The process of dealing with a divorce is so similar to grief for good reason: it’s the death of your marriage. And along with the death of your marriage comes the end of your old life, dreams, and hopes. Knowing what to expect and being able to keep things in perspective will help you get through this difficult time in your life and allow you to achieve peace once again.
Regardless of whether you are the one who initiated the topic of divorce or it was dropped on you, you’re going to fight against reality. If you just tried a little harder or your spouse gives you another chance, things can get better. This isn’t how you imagined life when you said “I do” all those years ago. In short, you’re in denial.
Once reality sets in, it’s usually followed by shock. How could this be happening to you of all people? Wasn’t your marriage supposed to beat the odds? Shock comes in all different forms, including numbness, disassociation, and numbness. No matt
er what though, you feel as though you will never get through this divorce.
Over the next few months and possibly even years, you’ll experience an emotional roller coaster. You try rationalizing the divorce, even though there is nothing logical about what you’re going through. There is a lot of reviewing and rehashing history, often times with regret. Depression is common during this stage.
And then something miraculous happens. It doesn’t happen overnight, and most of the time, you don’t even realize it’s happening until you’re there. You let go. You stop looking backwards at the past and begin to look towards the future. Your old boundaries and rules have changed, and before you know it, you’ve also changed. Your new life begins to fall into place. You acknowledge that your marriage is over and that there is nothing more you can or even want to do to repair it. You’re at peace.
President John F. Kennedy had these wise words to share:
“Peace is a daily, a weekly, a monthly process, gradually changing opinions, slowly eroding old barriers, quietly building new structures. And however undramatic the pursuit of peace, the pursuit must go on.”
Don’t give up—you will get there and you will find peace again.