[quote="styrgwillidar, post:16, topic:249228"]
My wife walked out on me about 1.5 years ago after a 21 year marriage. First thing your friend needs to do is learn to live with himself, be himself again. He needs to sit down and determine who he is, what the divorce may have changed about him-- attitude, bitterness, trust-- and decide if he wants to be changed that way. I did not want my divorce to change me into an angry, bitter and vindictive person because I have never thought of myself that way. Hopefully, I've been successful. :)
I haven't even thought of dating, getting over and learning to cope with the betrayal takes time. And during that time-- even if the Catholic church didn't prohibit it-- it's a bad idea to get involved with anyone because frankly, your head isn't on straight. I know mine still isn't. You can't help but be 'needy' because of what you're missing, but you can't get into a relationship without being able to give. And frankly, it will take a long time for a relationship to develop to the point of the same level of intimacy that was lost. I don't see how anyone can jump straight out of one relationship into another and be there for the next person to the same degree as the first. You can't be all take, and you have to give yourself time to be able to separate your feelings from your ex-wife from other women you meet.
In many ways it's been easier for me as I have two minor children and they're living with me full time, with the ex visiting them here. I am able to focus on them.
He need to find something else to focus on-- work, hobby, new group etc. particularly beneficial if it's in something he'd always wanted to do but has put off. Motorcycles, sailing, SCUBA, art, dance -- whatever. A new subject/hobby/activity is better because it starts to give him separation from married life to his new life.
You need to listen and be supportive. For sorting out himself, he could see a therapist. If he hasn't been seeing a therapist I strongly recommend he go to one. They can be very good in helping him come to the realizations he needs to in order to move on. Or, to simply confirm to him that he is in fact coping, reaffirm that he's not abnormal and even confirm to him that he may not need therapy or counseling. And as a neutral unbiased, impartial observer he can talk to them about things he may not wish to discuss with anyone else, and get opinions that others may be unwilling to share.
He's been seeing a therapist for... about 10 months now. I'm going to keep on listening to him and being supportive, but not of destructive thoughts/behaviors he gets into.
I think the way you've handled your situation is excellent and admirable, and I'm sure it's to your kids' benefit. My parents did not respond to divorce in any kind of positive way, which made it very difficult for my sister and I. So cheers to you for being a good dad!