continue to look for this “can rebound relationship rekindle” article to justify my actions.

Thanks for your time Emma, and it feels good to know that I’m not the only one whose post divorce relationship hurt more than the divorce.

A short, intense relationship also leaves so much space for idealization and fantasy that you end up romantisizing the person you were with. You are still wearing rose- coloured glasses when the relationship ends. Making it very difficult not to believe that that person wasn’t perfect for you. Part of the pain of losing that person is the lose of all the hopes and dreams you had about having a “perfect” future with this “perfect” person.
By the time a long term marriage/relationship ends, you are far less likely to be able to idealize the person or situation and what could have or should have been. I relate to Rick’s post. I too am battling to get over someone I saw last year for 3 months. It has been far more difficult than my divorce from a 20 year marriage.

I want to testify to the Goodness of Dr.AGBAZARA TEMPLE, he brought back my Husband back to me within 48hours after he casted the spell, my husband left me and my 2 kids for another woman but now all the thanks goes to Dr.Agbazara for bringing him back to me if you are in any type of problem in your relationships or in your marriage contact AGBAZARA TEMPLE on his email address for help: [email protected] gmail. com or call 2348182620374.

From USA

Congrats, but i would like to know if it’s worth having him back under some spell then to have him back in the family unit because he messed up and realized the grass turned brown qiuck, so what happens when he sees greener pastures next time. Did you guys seek counseling.

It’s nice to know I’m not alone (despite finding this on singlemommy.com) . After my ex wife left I immediately got on almost every damn dating app and website there was. I got involved with a co worker, bad idea, don’t sh!t where you eat, probably 2 months after the ex left. That fell through which was for the best, tho she still has feelings for me.

That aside, I found a lovely amazing woman online this September, complete opposite of my ex wife, physically and emotionally. The sad part is I just ended things because I felt overwhelmed that I was going to end up hurting down the line and couldn’t continue the relationship, which I tried to end on a previous occasion a few weeks ago. Also because I don’t feel there was an equal amount of attraction, something just felt off with me and my feelings towards her. Like someone else said I just couldn’t give 100% of myself to her and the relationship.

That’s part of why it hurts so much because I can’t trust my gut, if don’t truly feel that way or I’m too afraid to let go. She was beyond understanding and pacient with me. I told her I still need time to heal whether it’s 6 months, a year or more. She says she wants to sleep until that time has gone by. It’s just not fair to her. I want to comfort her, she still wants to talk, but I feel that would be inappropriate and potentially misleading. I don’t know where that line is.

I don’t know what it will look like when I’m ready, but I know what it won’t look like. Thanks for sharing everyone.

Hi Emma,
What a great article you have written and wow does it resonate with me as like the other comments on this site, it hurts so much.
This is the first time I have ever written on a comment board about such an issue. So for me to comment here, it really has to mean a lot, which it really does.
I know it sounds teenager…ish as I am 50 and I was separated 15 months ago after a being together for 28 years. Yes that is a long time.
I will try and keep the story fairly short. My former wife decided to leave the marriage as we grew apart the last 7 years or so.
I still care for her as she is a good person.
My girlfriend (46 yrs) ended our relationship last weekend and it has been a very difficult experience.
We dated for 7 months. I started seeing her 7 1/2 months after my former wife and I were separated.
I was not interested in even looking for a relationship at the time as I felt it was too early.
But I was introduced to this wonderful woman and it was amazing chemistry from the get go.
She has similar interests to me like biking, running etc and a very intelligent, strong, independent and lovely woman.
She had been through the divorce process before as she had been single for about 4 years and had gone through her “grieving” process and all that “baggage” was behind her.

The first couple of months were amazing. I kept the relationship fairly low key for the first month as I was separated for not that long of period.
When my former wife found about about the relationship she was shattered! I know that sounds strange as she ended the marriage.
The texts and emails were relentless over the months and not always pleasant. Obviously she was hurt seeing me date another woman after 28 years. Hence the reason I kept it low key for a while.
I still cared about her as we she is still the mother of my 16 year old daughter.
Odd as it sounds I tried to ease her pain by replying to her to make her not hurt as much.

Fast forward a few months and the constant messages from her and showing up at my house wanting back in the marriage, eventually filtered into my new relationship.
It started to grind me down with huge guilt. I felt as I was having an affair even through we were legally separated.
The last few months was a roller coaster ride for my former girlfriend, as this ridiculous guilt I had affected our relationship/
I had never looked at the 7 stages of grief after a divorce until about 5 months ago. And I then realized I had hit 6 of the 7 stages hence the roller coaster ride, except the last stage which is acceptance.

The roller coaster ride eventually was too much for my girlfriend, understandably and she said she can’t go on with the relationship as she felt I had not gone through my “journey” after my separation.
My question to you Emma is, do you agree that 7 1/2 months was too soon to get into a serious relationship after 25 years?
I will tell you the pain of this separation is indescribable!
Yes we left the relationship still loving each other and it was a very intimate ending.
I agree, as this type of ending is extremely difficult, way more difficult than an ugly ending.
Since the breakup I have not slept in days and lost a bunch of weight as this was a woman who ticked all the boxes for being THE woman.
I really sympathize with so many of the comments as I can relate.
I really think the pain is so deep as after 15 months I have only now realized I have lost , a family, dealing with a very strained relationship with my 16 year old daughter and now this current relationship breakup.
I will say this current breakup is way more painful that my marriage separation. I realise it’s not a great comparison as one relationship was 8 months and the other 25 years.
I have read many websites about when the pain should start to ease from 30 to 60 days or more.
Phew I will say as unmanly as it sounds a broken heart is so painful.
I have read that the pain from a broken heart is very similar from the withdrawal pain of cocaine.
There is no medication for a painful heart.

I gather the pain is so deep because I really hadn’t gone through my so called grieving process of my former marriage and we both fell in love very quickly and it was amazing and it was so real and felt incredible for all these few months.
I have read the NC (no contact at all) rule is the only way to get through this.
Unfortunately these days we are all on social media and former girlfriends and their friends are on sites like Facebook, so indirectly you still get the odd photo and comment about your former girlfriend that comes through on these sites.
De-friending people I find very immature.

Thanks James.

He’s my perspective for the other side of the coin. I have been separated since july 2015. I wanted to get back with my wife in december. She found a guy who is married but has been separated for 2 years occupied by a girlfriend. (Which he dumped august) She has had according to her an overwhelming feeling of confidence and love. Says he’s giving her everything I haven’t been giving her. We been married for 8 years and known each other for 10. Our marriage had its ups and down, but she can she herself marring again. I want to keep this relationship, but should I face the music (go through with the divorce) or give her time. I had six months to myself and realized it a little too late#stillhurting

Hi Sean – Thanks for chiming in. Sorry to tell you this, but it doesn’t sound like you have a lot of choice here. Sounds like she has moved on. Time to accept the end of your marriage, give yourself time to grieve, and move on yourself. I’m sorry for your loss. xoxo

I’ve been wrestling with this…trying to figure out why it is so difficult. I think it’s like one commenter said, a compounded and delayed grief…but also, we get taken away with dreams of the next great relationship, which reality can never live up to. Having our dreams dashed so thoroughly is crushing, coupled with the grief. It feels crazy, even if the rebound relationship wasn’t that great, it was built-up so much by dreams and expectations…

Watching my ex wife go through this now, we were together 11 yrs and we split in May sold the house by July, she said she wanted to stay friends and we had a few dinners together and then she just stopped talking to me mid August all of a sudden she posts a picture of her with a guy in California. Well this lasted until a week ago and now she’s messaging me again trying to meet up we have no kids but using the dog as an excuse. I’m in no mood to have any more dinners with her and kind of feel used about how this all went down, I just said I think my definition of friendship is different than hers.

I’m looking for some advice. I have been divorced twice. I have two kids both from my first marriage. Here is my current timeline. Split up with husband #2 in July, started dating someone (I had known him for 8 years) in Aug. Introduced 13 year old in August, introduced 11 year old in November. Both kids love him. Parents are unwilling to even meet him – they think it’s wreckless to introduce the kids so quickly and my mom is disgusted that I didn’t even have a “mourning period.” Here is the truth. I move on from relationships very quickly, it’s sad but it’s just something I’m kinda good at. Here is the other truth, I was checked out from marriage number 2 for years. I’ve always had feelings for my new guy and I’m completely head over heels in love with him in a way I’ve never even felt before. He says all the time he wants to marry me and he’s basically living at my house. How do I tell my parents that he’s going to officially move in AND is it too soon for him to do so? I need some help please!

Hello, I’m here to talk about how my relationship was broken and how i save it, my husband saw me with my old school friend in college and said is over between us without even asking me what i was doing with him, because i truly love him i was looking for a solution to get him back till one faithful day i was searching through something on the Internet and i came across someone talking about Dr. EKPEN TEMPLE on how Dr. EKPEN TEMPLE save her marriage so i also took the details of Dr. EKPEN TEMPLE and contacted him and told him about my situation, he told me not to worry that everything will be ok, today I’m happy to tell you that my husband is back to me and I’m even pregnant for him right and we celebrate the last Christmas together, here is Dr. EKPEN TEMPLE contact via email: ((ekpentemple at gmail.com))). Grateful

Fell head over heals 15 months after my 24 year marriage ended. Best few months … our lives just could not merge. It is what you say… incredibly painful.

I am so very there right now. Article explained it a bit more to me. I’m recently divorced and quickly started a rebound with a person also on the rebound. We were both clear with our intentions but I knowingly and willingly put my heart out there for her. We comforted each other through the process and she was there for me every day through the entire divorce as a friend more than anything. I felt ok putting my heart out there because I knew I would be ok if she decided she didn’t want to do it anymore or if she got back with her ex whatever. I was not prepared to mess it up myself. I had one night of being a little too needy and it completely turned her off. She needed time to think and I was just crushed. i’ve never felt pain like this…literally feeling it in my stomach. It’s horrible. And of course I think about messing up the realtionship with my ex, and my kids and now the one thing that helped me feel better through that is messed up too. I guess the divorce was easier when I had someone, and now I have to deal with all of it at once. That relationship and this. Pretty sure my mistake is pushing her back to her ex, so i’m just all alone. Its awful. Just awful.

I can so relate, as many readers here can. It is a universal experience, and the pain does pass. It does. Hang in there xx

Hello, I’m here to talk about how my relationship was broken and how i save it, my husband saw me with my old school friend in college and said is over between us without even asking me what i was doing with him, because i truly love him i was looking for a solution to get him back till one faithful day i was searching through something on the Internet and i came across someone talking about Dr. EKPEN TEMPLE on how Dr. EKPEN TEMPLE save her marriage so i also took the details of Dr. EKPEN TEMPLE and contacted him and told him about my situation, he told me not to worry that everything will be ok, today I’m happy to tell you that my husband is back to me and I’m even pregnant for him right and we celebrate the last Christmas together, here is Dr. EKPEN TEMPLE contact via email: ((ekpentemple at gmail.com))). Grateful

Brilliant and witty article. So very relatable. Divorced people forget their sweetheart and contend with everything else. The rebound is simply a bounce back …. Beautiful but not real.

Such a helpful post. I can relate to pretty much everything on here. Less than 5 months after a painful and prolonged end to a 20 year marriage, I became involved with someone who had also recently separated from a long marriage. We almost immediately fell into an intense, close emotional and physical relationship and were inseparable for almost a year. We functioned in secret, since neither of us was formally divorced and didn’t want our soon-to-be-Exes to find out…and we both have kids still adjusting to big family changes. We felt we were the other’s soulmate, and at times I felt he was my forever guy. But as the pressure mounted to go public (as divorces finalized), I choked. Without giving him warning, I abruptly broke things off. Even though I was the one to break it off, it was an extremely painful and miserable transition. My rebound relationship had given me an exhilarating whirlwind of happiness AND had masked the not-so-pleasant realities of divorced life and facing the world as a single person. During the rebound relationship, I’d been in the whirlwind of new love and hadn’t nurtured single friendships or even single person skills! Suddenly it was just me and my living room couch on visitation weekends. Thank you for your post and so glad I’m not the only one.

Hey Emilia, Thanks for this very honest and self-reflective note. I’m impressed with your self-awareness. Q … have you started dating again? Thoughts about reuniting with the rebound?

What is considered a rebound. My ex-husband has been in a relationship with his new girlfriend for six months. He started dating her in February 2015, our divorce final January 2015. So, one month after our divorce of 20 years were final. However, during our marriage he started seeing someone and saw her up until he dumped her for the new six month relationship. So, dating his second person after our marriage is this a rebound.

My X has been seeing a mutual friend of ours for over a year… He is a drug dealer and real dirt bag but seems to treat her right. I told her many times that she isn’t being honest with her feelings and when things don’t work out it will devastate her… It hurts to see her happy and in love (supposedly) when I tried failed and then have up and found god… Which is why I am single…. She doesn’t see her kids often and has moved in with him. She agreed to give me full custody of our boys so she can LIVE UP TO HER POTENTIAL. My boys are sad and miss her as they don’t see her often. I just hope she eventually realizes what she is doing and honestly I hope she leaves him for good. I still pay for her every night… Or divorce should b final by years end.

Thanks for the article
Regards r.p

I hope you find a wonderful person who will love you and your kids. She is a selfish woman. Can’t imagine not seeing my kids. Fins someone will love them as their own.

Sad stuff when a marriage is rife with anger and discontent. Lies, stealing, cheating, neglect, and so on. Bi polar disorder and mental illness. It all just stinks. Especially when your the dumped one. The wounds of a bad marriage, 20 years, run deep. Guilt, shame, rumination and so on.
I for one rebounded into the arms of an old and dear college friend. I was coming off a severe depression. I was desperate for what I knew I had lost when I got my ex pregnant and thereby began a life laden with hell.
We have been together for three months now. The love easily came back for her but I have difficulty giving back. I’m still numb from the violence of my separation and reeling in its fallout. Kids upset and angry. Home lost. Bad stuff. And I have brought it all into my new relationship. In spite of this my dear love is being patient and understanding. I was open and honest about what I wa going thru. Still, though, my mind says that I am not ready for a committed relationship. However, and now that this girl is everything and more, all that I remembered back in the day,, I don’t want to risk losing her. She truly is wonderful. A literal polar opposite to my ex in most ways. Yet, I can’t give her what she deserves. The passion is not there but I can still satisfy and please. I am attracted to her but my mind is never far from my ex. She is with us all of the time.
My ex is serial dating. She recently has entered into a serious relationship with another guy. Poor fella doesn’t know about that little monster called bi polar disorder, yet. You see the drama, the intensity of life with this woman was like a drug. An addiction. Hell, I hated her but still wanted to be around her. So beautiful. Crazy as a loon. Ripped me to pieces, stomped my manhood, tore my heart out, destroyed our family and bankrupted me. Yet, I allow her to still eat at my head and heart.
Now getting back to my new girl. She has everything any man would want. Pretty, healthy, funny, positive, a phenomenal lover, a good job, her own home, and loves me dearly. It’s because of these truths that I now find myself stuck. I got myself into this, but am unable to give this wonderful woman all I’ve got. I got so used to the instability that all of this stability is tough to get my head and heart around. I trust her so that not it. It’s the fear that I won’t ever get over the remorse, guilt, shame and pain of my brutal breakup and overall bad marriage. That I won’t feel joy and passion, again.
I am hoping that once I can get the ex who is literally trying to ruin me to sign something this numbness and rumination will go away. Perhaps, and because my new gal knew me than that she is being so lovingly patient.
I truly do not want to hurt her. I do understand how rebound breaks can be so hurtful and not just to the recent divorce’. As hard as it may be to face loneliness until you get the vast majority of crap out of your head from your last relationship you should be alone, or do what my ex does….live in bars and screw every cute guy you meet. She seems to be doing just fine. Ha, I think there’s something to that bi polar stuff that buries conscience and guilt. Kind of jealous. For those with a conscience it’s probably best to heal yourself first before you jump back into the sack.

I am in the same boat. Met the most wonderful guy 2 months after my husband left me for another woman. My new man is extremely attentive, loving, and great with my kids. However, I still love and miss my ex for what we had before his affair. About 8 months after he left, he told me he regretted it and it was worst mistake of his life. Thinks about it every day. But that was it. No words to try and get me back, or mention of what he would do- not sure because of ego and pride or knowing because I’m in this new relationship with a great guy and he got what he deserved. I’m so confused. How do I know if I’m with the right guy? My feelings for my boyfriend are jaded by my loss in marriage, and he is willing to stand by me through it all.. But as you said, the ex is never far away in my head. My boyfriend deserves better.

The right guy is the one you want to hang out with. That might be because you have amazing sexual chemistry and that is what you need, or you trust him implicitly and that is what you need, or he is a wonderful peer and partner with whom you can build a new life.

You may need different things at different stations of life.

Tough to know. I understand 1000000%.

Do appreciate that you have options. Always the best position.

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