Clinical psychologists estimate that 80 percent of those who encounter divorce also experience severe emotional trauma as part of the marital divide. The first couple of years following a divorce, therefore, are an especially important time frame to find healing and support. Unfortunately, it’s a natural tendency for many during this tender transition period immediately to seek out unhealthy romantic relationships that end up compounding the hurt and pain instead of approaching it as a season of recuperation and spiritual strengthening.
Dr. Harold Ivan Smith, a pioneer in the divorce recovery and single adult ministry movement, has experienced divorce himself first-hand and offers some valuable advice about the readjustment period accompanying the end of a marriage. The following is excerpted from Dr. Smith’s book “Singles Ask: Answers to Questions about Relationships and Sexuality” (Augsburg, 1998):
“As a divorced single adult, I know some of the struggles of readjustment. Here are my suggestions for successfully readjusting:
Sitting across the counseling table from a married couple. Well on their way to taking the rings off. For good. After years of being together. And two beautiful kids in the mix. But something happened in recent months. Something neither one ever expected. Something he had done. With a co-worker. Female even. In secret.
That experience. His experience. That became his wife’s experience. Once she found out. Taught me something. Actually it reinforced something. That I had already learned to take to heart throughout two decades of pastoral ministry.
It’s really a simple principle. That we probably all know. But seeing it first hand. Again. Really left no doubt. At least in my mind. That it’s a principle we can’t ignore. Though we often do.
So here goes: “Broken trust is hard to rebuild.” Not impossible. But terribly hard. Maybe more difficult than anything else in life. Especially when it comes to the physical side of things. Meaning sexual intimacy. With someone other than your wife.
Nothing hurts more. Nothing strikes to the core more. Nothing sticks with you more. Than broken trust. Broken physical trust. With someone other than your wife.
May very well be true. But what does this have to do with sex and the single guy?