Recently, I had one of my good friends over for a wine date. I told her about my new blog and how excited I was about it. I told her all about my decision to get a divorce. She was very supportive and told me she felt so lucky to be happily married, going on 9 years.
Later, she sent me a text saying the night after she was at my house, her husband came home and told her that he wanted a divorce. He went on to tell her that he was contemplating it for a very long time and reached his breaking point. He was very firm on his decision and told her that he would still support her until she could get a job again and that she could have their son majority of the time.
Just like that, her world was turned completely upside-down. It came out of the blue. He left ZERO hints. Of course they went through married couples typical ups and downs, but none of them were red flags! She felt completely lost and abandoned. She then began a cycle of self-doubt and self-blame…
What if YOU are the one that was told by your spouse that they don’t want to be with you anymore? And they are set in their decision, that there is NOTHING you can do to convince them to change their mind.
Where do you go from here?
This may come as a shock that I’m actually suggesting that you cry into your pillow or destroy things that remind you of them (responsibly…), but it’s a necessary step.
You must FEEL your emotions. Every bit of hurt. Don’t drown them with alcohol or drugs. FEEL THEM.
Cry! Scream! Take out some time to yourself to express how you feel on the inside. While you are doing this, take note of what comes to mind. What exactly are you crying about? What are you mad about?
“Is it my fault?”
“I’m afraid of being alone”
“I can’t financially support myself”
“My child will forever be damaged from this”
“I cannot ever love someone more than I loved them”
List it out, either on paper or in your head. Identify the things that are causing the pain. The faster you take this step, the faster you will be able to heal and make a comeback.
2. Blame is not a factor
Whether either one of you cheated, you never cleaned the house, you were always at work, you “let yourself go” or just fell out of love…NONE OF IT MATTERS.
The fact is, you are headed for divorce…and there is nothing you can do to change it. Yes, it really sucks but there is absolutely NO reason to sit there and sulk in self-pity or anger towards your Ex or yourself because IT’S OVER.
There is no more reason for guilt. No more pressure to perform to their liking. No more stress wondering if the other is happy.
The only one who can control how you feel and how you interpret the flaws of the relationship is you. Just because everyone is mad or sad about your breakup and placing blame on either party does not mean you need to surrender to it.
There’s no right or wrong way to process a negative transition in your life. But there ARE constructive and destructive ways.
Choose which path you want go down.
3. Make a post divorce plan
It’s SO EASY to plunge into a depressed state after such a traumatic experience. This is why you have to feel your feelings, note your feelings and make a plan.
So many people stay in the first stage of either avoiding their feelings or not moving past their feelings due to the divorce that they change into someone that they don’t want to be.
Take your list of your “feelings” and create a plan on how to act on them. Some things, mostly fears may just have to remain. It is good to have fears, believe it or not. That means you care about whatever it is you are scared about. If you care, you are motivated. Motivation can deter your fear from coming true.
IF your fear comes true, it is not always a bad thing. My worst fear was that my son would be completely destroyed by my divorce. He’s THRIVING with both parents displaying more love and affection than ever before (not to mention, he gets a new toy almost every week…).
Once you have your plan, you will feel a huge weight lifted off of your shoulders. For the items that you are unsure how to act on, you can consult family, friends or even a counselor (marriage, financial, personal).
4. Improve yourself
I would be lying if I told you I have gotten over my insecurities with my past relationships. It’s unrealistic to completely forget or get over how bad someone made you feel about yourself. It doesn’t really matter if it was intentional or not, which is why this step is so important.
All those insecurities or guilt you feel from your past is NOT because of the other person. It’s because of YOU.
At one point in time, you convinced yourself that you are not pretty enough, worked too much, are too fat, too immature, not wealthy enough….etc.
There is a reason you determined that. It means that you’re not happy with yourself in some shape or form and placed blame on your partner for having those feelings. Now that you are single, identify those insecurities and work on them.
You are the only one who can change your “faults.” Once you either change what you don’t like or accept what you don’t like, you will move closer to making a comeback. Just be patient with yourself. It can take some time, but in the end is well worth it!
5. Pursue your dream that you put on the shelf
It happens to most of us, we get so caught up with everything that before we know it, years have passed and we never made the time to get that degree, or do that photography class, learn to sail, travel the world…etc.
We decided that we will either get to it eventually or are now too old to pursue it. NOW has never been a better time to pursue those dreams.
In the process of getting out of your comfort zone and pursuing your passions, you’ll learn to love yourself in a whole new way. This new self-confidence will take you to places you could never dream of.
You’ll look back and know that your divorce was not something that happened TO you but it happened FOR you.
I know it hurts and it is tough, but believe in yourself. You CAN make a comeback from divorce. Your marriage did not make you who you are. YOU make who you are.
Now go out there and chase your dreams!