Divorce: Life after marriage ends
Divorce sucks. There it is, the cold hard truth. Whether you did the filing or were served the papers, divorce sucks. Your whole world is turned upside down and you don't know if it will ever be right again. You may be feeling justified, angry, somewhat relieved, bitter, heartbroken and a dozen other possible emotions. It all depends on your perspective and state of mind at the time. One thing is for sure, divorce is not easy for anyone. Both sides feel the impact.
It can feel like the entire planet has crashed down on your head and you are being swallowed by a black hole. You might be feeling so relieved that you want to dance a jig, yet somehow sad at the same time. We are human and run the gambit of emotions.
The only inappropriate response would be one of violence or to make threats of violence. These are immature reactions and actions and will certainly not improve the divorce situation.
The word "divorce" had a stigma attached to it for decades. It was almost as though divorced people were looked down on at the worst, and pitied at the best. Today, in our high tech, highly social world divorce seems to be a "cool" factor. We read about celebrity marriages and divorces almost everyday. Perhaps the thought is that if famous people are getting divorced, then it must be acceptable.
No matter what era, divorce can be a very painful time in a person's life. Faced with moving on with his/her life is often stressful and even a bit scary. Often, this means securing a place to live, a job and learning how to live alone. The fact is that even in today's social networking world, being alone is still being alone. A thousand friends on a social networking website doesn't mean much when you're lying in bed late at night in the dark, alone with your thoughts.
It is up to you to start putting yourself back together.
Small steps, big change
One of the first things some divorcees have to do is find a place to live. In the initial break up, one might have moved in with a relative or friend. This is wonderful, but simply can't last forever. Living alone might sound terrible at first, but could end up being a blessing. Some people might find it nice to go home to a quiet, comfortable place surrounded by their own belongings.
Securing a residence is easier if you already have a job. If you do not have a job, then your first step is getting one. If you do not have much experience then you may have to apply at places you may not really want to work. It may not be pleasant, but you have to start somewhere. You might be surprised at how good it feels to be self-sufficient.
If you are faced with bills like alimony, child support and/or joint bills from the divorce, then it will be beneficial to learn how to budget. Developing frugal spending habits can save money and still allow you to get what you need and pay your living expenses.
Taking things one small step at a time can wield big, positive changes. It can be very liberating to be able to take care of yourself.
The blame game?
Often when a marriage ends, one blames the other. One may have cheated on the other or became too stressed over finances or wanted to move in a different direction. Whatever the reason(s) given, rarely is the breakdown of a marriage just one person's fault.
It takes both people giving their all in order to make a marriage work. At the end of the day, blaming each other only perpetuates bitterness and resentment. Both people should accept responsibility for their own part in the marriage breakdown.
For example, no one wants to be cheated on. However, certain actions or behaviors could help a person decide to cheat. Lack of attention, fighting too much and/or ignoring signs of problems can all be contributing factors.
Divorce can be a very difficult thing to go through. Why make it even harder by continuing to blame each other? It is more beneficial to move forward as best you can.
Out of the darkness
I went through a divorce and know how it affected me and my loved ones. I was full of anger and resentment toward my ex and the world in general. It was a very dark time for me and those close to me. I felt betrayed and abandoned. I took out my anger on those around me in cruel ways at times. I thought that by lashing out at them, I would somehow keep from being hurt again.
Through my period of darkness, as I call it, I learned a lot about myself. I have an inner strength and determination that has helped me heal and move forward with my life. I eventually took up cooking, baking, biking and serious writing. These activities helped save my sanity and showed me how to have fun again.
Though I couldn't have gotten where I am today without my friends and family. They stuck by me and I am grateful everyday, including today, for them.
This is my divorce experience in a nutshell. Other's experiences will vary of course.
Surround by love
One of the best things you can do during a divorce is spend time with a solid support group. This group can be your friends and family, a therapy group or maybe even both. The important thing is to be around people that have your best interests at heart and will help you to move forward.
It is not healthy to be around people that constantly remind you of the pain/anguish surrounding your divorce. This negativity will only succeed in keeping those feelings right on the surface. Negative vibes beget negative lives.
Spend time with loved ones doing fun activities that will lift your spirit. Things like camping, hiking, sightseeing, sports. Basically do activities you all enjoy, that way you can share the good times and create positive memories.
You might even consider taking a class or two to learn a new skill or hobby such as cooking or painting. In those classes, you will meet new people and maybe make some new friends.
The road to healing
The emotions associated with divorce can be very difficult to handle at times. Be patient with yourself. Seek the help of a professional therapist if need be. Surround yourself with supportive friends and family members. Above all, take care of yourself. Divorce is not the end of the world, although it may feel like it some days. If you have children, then focus on them, together you will get through the darkness.
It is best to avoid entering into a new relationship until you have had time to process the divorce. Any lingering bitterness and resentment could be taken out on a new partner if dating begins too soon.
There are many of us who have been through a divorce and managed to heal with time. It is not always easy moving on, it is a learning period. Life is a work in progress and sometimes divorce is part of that progress.
© 2014 Tammy Cramblett