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The Greens DEAR SUSAN: My friend is so jealous; she tries to outdo me in every way. But we like each other and would be BFFs (we've known each other since ninth grade) if it weren't for her envy. What to do? — From the "Single File" blog DEAR BLOGGER: (…Read more. Job vs. Career DEAR SUSAN: I work hard for my employer and feel good about my efforts. You have said that working is the ultimate connection to the world, especially when you're not married. (I've been divorced for a few years.) Please tell me more about that. &#…Read more. Sweet Payback DEAR SUSAN: It may sound strange, but I've found my own version of prayer to be a huge comfort in my low moments. It isn't always the same prayer; I change the words to fit my mood. But praying to a higher power gives me peace. Do other readers tell …Read more. Bitterness DEAR SUSAN: My romance just ended with a bang. He had said he was 40; he's really 63. He had sworn he was unattached; I discovered he's actually married — with three children. It was all fairy tale stuff that his wife knew nothing about. I …Read more.
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Premarital Divorce

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DEAR SUSAN: It's the end of the world because it's the end of my love affair. For five years, we've been together, years of fun and laughs and serious talk. Now he wants out. Actually, he's gone. And I'm lost. — From the "Single File" blog

DEAR BLOGGER: You, friend, are a victim of divorce. There are no legal papers to sign, because this is a premarital divorce, but the pain is just as intense. And it's the old timeworn story: A special man appears; you drop your single buddies in favor of (his) coupled friends; his world becomes your world. But when the world turns on its axis and the relationship is over, that world turns to ashes.

You are left with a much smaller world and intense feelings of pain, resentment, hostility. Hardly the ingredients of a new life, but that is your challenge — to start over with a fresh vision. Somewhere deep inside, you know that you are still an OK person and haven't been thrown over because of some basic worthlessness, but the challenge remains to reconstruct your world. Your work now is to find the energy — and the optimism — to do just that, especially when you know the whole process could happen again — and again, a future of ecstasies and agonies.

But there is a way out, and it's definitely not to stop risking your heart. By designing your own spheres of interests, friends and activities, your world doesn't end if and when love ends. Keeping the balance takes a conscious decision not to wrap your life around your man, to resist losing your very soul in the heat of togetherness. Keeping your separateness within the togetherness is actually a generous act; your self-interest reduces the pressure on a man to be all things to you.

It definitely makes you more interesting, and it distributes partners' responsibilities more evenly. The biggest plus of all? It equips you to handle the terrible moment when someone you love makes a choice you don't like.

Clip this letter, and read it before every date, my friend. By losing this man's love, you may well have found yourself.

DEAR SUSAN: The man in my life will not commit. We've been together for a few years, but he's always backing out from any talk we have about our life together. I'm at my wits' end. What's your opinion? — From the "Single File" blog

DEAR BLOGGER: I'm staying out of this saga, out in the airy-fairy neutral zone where breathing is easy 'cause we leave commitment for the next guy. Sorry to say, but your letter puts YOU into my lens for closer inspection. Just how can you be with a man for years and not give him a title? Husband, boyfriend, lover, best friend, buddy, pal, almost-got-him. Somehow I feel in my bones that you're the one with an allergy to commitment, happy to complain about the man in your life once in a while.

If one partner won't commit and the other wants commitment, then they should split and think about things. But there you stay, together day after day, year after year, knowing for certain he won't commit. That relieves you of many responsibilities and keeps him cast as the eternal villain of the peace. What could be a cozier arrangement for you?

Sorry to burst your balloon, dear lady. But my itching palms never fail me. This is a setup for you, allowing you plenty of grousing room. (Not too loud, please. The neighbors might complain.) I wish you and your man eons of togetherness (unwed, of course).

Have a question for Susan? You can reach her directly at sumor123@aol.com.

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Comments

4 Comments | Post Comment
LW1 -- Well at least it didn't cost thousands of dollars in attorney fees. Women want out sometimes to, it's not always the man, but the man usually has to foot the bill when either wants to get out. A marriage license is just a piece of paper anyway. If you plan on having children it's a good idea to get married.
Comment: #1
Posted by: J
Fri Sep 19, 2014 8:49 AM
LW2 -- Or, maybe, he's just not that into you.
Duh.
We've all been the less interested party at some time or other. Not much to solve there! Big duh.
Comment: #2
Posted by: ClayMore
Fri Sep 19, 2014 10:11 AM
Or, he is into you but not into marriage. Can some people want to stay single? Gee, ya think? ("Being committed *sounds* nice, and marriage is an institution, but who wants to be committed to an institution?")
Comment: #3
Posted by: ClayMore
Sat Sep 20, 2014 11:41 AM
LW1 -- You're a woman go find you another "love affair."

Susan -- she doesn't say anything about pain as you did "but the pain is just as intense" she just said she was lost.
Comment: #4
Posted by: J
Sat Sep 20, 2014 1:41 PM
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