Divorce causes grief. And it should. It is a loss of hopes, dreams and expectations you had for a marriage.
There can be feelings of anger, resentment, shame, betrayal. You can feel like it is now your identity. You can be disappointed in yourself and feel others are disappointed in you. There are so many powerful emotions and one of them is grief.
We are mourning the relationship and the hopes, dreams and expectations we had for it.
I’m a widow but I work with many people who have been divorced and I find we share many of the same emotions. I suffered the death of my husband but a divorced person suffers the death of a relationship that they thought would last forever. At least I received sympathy and compassion from those around me and often, divorced people don’t receive that same care. So from me to you, I want you to know how sorry I am if you have suffered a divorce. You matter and your pain matters.
You are grieving and you probably don’t even realize it. And grieving is an important part of your healing and being emotionally healthy. So what are the losses you have experienced due to this divorce? What did you expect your marriage to be like? Where did it disappoint you? What plans and dreams did you have for it’s future that you will not experience. Embrace all the emotions and allow yourself to feel them.
Be gracious and gentle to yourself. Don’t pretend to be okay if you’re not. Let your friends know what you need. Don’t expect to be operating at full capacity while you are feeling these heavy emotions. They can come on like waves. You may think you are doing great and then you get hit hard with a flood of emotion. Go with it. Don’t fight it. The only cure for grief is to grieve.
Find community and support. There are great divorce support groups out there, whether online or in person. It’s nice to be with people who understand. Find ways to have some engagement with other people that you enjoy and feed your soul however you can. What brings you joy?
Pursue healing. Healing takes work but it’s worth it! What I love about my job is that I see people who are stuck, discouraged, overwhelmed, depressed, often hopeless – and I know where I can take them as we complete the healing process. It leads to freedom, hope, and new birth. Can you imagine what it would be like to not carry the burden of those emotions and pain anymore? You can thrive when we can heal your heart. Because you are not broken, my friend. Your heart is.