When the decision to divorce is finally made, many people grieve the death of their marriage. The loss of their partnership and their dream of a permanent and perfect white-picket-fence life leaves them shaken.
Suddenly, it seems as if all the important events (for what seems to be the rest of their lives) will no longer be experienced by their married “selves” with all the other members of their immediate family.
Most of the clients with whom I have worked with over the years have initially been sad and bitter at the losses they experience after divorce. Parents don’t get to spend at least a part of every day with their children. The future doesn’t include growing old together anymore. Financial plans and goals are sideswiped by the division of assets. Holidays and traditions have to be rearranged, divided or shared. Many clients have to sell their homes and deal with a move plus the loss of security.
I know my clients could add even more to this list.
When my 25 year marriage reached its expiration date, I was so sad and angry and couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel for several years. Even when the legal part was over, I needed another two years to come to terms with my single life and to rebuild my home, make new friends and find reasons to smile again. I remember when I had my first child people told me there is a very dark three month period before parenthood settled in and life and the baby calmed down.
Getting back on my feet after my divorce certainly took longer, but the tumultuous chaos I lived in just before and during my divorce finally gave way to a new path – a better path. The lights came back on in my mind to guide me and I started taking steps forward. I began looking ahead at my future, rather than behind me at the sadness and rubble.
I am sharing my experience to offer encouragement to anyone who is struggling to believe there is light at the end of divorce’s dark tunnel – because there is. I lived it.
All healing takes time.
When you are in the thick of a struggle and life transforming process, don’t let the bad days define you. Look for a glimpse of light and enjoy a chuckle, even if you are laughing at yourself.