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FIFTY & FURTHERMORE - Thursday, September 21, 2006

"I'm Dr. Dorree Lynn. Growing older can be a time for 
creative and passionate living, and I will apply my years 
as a psychologist to help you with the challenges and 
wonders that come with this new life stage."
------------------------------------------------------------

Hello and welcome to FIFTY & FURTHERMORE! 

Below are more reader reactions to the topic of marriage 
and divorce. I will post even more in the next issue. 
Please continue to share your thoughts! If you would like 
to make a comment or ask me a question, please email me 
at the address below and as always, I will do all I can 
to provide you with the advice you seek.

As I always say, "life is too hard to do alone - reach 
out!"

Dr. Dorree Lynn, Psychologist


Please send questions and comments to: 
email Dr. Lynn


Question:

I simply had to respond to whether things were better re: 
marriage/divorce way back when or now!  I will be turning 
65 Tuesday, September 26th.  We're born, we turn 21, we 
turn 65 (yea!), and then our final reward.  I, for one, 
think every stage of our lives has it's own blessings.  
Yep, I agree with Margaret Mead.  Every marriage was in-
deed appropriate for its time.  I gained new friends each 
and every step of the way.  Learned valuable life lessons 
and remember the good times and enjoy the present.

Anyway, it's hard to say the old ways of handling marriage/
divorce were better back then.  If you fell in love, you 
hoped it lasted.  If you were in a really bad marriage, it 
was darn hard to get out of it -- even if the children 
suffered as a result.  Back then and even into the 70's, 
living together (or god forbid! going to a motel) could 
land you in jail.  Consequently, there were a lot of 
marriages made in haste.

Fast forwarding to the 80's, my mother told me "well, at 
least you didn't live out of wedlock with anyone or get 
pregnant."  Looking back, I wish I'd had the nerve to 
"trial marriage."  Wouldn't have married the men I did 
but as I said, no regrets.  There is something to be said 
about truly! getting to know someone.  Of course, the 
problem can be, some people are STILL able to pull the 
wool over their partner's eyes before the "big" day.

So, who's to say!  People have to learn to listen to the 
voice inside and go from there.  Then, ENJOY!  We have one 
chance at making the most of what we have in our lifetime. 
Pull out of memories the really good times so there is a 
positive every step of the way.  As for old age, I think 
it's an absolute hoot.  The aches and pains, one NEEDS to 
just laugh at it.  When we were quite young, we thought 
people had to be dead by 50 or 60, for heaven's sake.  My 
parents lived to be in their mid-80's.  My poor mother did 
not enjoy her life that much.

Answer:

Thanks for your two cents worth and happy early birthday! 
You have a positive attitude on life and all its sur-
prises that can't help but be contagious. It is true that 
while divorce may be the answer for one person, it is not 
necessarily the best choice for another. You say you only 
have one chance to make the best of things, but I like to 
think we are presented the opportunity to smile in the 
face of adversity often - it's just that if we are so busy 
smiling, any new challenge that comes our way will seem 
like a mere bump in the road - each "appropriate for its 
time."

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Question:

I never thought that I would end up divorced, but when I 
informed my then husband that I wanted a divorce, his 
response was, "Do you want the waterbed?"
 
Obviously, the relationship was over long before that 
moment.
 
So ~ which impact is worse on the children ... to live in 
a house full of animosity,or to be in a home with one
parent not there, but without the daily fights? This, I 
think is the major question.
 
I personally am against the "five minute marriages" that 
end in divorce ~ but it is more that I am against the 
taking of the institution of marriage so lightly that 
divorce is seen as a good option ~ like changing your 
hair style.
 
I believe that the divorce rate would decline if there 
was a way to get people to be really interested in build-
ing a life together, and not just 'the thing to do 
because all my friends are doing it.'
 
Statistics indicate that those who live together before 
getting married do not fair any better than those who do 
not. This indicates to me that it is not a matter of "I 
didn't know he (or she) was so (fill in the blank)." 
Instead it is a matter that in today's society we have 
throw away people just as we have disposable everything 
else. That is to our shame.
 
My second relationship ended with the death of my 
partner, which was painful, but I believe that it showed 
character to stay in the relationship after the diagnosis 
of cancer and everything that followed that. "In sickness 
and in health" should mean something ~ as all the other 
promises also should be taken seriously. 


Answer:

I agree that while it is a good thing for those in abusive 
marriages that divorce is now an acceptable option, the 
fact that marriages are now seen as disposable in many 
cases is upsetting. I, too, remember when "til death do 
us part" were the words to live by, not "til I find some-
one better." You bring up an excellent point of further 
debate, however. Does staying in a broken marriage really 
benefit the children or is divorce sometimes a better 
option for THEIR well-being? I have written an article on 
this very topic, but I'd like to hear your opinions first. 
Keep the emails coming!

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Question:

I've been divorced from my first husband since 1994. We 
both remarried, me for 3  years  until  he left  me after  
I  suffered a  life-changing stroke at age 39 (I'm now 
disabled and unable  to work). We always kept  in  touch  
since  we  share a  daughter  who is  now 22.  He just got 
divorced from his second wife  3 weeks ago. This is the 
first time we've both been single  at the  same  time. 
He's now wealthy as he hit  it  big  the  year after  our 
divorce (just my  luck).  I'm now 50, he's 57, and he's 
indicated that  he would like  to  see  me again. I 
unfortunately have no desire for anything other  than a 
friendship (I'm sure  he'll  want more) but im really in 
dire straits  financially. I know  he would pay for a lot 
for me but I would feel like I was  using him  and that's 
not in  my nature. What should I do? We  had a 17  year 
relationship, dating  for 5  yrs, married  for 12. I  
left  him because of his alcohol abuse (He's still drink-
ing  as   far  as  I  know).

Answer:

You say your ex-husband has only been divorced for 3 weeks 
and he is already eager to jump back into things with you. 
What's to say three weeks later, he won't be ready to start 
things back with his other ex (or with someone new)? It 
sounds like you have had many challenges in your life and 
I certainly sympathize with your financial situation, but 
remember that you divorced this man for a reason. You 
indicate that the same behavior that caused you to leave 
him continues on today, 12 years later. Sure, he could pay 
your bills, but are you willing to trade your emotional 
security and happiness (and possibly safety concerning his 
alcoholism) for financial security? I am sure it took a lot 
of strength and courage to walk away the first time, and it 
is time to summon that courage once more in resisting his 
advances. You say jokingly that it was just your luck that 
he hit it big after your divorce, but it truly may have 
been a blessing in disguise. His character alone wasn't 
enough to make you stay in the marriage then. You need to 
ask yourself if he didn't have the money he has now, would 
you still be writing me asking if you should date him again? 
Your instinct to stick with your nature is right on in this 
case.

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     For more insight and advice from Dr. Lynn visit:              
fiftyandfurthermore.com

------------------------------------------------------------

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