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In Response to RE: I truly believe it is easier to heal from being widowed than divorced... by LeilaLW
You have brought up such an interesting point and has given me something to think about. I wonder if a lot of us fail to do the grief work after a divorce.
I have been married and divorced 4 times so I feel a bit of an expert on the topic. The last 2 divorces were not that difficult and I was thinking it was because I had already had some practice. Now I'm thinking it was because of the grief work that I did.
I went into therapy when I knew that marriage #3 was failing. I thought I wanted to save it no matter what it took, never mind that I was miserable. I did a lot of work on myself, at the time thinking that if I could learn to be happy that was all it would take. Needless to say that wasn't true but I did a lot of grief work before I actually filed the papers.
One of the things I learned was that in marriage 1 and 2 I never really did the grief work. I made the mistake that I think a lot of people make and I got stuck in the anger and hurt phase. The important thing that I never got to was the last step, the acceptance phase. It is only after getting through this that I can look back without the emotional stuff and see the part I played in the collapse, as well as those of the other person. That's when I can learn the lessons and grow, hopefully not making the same mistake again. I don't know if I would have reached that point without the therapy but it seemed I started a new relationship before I got to there.
As it turned out, marriage #4 was to my college sweetheart. He had married one of my sorority sisters after we broke up and they had 2 children that I became the step-mother to. This presented an interesting situation at family gatherings. It has proved especially interesting since the divorce when she and I have been able to compare experiences. I think there has been a lot of healing in that.
As of now I have been single for almost 10 years and am really appreciating the peace and quiet.