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An excerpt from Divorce: The Marry-Go-Round by Susan Allan

In 2001, 60% of all marriages in America ended in divorce. By the year 2005, 70% of all couples are expected to divorce. Second marriages are even less successful than the first time around. Peace isn't going to find us; we have to find peace and that is the mission of The Divorce Forum™.

Most couples never recover from their first divorce. Some have never recovered from their first date. Often the patterns are set so early that we cannot remember a time when we felt peaceful, safe and free even in our own company. Habits and addictions are one way that we cope and survive. When we socialize, our inner turmoil increases. If this is true for you, there is a way out. The 7 Stages of Divorce are the 7 Stages of Life. These 7 Stages are always a journey to enlightenment. How can we move from a broken heart to a whole-hearted relationship?

By letting go Sometimes we can't; sometimes we won't. When we know that our relationship has ended; what is it that causes us to hang on? Is it chemistry, is it hope or fear, is it destiny?

Every divorce is a hero's journey and you are the hero.

Why does our mind become our enemy, holding on after the future has packed up and gone? Sometimes, even when we are the one to leave, we hold on to a prefabricated idea of the future. What stops us from letting go? Are we
afraid of being alone? Is it the ego, unwilling to be rejected? Is it the terror of losing control of our life or is it the desire to trade up?

"Anxiety produces chemical changes that the body grows used to, and addiction to anxiety in its various manifestations is perhaps the most common of all addictions." from The Little Book of Letting Go by Hugh Prather

We may believe that we are innocent, that we are the victims. At other times, we know that we have chosen badly but that we couldn't help ourselves. In order to heal our heart and to love again we must let go; there is no other way. When we let go of the relationship, we need not let go of the love we feel. Letting go of the relationship can mean so many different ways of letting go. In divorce, we may let go and share custody of children which will mean a lifetime of interaction. After letting go of our romantic feelings for the spouse, we may find a new relationship when we become grandparents.

Letting go may also mean that we have no further communication. If we can learn to let go we can avoid the pain of separation. When we release our attachment we can avoid feeling abandoned. We may be frightened so that we imagine reuniting. We envision that all our needs and theirs will be met in the future. Even if we realize that he or she will not "shape up", we may be unwilling and unable to let go and close the door. Often, the loneliness that we feel motivates us to "save a place" for someone from the past. It may be that same loneliness that has made it difficult for us to merge with another; the reason we must let go now.

"Things falling apart is a kind of testing and also a kind of healing. …They come together and they fall part. Then they come together again and fall apart again. …The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room got grief, for relief, for misery, for joy…Letting there be room for not knowing is the most important thing of all." From When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron

It is the attachment that is our teacher. Because we feel love we need to learn to let go. Often, as soon as we let go, our spouse or our lover can feel the change and just the subtle shift in energy is enough to bring him back. It does not work if you hone this skill for salesmanship. If you are willing to let go, thinking this is the first step to reconciliation, it will not work. When you truly relinquish your version of the future; when you ground yourself in "what is" right now, the energy may be transformed.

One woman wanted her boyfriend to marry her. Although they had discussed it for years, he was not ready, he said. She let go of the relationship and began to date other men. After a time, she became interested in one man and became intimate with him. Within an hour, the phone rang and it was her ex-boyfriend, begging her to marry him.

Many years ago, I tried an experiment. I knew that my boyfriend felt pressured by my need for more emotional connection. We had a very good intellectual and sexual relationship but for me, the heart connection felt sporadic. He began to speak about breaking up with me and stood up and began to walk towards the closet. Instead of thinking about abandonment, I stayed in the moment and I forced myself to just let go. Instead of getting tense or sad or angry I took three deep breaths. He continued to walk towards the closet, a distance he would cover in four more steps. I said, "You know, I think you're right. I think that would be best for both of us. This isn't working." He stopped walking and turned towards me, with an expression of surprised. I smiled and waited for him to speak, not wishing to push at all. He turned around, walked towards me, sat down and we remained together. His needs were met for space and my needs were met for connection.

"It is astonishing how elements which seem insoluble become soluble when someone listens. How confusion which seem irremediable turn into relatively clear flowing streams when one is heard." Dr. Marshall Rosenberg from A Model for Nonviolent Communication


Another form of letting go is to relinquish our own set of rules and to create a new one with our spouse. This is the basis of a loving life, created by two. The challenge of having our needs met, having healthy boundaries and fulfilling the needs of our beloved requires balance. Our desire to give and receive love may be divided into the needs of Body, Mind and Spirit. As our relationships deepen, we often see that our needs are more easily met in one area than another. Our needs may have changed. Many couples experience an imbalance in sexual desire as they stay together. A partner who has been alone for a long time may have a tremendous sexual urge that has been building up. Others prefer limited sexual relations and choose to be alone for that reason. Sometimes when they meet, the difference does not seem obvious. At first, we can meet each others needs or we trade one need for another. After years, our preferences have surfaced; can we let go of them?

"The down cycle is absolutely essential for spiritual realization. You must have failed deeply on some level or experienced some deep loss or pain to be drawn to the spiritual dimension. Or perhaps your very success became empty and meaningless and so turned out to be failure. Failure lies concealed in every success, and success in every failure." from The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

Sometimes letting go is necessary to balance the energy between people. I had dated a man just a few times. He was tremendously desirable. As soon as I became interested, he cooled which was inconvenient. I offered him friendship instead of attachment and he accepted. By letting go, I created the space for each of us to have our needs met in a new way. If there is a true bond, then it is never about manipulation.

"We soon realize that behind all the messages we have been allowing to intimidate us are simply persons with unmet needs requesting us to contribute to their well being." Dr. Marshall Rosenberg from A Model for Nonviolent Communication

The lack of heart connection is the primary cause of divorce. Even if we believe that other needs are not being met, it is the connection of the heart that is absent. 1When we can let go of our own vision of a perfect relationship, then we may begin to create one together. The process of letting go of our fantasy is often the first step in creating a loving life. When you can see yourself with acceptance of all your own components then you can connect with another in the same way. The years that we live with non-acceptance keeps us from becoming whole and from merging with another. I tell clients that many great marriages are based on the creation of a new identity. Also, terrible marriages are based on the same principle. What is the difference? Letting go. If you are loved; if you are safe; if you are protected would you not prefer to let go?


You are sure that your heart has been broken and that you will never love again. At first, you are willing to let go because the pain is so intense. If you really love and you cannot or will not meet your spouse's needs, wouldn't you leave? If you are a life partner and it is not working, shouldn't every partnership have a buy-out clause?

When the angel visited me in 1999, after I had left my husband, it said that I was "on a rocket breaking from of my orbit".

One reason that a relationship ends is that you made the choice and then you forgot it. If you had accepted your partner's behaviors and habits, and your partner had accepted yours; you would be together. If there was great pleasure, joy and connection in your life together, you would not be reading this. You have written history but forgotten it. You may even believe the break-up was caused by sex or money problems.

"When a heart connection can be found, strategies can be designed...…. without communicating anything that implies wrongness on the part of others." Dr. Marshall Rosenberg from A Model for Nonviolent Communication


Sometimes we imagine a fresh start; a new future with our spouse because the pain of being alone is too great. We immediately forget that we are creating an imaginary life with a fantasy version of our partner since we decided the real one is unacceptable. So many of you have told me exactly why you wanted to leave long before the end. Soon the AGONY becomes overwhelming. This is also caused by our inability to let go. When we feel the AGONY, realize that it is just one of many responses to the same stimulus, one of many options we have at any moment, then we can let go. When you admit that, you have returned to the hero's journey again. When you do you are free to go or to stay, free to be alone or not.

"Violence is a tragic expression of unmet needs." Dr. Marshall Rosenberg; The Center for Nonviolent Communications


If we have a deep connection with each other and some of our needs are being met and some are not, it may become complicated to let go and move on. While we often hear of couples who break-up when one partner has unsatisfied sexual desires, we hear more often of couples where one can't let go of the sex. The power of our bodies is that our spirit lives within them.

One day you were overwhelmed by thoughts of him, some nights you cannot let go of visions of her. Your mind and body appear seized by enemy agents; food doesn't help, addictions are useless except to pass the time. Then, suddenly it is over. How is that possible? What caused the entrapment of your mind? Why can you let go now and not earlier?

Sometimes lust is for the tangible possessions of a spouse. Whether it's "cherchez la femme" or "follow the money"; the lust for power and possessions is different from love and requires letting go.


"Compassion for others begins with kindness to ourselves" Pema Chodron in Starting Where You Are

We have become accustomed to justification. We justify habits that cause illness and we justify attachments that cause pain. The empathy that we feel for others is often missing towards ourselves. In divorce, when we are fearful it is more difficult and more essential that we let go.

If holding on is what we do when we are frightened, how can we train ourselves to let go instead? If you have used Lamaze breathing during childbirth then you understand the importance of letting go. If you are a downhill skier you know this, too. In tennis, golf and especially in lovemaking, magical results all require letting go. In love making if our need for orgasm becomes more urgent then our need to control the situation and we let go, we find peace. In marriage, if we misunderstand the dynamic and hold on, we may lose ourselves and lose the relationship.

What is the difference between letting go and holding on when viewed from outside? When you let go, you can never lose your soul.

If you are calm is it because you are indifferent or because you have let go? If you are worried and distracted, you are holding on but to what? Only you know what you are thinking and feeling.

Affirmations have become a useful practice for many who suffer from automatic negative conversations. The growing population for whom Prozac and similar medications are prescribed also describe their symptoms of self-doubt and self-criticism. When we decide to let go, it is not just to let go of our spouse but also to let go of all the other unworkable behaviors in our lives. In the process of learning to love, we have a perfect partner waiting at home even after our spouse has gone. To love yourself with all the compassion you have longed for; to be gentle and peaceful even in a crisis is the practice that is required. When we live with limitless patience and kindness in the face of what life brings, when we let go moment to moment we have accomplished our true goal. Peace is the goal that we have been seeking, not marriage. Sometimes it may be necessary to let go of the idea that you must remarry.

The notion that you must have or do anything in order to have a peaceful life is what stands between us and that goal. Even if you note your preferences, haven't you noticed that each of us have a list that means nothing to millions of others? I have seen thousands in the streets of Bombay who seemed more alive, who more present to life and less desperate than those walking in New York.

As long as you can let go and let go and let go, of every concept, every addiction and every rule that you have set between yourself and peace, then you have found the truth. When you let go, you reconnect to your own heart and to your soul. That is the first step to connecting to love. First you will become love and then you will express love.

Once you have united your Mind, Body and Soul, you are ready
to let go and this is the first step to love.

©Susan Allan The Divorce Forum 2002



Game Over; Do You Want to Play Again? Better Luck Next Time

The following is our interview with Tony De Lorenzo,founder of Infidelity.com. and Susan Allan, CEO of Dirtydivorce.com. www.infidelity.com is the premiere Website specializing in support for Infidelity. Tony De Lorenzo can be reached at tonyd@thedivorceforum.com.

SA: "Tony, can you please shed some light and some humor on this grim subject for us? "
TD: "If it could happen in the White House, it could happen in your house."
SA: "And does; and did in my case!"
TD: "Uhoh! Here's one case that's a good example, A guy hired us to follow his wife and she'd just turned 40; just had a baby. He felt things weren't right. He hired us to follow her; for 2-3 days she was out with her girlfriends and she wasn't doing anything wrong. The day before Valentine's Day he hired us. I said, "if she has a boyfriend, she'll see the guy in the next day or so. She goes to the bar and we call the husband up and say, "She's in a bar with her girlfriends. He says, fine, everything's fine. About an hour later she calls the husband up; we saw her make a phone call and we said to him, what happened? He said, it's ok, she called me and everything's fine. She told me she's having dinner. About 11:55 she makes another phone call. We called the husband up and he said she hadn't called him. She drives to a house and there's a boyfriend's waiting outside. They're hugging, kissing and holding hands. They walk into the guy's house for 20 minutes; all the lights went out- They both come out, they're like 17 year old kids; all lovey- dovey. They can't let go of each other.... They look over at her car- there's a big beautiful Valentine's Day card on her windshield. And they think it's from each other. They walk over to the card and it says, "Happy Valentine's Day". When they open it; it says:

"Congratulations on your new lover"
Love, your husband John and your one year old son, Mike. "

"We just had to get the point across. We have a show that we do, Fox TV buys all of my videos- the show is called "Sweet Revenge" and this is one of the sweet revenges that we do."
SA: "You've got an organization called, Infidelity Support Network. Tell us about that, please."
TD: "That is actually on the website; you can get to it at www.infidelity.com. It's the largest infidelity support network in the country. I opened it in October of 1999; 1 million people have visited my site already looking for help. There's anywhere from 500 to 1,000 articles on the site going from therapy, like, "I just found out my spouse is having an affair, I don't know how to handle it" ;to how to tell your children you're getting a divorce, support groups, we have directories and we have therapy online. Next year- we're going to be the largest infidelity site where all the experts, such as attorneys, mediators, arbitrators, therapists, they're all going to get involved with this. If someone finds out that their spouse is having an affair we can not only give them professional advice but also a support group in their area. We can refer them to an expert in their local area. Any kind of help that they would need; we can help everyone across the board on a national level. There are 65 million couples in the United States. 60% of them either had an affair in the past, are currently having an affair or will have an affair. That leaves an untouched market of 20 million people in the United States who are having an affair and 20 million people who are suffering from the results of their spouse having an affair. And that's what our target market is. "
SA: "OK, tell me another funny or horrible, anecdote."
TD: "We followed this guy who told his wife he goes to the gym all the time. He was a 6'4", 240 pounds body builder. He was a monster. We catch him having an affair with someone at the gym. As we're videotaping him they're parked right next to one of our cars. We overhear him say that they're going out next Wednesday together. We find they've only been going out for 2-3 weeks. We traced her license plate and find out her birthday is the Wednesday that this guy is taking her out. The client hires us to follow them on Wednesday. He tells her he has to go to a business meeting. He picks his girlfriend up and they go to a romantic restaurant. He sits down. He's the type of guy who always has to have his hair just right; he had to sit at the right angle so everyone could see him. He had to be sure he was Mr. Perfect. He talked to her and he always made eye contact with her. He was really big into his ego. So while they're having dinner, we deliver flowers. We have a florist's uniform. We deliver flowers to this woman. A big beautiful bouquet of flowers with balloons the whole bit and everyone inside the restaurant looked and thought, what a beautiful thing. The delivery guy said, "Happy birthday Heidi." She was so excited that her boyfriend of a 2 to 3 weeks knew it was her birthday. He didn't know what to do. So when they read the card,

On the card it says, "Congratulations on your 33rd birthday; here's the birthday I hope you never forget; I hope every time you see a rose petal you will be miserable for the rest of your life because you're having dinner with my husband." And we had the client sign the card. We like to get a point across when we know that someone's having an affair. There's no one out there that we cannot catch."

SA: "That's quite a claim."
TD: "People who read this article should know that the reason they always wind up getting away with this is because the spouse really doesn't want to know."
SA; "Yes, true."
TD: "There's no trick that they know that we don't know already. Everyone cheats the same."
SA: "My ex-husband told his friends that I must have been psychic but there were 10 tell-tale signs. In the next installment, will you tell us your 28 signs of a cheating spouse from your book? But now, tell us your rates for our readers who need your services please."
TD: "An average case takes 2-3 times surveillance. If a person goes out every Friday night, you can just follow that person on Friday night. Let's say a woman hired us ;65% of our clients are women. If he goes out Friday night with the guys and he's watching the game and he's drinking we report that. If we see him at a bar and he's watching TV but he's talking to the women and he's walking around and he's trying to mingle with them and it's like a meat market; we can tell the client he may not be having an affair now but sooner or later someone's going to say yes and he's there. Or we just come out and catch him with the woman from the get go. You could probably figure to find out Yes or No Phase one surveillance is $500 to $1,000. From there there's no limit to what you could spend."
SA: "That's very reasonable. I spent $6,000. Only a small part was surveillance. The rest was getting me safely out of the house. I presume you have bodyguards who are licensed to carry guns?"
TD: "Yes, of course"
SA: "I always tell people that once you decide that you want to know the truth, you have to know what you're willing to do about it. You can't make that decision afterwards"
TD: "That's how infidelity.com came about. People would say 'Tony, you just told me my husband was having an affair. What do I do now?' Everything you need, is on my site. The discussion boards are the hottest things there. 'I just found out my husband is having an affair. I just found the love letters. What do I do?' Someone will post, that happened to me 3 months ago, 9 months ago, 2 years ago, here's how we handled it. They have an instant support group online.
Allstate investigations has the contract for www.infidelity.com and is the largest matrimonial investigation company in the country. And we're in London and Paris also. Now I can help people on a worldwide level. Everyone cheats the same. People feel they're alone but that's why we say, 'Infidelity.com, you're not alone anymore.'"
SA: "Have you figured out the causes of infidelity yet?"
TD:"Men and women cheat different. A man has his name on the door, he has his sports car, he plays golf, he has his toys and the girlfriend. He's not looking to get a divorce. When he goes home he's married and when he goes out he's with the girlfriend. It's hard for a woman to find out her husband is having a relationship with her and still be having an affair. The ones we say are"doing it right" They take care of it at home and they take care of it on the way out."
SA: "Wait- you don't mean, they're doing it right- They're cheating!"
TD: "The ones who we say are 'doing it right' are the ones who are the hardest to catch."
SA: "Oh, you mean being a good husband and being a cheat?"
Td: "Right! Women usually fool around for emotional support. She'll be with the person and say here are my problems. Very, very seldom do we find the woman also sleeping with the husband. That's one big sign."
SA: "It's interesting to know that women have higher integrity."
TD: "65% of the people we follow are men, 35% of the people we follow are women but every year it goes up 1%. It's easier now for women to meet people. Based on people hooking up through computers, we follow women more now. We have software now we can put into the hard drive- $500 if we sell you the program and $1,000 if we do it for you. Desk-top surveillance."
SA: "This is incredible- I had to have my hard drive copied because we shared the computer."
TD: "And get the phone bill which will tell you immediately who the girlfriend is. We had a guy who spoke to his girlfriend 902 times in one month. His phone bill was one number. We download it right there in your house. We have another program and every day you can go onto your own computer and you can see everything that went on the screen in the last 24 hours. The daily check is the same price, all inclusive. And www.checkmate.com does sperm analysis. They put the chemical on the clothing and can find out instantly if the person had sex or not."
TD: "We had a woman call up her husband and say she was from the VD clinic and that a patient named him as having an affair with her. He flipped out and she asked him to name the other people he had had sex with and he started to rattle off names. Another woman got a pager; got the same identical pager as her husband and switched pagers with him. When he got paged, she called his pager and put in the numbers she wanted him to get and any time the girl friend paged, she wrote down those numbers and had the girlfriend's numbers."
SA: "Tony, listening to you has been an amazing experience. I can't wait to read your book, 28 Telltale Signs of a Cheating Spouse and I only wish that I had met you BEFORE I met my husband! Thank you so very much.