Gentle yet firm guidance for the dependent woman facing widowhood or, more particularly, divorce. Jensen isn't writing for...

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FORMERLY MARRIED: Learning to Live with Yourself

Gentle yet firm guidance for the dependent woman facing widowhood or, more particularly, divorce. Jensen isn't writing for the high-fliers profiled by Elizabeth CauhapÉ in Fresh Starts (above), but rather for women who have to be reminded that being alone is an opportunity--because, momentarily, they're devastated. Beginning with the moment she stood with her three children and watched her husband's car turn the comer ""out of sight,"" she uses her own experiences, and those of a few others, to review the stages of adjustment and the most common problems. Indulge yourself, she advises; then, look outward. Stay where you are if you can: you don't have to move to create a new life. You are the head of your own household, with the privileges and responsibilities. Jensen speaks of getting help, from a ""talking doctor,"" if you need it; and of how to avoid the gay-divorcee/helpless woman social traps. (Also: join groups that interest you, not just to meet people. ""And you can do things alone."") Her strongest suit is her counsel on parenting--as against mothering: the need to create a new family, with its own traditions (illustrated by her own misguided flight, the first Christmas, back to her childhood home); the need to be a ""conscious leader,"" calling the shots (illustrated by another flight, from her children's--and her own--breach of trust). There are cautionary words, too, on ""emotional vulnerability and infatuation"" (don't marry the first available man) and encouraging ones on earning a living. Financial and emotional independence, along with having your own interests and values, will stand you in good stead forever, ""whether or not you marry again."" Very little feminist or pop psychology jargon--and put forth with a certain modest grace.

Pub Date: May 31, 1983

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Westminster

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1983