When my husband and I split up my friends and family were amazing. Truly amazing. I know how lucky I was to have such a strong support system. I didn’t have to go at it alone and I felt supported every step of the way.

However, I always found it amusing when those well meaning individuals offered me advice and recommendations having never experienced Divorce themselves. Here are some of my favourites:

  • Get a Hobby
  • Take a Course
  • Go Online
  • Hire a Matchmaker

Don’t get me wrong — they all had the best intentions. But when I evaluate the list I realize that each activity involves me being with others. With the underlying assumption that I will meet that “someone special” and move on with my life. I get it – no one wants to see anyone alone and suffering. But sometimes being alone is just what we need.

The last thing I wanted to do was get a hobby or take a course and I certainly wasn’t ready to meet someone new. I was trying to survive and hold it together for my kids. I was scared and anxious and knew that I had to focus on myself. I knew I had to figure out what went wrong in my marriage and what my part was in its demise – despite my friends and family telling me he was a jerk and a narcissist.

So I bought a dog. A big, fluffy golden doodle who brought me more joy and comfort than I could ever have imagined. Everyone thought I was crazy. But I knew it was just what I needed. She got me out of my bed (try training a puppy from under the covers – it doesn’t work). She got me out of my house (try keeping a puppy locked in doors – it doesn’t work either). She made me talk to new people (try standing around a dog park and NOT talking – it doesn’t work). But most of all, she provided me with unconditional love and companionship at a time when I really needed it.

Two years later my Divorce is final and I have moved on. I am in a way better place and much happier than I have been in years. Regardless of the circumstances, Divorce is difficult and only time and reflection can heal the wounds. So if someone you really care about is going through a Divorce tell them to get a dog – they will thank you in the end.

Sandy, 44

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