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I can’t get over my divorce

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Aunty Julie,

I’m a man of 38 years who is going through a divorce. The process is so painful because of what I passed through in the hands of my ex wife. We have been living apart for sometime now but the problem is that I haven’t really been able to talk to any girl since our breakup.

We haven’t really signed any divorce papers, so I feel very obligated to stay faithful to her even though our relationship as we know it is over and done with. Will I still have this problem even when we actually get divorced? And will I forever feel bad about making the first move to end this relationship?

File: Divorce

For the past three months, I could neither sleep nor concentrate on my career. My commitment to her and my love for her was the only thing that helped my to go on with my life. Now that’s over, I am totally lost. My family thinks she fed me with a love portion. Please help me with my problem.

Sunkanmi, Ibadan

Dear Sunkanmi,

Passing through a divorce or separating from a partner is one of the most significant stressors life can throw at you, and the sometimes overwhelming feelings of guilt, distraction, and disorientation you are experiencing are so normal as to almost be expected. Knowing that these emotions are common might not seem to make them easier to handle, but it might bring some comfort to know that the process of grief and loss is indeed universal.

People cope with loss differently. Some cling to feelings of remorse, guilt, and a notion that if they remain faithful to the relationship, they might be able to save it. Others feel numb and closed off from themselves and others. In both cases, it can be very helpful to focus on who you are, who you want to be, goals for your future, and tangible steps you can take get there

It’s hard to offer a guess as to when you might start to feel better, whether it’s when the divorce becomes official or sometime before or after that. But allowing yourself to feel how you’re feeling and to fall apart a little bit may be an essential part of recovering your sleep and work habits, and emerging back into your life in a new way. You cannot rush the grieving process. Many people report that after letting themselves come undone, they are able to put themselves back together stronger than before. The path of healing may seem like an impossible uphill journey, but all mountains are climbed one step at a time.

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