Surviving divorce requires grief, courage and action.
Healing after the end of your marriage is hard. It’s not for the weak by any stretch of the imagination. And yet the pain of it all makes even the strongest wonder if surviving divorce is something they’ll be able to do or not.
The true hurt of divorce is unfathomable to anyone who’s never experienced it themselves. But for those of us who have or are currently in the midst of it we know the depths of despair, the isolating loneliness, the vengeful rage, the unbelievable betrayal, the soul-crushing insecurity, the bone-weariness of insomnia, the paralyzing fear and all the other unfamiliar (and unwanted) experiences, thoughts and emotions of divorce.
Frankly, we all reach that point where we wonder if surviving divorce is even possible.
I want you to know that it is absolutely possible (no matter how you’re feeling right now) to not only make it through your divorce, but to go on to live a fulfilling, wonderful life that might even include finding love again. The secret is to move through your divorce pain and avoid getting stuck in the seemingly overwhelming experiences of divorce.
Here are 3 pitfalls that people tend to collapse into when they’re healing after divorce and how to survive each of them:
- Grieving the losses. This is important. I want you to grieve your losses, it’s a necessary part of surviving divorce. What I don’t want you to do is to get stuck here. Shed your tears, but don’t wallow. Talk about your pain and release a little more of it every time you do. Your grief should be healing and cathartic, not your new identity.
The 5 tips in this article about dealing with divorce depression will help you find the healing in your grief. (My favorites are tips 1 and 2.)
- Fearing the pain. One of the things we all learned as kids was to avoid pain. The challenge when you’re healing from divorce is to face the pain. And the only way to face the pain is to become courageous. When you’re courageous, you take the necessary actions and push through the pain.
Your reward for doing so is peace, strength and confidence. And couldn’t you use some of all three of these qualities right now?
- Dreading the future. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying there are no guarantees in life. And dreading your life after divorce is believing not only that there are no guarantees, but that there’s no hope. I’m here to tell you there positively is hope. You have a chance and a calling to live your life to the fullest despite your divorce.
So find your inspiration for having hope. Maybe you’ll fuel your hope with your dreams of a better future, or with the desire to provide for your kids, or even with your wish for proving to your ex (and yourself) that they’re missing out because they chose not to be with you. Whatever you find motivating to keep you expecting the best for yourself in the future focus it. It will keep you from collapsing into the dread that can make surviving divorce that much more difficult for you.
I know reading this article isn’t going to solve all of the challenges you face with surviving your divorce, but that was never my intent. My real hope is that you’ve found comfort in knowing that what you’re experiencing is probably fairly normal and that you’ll also find inspiration to continue facing your fears and wiping away your tears as you continue your journey healing after divorce.
I’m Dr. Karen Finn, a divorce and personal life coach and advisor helping people just like you who want to survive and thrive after 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.