Police Psychology | Police Divorce Part 2: Hate to Admit
by Dr. Gary S. Aumiller
When I was in my late 20’s and just married, I asked a friend of ours (who was really old, a few years short of 40) what was it like to be divorced? Does it feel different?! He had an early marriage that didn’t work, and frankly divorce wasn’t in my wheel of experiences then, so I was curious. He said “it was really rough at first, but looking back now it was just a relationship gone bad, like you had in high school or college.” I didn’t buy it. I mean this was a marriage, the sanctity of vows, building a life together, dreams, together goals, and all that jazz.
So you’ve started the process of getting a divorce. You’ve stopped blaming the other party. You’ve stopped envisioning him in a refrigerator box living on the streets or her in a mental hospital, now you have to do something, right? Time to find some loose women and play the field, or find a real man that knows how to take care of a woman, or play on the other team for awhile and gain some new experiences with your own sex, or become more independent and find yourself by jumping out of a plane, or perhaps stay with that new love that got you out of your marriage and will lead you to eternal bliss. Let me know how these work out for you. I’ll be waiting for you to boomerang to the same spot you are in right now.
Be The Loneliness
You’re not going to like my answer. It’s time for you to live with the pain and get used to it. If you’re the one who’s leaving, don’t run to the arms of someone you think is better for you. If your being left, don’t run to some new adventure to help you forget. Feel the pain. You have to mourn the end of a relationship. You learn early ias a psychologist that the prevalent feeling in this business is “it is better to be miserable than be alone.” That’s why people stay with abusive men or women. They would rather be miserable than be alone. You’ve got to break that sentiment. You’ve got to get the idea that both being alone and being with someone can be alive and happy, and miserable and desperate. Life is full of perceived opposites that exist together.
So why would you deny yourself some easy relief for your pain when it is there? The same reason you ate your vegetables when you were a kid, so you can grow big and strong. You will only grow if you feel the loneliness and are not afraid of it. You need to realize whatever state you are in can be happy and will be sad. That feeling comes from you, not others, and you need to know this and feel it. Hopefully this will be the first and only time you will go through this, and that chance will be increased if you learn more about yourself and what you are interested in. Don’t make decisions about another person in desperation, and that’s exactly what you are doing if you move to another quickly. Feel the loneliness, don’t fear it and live well. All states in life are fun if you just sit back and enjoy them.
God’s Greatest Gift
I went through a divorce early in life, when in my late twenties. It was the worst and the best thing ever happened to me. Imagine being a psychologist and listening to other people’s problems all day while you were having your heart ripped out. I stayed in one room in my house and would retreat there as soon as I got home. What a terrible time in my life for a few months! Then I figured I better do something as TV was not bringing me out of it, so I started writing Keeping It Simple. And I started speaking other places, at first for free, then money came. Then I started designing my life. Eventually I started dating. The first girl I dated I fell madly in love with. God’s greatest gifts are dreams unfulfilled. Shouldn’t have been with her, didn’t realize it, but it worked out that way in the end. Great girl, great friend, wrong mix. I learned every step of the way, because I was so ignorant and didn’t know anything. I had never been through a divorce before. So I couldn’t be hard on myself for a situation I had never experienced. I gave myself a break and enjoyed life.
So, Back off Jerk! Give yourself a break, a break from the mainstream, from the world of dating. Love the stage you are in, and learn to do that might take a little time. I’ve had women and men say they never got as close to their kids until their divorce, then I had men and women say they were never so miserable. Which do you want to be? Find something that develops you, and come out of it a new person. Don’t make the same mistakes you did when you were 18 or 22, the last time you were single. Figure out how to be a better you first, then go after the world.
What’s It Like
And when someone asks me, “what’s it like to be divorced?” I tell them, it’s just a broken relationship, just like when in high school or college. It’s all part of my memory now. Then I tell them, it was the worst and the best thing ever happened to me. Get used to the loneliness and your divorce will be the “best and worst” for you also.
Part 3 on divorce is coming. Stay tuned.
Site Editor: Gary S. Aumiller, Ph.D. ABPP
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