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After divorce, concentrate on creating happy single life

Updated: March 18, 2014 4:15PM



Dear Cheryl: I was recently divorced after 22 years of marriage to my high school sweetheart. I thought we’d be married forever, but my husband went through a mid-life crisis and turned to another woman. I’m told that I am funny, smart and pretty. I have a good job and two beautiful and loving sons. I’m not ready to start dating, but I’d like to know how to begin when I am.

ALMOST THERE

Dear ALMOST THERE: Don’t think about dating — think about making a wonderful life for yourself as a single person. Join clubs, take classes, make new friends, get a make-over, lose weight, buy new clothes. Join a gym, volunteer, learn a new skill, take a vacation.

Get out of the house. Make your life exciting. Concentrate on yourself. Pamper yourself. Don’t put any pressure on yourself to find someone. Spend quality time learning about yourself, who you are, what you want.

When you’ve got all that going on, you’ll be ready to date and the men will be there.

Dear Cheryl: I’ve been married for more than 10 years and have a couple of great kids. But I’m really unhappy. I can’t stand my husband. He drinks nearly every day. Sometimes it’s OK because it puts him to sleep faster. Most of the time it makes him a complete jerk. He’s ruined weddings, holidays and my relationships with friends.

I feel confused and trapped. Do I live with this misery and constantly rehash how he crushed my love and took my joy with his words and actions? How he changed me with his criticism and belittling? How he twists and turns everything so that everything is my fault?

Or do I thank my lucky stars that he doesn’t physically abuse the children and me? Do I constantly remind myself that he could be worse in order to get through the day? My self-esteem is gone.

I think he may sense something because he’s interacting more with us. He sometimes wants to be included in the things the kids and I used to do on our own. But I really don’t care. I think it’s too late. The sight of him turns my stomach. I don’t know what to do.

HURTING

Dear HURTING: You can always give up, get divorced, move away, and that should give you some comfort. You don’t have to settle for so little and be this unhappy for the rest of your life. But before you pack up, make sure you’ve explored every option. You owe it to your kids.

The first thing you should do is get yourself to an Al-Anon meeting. Just having a support group of other men and women who are living with alcoholics will make you feel better.

Then tell your husband you appreciate the changes he’s making. Tell him it’s a good first step. Let him know how unhappy you are. Ask him what he’s willing to do to make your marriage happy. Is he willing to go to Alcoholics Anonymous? Will he see a marriage counselor with you? Those would be two positive steps.

If he says no to both, then ask him what he is willing to do. If he made the changes he’s suggested would it be enough for you? I can’t answer that question, only you can.

Got a problem? Or a question? Send it to cheryllavinrapp@gmail.com. Check out my new website askcheryl.net.

Creators Syndicate



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