The path to move on from divorce and divorce recovery isn’t straight and narrow.
(NOTE: This article is a classic and was written in 2015. As a result, the dates and years passed are not accurate today. Enjoy!)
I recently got a new computer. And if you’ve ever had to transfer files from one computer to another, you know that it can be kind of fun to take a peek at what has been hogging up space on your hard drive.
Well, on my expedition through all of my files, I found emails in my inbox that were more than ten years old! Some of these ancient notes even had details about the negotiations my ex and I went through to settle our divorce in 2002. Not really anything I need to have hanging around any more, right?
Believe it or not, I paused before hitting delete and trashing all of that ancient correspondence. I was flooded with a variety of thoughts and questions. “Those emails were part of my personal history,” I thought to myself. They were part of what defined me — back then. “Would I be throwing away a piece of myself if I deleted those emails? Would I be disrespectful of that old relationship?”
Yes, ten whole years after my divorce was complete, seeing those emails brought up some of the turmoil that I went through when I got divorced. It was fleeting, but it was absolutely there.
Does this sound familiar? Most people believe that that once the divorce decree is signed, that should be the end of it. Most people also think that once you’ve moved on, things will never pop up again to remind you of the huge transition that your divorce was in your life. That’d be nice, but the truth is that your divorce will always be a part of your personal history. Even after you finish the bulk of your transition from married to single, there will be events, people and things that remind you of both the unpleasant and pleasant parts of your divorce. It’s okay and it’s normal. As you get more and more involved in living your life for you, the impact your divorce has will diminish to barely a blip on your radar.
How do I know? Because more than ten years after my divorce was finalized, when I found those emails detailing the negotiations about our division of property, I paused. But I paused for only a moment before I hit delete and felt really good about my current life. And you know the best part? I wouldn’t be here today without having gone through what I went through back then.
Your Functional Divorce Assignment:
What are you holding on to that you might be ready to let go? Consider the things, thoughts, and ideas that you’re holding on to currently. The ones that bring you the most pain might just be the ones that you consider letting go of.
What might be the consequences of letting them go? Thinking about the repercussions of letting these things go, you’ll discover both positive and negative possibilities. Get them all out so you can really see what the cost of letting them go might be. Sometimes the consequences of letting them go are really wonderfully positive.
I’m Dr. Karen Finn, a divorce and personal life coach helping people just like you who are dealing with the stress and pain of divorce. You can join my newsletter list for free weekly advice. And, if you’re ready, you can take the first step toward working with me as your personal coach by scheduling a private consultation.