DEAR ABBY: After nearly 40 years of marriage, my parents are in the middle of a divorce. My mother is devastated and humiliated. My father is now living with "Carol," who was my mother's best friend. They are living in what used to be my grandparents' home, less than a mile from Mother.
Mother is trying to get on with her life, but how can she when Carol insists on shopping at the store where my mother works? My father acts like he's done nothing wrong.
Abby, have they lost their minds? I'd like to think my father is sane, but I'm not too sure anymore. I'd greatly appreciate some advice about how to deal with this. -- IRATE IN TEXAS
DEAR IRATE: I hope your mother has a good divorce lawyer, because after having invested 40 years in her marriage she deserves to be left with more than "devastation and humiliation."
In some ways, a divorce is like a death in the family. Your mother is going to need time to grieve and heal. Do not allow her to isolate herself. Keep her busy and help her find new activities to occupy her time and her mind. Exercise is not only good for the body, it can help to keep depression at bay. Encourage her to join a gym or enroll in exercise classes. The more social contacts your mother can make, the better. It's important that she meet new people. Assure her that this is only the end of a chapter, it's not the whole story. And please tell her she is in my prayers.