DID YOU RECENTLY GET DIVORCED? FIND OUT ON WHICH STAGE OF RECOVERY ARE YOU
Take it easy! Don't rush the process, time cures everything!
Newly divorced? Yes, it hurts! I have been on that road twice, and for some reason, my dream was always to share my life with my husband, surrounded by my kids and grand kids. My parents have been married for 58 years, so I “assumed” that it would be my case too. I didn't count with the unbearable cheating, the fact that I had to be working all the time, while he would be laying on the coach all day, or with the dealing with his alcoholism problem.
Sometimes, no matter what you do, your marriage is destined to crumble, like a cheap cake.
I lasted the longest I could, because of my kids, and because I hate failure, but it happened! At the end of my life, I found myself staring at his empty side of the bed every night, while thinking: How am I going to get out of this one now?
After 19 years of a “bumpy” marriage I was full of regrets, and “IF's” on what I could have done to save my marriage, and make my dream come true staying with him no matter what.
Then, one day, when I thought my misery would eat me alive, and this pain would last forever, I realized that I really didn't miss him anymore, and a strange feeling of peace invaded me, from head to toes, I was LIBERATED!
And how this happened? I read once somewhere, that every person goes through 5 stages after a divorce, the order of the stages is not always the same.
However, each one of them, is absolutely necessary for a complet recovery. Take it from a veteran! I have been divorced twice, (not by choice), It is true! These 5 stages have to happen to leave behind the bitter taste of a divorce. Let's face it! Not only death is a complete loss. A divorce can be as devastating too, and the grief is no different, than the one we experience when someone we love, dies.
In the other hand, if you were also subject to rejection, you have to deal with the fact, that you were never in control of the other person's feelings, and it doesn't matter what you do, you cannot keep that person in your life. Nevertheless, you cannot make that person love you again. Be patient with yourself, and although you don't feel better than a dog hit by a car, licking its wounds on the side of the road; believe me, this chapter of your life will be gone before you know it! One day, you will even compare the memory of your divorce, with the one of a very bad indigestion. Here are the stages:
-THE SHOCK: I compare this stage with an earthquake. Your life is pretty much a straight line, and all the sudden it starts looking like the readings of the seismic system. Sometimes, without further notice! The first reaction is disbelief, denial, and sometimes you take it like just one more fight in marriage. You even look for all kind of excuses to calm yourself: He'll come back; he just needs some space; she is stressed out; she has been through a lot, and it goes on and on. It's easier to try to justify the other person, than it is to accept the truth. This is when the people around you, will look at you with pity, they know the truth, but they don't want to hurt you even more, so they just listen to you quietly. This is the stage when you expect a miracle, and you can almost see your partner coming back and apologizing. You wait, you pray, you hope. You just cannot believe that this is happening to you. Everything was so “perfect”!
- THE AWAKENING: This is probably the more difficult stage of all. It is when you finally realize what has happened to you. Depression is very common during this stage, and it usually comes accompanied by either weight loss or weight gain, depending on each individual. This is the stage when you'll find yourself eating ice cream in front of the TV on the weekends, when your kids are not around. You will spend hours asking yourself: Why this is happening to me? You will brake in tears every time you see an old couple holding hands in the park, or during Valentine's day. Your self esteem will suffer too, you will probably feel ugly, old, and even stupid sometimes. Hanging around with your “couple” friends won't help either. You might even notice that your female married friends, treat you differently, and consider you, in a way, like a threat to their own marriage. Little by little, you will isolate yourself from the others. This is the time when you will feel overwhelmed by bills to pay, creditors to deal with, and building a new budget, especially if you are not getting any child support. You will also notice that loneliness will become your worst enemy. One more thing, you might think that you wasted all those years next to the wrong person, but remember: everything in this life happens for a reason, and maybe not now, but in the future, you will understand that your divorce was, nothing, but part of a plan, for a major and better event in your life.
- THE REBELLIOUS: This happens all the sudden. One day, you just stop crying and think on what has happened to you, but from another perspective: Someone hurt you! That person stepped all over you, destroyed your dreams, your self estem, and left you in economical distress. But the worse part is, to see that person happy, while you are struggling with your pain, the kids, and the bills. You were abandoned, betrayed, humiliated, and rejected. That is probably enough, to make just about anybody snap. This is the stage when you empty the air off his tires, while he is at the movie theater with the other woman, or pour some sugar on the gas tank, or call him on the phone to leave hateful messages. You are angry now, and thirsty for revenge. You hope he loses all his sexual functions, and that every one of his/her teeth fall off. During this stage, you might want to get a punching bag, or join some boxing club, or play some sport, which will keep you away from trouble. Anger is a bad adviser, stay away from conflict! What is done...it's done! You want to believe that old saying: “What goes around, comes around”, but I have news for you, it is not always that way. I have known people, who have hurt other people so much, but they still enjoying life, like if nothing ever happened! It's like they are rewarded, instead of punished. In reality, all this bitterness and anger, will only hurt one person: YOU. The sooner you snap out of these negative feelings, the sooner you will be able to go on with your life, and leave behind this closed chapter. Don't waste your time trying to hurt that person, think about it! They will never change, they are who they are. They are the ones who lost in this situation, not you.
-THE REBUILD: After going through the storm, the clouds are finally starting to move away, and your sky seems clear than ever. This is the time to pick up your pieces from the ground, and explore yourself. Perhaps, you always wanted to study a career, or maybe start a hobby. Maybe you wanted to travel to another country, or spend more time with your kids doing sports. You are full of this desire to do things, to experience situations you never could before, for some reason. During this stage you want to prove yourself, you want to find your old you, and test your limits. You want to be better, and you don't care anymore about what your ex is doing. Sometimes, a thought will cross your mind: How in the world did I marry “that”? You feel strong and beautiful! And even if you are not that young anymore, this new energy makes you feel powerful, and capable to do just about anything! People in this stage, already left behind the grief, the regrets, and even the anger. You have found yourself AGAIN! You don't need anyone in your life now, you are happy just like it is...
- THE READINESS MODE: You have taken control of your life again, and this time you will be the one to decide if you want to find love again...or not! There is a fence around your heart now, and you are very careful about who you let close to it. For some reason, dating again is not easy, maybe because your trust was betrayed before, and you refuse to let something like that happen to you again. However, this time the dating will take more brains, than heart. You observe, you analyze, and YOU decide if you want to get involved with someone else, or not. It would be healthy and smart, though, if you change your patterns when is about dating prospects. Everyone is different, but there are always warning signs, when is about personalities. For example, if you are attracted to strong personalities who like to control you, make sure that person will not fall in the same pattern than your ex. Or if you like the “manipulator” type, go completely to the opposite type of this personality. Now, if you are the A type personality, you probably attract individuals, who are not really strong and outgoing, and eventually there will be a lack of interest from your part. Take the time to write down what you are looking for, this is a great way to materialize your thoughts. Of course, no one is perfect, but you have 80% possibilities to find someone, who is worth the effort to date. This time you will be the one who chooses your partner, not the other way around. This time you have all the cards in your hand to win this game, and finally...be HAPPY!
There is an old saying: "What doesn't kill you it will make you stronger", and after a divorce, you will be stronger than ever. Maybe you will make the same mistakes when choosing a partner again, it is normal to do this. However, your patterns will be different, more like someone you need, than someone you just "want". You will find yourself thinking more with your brain, than with your heart. Remember, you need to realize that in order to be happy, you don't need anyone...but YOU!