Laura, a 55 year old recently divorced woman after a ten year long second marriage, told me that she is enjoying being alone; a far cry from the unacceptably lonely existence she envisioned when she first contemplated leaving her husband. Her 'enjoyment' was much more than simply the relief of being out of a conflict-ridden marriage. Her single status was a time of discovery and a cherished opportunity to learn things about herself and about the world around her that she never seemed to have the inclination to do while immersed in the throes of her failing relationship. As a result, Laura has chosen not to become involved with another romantic partner; something she had previously imagined she would find necessary. She told me that she was very busy reestablishing relationships with friends whom she knowingly avoided or even neglected throughout her marriage: "Hal didn't like my fr iends so I just assumed I could not be with them as long as I was with him." She rediscovered her love of music ("Hal hated music!") and began taking evening courses to help her become more knowledgeable about politics, economics, and art ("Hal hated it when I would go out at night without him and he never wanted to go anywhere so we just stayed home). As Laura put it, "As long as there was an 'us,' there really wasn't a 'me'."
An updated version of If There is an 'Us,' What Happens to 'Me?' is included in my new book, Help Me!. More information, including the table of contents, reviews and purchasing information is available on the Help Me! page.