There are many things that nobody says about divorce. Unfortunately, one must experience it themselves firsthand in order to truly understand the many reasons why divorce is difficult for everyone involved. Thankfully, there are some wonderful tools to help you become acquainted with the process, along with great teams of legal experts who can guide you through this difficult time.
Accepting that your marriage has not worked out the way you wanted it to can be one of the toughest things for anyone to face. It’s one of the biggest reasons why the reality of divorce hurts. It’s a major hurdle for those who are committed to keeping a family intact through thick and thin. Once you have recognized that your marriage is beyond repair, you can move forward and face the future.
The reality of divorce hurts. To make it easier, recognize these key truths about divorce and what it means for you and your partner moving forward.
1. You’re going to be sad for a while.
Regardless of how desperate you are to get out of your marriage, or how negative of a situation it was for you, you will still be upset afterwards. Why? You have lost a key part of your identity and are starting a new chapter. Everything you know and are familiar with, despite how unhealthy it was, will change. You may have to move to a new place or downsize. Your children may have to switch schools. Perhaps you will have to find a new job. All of this will contribute to feeling depressed for a while.
You may start to romanticize your ex once you are on own your own and start questioning your decisions. Take these feelings with a grain of salt. It’s normal to focus on what you miss once it’s not there, but it’s not a reality. Jot down a list of why you left and look at it whenever these thoughts creep in.
2. You will be angry.
Regardless of the terms that you left your marriage in, be prepared to have rage coursing through your veins at random moments throughout the day. This may be directed at yourself, at your ex, or even at your children. You may lash out uncontrollably at those who have nothing to do with the situation. This is normal, and part of the healing process. Recognize the anger and don’t bury it. However, you don’t need to wallow in it either. Try to practice relaxation exercises and focus on acceptance and forgiveness for your ex and yourself.
3. People will gossip.
People enjoy speculating on others’ problems. It helps them distract from their own. Families are notorious for this. Try not to pay too much attention. Be careful whom you confide in about the details of your situation with your ex. Take comfort in the fact that the ones who truly care about you are the only ones who matter.
4. Your relationships will change.
You may start dating in the future, and that’s something to think about. However, other relationships might change too. You may have to let go of friends that were friends of your ex if it makes things too stressful. The good news is that you can make plenty of new friends that you weren’t able to find before. And you may be able to connect with people who you haven’t seen in some time.
5. Your children will be resentful.
If you have children, expect them to be angry with both of you for a while. Change is difficult, and no child wants to face the fact that their parents are splitting up. Work with your ex to make sure you both put your children first. Avoid saying negative things to your children about your ex or a future new partner of your ex. Though it may be tempting, it will only hurt and confuse the child more. If you need to vent, vent to an adult. Try to keep things as normal as possible for your children during this transition.
Luckily, children are resilient, and can learn from their parents’ shortcomings. Don’t try to sweep things under the rug. Talk to them about their own feelings, and let them know how sorry you are for the way things turned out. Spend extra time with them to make them feel loved.
6. You will be ok.
It may not feel like it right now, but you will survive. You will adapt to a new financial situation, a new home, a new job, and a new life. Be easy on yourself and try not to obsess over things you can’t change. Find things you enjoy doing and live your life to the fullest.