Life has become meaningless after my divorce
MY HUSBAND and I were married for 15 years. We have a 16-year-old son. A year ago my husband told me he wanted a divorce. It was totally unexpected and hit me like a bolt of lightning.
We had our problems, much like any other married couple, but on the whole I believed we were very happy.
I have always loved him completely and tried to be the best possible wife and mother.
He said that he had fallen in love with another woman and wanted to be free to marry her.
My whole world fell apart. It was the worst three months of my life after he told me.
I begged and pleaded with him not to leave me but to no avail. We fought and cried, but his mind was made up.
He kept on saying I had done nothing wrong and that he still cared for me, but that he was no longer in love with me.
Eventually I realised he was determined to divorce me. I did not stand a chance because this woman was much younger than I and more beautiful. He got what he wanted and we are now divorced.
I kept our home and he provides for our son, but the divorce has left me devastated and I don't know how to go on with life on my own.
I have a very good job that I love, but I am battling to even get out of bed in the morning.
I honestly feel as if I don't want to carry on living.
Will I ever get over this? Will I ever be happy again? - Devastated Divorcée, Mpumalanga
ADVICE FROM DEAR DUDU
I am so sorry that you are going through such a painful experience.
Divorce can often lead to the same grief one would suffer if one's partner had died.
This is even worse for you because you still have strong feelings for your ex-husband.
Allow yourself the sadness over the loss of your marriage. If you try to push the pain away it will definitely resurface at some time in the future.
You must lean on friends and family. Even though it might be a big effort for you, make sure that you keep in touch with the people who care for you.
Your son is probably also suffering from the divorce. Encourage him to talk to you about his feelings.
Though he might be angry with his father it is very important that he remain in contact with him.
His father must be fully involved in his son's life on every level.
This might not happen immediately, but hopefully it can be achieved in the long run. Don't speak negatively about his father to him.
Be patient with yourself. Divorce recovery is a difficult process and can take time. Grief can be paralysing after a divorce, but given time the sadness begins to lift little by little.
But if you don't feel yourself moving forward consider asking your doctor to refer you to a therapist.
It will help you to discuss your situation with someone who is objective and who will not judge you.
When you feel a little stronger, set yourself a work routine.
You have a job that you love and your son to consider so set time aside for work, relaxation, time with your son and family and friends.
If you stick to a routine it will help to keep your life on track.
Think about taking up a new interest. Perhaps within your church, community work, a sport or gym. This will help you to start feeling independent.
It is important to know that you can and will move on, but that healing takes time.
Look after yourself and your son and you will be happy again.