Divorce is not an unusual occurrence in our society anymore, with most statistics telling us that 1 in 3 marriages will end in divorce.
What is often unspoken is how difficult divorce is to go through and that there are many conflicting emotions to go through that are similar to a death in the family. Grief, fear and shame go hand-in-hand when it comes to divorce, yet it is hard to talk about.
When divorce happens, a death occurs. Your life, all you knew, all you expected for the future is gone. It has died and mourning is a part of the process you will have to face. But, unlike the death of a loved one, you don’t expect it. We know that everyone will die, just like we assume everyone will stay married.
There is no handbook and, just like the mourning of a death, there is no rhyme or reason to the stages you will go through. One day you will be fine and the next you will be unable to get out of bed so overwhelmed by the pain of your varied emotions.
Along the way, many will have their opinions. Some will judge quietly while others will make their feelings known. Knowing nothing about what has occurred behind the closed doors of your house, some will feel compelled to advise you on your most intimate relationship. Their reasons are many but the truth is, unless they have been there, they likely don’t understand in full because they simply can’t.
What Divorce Will Be
Hard. Perhaps the hardest thing you’ve ever suffered, especially if you weren’t the one who ended it.
Death. The death of your dreams and the future you envisaged for yourself.
Heartbreaking. Whether it’s meeting your ex’s new partner or dealing with the fallout for your children, you may be struck by the pain suddenly and often unexpectedly.
Humbling. If you thought you were better in any way than those people who couldn’t make it, you now realize you aren’t. It’ll make you a better person, because you will learn empathy.
Confusing. You get the sense you should feel ashamed of your failure, yet you need to talk about it.
Questioning. You may question your ability to choose a partner, which may lead to questioning other truths you previously held.
Lonely. The silence can be difficult. Once upon a time, someone was always there. And now he/she is not.
What Divorce Can Be
A beginning. You will go on, and life is new again. You have the change to create something entirely different. It’s the beginning of a whole new life.
A second chance. Divorce teaches you how you have failed and what you want to bring to the next relationship. It can also teach you what you will and won’t tolerate in a new relationship, and how to see red flags in a potential partner.
Exciting. You no longer answer to anyone, so you can indulge yourself in adventures you’ve been dreaming of for ages. You can take up rock-climbing, French lessons, a book club, skydiving or any activity that you’ve wanted to, make new friends and start life again on your own terms.
An exercise in compassion. You have a new respect for those people you may have judged. They are now your brothers and sisters who welcome you into the club no one wants to be in. You can become a more compassionate person for those who are suffering, and learn how to be kind to yourself.
A discovery of yourself. You learn that you can survive. You can do all the things all by yourself. It’s empowering to be self-sufficient.
A time of answers. You may not know all the answers but you learn to be okay with that. You learn that knowing who you are is more important than having all the answers.
Alone. Being alone is not the same as being lonely. Instead, you learn to enjoy your own company. In the quiet, you learn to enjoy the silence, find out who you are and how you really want to spend your time.
It may be hard to think of divorce positively when you are feeling hurt and angry, or feel like you will never be able to get past it.
Navigating a divorce is hard. It takes time to get over the initial anger, pain, and hurt, but then you have a big decision to make. Are you going to stay in the world of anger and hurt or are you going to try to move through the change with honesty and grace? This decision is a tipping point. People stay in anger because it either feels justifiable or maybe they’re just not sure how to move through it any other way.
How To Move From Anger to Acceptance
Put Yourself First
To move forward, you have to take care of yourself first and foremost. Putting yourself first is easier said than done because you tend to feel guilty about the impact that our divorce has on others, so you overcompensate by focusing more on your children, your job, and your home, etc. than on yourself.
If your foundation isn’t strong, you cannot help anyone around you who may be relying on your support.
Yes, it is easy to blame, but if you are only pointing the finger at others, it keeps you in the victim mode and stops you from moving forward.
Stay Off Social Meeting For A While
Keep these three simple rules in mind.
Don’t text or post in anger or when you are drinking! Put that phone down girl! It may feel good at the moment, but you can’t get that stuff back.
Don’t play the Facebook game of trying to show how great your life is in hopes your ex see’s it or to fool your friends. It’s embarrassing. Let go of worrying how your divorce looks to others.
Don’t stalk your ex on Facebook. They may be playing the same game and then you are left with heartache as you view pictures of his or her “new” life.
It’s probably just best to deactivate your account for a while. It’s a big time waster anyway!
You alone are the only one responsible for your happiness.
Refuse To Be The Victim
That’s it in a nutshell. Refuse to be the victim.
If you need help with a separation or divorce, contact one of our friendly and experienced family lawyers today. We offer a free, 10-minute phone consultation.