Divorce can leave you hurt, resentful, raw and drained — all at the same time. Being no longer coupled, but not exactly "free," at least emotionally speaking, can make you feel stuck.
But you don't have to stay there.
Allow yourself to mourn the loss of your marriage. No matter who decided to call it quits, it's perfectly natural to lament the promise your relationship once held. In our exclusive firstwivesworld series, "Get On With Your Life," you will learn that everyone deals with divorce in her own way — in her own time. The good news is once you deal, you can heal. Part 2 of this series will help you rediscover the woman you want to be, entitled, Create A Post-Divorce Recovery Plan.
For now, expect to go through the five stages of grief — denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and finally, acceptance — before you will find strength and peace. Take stock of where you are right now so you can soon move forward. Here, a few questions to ask yourself:
ARE YOU IN DENIAL?
"This isn't really happening; I know it's just a phase and soon life will be back to normal."
"My husband is gone, my marriage is over, but maybe he'll come back."
No one can say what will happen in the future. But if you want to get past the pain, you must accept your current reality. Your marriage is over. Your husband is gone. You can hope for your future, but stop fighting what actually exists in the here and now so you can open yourself up to new adventures.
ARE YOU ANGRY?
"I hate my ex, the other woman, and/or all men in the human race."
Let it all out. Early on, feeling angry is actually helpful. It gives you something outside of yourself to focus on. But after awhile anger can be self-defeating. To figure out whether your ire has outlasted its usefulness, ask yourself:
- Do I really want to feel this way all the time?
- How is this behavior affecting my relationship with everyone else in my life?
- Is this anger going to help me attract others?
Once you consciously decide that anger no longer serves you, you will likely find yourself in the next phase of healing.
ARE YOU STRIKING BARGAINS?
"If he just comes back, I promise I will change!"
"I promise God if I can just survive this ordeal, I'll never get involved with another man again!"
When you find yourself striking deals with God, your ex — even yourself — you're trying to find a way to get through this hurtful experience.
But no matter how badly you want to change the situation, you must go through it. And you must grow through it. If you are really convinced bargaining will work, then go for it. Create the best deal you've got and pitch it. If it works, great. But if it doesn't, let it go IMMEDIATELY.
ARE YOU DEPRESSED?
"I can't get out of bed, stop crying or finish simple routine tasks."
The first step to getting out of depression is to recognize how it benefits you. Is it winning you sympathy? Is it a way to tell your ex that you are literally nothing without him? Once you realize what depression is doing for you, tell yourself:
- I am strong, not pitiful.
- I deserve a man in my life who truly wants to be with me.
- I won't give him the power to control my emotions.
Click the following for a directory of articles to help you keep a healthy mind and spirit through divorce.