Ask Mary Jo: Divorce coping skills & finding a good man

Hi Mary Jo,

I’m a family lawyer and some of my clients who start the divorce process are under a lot of stress, and coping skills are something they could benefit from. Do you have tips I can share?



The process of getting a divorce is difficult and the most important skill to remind your clients is not to go through it alone. A counselor can help you think clearly and not act impulsively. Here are other suggestions that will help.

•  Give yourself a break. Divorces involve two people. Stop blaming yourself for everything that went wrong in the relationship. Change your expectations at work and at home; you’re in a transition and you’re not going to be yourself during this life-changing time.

•  Accept that your feelings will be all over the place. You may find yourself feeling angry, sad, and confused frequently. It’s normal to begin crying for no reason. These reactions will lessen over time, but they can feel frightening when you’re in the middle of it.

•  Take care of yourself spiritually, emotionally, and physically. Be good to yourself and take time to eat healthy foods and exercise. Spending more time practicing your faith during this time can help you feel more connected to something bigger than yourself.

•  Avoid engaging in arguments or power struggles with your soon-to-be ex. If you can see a discussion is turning into an enraged battle or argument, stay calm and suggest talking about it at another time. Use your lawyer or mediator to help with intense agreements.

•  Share your feelings with your closest friend and family members. Talking about how you feel and gaining the support of your closest friend and family can remind you that you’re loved and you’ll make it through this time.

Hi Mary Jo,

I am 45 and never been married, and I want to know the healthiest way to find a good man as a husband.



Most singles over forty think if it’s meant to be it will be. That’s an approach that works if you are not sure you want to marry and are okay being single. However, if you’re sure you want to marry and share your life with, I recommend these suggestions.

1.  Be the single person you want to meet. Join new activities and get engaged with people. The more your try new things and meet new people, the better your chances of finding Mr. Right.

2.  Don’t get hung up with superficial qualifications. When you’re young, you see yourself with a specific type of mate but holding firm to that same standard as you age means you’ll pass up a lot of great guys who would treat you well. Look for a quality person and don’t get stuck on superficial details.

3.  Online dating apps are a wonderful way to meet potential partner. Dating apps are a wonderful idea but limit the number you use and write your own honest profile. Two popular ones for women over forty are Bumble and Hinge. Practice safe online dating no matter which one you select.

4.  Get comfortable with your own baggage. The older we get, the more life we’ve lived and mistakes we’ve made. Make peace with your past so you don’t drag it into a new relationship.

5.  Make the first move. One of the benefits of being older is you know what you want and can make the first move. If you see someone you like, don’t be afraid to begin the conversation.