The collapse of a marriage is difficult enough even when both husband and wife agree to end it, but handling a divorce that you don’t want to happen is particularly devastating. The situation will be difficult to grasp, and your mind keeps asking what happened and where you did wrong. According to Suzanne Degges-White Ph.D., “If you have reached the point at which you truly believe that there is little hope that a fractured friendship or ruptured romance can be repaired, it is important to maintain your resolve and terminate the relationship for good.” You will dread the anxiety and frustration of waiting for another sad day when you wake up. You’ll have to get used to being single again after being married for quite a long time.
Bad news: You can’t escape the feelings even though you want to. You can go to the bar every night, smoke, drink, and go after women. But the pain and the heartache won’t go away.
Good news: You will get through this. Yes, you didn’t want this divorce, but you just need to gather what little hope you have inside you and tell yourself a simple truth – that you will get through this and have a future without your spouse. You must remember that.
Here are some things you can live by while mending your broken heart and trying to stand up from your fall.
Reminder 1. Today is painful, but tomorrow will be better.
While the divorce is going on, surround yourself with family, friends, and significant others who truly care. “Talking to others in similar situations can be a tremendous source of support,” according to Amy Bellows, Ph.D. Unfortunately, this support system, despite their encouragement and presence, they are just a distraction from the actual situation that you’re in. You will enjoy being with them, and they’ll be there with you until you pass out and go home. It’s when you are alone in your room when you realize that you and you alone are accountable for overcoming your ordeal. After helping yourself deal with today by being with others, keep in mind that feeling happy and content tomorrow will be on you.
Reminder 2. There is no shortcut to the healing journey.
You can’t evade the lesson. You cannot blame your partner for leaving you and wanting the divorce and not understanding that you don’t want it. (That’s her take and yours is different.) And when you decide to go on a date, you start looking for someone totally different from your partner, someone who understands you and perhaps who has everything figured out, someone who can heal you. But really, that’s not how it is. Because the truth is, the healing won’t come from another person. It is an inside job. It must start and end with you.
How you will deal with the changes, the stress, and the pressures of everyday life will determine how you will emerge after the ordeal. There will be scars – everyone does have scars – but how they have healed will depend on you. According to Sharie Stines, Psy.D., “Healing requires patience, understanding, safety, and validation.”
Reminder 3. Learn to release your grip from the things that once were.
It’s not easy to let things be and accept a divorce that you didn’t want in the first place. The change will be unwanted, but it is inevitable. It is a process, but it has to start with number one and end with the last number, whatever it is. It may feel like a never-ending rollercoaster ride, but when you begin to accept and respect the circumstances, you’re on your way to the second step. No, the way is not straight at all. It’s crooked, bent, and rocky. But you must go through it so you will gather the resilience, patience, and self-confidence to live again truly.
Reminder 4. Stop chasing the negative feelings.
Don’t stay close with people who put up with your anger, bitterness, and depression, and those who are still feeling these things after their divorce. Surround yourself with positive people and those who are handling divorce and other issues appropriately. Positivity means going through something but moving on in the right direction. It is difficult, but you must – for your sake and your other loved ones.
Reminder 5. You will get through this – soon!
If you think you can’t go through it by yourself, then look for others who can help you. Go an extra mile to be with family and friends. Create new happy memories to replace the painful ones. Do something new, something that you’ve always wanted but you couldn’t because you were still with your partner. Seek professional help. Talk to a therapist. There’s nothing wrong with finding professional means to heal. Believe you can – and you will.