Attention Women: Avoid These Mistakes When Going Through a Divorce
First-of-its-kind “divorce survival guide” aimed at females
Toronto, Ontario (May 2013) – No one said going through a divorce is easy – in fact, it can be likened to dealing with death – but there are ways to manage the pain and speed up the healing process.
That’s the message of leading family psychologist Dr. Barbara Dydyk, who has launched Canada’s first divorce advice book aimed specifically at women. Called And They Lived…Happily Never After?, the 74-page book is billed as a “brief survival guide,” meant to be an easy read and to be re-read several times throughout the separation and divorce process.
“Women and men deal with divorce differently and have different emotional and practical needs,” said Dr. Dydyk, who has had a private family psychology practice, currently based in Aurora, Ontario, for the last 20 years.
“During my many years of counseling and research, I never came across a book geared specifically towards the needs of women, so I set out to fill this gap and address the many issues that are unique to females,” she said, explaining that the suggestions detailed in her book were amassed over the years from working with scores of female clients going through divorce.
Although one-third to one-half of Canadian marriages end in divorce – the bulk in their first year of marriage or empty-nest period – Dr. Dydyk explains that many women who find themselves newly single have no idea which way to turn. In fact, many are in such a desperate state that they often make mistakes that they come to regret later on, she says.
“The book was written to help women avoid unnecessary complications as they deal with this difficult and stressful time in their lives,” said Dr. Dydyk, who herself is divorced.
Through case studies and practical advice, And They Lived…Happily Never After? covers topics from how to manage changes in the family and care for yourself as you negotiate this difficult path, to how children are affected by the divorce process no matter what their age, and ways to survive and develop new, healthy relationships.
Dr. Dydyk urges women to avoid making these top five mistakes when going through a separation and divorce:
1. Don’t be a superhero: It’s OK and normal to express a wide mix of feelings, from anger, sadness and depression, to relief, exhaustion and guilt. Like a death, it’s critical to grieve the loss of your marriage before you can go on. The process can’t be hurried.
2. Don’t rush into a relationship: Don’t even think about starting up with someone new for at least a year. Fresh out of a failed relationship, you’re fragile, lonely and vulnerable. Wait until you’re clear headed and on solid footing. The first healthy relationship you need to develop is with yourself.
3. Don’t involve the kids: Never talk to your children about the failure of your marriage and their father’s flaws. Remember that your ex is not the enemy. You must eventually respect him as your parenting-team partner. The separation process will be difficult for your kids, but handled properly, might help them better manage other life challenges later on.
4. Don’t make rash decisions: Avoid doing anything impulsive because you’re hurting. You will likely regret it almost immediately. This includes such actions as spending the night with your ex or slamming him in front of your children.
5. Don’t neglect yourself: Anyone going through a separation and divorce needs Herculean strength and the secret to obtaining it is by taking care of yourself – both emotionally and physically. Join a gym, book a hair or massage appointment, access support resources and consider seeing an experienced family therapist.
“Like a wound, recovery from a separation and divorce takes time to heal,” Dr. Dydyk explains, advising that women use that time to understand the part they played in the death of their marriage to avoid repeating mistakes in future relationships. “It takes two people to form a relationship and it takes two to break it apart. At the end of the day, seize the opportunity to grow from this experience and know that you will survive.”
And They Lived…Happily Never After? is available at www.amazon.com, www.cavershambooksellers.com andwww.parentbooks.ca, and retails for $19.95. More information can be found at www.barbaradydykpsychology.com.
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