3 things I wish I knew about dating after divorce and rebound relationships

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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 

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

2. Second thing 

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

3. Third thing

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:

Your first relationship after divorce

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

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.

Divorce rates for second and third marriages

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.

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 and pregnant with 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 feel 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.

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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.

Is the first relationship after divorce always a rebound?

Rebound relationships are a real, and necessary thing. There has to be a first for everything — including post-divorce relationship!

I think what your asking is: Is the first relationship after a divorce doomed to end? Will my new relationship after my divorce last forever and ever?

Technically, the first relationship after your divorce is, in fact, a rebound relationship. Some rebound relationships end in flames, while others last for eternity. Keep reading for more …

Being the new girlfriend after divorce

If you are the first person your man dated after (or while!) his divorce, her are some unique challenges you may face:

  • Jealousy from his crazy-ass ex-wife
  • Jealousy from his understandably hurt ex-wife
  • Adjustments from his kids
  • Adjustments from his friends and extended family
  • Managing his own grief and baggage
  • Your own understandable insecurity — Is he on the rebound? Are you being used? Does he still love his wife? Will the kids hate you — and result in you being dumped?

Rebound relationship after divorce statistics

Divorcing people are also forced to face the loss of dreams of family life, and what the rest of your life will be like. And there is a ton of fear about all of it.

All this upheaval and stress can leave little room to deal with simple loss of love. When you are contending with a 360-degree life barf, there is scant space to sit quietly and feel the weighty grief of no longer spending nights with a person who you at least once — likely still — loved very much. Not just the absence of somebody. The absence of him.

Which is where the rebound breakup and all its gory hurt come in. If you’re like me, that relationship was just that. Someone who I cared very much about, knew my kids, but was a lover — no more. He was not my partner. We were emotionally, intellectually, sexually intertwined. But our lives were completely separate. We owned nothing together (though I’m still kind of annoyed with myself for never retrieving that La Perla nighty from his apartment, but I’ll live), and did not even share friends. When we broke up there was nothing to contend with but grief.

Which is another reason why we do not mourn the love for our husbands immediately after divorce. Divorce often comes after months and years of a really unhappy relationship. By the time the four-way lawyers meetings start, you’ve forgotten about the emotional, intellectual and sexual connection you once shared with that man. It was likely missing for a very long time — which is exactly why it is so intoxicating when we find that connection again in a rebound. And, if you’re like me, you consciously appreciate those mutual feelings so very much more — which only adds to the scythe bludgeoning once it falls.

As far as divorce rebound relationship success rates — I couldn’t find any statistics, but did find this about remarriages:

U.S. divorce rates:

  • 41-50% first marriages
  • 60-67% second marriages.
  • 73-74% for third marriages

“Nothing so easy as catching a heart on the rebound.”

— Mary Russell Mitford

Rebound relationship stages

Generally, there are two main phases of a rebound relationship:

1. Elation and infatuation.

In this first phase of rebound relationships, you likely feel so damned happy to feel a connection, be touched, have sex and be cared for. You had felt like you would never feel that spark, or that anyone would be attracted to you — and now both are actually happening! It is amazing! You were wrong about all the bad things and this gives you hope for everything you could ever imagine!

The glee can be so intense you feel like it is love. It could turn into love eventually — but it absolutely is not love right now. Trust me on this. You are not in love.

2. Constant comparison to your ex and your previous relationship — good and bad both.

Imagine that you ate rice and beans every single day for your whole life. The only food memory you have is of rice and beans, and because everyone you ever knew only ate R&B, and the only food available in your universe was rice and beans, to you, food was rice and beans. Maybe you loved rice and beans and were cool with this, but maybe you hated rice and beans and craved something else.

And then one day you eat a cantaloupe. All you would do was drool in wonder over this cantaloupe. Compare cantaloupe to rice and beans. Your mind is fucking blown. Cantaloupe, cantaloupe, cantaloupe. Sweet, juicy, pretty color, creamy texture.

But you’d also start to wonder if you were going to die because cantaloupe doesn’t have protein and you sorta missed rice and beans. It’s complicated. They’re both good. You like both (though cantaloupe is better) bit you get confused sometimes. Sometimes you are sure that your life is 1,000X better now that you have cantaloupe. But sometimes a bowl of R&B would be good — for old times. Rice and beans wasn’t so bad, right? Then you remember that one time with rice and beans and you’re not really sure.

3. Devastating heartbreak that feels like it will never fucking end.

Or, you stay together more or less happily with your new dude — though relationships are usually complicated, especially at this late stage now that everyone is so wounded.

4. Eventually, you get over the heartbreak and move on. It might seem impossible now, but you will feel better.

Read our reviews of popular dating sites:

Learn more about how to tell if you are in a toxic relationship.

Why do rebound relationships feel like love?

When you are in a breakup, you feel an intense romantic connection to your ex — but the energy is negative. You hate your ex.

When you find a rebound relationship, you also feel an intense romantic connection to your new lover — and the energy is so positive! In our culture, we describe an intense, positive romantic energy as love.

That is a fallacy.

Are rebound relationships good or bad?

Rebound relationships are necessary — someone has to be your first relationship and sex after a breakup or divorce, right?

Just don’t fuck up your life for this person, at least not for a good 3 years. Practice:

  • Birth control
  • Separate residences
  • No marriages or comingling finances
  • STD checks

Can rebound relationships work? How long does a relationship last?

100% absolutely people fall in real love, marry or otherwise spend many happy decades together with a rebound relationship — or even affair partner. But there is no reason to jump there. This may be a friend with benefit, short-term lover, hook-up or boyfriend for a few years.

No need to rush.

Why rebound relationships fail

Rebound relationships fail because one of you is a hot mess from the previous relationship, not healed, but hungry for emotional connection and likely sex. The new boyfriend or girlfriend got wrapped up by proxy in the intensity of that breakup, confusing it for a future, when instead it was just that: An intense romance.

How do I know if it’s a rebound relationship?

If one if you were in a relationship that ended relatively recently, or the person has not dated since the divorce or breakup, it is likely a rebound relationship. If the connection is white-hot and insane, it is definitely a rebound relationship.

Warning signs in a rebound relationship

First sign: Did you find this article by googling, “Warning signs it is a rebound relationship?”

Other red flags:

  1. One of you just broke up from a big relationship
  2. The newly broken up partner stalks his or her ex on social media
  3. Lots of mentions of the previous relationship
  4. No real physical intimacy like holding hands, cuddling and connection during sex
  5. Conversation is light and fun, but not about personal stories, or big goals or efforts to share or understand each other’s world view
  6. Bananas-crazy chemistry despite having little in common
  7. You worry this is a rebound

My personal experience — how I understood my rebound relationship and got over it

So I called my best friend. I’ve known Kirsten for 20 years, and even though she lives on the other side of the country, we remain very close and she knows all my shit. Kirsten did what a good friend does: she listened. As I talked and sobbed and blubbered and talked some more it all came out.

Besides the end of my relationship, my mom has been unwell. My mom, who adores my kids second only to their parents. As my children and their needs as people grow, it seems that our circle of people shrinks – and the pressures of being a single mother mount. I am just one person responsible for two human beings. It feels like too much.

“We’ve all watched you over the past few years be so strong and amazing,” Kirsten said. “But I said to myself, ‘I hope this girl can find time to process it all. Because sooner or later it will catch up with her.’”

It has caught up with me. When my husband fell off that cliff three years ago, I slipped into survival mode: I jutted my jaw, made sure the kids and my business and the money and the divorce and the house were all in order. Trust me, there were plenty of late night crying fits and trips to therapists and a wonderful support group for loved ones of brain injury victims. But I’m not sure I fully felt the gravity of my loss – our loss. The loss my whole family suffered.

Finally, I recognized that three years’ worth of grief had come knocking. For months after that conversation, I gave myself permission to mourn. Those sad Sundays were committed to indulging the emotion and grief and healing that had eluded me.

Funny thing, how empathy blooms. At bedtime after coming home from her dad’s on Sunday, I laid next to my then-4-year-old daughter in her twin bed. She was riled up after the transition, which is not unusual, but it spiraled into something else. “Why can’t our family be like other families?” she cried. I worry I dismiss the grief my kids might feel over the divorce. After all, Lucas wasn’t even born when we separated – Helena not yet 2. “It’s always Helena, Lucas, Daddy – and Mommy separate. Or Helena, Lucas, Mommy – Daddy separate. I want us to be like Eleanor’s family.”

I wasn’t sure what to say. So I held her head in the crook of my neck and listened and let her cry and cry. “Thank you for telling me how you feel,” I said. “It’s important to get it out. Because sooner or later it will catch up with you.”

Life after divorce — 3 things you can do now to move on

How about you? How did you get over your post-divorce rebound? What did you learn from the experience? Share in the comments!

Is the first relationship after divorce always a rebound?

Technically, the first relationship after your divorce is, in fact, a rebound relationship. Some rebound relationships end in flames, while others last for eternity.

Why do rebound relationships feel like love?

When you are in a breakup, you feel an intense romantic connection to your ex, but the energy is negative. You hate your ex. When you find a rebound relationship, you also feel an intense romantic connection to your new lover and the energy is so positive! In our culture, we describe an intense, positive romantic energy as love. That is a fallacy.

Can rebound relationships work?

100% absolutely people fall in real love, marry or otherwise spend many happy decades together with a rebound relationship or even affair partner. But there is no reason to jump there. This may be a friend with benefit, short-term lover, hook-up or boyfriend for a few years.

Can you find true love after divorce?

Yes. One data point: Me. Three years ago I feel in love with a wonderful man who loves me, loves my kids, and wants to spend his life with me.

Is the first relationship after divorce doomed?

Even more than an ending love, all that pain and torment is really about contending with unresolved heartbreak from divorce.

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

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i am here to testify on how Dr.OKIKA helped me. I saw a post on a particular site sharing testimony on how these great spell caster brought back her ex. Initially, i thought the post is unreal but I later had a second thought and another person still share his testimony on how he brought back his wife.so i contacted the spell caster as instructed by the post. I have no option than to try my best because my Wife left me with my two kids after a minor misunderstanding. Me and my wife got married over six years and we lived so happily. At a certain time my wife started behaving strange. When I saw the post, I contacted the spell caster on his email and he told me not to worry that my wife will come back to me in two days time once he finish casting the reunite spell. To my greatest surprise, my wife came back to me begging for a second chance.and we are living happily together as one family again. I want to use this medium to let everyone here know that this is real and if you are out there having this same problem please kindly contact Dr.OKIKA, the great spell caster …google his name(Dr okika) to find his contact details okay….Good luck….,,,

Will it benefit to have read this before my first post divorce relationship. I was just catfished by the first guy I was attracted to thru an online dating site :( Now I’m afraid of even trying to find someone.

Oh no! That kind of crap is really unusual, actually. The first step is to DATE. Go out with men just to go on dates, get your groove back and start to trust your instincts. If you’re looking for Mr. Forever with every single date, nothing good can come of it :)

I really liked Emma’s helpful article and all the insights shared by readers.
I’m divorcing now after 30 years. I have been told that I am gorgeous, attractive, etc. However, are there recommendations as to when to start dating? How long does one allow to grieve, etc? My kids are grown and out of the house. My marriage has been empty, dry, without intimacy, companionship or compliments for more than 7 years. I’m so already over many of the issues and adjustments that were mentioned in Emma’s article. I have a fabulous job, great co-workers who are like family to me and a bright future. I don’t NEED anything except maybe some sweet, compatible companionship.
Any recommendations?

I would give yourself some time out, this is advice someone told me which I ignored, why do I ask for advice all the time but when it’s given disregard it.

But I’ve just gone through a breakup of a 5 year relationship and started another relationship six months after. It broke after eight months as I still had issues from my previous relationship which I thought I had dealt with but really hadn’t.

I’ve since meet up with my ex of 5 years but I’m still left feeling I’m in Love with my most recent ex, I’m confused to say the least. I now have to rebuild my life on my own for the first time in years and it’s tough, but every day is getting a little bit better.

If I was you I’d go get some Counselling (which I’m doing now) and check if you’re as good as you think you are, you will know soon enough how you’re actually doing.

I’m a widow nearly 6 years. Met a wonderful man about 6 months ago that is going through a divorce after a long term marriage. We have not dated because he feels legally and morally it is not right until the divorce is final and he doesn’t want to be unfair to me or hurt me. We do share mutual interest in each other and I have been patient in waiting for it to be over. Knowing that I will be the “reboundee” am I foolish to put myself in this position? After reading your article and the comments, I think that I should let him go and find a rebound before we get together, but then I think I may risk losing him to that person.

Thank you for the post, it is all so true. 5 months after leaving my toxic marriage I began a 6 month relationship with a wonderful man. He was the opposite of my ex in so many ways. I was sure he was “the one.” I fantasized about him proposing, feeling that I would be the luckiest woman in the world.
I realize now I was trying to pick up where my dreams of my marriage had left off. I was so eager not to hurt or be alone I rushed emotionally and physically with the rebound man. It’s very hard, after being married twice, to just “date” someone you are falling in love with. I expected him to desire me as a life partner as my husbands had. Knowing this “dating” can end with a phone call is the hardest thing of all. One day in his arms, the next day gone. I’m sure the lesson will dawn on me soon. Thanks again.

“I realize now I was trying to pick up where my dreams of my marriage had left off.”

So insightful. Thanks for sharing and being vulnerable here.

This was a really good article but i guess my hurt comes from the fact that my first relationship after divorce became someone i love and care for immensely & deeply. Even now after 2 years, everything we do involves trust, communication, love, laughter, and all those wonderful things. We just get one another. i think where i am tripping up is how do you move on with that……she has 2 boys and i have 3 boys. And i just cant see them at all ever getting along and “blending”. so while some rebounds dont work, i guess i am the lucky one but i just dont know what comes first in this….my love and my life and move on with this amazing woman or put my children first and their needs and move on? These are the hard questions that post divorce never address and i am so confused. any help will be so awesome. Thanks

Do I understand you are at a crossroads because there are some challenges blending families – do you break up or not? Of course I don’t know any details but you may want to read some of my thoughts on putting your romantic relationship above your kids. That is good for children and parents alike. Kids grow up and leave, after all.

Thanks Emma – your site is actually very helpful even for me as a single dad. I appreciate your reply. you certainly pointed out such great things in dating that once scared the hell out of me & now I’m like, yeah I am doing it right!! thanks

“my thoughts on putting your romantic relationship above your kids. That is good for children and parents alike. Kids grow up and leave, after all.”

Totally agree with you on this, Emma!

Wow. I can relate to just about everything in this article. I found this article today after a woman that I went on a couple of dates with told me that she was “weirded-out” by the recentness of my divorce and that she thought that we should “chill.”

First I tried to play it real cool and I just texted her a simple “Damn. Ok.” Of course, an hour or two later, I came back with a lengthier text wanting more of an explanation while denying that I was rebounding. Then I kind of started reading things on the internet and realized that I was actually totally rebounding. I guess that I should thank her for helping me gain some self awareness.

I know I’m rebounding because in retrospect, even in the short month of knowing this woman, my otherwise fairly happy and optimistic attitude would be totally disrupted when I would feel totally anxious and desperate to have her respond to my texts. Waiting could just feel like a burning torture of anxiety. I thought that I was playing those feelings off well, but I guess that I was kind of wrong. I guess that taking her out to karaoke and singing heart-wrenching country breakup songs that more or less described my situation to a tee may not have been the most tactful way to make her feel safe around me, lol!

Damn she was hot though, and of course I could barely stop my mind from engaging in all sorts of fantasies of what types of places we could go see together etc…Jeez. Here I am, a six foot four, 220 pound man, singing break up songs in public and fantasizing like a giddy teenage girl who just saw a Justin Timberlake picture. I feel so ridiculous.

I guess that when I finally do find a more serious relationship, it is going to really suck when/if it ends. I am definitely primed for feeling incredibly intoxicated by just about any beautiful and interesting woman who shows the slightest amount of interest in me. I’m a smart enough guy, but I really crave this intoxication – I just need the touch, the compliments, the engaged conversations. I feel like life sucks without all of this, especially since I’ve had a little taste. My ex didn’t even like making out with me, so it feels ridiculously good when someone else does…I know it’s crazy, but I am so hungry!

Anyway, I just wanted to comment here because I am basically a total disaster and it seems like there are some people here who can relate :)

thanks for sharing — this post really seems to resonate with people. Such a human experience, and need. hang in there!

Wow great story
I too met a woman after my divorce and she was wonderful
We both decided to call it quits but we have become terrific friends
We both love each other and are good friends
Good luck and hell in jealous
I wish I had your height

Wow! Yes. The intoxication. It isn’t even about the other person at all. I felt the same way about a friend. Someone who should have been platonic by all means, because our lives are incompatible. We were great friends and we ruined it because we were attracted to each other. Your whole post really hits home. It wasn’t about the girl, it was about how you felt about you. Your self esteem needed a boost and you wanted it badly, same here. I totally relate.

Wow. Even though your post is from almost 2 years ago, I have to comment. More than the original article itself, I relate to almost every single thing you mention! The teenager-y infatuation, the “hunger” for what I was missing in my marriage, the impatience in receiving texts. I appreciate your insight and so grateful I came across this article and your comment today. Thank you and I hope you’re well.

You exactly described how I was with my rebound relationship. I was married 23 years. I thought I had grieved my marriage lo g before it ended but when I got involved with someone new it was intoxicating….and when it ended it was torture. That was 4 years ago and it still hurts. I became so obsessed with him and although I have had one other relationship after I still grieve for him. It’s weird I feel nothing for my ex husband but this other man I still have not emotionally been able to let him go. I wish I hadent met him when I did. I wasn’t ready for a relationship and I didn’t know it.

I am passing for the same situation now. I have been separated for 6 months, after a 7 years of marriage. I can say my marriage was never perfect and after working 7 years, I decided to ended. We got married since I got pregnant and we were very well at that time but everything changed when we got married. It was a sick relationship.
Just when I moved out I met a divorced guy. We got connected and after few playdates with our daughters (my daughter and his twin girls studied in the same school), we started to date only us. At the beginning everything was so great, we enjoyed time together but I got to much attached to him and he noticed that; although he told me that he still has some pains from his second divorce. Therefore, he started to be away from me and it was so painful for me. We still communicate through phone, emails or text messages but I think all the magic was gone and I feel so bad. Glad that it is a normal process. Thank you for sharing your experiences!

Wow! I’m glad I found this, and you are so insightful of he very things I’m experiencing right now. I too met a man who I connected with. We had a 4 month secret relationship because my divorce is not “final” legally. The fling ended and I feel like total crap. I still like this man, but can’t figure out why. I secretly hope that he’s waiting for my divorce to be final and he’ll come back to ask me out on a public date. I’m not holding my breath, but this gives me a kick in the gut that my emotions are completely off balance with this man. Thanks for so eloquently articulating exactly what I’m feeling and why. Good stuff!

Emma-

Thanks for this article. I came across because I believe, though she denies it, the rebound for someone who was a client/friend of mine at the gym. She told me a couple of months before she moved out of her marital house that I had shown her there are nice guys out there (her husband, as is her father, was controlling). When she finally moved out of the house we talked about dating, but I told her she needed time. She was always around, so I never lost contact. She eventually told me she had a date, and I got this feeling of stupidity, she is an amazing person, so we started dating. A year later, she was divorced, new house, new career (after not working for 14 years) and a schedule she could not maintain and have a boyfriend. Plus there was guilt for the kids, not too mention the ex putting thoughts in their heads that mom should not date, as well as her father telling her the same. Anyway, one day she just lost it. Two hours after a normal weekend together, she called me said she couldn’t do this right now. She claims I am not a rebound, but she no longer knows how she feels about anything. Our friendship was strong, but other than saying there is still an attraction and value to our friendship, she is not sure if she is done with us, needs time and then will want to continue. She is just numb. While I understand this was not anything to do with me/us, as we had a great relationship, I just do not know if there is such a thing in going back if I am indeed a rebound. This was her second marriage and had only been alone a combined total of 6 months (over two periods) in her life – and almost always to controlling men. What will it take for her to even know if she is capable of dating? In fairness in the two months this has gone on, she has only been out (without the kids) socially twice.

Thank you.

I was divorced 4 years before I started a relationship that moved quickly on “his” end. He was divorced 1 year and had a 6 month relationship prior to me. He was very interested in making future plans with me, meeting my kids, traveling together, said after two months he said he was growing in love with me. My responsibility to my kids made any extended plans difficult. He had kids in another state and traveled often on weekends to see them. Currently we are breaking up (second time) because we don’t have spend enough time together and he feels pressure from me for him to commit to certain weekends. I am so heartbroken, even though I realize it’s a difficult scenario in which to succeed. I keep thinking, what if he is/was “the one” that I will always wish I stuck around for?

I can sympathise with the “what if she was the one”… I’ve just come through something similar in terms of both of us only recently coming out of divorce. The two of us individually were perfect for each other (“yeah yeah sure” – I assure you, warts and all, we both were exactly the person the other had been looking for all our lives), the problem was that the baggage and the circumstances around us sabotaged it. Difference is that I am the one with the kids from a long-term marriage (if only I’d listened to the warning signs in my own head before I married!). I hadn’t gotten the baggage all dealt with (just feelings of guilt about abandoning that past life). I think too both of us didn’t have the space to be alone and truly leave the past behind. It is now 2 weeks since parting (permanently, there were little ‘separations’ leading up to it) and although I know she was “the one”, the universe unfortunately introducing us to each other at the wrong time. Anyway Cindi, I see something similar in your story: No matter how perfect the two of you would be if it was just you and him in a bubble with no one else in it, the reality is there are your children too. So maybe in an alternate universe he is “the one”, but sorry my dear (and I’d give you a bug hug if I could, I know this is hard) you just have to accept he isn’t “the one” in this universe. Breaking up a 2nd time is surely confirms that this relationship isn’t going to work. You really do need to move on, work on being ok with being alone and with yourself, and let the rest of your life happen without you forcing it. Sincerely, many hugs.

I must say that having gone through or going through a divorce (which is at its last stage) and going though a break up has really opened up some old wounds from my marriage. being in this relationship has taught me not to be too sure of love. there are always some tiny holes and through these holes seep disappointment, mistrust, or some other thing that can throw you off your path to happiness. Rebound relationships are veeery powerful. I somehow think im hurting more now in this situation rather than in the situation of losing my husband. (had no kids with either)

Yes, Taylor – read the comments. It is such a common experience to work through grief of a marriage through the post-divorce breakup. I’m sorry your suffering, but I am here to tell you that it gets better. It does. HUGS.

After the struggle of adjusting to a “new normal” for my kids and I, it’s left me very little time and desire to grieve the loss of the man I married. It took me a while to realize I had transferred much of my unresolved feelings to the ending of a 2 month rebound relationship. This realization has allowed me to let go of the rebound relationship and focus more on grieving the loss of a 20 year marriage.
Thank you for saying what many of us have experienced.

Sunny, thanks so much for this. If you read the comments it appears this is such a common experience. Best wishes to you xo

I have not ever heard this perspective before, but it resonates with me. Just broke up with my first serious boyfriend after the long-term marriage ended. We fell head over heels and both of us ignored a few red flags, but I came to my senses after two years with him. I am so glad I did not marry him! The breakup was very painful even though I broke up with him. Thank you for helping me understand what happened.

I have been seeing a man since my divorce, a bit before actually. Its been 2 years now and we have only introduced one of our children to each other recently but each of our 3 kids are aware of the other person we are seeing. We see each other when we don’t have our kids and enjoy each other very much. I just have a hard time being alone without him and feel we could start intergrating our life’s with kids slowly. But I am scared and don’t want to hurt the kids, but am also ready because I have been talkining freely about my new man and feel they are ready to meet him and be around him, maybe have him be here when they are here sometimes. He seems reluctant to do that and it leaves me wondering whee “we” are going with this relationship. Any advice?

Miss Lady. How did your relationship turn out? I’m in the same position as you were last year and often wonder if and how to integrate our lives with kids?

Thanks for all the insights. I’m just divorced and have met someone I really like, who is also just divorced. I know full well that engaging in a relationship would be text book rebound. We chat constantly, have shared very intimate details, are questionable compatible, and yet I feel like a dopamine junkie the way I am compelled to be involved with him. He has become one of my closest friends in less than a week! He is the sweetest man I’ve ever met and because of that I’m extremely conflicted. I don’t want either of us to get hurt again. But right now we are both enjoying the support and companionship. It seems impossible to break it off. I’m glad to know there are others out there that have gone through this. Thanks for sharing your experiences!

Sounds like you are having a wonderful time – so enjoy! I would only advise caution in signing on to something long-term until you know him much better over at least a couple years (but you knew that :) ) Remember: you are meeting him during one of the most crisis-fueled, insane moments of his life. He will be a different man in a year. Perspective.

Thank you Emma,
Indeed a difficult read, having seemingly ended a post divorce relationship and feeling broken. I ended as something wasn’t right and certainly not their fault. I fear that I have damaged someone very loving through my unresolved issues. Poor girl. I wish I’d waited and meet her now and not then. Much like Sarah I seem less willing to accept and anything that even slightly wasn’t what I would do I blew out of all proportion.
I think that having children changes ones thoughts, for me it added “”what if” worries about the relationship which was paralysing.
I think it’s time to try and learn to not be afraid about being by myself and to live and enjoy what one has and not worry about what one hasn’t. Easier said than done…
Thank you for the article.

Hi Emma,

Well said! I don’t know whether it is normal or not, but for me i have somehow changed in the relationship i had post divorce. I became more edgy, easily to get angry and cant tolerate any wrong doings from this guy. What you said is so true about living our lifes seperately and i found myself most of the times wishing that i am in a marriage still. I could not feel any happiness at all. I guess i am still mourning over my divorce. Anyway, thank you for the article. It shed some lights on what is happening to me right now.

Thanks Sarah – Your experience is a common one. Hang in there and good for you for being aware of where you are in your process.

This really sums up how my ex was with me. I had a relationship with a divorced woman who had a child and was older (she is now 35 and I am 30). We lived pretty separate lives but were together all the time and slowly moving in together (into her place – I was staying over 4 nights a week or so and had moved clothes in etc.) and I was becoming a father figure to her child. She was very busy with work in the first year and a bit and I made a lot of compromises with my time as I was starting a business and it was slow in the beginning. Once my business started I got very busy and she switched jobs and had much more free time. I wanted to move slow to move in “officially” and rent my condo out so I could contribute and the child would see me as a father figure before getting married etc (was planning to ask her to marry me next year). We reached close to the 2 year mark and she became more and more hostile and passive aggressive with me about things that I just could not understand logically. It had happened after the 6th month mark but was a weekly occurance now. She soon after her 35th birthday she broke up with me saying that I didn’t love her and we didn’t have a deep connection. This was at the point when I felt like we were getting closest fast even though I felt a lot of pressure. Any advice on what might have happened to me would be greatly appreciated, Emma.

Oh wow, what a cleverly written and uncomfortably accurate read. I agree with you 100% and would love to share this with my ex wife – who after 10 years of dating and 3 years of marriage, has gotten engaged 6 months after our divorce. Can’t say that I’m not secretly waiting for the inevitable…

Love your work Emma.

Thanks Simon — yeah, lots of stories like that. There are always those cases where people get very happily remarried quickly, but the stats suggest it is better to be safe than sorry.

Totally agree, and I’ve been through it. In fact, I view these post-divorce things, for now, mainly as a learning experience. Here’s hoping one of them will actually be more, and for now I’m still willing to subject myself to them!

Love that you see them as learning experiences — so important! I have learned so much through dating over the past few years. And I’ve had a lot of fun in the process. Keep us posted!

Great, great post. You make some really insightful points — especially about all of the practical and logistical problems during and after divorce that can keep you from really coming to terms with the loss of love.

Thanks for appreciating that, Katie. I really had to sit on that topic a long time before I figured it out.

You really did nail it. I’m not divorced (due to having never been married), but I had this happen to me–an intense reaction to the breakup of a shorter relationship that was really about ongoing pain over the breakup of a longer and more intertwined one.

Oh wow, Emma. You just NAILED it with this post. Really helped me see the demise of my post divorce break up in a whole new light. Thank you!

Perhaps the break-up hurts so much because the pain of divorce finally has a way of coming out. The minor pain of the break-up combines with the major pain of divorce, and the emotions that have been stuffed have a chance to escape. Just a thought.

I wish I had read this a year ago! I thought I was going crazy…wondering why I could not even sleep, eat, smile or focus on anything other than the demise of that first relationship post divorce! The pain was unbearable! Left me feeling so hopeless. Now I see it…you are SO right – can’t be sad when you’re going to lawyers trying to survive and your kids are a mess…and not partners, so true. It is so weird to not be partners w someone after marriage and understand it all.

Thanks for this post! I have been baffled by how hard this past year has been after dating a man right after my separation/divorce. It was the most painful experience of my life, and interrupted my ability to live well. From the guy’s perspective: he was having a casual, care-free time. I do agree that this situation forced me to find out what went “wrong” or why I acted the way I did (so anxious!) and read a tons of books that have enlightened me on why I got married to the wrong man in the first place; and then immediately changed an enticing man who emotionally, perhaps, resembled my husband. Absolutely horrible experience, however. I thought my brain was broke. It’s been a year and this man is already dating someone else – when he shared that in an email, surprise surprise, I balled and balled for days…Uncontrollable grief about so many things. He was a trigger.

Yes!!!!
“It is so weird to not be partners w someone after marriage and understand it all.”
Thank you! I just broke up with my post-divorce lover of 3 and 1/2 years on July 4th. We even lived together. I am an absolute train wreck and feel like I’m barely breathing. He was definitely not my partner and it was SO hard for me to understand because I don’t know how to not be a wife / partner in relationships.
Anyway, thanks for what you posted.

Hello,
My name is Edward, fifty something,
As I continued to read the comments, and I my apologies if I’ve overstepped my boundaries on this posting.
I am intrigued by the personal experiences
that the women shared.
I too have a story to share but wanted to ask rather assume that I could.
Again Thank you for sharing. Best regards, Ed

I have to say thank you Emma. I saw this post while I was going thru my divorced,and decided not to date tily divorced was finalized and I even went to therapy to work out my hurt and trust isues. After all, I was married for 18 years, and found out after our youngest turned 17, he was cheating and ect.. I felt I kind of knew it and just didn’t want to realize it. After everything was done and finalized and I took time for myself, I started dating and so far so good. One step at a time ; ) thank u again Emma.

yes hurts like hell. I was in love with a NICK DURING A DIVORCE AND WE BROKE UP. IT FELT LIKE DEATH. ITS LIKE A TERRIBLE FEELING IN YOUR BONES. I THINK I WASN’T OVER MY X HUBBYM AND THEN FELL TO HARD FOR THIS NICK. IT MADE ME DEPRESSED, ISOLATED, LIKE MY HEART HAD BEEN STABBED IN MANY PIECES

Wow I been looking ways to move on It was after 23 years plus 5 years dating so 28 all together with same Man
2 time He cheated on me with different person He was so upset to be caught because I put a detective on him and find much more than I needed
I been Divorced for almost 2 years and don’t know why it hurts so bad knowing He is moving on with the mistress I know Divorce was the right decision whoever I haven’t been able to heal myself still on procces that’s how I got here ..
My kids one went to leave abroad few months ago and another teen that’s the one who keep me busy and going But it hurts oh Boy literally
Any way good article and nice comment
Love the one step at a time

My boyfriend is coming our of a marriage that lasted 6 months and was arranged. They only knew eachother through skype. Their relationship was based on false, unrealistic dreams that crashed down to reality when they actually married and she moved in.

When we met he had told me he had been divorced for 2 years. obviously no one wants to be a rebound. I still checked if he was over her and he said yes, I found out 3 months into the relationship i found out that the marriage is over but only will be finalised this month,

Now that I know everything, all the depression and the feeling low, pushing me away, telling me he is nothing and i shouldn’t waste my time – all these feelings are coming out. On my side I keep fearing he will leave, even though there is no other girl.

I love him a lot and we have been together for 5 months, He is the first guy I have truly given 110% too and it really hurts when he goes silent and even worse says hurtful things to transfer his pain and anger.

He says he loves me, far more than I love him but he doesn’t know if he can ever love me like her, I know that his pain is to do with his self esteem, his ego, his worth and i wish i could take him out of this pain and get our lives back on track. I know he had dreams with her, but how can I show him he can have dreams again with someone else. The dreams with her were just dreams, they could never be reality coz she wasn’t committed to making it work.

Please advise – I don’t wanna lose him, I don’t wanna be just a rebound, I don’t want to be a worthless person to him, that is nothing but a cushion to the blow to his non existent marriage. I wish he could open his eyes and see, it was a mistake on his parents part to find such a girl for him. I cant say she was bad, but she was just not right for him. A marriage is about mutual support, love, compromise, sacrifice and care.

I’m going through the same thing, I’m interested in hearing your answer. He said he loved me, was planning a future together then one day, he freaked out and became distant. Now he says there’s “no spark”. Well, there really can’t be when there is so much drama and he’s constantly talking about her,

I honestly think he is my soul mate (we went to HS together, 30 years ago). I want to pur our relationship on “pause” until he finishes his divorce and becomes emotionally available for me/us.

pausing is the only safe option. It’s also the option most likely to lead to you getting a real relationship with him, not just a rebound. In terms of timing, you are the rebound, in fact. All you can do now, is pause it, and check in later. If he dates others, it’s probably good b/c then he’ll have explored other options and you two can reconnect with you NOT being the rebound next time.

This is good advice. I just was the rebound guy. Saw her through a terrible ordeal where she had to be the rock for her family emotional, financial and keep the kids in a good space as their father went off to sex addiction clinic. Four months into the relationship and after meeting her kids several times the realization of her situation has hit home. She never had time to process the divorce and got sick(shingles). She was headed for a nervous breakdown and thus we are now on a pause button. It is very hard being on this side of the fence as been through a divorce and on better ground than when the divorce rattles your cage. From this side, My advice in the dating circle is to not date a girl who just has been through or going through a divorce unless you have the ability to detach the emotional side and just
have fun. That shoe will fall on the other side and if you are the rebound you will share in the grieving process for her and you… It is hard to step back but I must step back and understand it wasnt my fault. The fault was in going after a woman who was not yet whole!!!

You can’t fix someone or make someone happy, no matter how hard you try. Trust me, I did that with my ex-husband: 15 years, two children, financially stabled later and he’s still not happy. He has to be happy first BEFORE he can commit to you. Walk away….you deserve more.

Let me warn you, if he goes silent or says hurtful things that is one thing but if he is displaying verbal abuse or emotional abuse get out now. I was in such a hurry to get married after my long term boyfriend split with me I ignored the signs. The verbal abuse got so bad. My self esteem went down the toilet and 2 years later we are divorcing from a marriage that should have never happened. I feel the over effects, I didn’t love this husband like he loved me which probably added to it all but he became so abusive. Try to think with your head and even tho your heart speaks loudly….you can save yourself a lot of pain.

Great article on one aspect of the process. There are stages that are processed until you reach the final place of acceptance. In the case of a spouse/partner with a TBI (having experienced that personally when my spouse at the time of 19 years suffered a TBI) the person you knew and loved simply no longer exists. In some ways, understanding the person you married is effectively dead accelerates you toward acceptance. In my case, the TBI caused a drastic personality change but not overnight. I failed to force the treatment the doctors recommended early on thinking she would get better, she did not, when one area of the brain is damaged it impedes the natural communication pathways and when a neural pathway is blocked the brain does not find another way, it simply shuts down that pathway and corresponding messages. If the impacted tissue necrosis, the adjacent begins the process of necrosis. In my case, when our daughter showed her a picture of her holding my daughter in the air at age 2 and said “where is this mommy” my spouse looked my daughter and I in the eyes and said “she’s dead forever”. I stayed (for better or worse until death do us part) when the hoarding, cheating with men and women, lying, squandering money (I am in the top 1pct of wage earners in the US so not an issue financially, and abuse started I gave her options, get help or get out. When I discovered she turned her abuses to my daughter (physical and mental) there were zero options, she had to go. On to the process you discuss. There are 7.6 Billion people in the world, there is someone out there you don’t have to settle for in any aspect of your life, emotional, financial, mental, and physical. If you find yourself saying “I can live with that”, stop, breathe, and ask yourself one question, “do I deserve to have to settle”. I can tell you the answer is no. As for the pain of divorce, stop looking at your partner, regardless of what you believe they did or didn’t do and first find what YOU did that you could of or should’ve done differently. Look in the mirror first, own your mistakes in the demise of your marriage. If your spouse cheated, the act itself is obvious, try and learn why it happened if you can. Its very hard to hear sometimes but you need to know more of the “why” than every intimate detail of what they did. I’ve read hundreds of articles where the non cheating spouse demanded and its recommended for the cheater to reveal anything the other spouse wants to know. Who cares about the intimate details, it doesn’t change what they did, if you can for your own sanity find out why and accept what is said, true or not, it was reality for the cheater. As for post relationships, don’t have a serious one until you’ve resolved the relationship you are leaving and have reached a place of acceptance. You’ll know when you’ve reached acceptance and its a little different for all of us. Again, in the case of a TBI in my opinion its easier in some aspects because the person you loved isn’t gone, they’re dead. If you need help reaching acceptance get help from a counselor. I consider myself blessed as I found someone that I compromise zero, nothing, in any aspect, mental, emotional, sexually, physically….etc and my life and successes in life with that type of partner have increased ten fold. Don’t force the issue, no matter how unbearable things may seem during the process remind yourself its a process, not an event, going through divorce and you cannot rush it or jump to the happy ending and skip the steps to acceptance. I promise you will reach acceptance one day and be that much more happier when you do……a word of caution, don’t be the painful memory in someone else’s life. If you decide to date early on during a divorce, a couple of things you should never do….1. Keep any drama you’ve allowed to linger by way of your ex to yourself. If the date opens the door you can speak about them, but leave the drama between you and your ex. 2. Take stock of what you learn about yourself through the process daily. Get a journal and write it down with focus on the positives, you’ll be less inclined to burden a date with your drama. 3. Acknowledge you contributed to the demise of your marriage/relationship and own your part in it regardless of what they other person did and work to change what you can about you. 4. Breathe, exercise, eat right, and take care of you…..there is no one on the planet cares more about you than you. Be good to yourself.

One more very important thing to consider, one size does not fit all on this subject. We have all read articles like this one and professional publications on the subject that outline the various stages of the process, some of which are mentioned here in the comments. Grief, mourning, anger, etc. but at least I found the descriptions of those stages never quite fit me or my situation 100%. If you are searching for that kind of answer, stop, you won’t find it and therefore have to define the stages yourself. Find an outline of the stages you identify with and write them down but define what they mean to you personally with your own definitions. For me I learned that I was not mourning the loss of the person but rather what I thought the person represented. And as you’ve probable guessed, I used that definition to define one area I was looking for in a partner. Its true that there are no winners in divorce, just degrees of loss, but it doesn’t have to be all about loss. You can use the experience to learn about yourself and prepare a road map to finding the right person who I promise you is out there but you have to be the best you possible to find the right person. There simply are no shortcuts, like anything else in life you have to work for your happiness……and know you deserve it. One of the stages you’ll read about is forgiveness. That seemed impossible for me, I planned to be with my spouse my entire life, early on I said forgiveness, no way. However, I truly forgave her, but couldn’t until I accepted my role and forgave myself. We are our own worst enemies at times, especially when it comes to critiquing our own mistakes, get professional counseling help to work your way through this process. The kind of pain were talking about here can be healthy if you are learning about yourself and what you truly want from life and a spouse. Good luck to all of you, I hope you find the best you and all life happy, healthy, and wealthy lives in love.

Mike you are so self aware. I’m at this point recognizing my downfalls my the regrets on wishing I’ve done things differently. I’m no way minimizing what you been through but I’m trying to grasp soild ground and sound advice on where to turn what and how do I pick myself up by my boot straps when you’ve been 87% abandoned by everyone in your life? I grew up as an only child. My parents divorced horribly my highly emotionally unstable mother provided for me sorta speak but did not teach me the basic fundamentals to live in a healthy life. Headstrong and determined to never put my children through divorce I truly believed that my partner and I were the exception. I was soooo naively wrong. And everyone that I’ve loved turned on me and made me into thier emotional punch bag from my ex who finally left me for a woman he cheated on me with in the early stages of our relationship. I found out I was the dumb bitch in the room who was the only one not to know about his other infidels. His daughter that I raised full time turned on me even had cps investigate me once. His whole family turned on me as we partook in family holidays with his side because they were the active grandparents and mine never stepped up in a healthy manner as active grandparents. Toxic as I grew up from wrong side of the tracks. I would buy presents and put their names on them as gifts from them. My ex not only left me for another woman in a very cruel and demanding way couple months after my son was born he began picking me apart him and my mom became close as she and him would talk about how bad I was. She helped him go through his bankruptcy then left me hanging in the wind as she had her hand in helping me mess up myself financially which I uncovered among many things about my mother I’ve uncovered over these last 3 years. He had an unusual sex addiction which I don’t get into but I think stemming from that is why he cheated as much as he did and I’m still unclear what happened between him and my best friend him and my mother and god know who else he won’t fess up about. To my mother having him move in with her as his girlfriend came in and out. I feel betrayed by everyone I’ve ever cared for and realizing beyond the involvement of some of these friends and family I’ve cut most contact off because of thier toxic behaviors and what they bring to my life……so I’m left with 1 person in my life who has shed some enlightenment and I love him we are close but not as close as I’d like a father and daughter should be. But he offers no wisdom or advice to the right path to a better life in which I’ve surpassed both him and my mother in life once with my ex as he is an aging old man who deals drugs as his means of supporting himself and it’s a very low level way of life. I love him accept him as he is but to has not taught me fundamentals to basic living. The only reason why I was able to sort of wing it with my own family was determination to give my kids better than I had it. So I drug my ex and I across the tracks and showed him we were better than that kind of life and together we built a decent 2 income life. We squandered it once we got there though and I ended up having my own affair not knowing about all his and when I came bavk home I changed my ways regretted taking my family for granted and really tried to make things right. I ate a lot of shit and took shit I probably shouldn’t have but felt so guilty and ashamed that I did. So when he left me 5 years later his counter basically was always the affair but I never was cruel in the way he flaunted and intentionally tried to hurt me. And because I didn’t want to put my children through a bitter he’ll I too ate so much shit from everyone who sided with my ex we both agreed we’d be amicable which I kept holding him to that even while it destroyed my entire life and well being and knocked me so far on my ass I didn’t even know who I was. All while freaking out about finacially being able to keep the rental house I found us after we sold our house to keep my kids in best public school in this county and only home my son who was 2 delvopled separation anxiety it was the only house has ever known. Got a roommate who resembled Kathy Bates in misery tried to sabotage and threaten to take my house out from underneath me all in the middle of a rental crisis kicking into high gear. I was finally about to establish child support through the system but otherwise his girlfriend throwing out every roadblock to the up logistical ends to a relationship you were in half your life we were able to honor our agreements and keep child custody our of courts. Through this I got together with someone I’ve uncovered to be what is seen my vebatem a text book covert narcissist. It took me a year to figure out what was so off because he was good with my kids seem to love me and put me on this pedastool which felt great till he slowly started to puck me apart and conversations were nothing I’d experienced before. Realizing and acknowledging I have emotional deregulation issue it was used as a look at you getting so mad your crazy. I’ve been on this rollercoaster of off and on for almost 3 years now. Add my ex where I’m truly still devastated by the breakup of my family tells me he still loves me and wishes we could get bavk together but I refuse to be settled for and know if he really wanted me back he’d do everything in his power to make things right. I know him to well and know that it’s too much work than he’s willing to put the effort in to doing so. I’m finacially barely hanging in there even with child support and so state funded therapy is a joke as it only pays for minimal counseling a month and I can’t find someone who offers more than a hour bitch session every other month. It does nothing. I am completely lost with know one to show me or teach me or even wants to. I don’t know what I’m doing other than squandering in the land of mind fuckery and it’s getting to me even though I’m able to see and recognize some of these mental destructive patterns of manipulation. I’m scared to become homeless making life worse for my kids which I think subconsciously is why I think I love this man I’ve involved myself with but know tjis isn’t right or healthy for me to be in but feel I love him because I would miss him and he does make life bareable and comfortable for my kids life with a little bit of stability. But I’m down in the depths questioning is it me even though I see the manipulation? Do I love him because I love him? Or do I love him because I need him? I’m so ready to give up because I can’t see where I’m suppose to go or what I need to do to get out of this dark bog of shit and mind fuckery…….. And how do I do it without screwing up my kids cause this is onebmetal Olympic torch I content to pass on down to my kids….

Thank You for posting this needed to hear this. I was married to Ruben 13 years it was a horrible domestic violence ending, he was great as long as he didn’t drink. We divorced stayed away from each other 3 years and got back together stayed another 3 years and I ended it 1 1/2 ago, we would see each other every now and then mind you he is already living with another woman but we couldnt resist not touching each other at the least one a week. I am stuck at the fact that we built so much together and now he is gone and Im all alone, i dated another man but ended it due to no chemistry between us, I am ok throughout the day but once night comes I feel so lonely and break down. He had not called me in the past two months after he bumped in to me and my friend but just last night he called to please come see him and we ended up in a hotel room all over each other and today I feel like crap. Iv tried my best to get him out my system and he continues to be there exactly how he feels about me, we just dont get along. I was raised in a loving home he comes from a broken home and we never see eye to eye on nothing. He wants to lead the home but I dont trust that he can take the lead 100% and that is what angers him. Stuck …HELP!

I just went thru this with my gf. It seems as though this article is condoning a post divorce breakup. That it is somehow part of a healing process to hurt someone. That it’s ok to use someone as long as it helps you in your pissy divorce blues.

Post divorce blues. This is not acceptable. I asked my gf when we started dating to take some time. She said no that she was ok. The weekend she finally moved her husband out she texted me and said i need space. I was used. Used in the sense of getting calls and texts crying and emotional daily. I was good enough to get her thru the healing process and then cast aside with a text of i need space and it’s not you it’s me. Just a perspective from the other side.

This just happended to me. I was there for him fvery step of the way…he said he was ready. But now his divorce is final he needs space. I too feel used.

I agree with you both. Rebounds have feelings too. I’m a guy and this just happened to me as well. I met a girl when she was legally separated, we then dated for about 3 months. We are both around 30 years old. She was married to this other guy for 4 years, but together with him through college and early adulthood, all together with him for around 10 years. She had asked for the divorce from her husband, she acted like she was ready for a new relationship and I naively thought she was, especially because it was her who ended her marriage. I thought she and I were extremely compatible, we never fought, we were exclusive bf/gf, similar social status, lots of mutual friends, etc. Well, around 2 months into our relationship her divorce was finalized and a few weeks after that her attitude towards our relationship completely flipped for no apparent reason and she just dumped me (over the phone, not very respectful imo). Now I’m heartbroken because I saw a real future with her in my life and she just crapped all over it. I guess it turns out I was just a muse and I was completely used to get her over the divorce hump. But this has been really hard for me to deal with so please keep the thoughts and feelings of your rebound in mind also. Also, it is SO CONFUSING to be dumped without cause and really prolongs the closure process for the other person, so if you cared about them the slightest, please keep that in mind. I’m still hanging on to the idea that it was bad timing due to her divorce and that she and I will reunite when she is ready, but deep down I know this too is naive. As Rhett noted, just another perspective from the other side.

First of all, as a man, you should not have placed yourself in that position. I was married for 10 years and just got my divorced. She started it and I finished it by lodging the decree. She has worked with some guy she knew for 5 years and started dating him before our divorce was even finalized. As a man, you should know not to even get involved with a still married woman, not matter how long she is separated. To actually sit here and expect people to have grief for you is a damn joke. You should have respected both parties to a point where if you really cared about this woman, you would let her heal in her own way. Laying down in bed and cooking together don’t mean shit. So, if you were the rebound, stop complaining. I know I would never involve myself with a woman who is going through a divorce and its not even final. Even when it is final, that woman is still wounded. You deserve every thing you got and should not have expected any more. That’s the problem with society, no one respects marriage and all that it entails.

I know exactly how you feel. I ended things with a recently divorced man today. He was amazing and treated me with a lot of respect and always told me he knew he was being unfair to be there through all the pain he is going through but today after trying to end it two other times. I finally needed to stop because I was starting to have feelings that I knew he wasn’t ready for. He after I tried to end it the first time told me I was being unfair to him because I was letting him tell me what he wanted and said he wanted me and to try to have a relationship. I agreed to try to have my feelings hurt three days later with the it’s not you..it’s me text. I have cried all day over this but I know I cannot take away his pain and if he really does care for me he will heal and we can try again but I can’t risk being some back up plan or used because he doesn’t want to be alone. I’m so hurt this will only end badly. Time to let go.

I had been friends with a man after his divorce was finalized. He would hold me and we would talk. He would call at night, and we would pray together. After 8
Months of this, I asked him if we’d ever be dating. He completely shut me out of his life. It still hurts. He used me, and I had truly believed him to be sincere about caring about me. What bothers me the most is he pretended to be sober be he’s not: a Christian man who truly follows God. I continue to pray for him. I honestly don’t know what else to do.

i am so in agreement with you the moment you suddenly realise you have been the transitional entertainments officer your emotions self esteem logic takes a severe beating one year one from a relationship i still find myself asking why would someone be so mean and hurtful to someone who cared spare a thought for those left to pick up the shattered pieces

Honestly people getting divorced have no idea of what they are doing. Widowers are worse. Watch the actions. Some folks are ready for relationships immediately but most are not. If they are still talking a lot about the spouse, that is a pretty good indication they are not emotionally ready.

I left my husband of 33 years due to no affection or months of no love making. He locked me out of the bathroom every time he showered and always wiped off my kisses. When I asked him if he loved me he asked why? I asked myself why did I marry him. He wasn’t affectionate from the very beginning. This went on for years. I finally went on dating sites looking for Mr. Right. Then 1 day I get a friend’s request from a classmate who says he hasloved me for so long. Since high school. I was in shock. We met. The 1st meet did not go well. And I ended up giving him r dear johns. Meanwhile I’m still living with my husband even after 3 camping trips. I got tired of hiding it so I finally told him. He was devastated. But he doesn’t think he did anything wrong. We’re now divorced and so is my boyfriend. Whom I adore. He wants to marry me but I’m scared of another failed marriage.

Thank god for this article. I am going through a divorce, initiated by me. Awful marriage, can’t wait to be finished. I feel like I’m ready to move on and grab some happiness and did start seeing someone. We started as friends and have known each other a year. He is 5 years post divorce. We had an amazing connection, starting as friends, progressed to more… and then after a particularly fabulous day together I sensed him pulling away. It left me so confused but I finally got it out of him that HE didn’t want to be the rebound guy, or cause trouble during my divorce proceedings. And it hurts like hell. And he’s right. I FEEL like I’m ready but clearly based on these posts I still have a ton of shit to mire through with my feelings and will need to take some time. I’m sad, I wish I hadn’t gotten involved yet because I really like him and the timing is all wrong. I see him 2-3 times a week, we workout together with other friends so I have to grit my teeth, suck it up, wish him the best (which I did) and keep on keeping on. But damn. I miss him.

Omg… your post hit me and has given me the strength to say goodbye to someone I care about very much. Today, my divorce will be finalized and post filing, I started a relationship with a man I knew in college and frankly had been in love with all my life. We spent 3 magical weekends weekends together and we both decided to end it two weeks ago in order for us both to not get hurt. I have had a hell of a time getting over the loss… my friendship, the amazing connection, etc. You have inspired me to grin and bear it. He lives in VA and I am in TX so distance is a good thing. I just want the goddamn pain to go away. He set the bar high.

I just got divorced myself and had the ex move in with his gf in my home 10 days after the divorce was finalized so he can get back on his feet. Then 3 days later I asked them to move out as it was not comfortable for our children. I figured we could help each other financially. Instead it backfired. I still am very insecure and the guy I started dating 2 months prior to my divorce getting finalized got so annoyed as I was caught lying about my finances and my insecurity level got higher. I wish I hadnt dated yet because I really like this guy. He even fell in love with me and I just lost him. I need to learn how to regain my confidence and how to communicate. Broke and broken up- I almost feel like giving up but I have to be strong for my children.

I’m going through this right now. We talked many times about timing and having at least 6 months post-split to heal. but he wanted to keep seeing me and talking every day. But this weekend he slipped into a dark place and pulled the rug from under me. I got upset and felt used and abandoned, why are my feelings less important. by me getting upset he decided to end it which made me panic and beg. 2 days later I am wondering how did I lose my self-esteem and worth during his divorce. The next day I apologized for putting pressure on and not keeping myself together, but he is still not talking to me. HELP

I met a great woman after my divorce
We told each other no games and total honesty
When we both decided it wasn’t working we stayed friends
We live 400 miles apart and that was one reason we decided to call it quits
We both still love each other and talk on the phone everyday
She is amazing and I hope she finds love

Revenge Your Ex

Each day hundreds of men and women seek revenge on their ex-mates for a
variety of reasons, usually because they got dumped or where cheated on.
Revenge comes in many ways. It typically starts by using social media to
vent, and then escalates from there. Now sites like “Get Revenge On Your Ex”
for a fee will help you get pay back or revenge.

So what is the best way to get revenge besides slashing her tires, posting
nude photos of her and so on.

The best way according to the web site Right Choices 101 is to live your
life well. This is true no matter who you are seeking revenge on. Coworkers,
past bosses, bad friends or ex-lovers. Put your energy into succeeding and
enjoying your life, not wasting your time, energy and resources on revenge
that can end up costing you much more. Plus, when you seek revenge, you send
them a massage that you have not gotten over the relationship. It’s much
better to show you are indifferent and don’t care.

According to Kenneth Agee of A Foreign Affair, a service that specializes in
helping men find young beautiful foreign women, “The best revenge is to date
or marry a women 10 years younger than your ex. This will piss her off to no
end. No woman ever wants to be replaced with a younger, more attractive
woman. Just like a man never likes to get replaced by a guy who is wealthier
or more successful.

I will never forget one of my first clients we took to Saint Petersburg,
Russia.” says Agee, “The client told me that two days on our tour was better
than two years of therapy. Having hundreds of attractive women fighting over
you gets your ex out of your mind pretty quick.

I personally went through break up when my ex ran off with another man. But
a short time later, I met a new lady who was ten times better. I ran into
that man who stole my ex and I gave him a big thanks. In fact, I could not
thank him enough. He was stuck with an older nagging women, while I was now
with a young, beautiful, caring women. Plus, my ex had gained about 100
pounds. I don’t look at that fellow as any kind of enemy but as the person
who saved me from my ex and years of suffering.” This is the best a revenge
when you win without lowering yourself.

Other sites like “Get Over Her Now” give practical advice and tips for
getting over a past relationship.

Top Tips from Get Over Her Now:

Start making platonic relationships with as many women as possible, old,
young, skinny, fat, cute or ugly. This greatly helps you get back in the
game of socializing with the opposite sex. And it opens up lots
opportunities to meet their cute attractive friends in a more relaxed
environment. This also helps you build your game and confidence.

Improve yourself, start working out, get up early every day and exercise.

Buy new clothes. Dressing better makes you feel better and improves your
confidence.

Focus on work and getting a promotion or raise. Don’t let a break up effect
your work negatively. Put that extra effort into work and it will pay off
with a better position and more money. This will also build your confidence
and help attract better quality women.

Any time you are depressed, improving yourself helps greatly. When you feel
depressed, don’t sit and watch TV and then sleep-in late. Get out and do
something that will make you feel like you’ve accomplished something. Take a
class, go hiking, fix something you’ve been putting off.

Don’t start drinking. Drinking will always have a negative impact on your
life. Don’t drink while depressed or when you are trying to get over some
one. After all, drinking is for celebrating. So if you are not celebrating
something, don’t drink. A quality women is not going to be attracted to
someone who drinks a lot or has a drinking problem.

Don’t sleep in; sleeping late increases depression. Get up as early as you
can and go for a walk, take a hike, or go to the Gym. Research shows getting
up early and exercising can eliminate depression. You will have no game be
depressed.

Don’t binge eat. If you start gaining weight, you will feel less self-worth
and lose your confidence. Confidence is a quality that women are extremely
attracted to.

Conclusion, the best revenge is when you improve your life so well that she
realizes she made a big mistake. And satisfaction comes when you meet
someone so much better, you are glad the ex is gone. After all, if you are
seeking revenge, how great could she really have been in the first place!

Revenge Your Ex
Each day hundreds of men and women seek revenge on their ex-mates for a variety of reasons, usually because they got dumped or where cheated on. Revenge comes in many ways. It typically starts by using social media to vent, and then escalates from there. Now sites like “Get Revenge On Your Ex” for a fee will help you get pay back or revenge.
So what is the best way to get revenge besides slashing her tires, posting nude photos of her and so on.
The best way according to the web site Right Choices 101 is to live your
life well. This is true no matter who you are seeking revenge on. Coworkers, past bosses, bad friends or ex-lovers. Put your energy into succeeding and enjoying your life, not wasting your time, energy and resources on revenge that can end up costing you much more. Plus, when you seek revenge, you send them a massage that you have not gotten over the relationship. It’s much better to show you are indifferent and don’t care.

According to Kenneth Agee of A Foreign Affair, a service that specializes helping men find young beautiful foreign women, “The best revenge is to date or marry a women 10 years younger than your ex. This will piss her off to no end. No woman ever wants to be replaced with a younger, more attractive woman. Just like a man never likes to get replaced by a guy who is wealthier or more successful.

I will never forget one of my first clients we took to Saint Petersburg,
Russia.” says Agee, “The client told me that two days on our tour was better than two years of therapy. Having hundreds of attractive women fighting over you gets your ex out of your mind pretty quick.
I personally went through break up when my ex ran off with another man. But a short time later, I met a new lady who was ten times better. I ran into that man who stole my ex and I gave him a big thanks. In fact, I could not thank him enough. He was stuck with an older nagging women, while I was now with a young, beautiful, caring women. Plus, my ex had gained about 100 pounds. I don’t look at that fellow as any kind of enemy but as the person who saved me from my ex and years of suffering.” This is the best a revenge when you win without lowering yourself. Other sites like “Get Over Her Now” give practical advice and tips for getting over a past relationship.
Top Tips from Get Over Her Now:
Start making platonic relationships with as many women as possible, old, young, skinny, fat, cute or ugly. This greatly helps you get back in the game of socializing with the opposite sex. And it opens up lots
opportunities to meet their cute attractive friends in a more relaxed
environment. This also helps you build your game and confidence.
Improve yourself, start working out, get up early every day and exercise. Buy new clothes. Dressing better makes you feel better and improves your confidence.
Focus on work and getting a promotion or raise. Don’t let a break up effect your work negatively. Put that extra effort into work and it will pay off with a better position and more money. This will also build your confidence and help attract better quality women.
Any time you are depressed, improving yourself helps greatly. When you feel depressed, don’t sit and watch TV and then sleep-in late. Get out and do something that will make you feel like you’ve accomplished something. Take a class, go hiking, fix something you’ve been putting off.

Don’t start drinking. Drinking will always have a negative impact on your life. Don’t drink while depressed or when you are trying to get over some one. After all, drinking is for celebrating. So if you are not celebrating something, don’t drink. A quality women is not going to be attracted to someone who drinks a lot or has a drinking problem.
Don’t sleep in; sleeping late increases depression. Get up as early as you can and go for a walk, take a hike, or go to the Gym. Research shows getting up early and exercising can eliminate depression. You will have no game be depressed.

Don’t binge eat. If you start gaining weight, you will feel less self-worth
and lose your confidence. Confidence is a quality that women are extremely
attracted to.

Conclusion, the best revenge is when you improve your life so well that she realizes she made a big mistake. And satisfaction comes when you meet someone so much better, you are glad the ex is gone. After all, if you are seeking revenge, how great could she really have been in the first place!

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After being in relationship with my husband for nine 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 referring 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, his email is ([email protected]} wassap.+2348153052125) you can email him if you need his assistance in your relationship or anything.

Actually my first relationship after divorce (which lasted two years) was the easiest one to get over! I was bummed for a half hour at most. Then I realized I could actually date after 12 years of being on lockdown. Best time ever.

I’m still looking for the Divorced Woman who says;

1) I was my Husband’s Best Friend;

2) I ALWAYS fed my Husband and more importantly;

3) WE ALWAYS MAKE IT A PRIORITY TO SEXUALLY SATISFY EACH OTHER SEXUALLY EVEN AFTER ARGUMENTS.

But then again, I should look to capture a Unicorn or just take up the hobby of “Herding Cats”

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