I thought I was going to get something at least close to “happily ever after” when I got married.
Life, as it turns out, had other plans.
What I have learned from my own divorce experience as I move through it, and the experiences of others, (so far) is:
Divorce happens in stages.
These stages are a lot like those of the grief cycle. Denial. Anger. Bargaining. Depression. Acceptance.
The stages may happen in any order. Sometimes, just when I thought I was past one stage of grieving…Bam! The feels would hit me all over again.
Divorce comes with a lot of tears.
And I mean a lot. Having a safe place to voice myself has saved me. Not because I want to gripe about my ex, but because I need to talk about my feelings and sort through them in a healthy, safe manner. This support has come from friends who have gone through similar things as well as my amazing psych.
The experience of divorce is multi-faceted.
This is still one of the more painful parts of divorce. Layers of divorce include (some of which I never thought of until I was in the experience):
>> Social divorce
>> Family divorce (losing relationships with the ex’s family)
>> Financial/economic divorce
>> Emotional distancing
>> Loss of intimate relationships
>> Loss of identity
Some of these I expected, but I underestimated the depth to which I would be impacted by them.
Divorce gives you the chance to reclaim yourself.
This has been both exciting and scary as hell. I find myself moving from we to me.
Divorce comes with the responsibility.
I have the responsibility of helping my children get through the divorce as healthy beings. My parents divorced when I was 13. More than anything, I wanted to express myself and have my parents listen without judgement. I try to give that sort of love and compassion to my children. The messages I give my children are:
>> I’ll take care of you. I love you. Always.
>> The divorce was mom’s and dad’s choice, and it wasn’t one entered lightly.
>> I’m sorry that the divorce sometimes hurts you.
The thing people tell me over and over again—and I think they’re right, is: “You can do this. You will make it.”
So will you.
Author: Lindsay Lock
Editor: Lieselle Davidson
Copy Editor: Callie Rushton