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Have You Got Post Divorce Stress Disorder?

Aug 18, 2007
Join any major dating site for a while and you will see the same faces come round again and again. They are not ugly or evil or dangerous people. They are ordinary people like you and me, and yet for some reason love is eluding them.

They are suffering from PDSD - Post Divorce Stress Disorder. (Don't Google it - I made it up!)

The internet is peppered with the walking wounded. Literally tens of thousands of divorced or jilted people from all over the computerised world are looking for new love. Naturally, there are success stories with happy endings. But the vast majority are frustrated individuals who just cannot - or more accurately will not fall in love. They've been hurt once before - and that's once too often. Not only that, but the pain of rejection that being divorced can engender, leads them to fear that they aren't actually loveable. They hope and fervently believe that new love is the antidote: that they will recover from their divorce trauma if the knight or princess of their dreams shows up.

This tragedy is avoidable. Divorce recovery is possible and rapid once you understand where the pain came from in the first place.

Why Do You Want A Relationship Anyway?

To discover that you have to first ask yourself why anyone wants a relationship. The answer is not obvious, but it is simple. In just about every generation up to about the 1950s, people got into relationships because it was inevitable. Sooner or later, procreation was going to take place, and pregnancy meant that mothers needed economic support which was, of course, provided by fathers. Roles were clear, nature played a big part. Whether relationships were "happy" or the couple were "in love" were secondary considerations. The relationship itself was primary, and at all costs was made to survive until death did them part. Add in social and religious pressures, and no wonder our grandparents and all of their forbears stayed together for life.

Nowadays we have a completely different agenda. It boils down to this: we will only stay in a relationship, or even enter into one, if it feels better than not doing so.

In other words, relationships have to make us happy or we're out. That's what leads to the break ups and the divorces - and also the quest for new love. It is the eternal, restless search for happiness. But, seductive as it might seem, another romance will not make you happy. Why not? Because your happiness comes from inside you, not from the presence of another.

The fact remains, though, that broken relationships lead to broken hearts, and broken hearts hurt. Pain leads to fear, and fear leads to either a total giving up, or an attempt to half commit - with resulting unsatisfactory relationships all round.

Now, we have the ingredients for the antidote to the pain of divorce.

There are two things, really. First, love yourself. Sounds simple, I know, and can take a lot of work to achieve if you're not used to it. Plus, it's made harder by having been rejected through divorce before. ("Who'd want me?"). If you can feel good about the person you're guaranteed to wake up with every day of your life, no one can hurt you, because that's your inner strength. It wouldn't matter how many times someone told Arnold Schwarzenegger he was a weakling, would it? He would always know that wasn't true.

Secondly, get clear, really clear, about what you want. And then be honest about that. Do you really want to be with someone with young children? Do you mind if the lovely person you've just met has an almost zero libido? Or an insatiable one?

Be flexible with yourself about this. Your wants and needs are going to change. They won't be the same three months after the end of a relationship as they will be when three years have elapsed. So you have to learn to listen to your inner self, and not only hear it, but trust it and act on its advice!

What this amounts to actually reduces to an amazing and simple formula for finding and keeping true love. Get to know, like and love the person you spend every day with. (For full details of who that is, check your nearest mirror!) Start with gratitude. Find three things a day, (first thing in the morning is good - it sets you up for the day). Three a day to be grateful for. How about your health? Or your intelligence. Or your tenacity in looking for answers. (You're reading this, aren't you?)

At night, before going to sleep, find three more things that made your day. Someone smiled at you. A child, perhaps. A friend called. The sunset was gorgeous. An email made you laugh. Three magic moments a night. At the end of a year you'd have over a thousand pleasant memories, especially if you write them down!

You begin to re-grow your love for yourself and for life. That way, you'll have bundles of love to give away, you'll be a joy to be around, (which makes you irresistibly attractive), and during those times when you find yourself alone, you'll be delighted to have your company for a while.

After all, who wouldn't?
About the Author
Trevor Emdon writes and coaches personal development programs. He is a graduate of Anthony Robbins' Mastery University. His book "How To Fall In Love When Your Heart's Been Broken" has a powerful 6 step process for recovery from divorce and loss of love. Find it at www.in-love-again.com
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