Akin to the death of a spouse, divorce is a major source of loss. As an experiencer of this loss, expect yourself to go through a period of grieving. Mourning what was — and what will never be — are natural responses to separating from the person you thought would be your “forever.” Unfortunately, as with death, people often don’t know what to say to you. And while well-meaning, their comments might be unhelpful and even hurtful. You might hear, “I never liked him anyway,” “You’re better off without him!” or “You’ll bounce back in no time.” If these friends and family knew what you were really feeling, it’s unlikely they would be making these offhand comments.
Your grief over this loss is something that must be dealt with. As with other losses, you might experience anger, avoidance, denial, sadness, fear, resentment, guilt, and even shame. Working through these feelings will take time and energy (when you probably feel continually drained already), but the results will be worth it.
Grieving will force you to explore various aspects of your life — those that were working for you and those that weren’t. The upside is that you will experience a lot of personal growth during this time. Thinking about what you really want in life, and how you can get there, are all vehicles for positive change. Expect the healing process to take a good year or two at a minimum. For especially complicated divorces, it may take longer. One woman told me it took her almost ten years to truly get over her divorce.
Allow yourself to mourn your loss. In doing so, you will begin the healing process which will lead to you being able to create a new life for yourself — one that you decide on, that meets your terms, and makes you happy.
If you decide you need help with your journey, please call me at (916) 622-3996 for a free, 15 minute consultation.