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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How can I cope with the reality of 2nd failed marriage and lost job?

    I feel like a failure. I have 2 small children & separated from my ex 6 months ago (my choice). At that time I “lost” my very fulfilling job in his family's business. I can't consider another job until my daughter starts pre-school 2 days/week (in July). I don't have anyone to care for her other times & I don't want to put her in daycare.

    At 43 this is my 2nd failed marriage - the 1st because I married the wrong person, this one because my ex had depression that he wouldn't address it(amongst other, workable issues).

    I feel like a failure. I have a bad relationship with my Mum & brother. I know I should value myself as a mother, sister & friend (I have many). I should put yesterday behind me, be happy for what I have & look forward/prepare for the future, but I mourn the loss of many blown opportunities. I binge drink once a month & act stupidly (not unsafely). I feel I lost the opp to forge a career so life after kids at school seems bleak. Although people like me I feel unlikable.
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 1


    Kristen Ross

    Counsellor, Kinesiologist

    Kristen Ross is a qualified Kinesiologist, Counsellor and Sports Therapist.Affinity Wellness is her holistic wellness practice offering a holistic wellness experience by focusing on all … View Profile

    There are a number of issues in the statement you have made and I would encourage you to seek professional help, I would also encourage you to take up a meditation practice which focuses clearly on concepts of self-grasping and attachment. 

    What stands out in your statement is that you are not coping with the ‘reality’ of who you are. In essence isn't your reality what you percieve it to be? What you may really be saying when you make this statement is that you are not willing to accept responsibility for your own negative thoughts, and the circumstances you have created. You have also noted that you made the choices to leave your previous partners because of their own faults, one was the wrong person and one was depressed, I wonder if you can see where you may be placing blame instead of accepting a role in the break-down of your realtionships. 

    I strongly encourage you to look within to understand that the source of your unhappiness and dislike of self is a result of a lack of control of your mind and attachment to self-created ideas of what life ‘should’ be like. 

  • Mariela Occelli

    Clinical Psychologist, Psychologist

    Mariela Occelli is a Clinical Psychologist with well over 20 years experience in the assessment and treatment of clinical disorders. She has worked in private … View Profile

    It sounds as though life is overwhelming you at present. The loss of your marriage and stable job are important and stressful life changes, even if you left your marriage by choice. The responsibility of being a single parent and the lack of a supportive relationship with your mother and brother appear to be adding to your distress. Your despair, loss of self esteem, pesimism and binge drinking may signal that you have developed depession. Depression is fortunately very treatable. I advise that you speak to your GP to refer you to a Clinical Psychologist who can help you develop strategies to regain hope for your future and a happier more fulfilling outlook.
    Mariela Occelli -Clinical Psychologist

  • 1




    I have been working in Eltham, Melbourne as a relationship and family counsellor for over twelve years. I draw on current theory and research about … View Profile

    Wow - you've been very courageous to leave a relationship that wasn't meeting your needs, even though you've had to give up a lot. It seems to me that it's very hard for you at the moment to stay connected to your strengths. Even when we initiate changes we know that in the longer term will be good, it's normal to experience grief about what we've lost. Maybe it's the grief-stricken part of you that says “I am a failure” - the part that is longing for the security and sense of connectedness that being in a stable partnership brings.  There's another part of you though, saying “I don't want to put my daughter in daycare”, “I don't want to stay in a relationship where my partner won't work on things with me” - a tough part of you that knows what's important to her and is prepared to make sacrifices in order to have it. You may benefit from seeking counselling to provide extra support to both parts of you - to affirm the strong, brave part, and to allow the vulnerable, grieving part of you to process difficult feelings. Beating up on the vulnerable part of you, or trying to shut her out, whether you do it through binge-drinking or simply giving yourself a hard time, may feel like a way to get through, but it sounds like you're already aware that it's causing other problems. Be gentle with yourself, and all the best.

  • I am a Melbourne Relationship Counsellor and Family Lawyer who is skilful in helping people get out of the pain of relationship distress and create … View Profile

    As Vivienne says above it is helpful to listen in to the various parts of you.
    Right now you identify with feelings of failure. However, I wonder if you can adopt a sense of curiosity and sense into what other parts may have to say to you. A part of you may feel like a failure but that is not the whole of you. Even if it feels like it is, try just changing your language and using the idea of parts.
    For example, you did have a very fulfilling job. That means that you can experience that again. If people like you, why is that? Surely they see strengths and good qualities in you.You obviously care for your child and as a mother you have alot to balance. So, can you see if you can listen to other parts, parts that may have more to say to you about your strengths, or even your opportunities?

    Focussing is a method which teaches you to do this. I am happy to speak further to you about this and other methods that help work with your beliefs and experience either by phone or email.

    All the best.

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