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6 Tips to Help You Let Go and Move On When Your Marriage is Over

Updated on April 4, 2017
janshares profile image

Janis has extensive experience as a licensed professional counselor in assisting clients recover from the pain of unhealthy relationships.

Coping with the End of Marriage is Painful

The dreams held on the wedding day don't always last. They slowly fade during the course of a bad marriage.
The dreams held on the wedding day don't always last. They slowly fade during the course of a bad marriage. | Source

When a Marriage is Really Over

I knew my marriage was over when . . .

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Making the Final Decision

There is a saying which goes, "All good things must come to an end." However, when two people make a promise of eternal love and fidelity to each other through the union of marriage, they expect the good to last forever. No one gets married to separate or to get a divorce. Most individuals take their vows seriously and expect to stay married as they plan to share hopes and dreams as one.

So when a final decision is made to end a marriage due to insurmountable circumstances, it is said to be one of the most painful forms of grief a person will experience, riddled with a myriad of feelings. Those circumstances usually include issues that cause deep wounds such as:

  • a broken trust or deception
  • betrayal or infidelity
  • repeated abusive behavior

The ideal in most cases of marital conflict would be to stay married and work it out. It is not the preferred choice of the individual or couple to end their marriage, but there comes a time when long-standing denial dissolves and the reality of the situation comes clearly into focus. The couple realizes they've tried everything available to them to save their marriage, but too much damage has occurred. The eleventh hour has passed and it is time to move on, as difficult as that decision might be.

In the following poem, the acceptance of this harsh reality is acknowledged in the face of a marriage which has come to an end. Coping tips are offered at the end of this article.

The Sacred Place of the Marriage Ceremony

The sacred marriage vows are traditionally exchanged in a church.
The sacred marriage vows are traditionally exchanged in a church. | Source

The End of a Marriage: A Poem

"The Vow" (JLE 2006)


Our vow as one, sealed with a kiss before God,

Held all of the promise of a newborn child,

Full of purity and innocence


The box of promise we created on that day

Beautifully wrapped in hope, adorned with

Ribbons of commitment and topped with

A bow of caring love, has fallen from the mantle


After years of neglect, the wrapping paper crinkled,

The ribbon tattered and bow crushed

The box reminds us of what might have been

With eyes wide open, we now see the truth of our marriage:


Something old cannot always be cherished,

Something new can bring painful revelation,

Something borrowed can become bruised and not returnable,

Something blue can evoke unending moods of sadness.


Our vow as one, sealed with a kiss before God,

Once holding all of the promise of a newborn child,

Lost its purity and its innocence.

The Gift of Matrimony is Often Taken for Granted

A gift bow that has seen many rough days loses its luster over time.
A gift bow that has seen many rough days loses its luster over time. | Source

Memories of the Wedding Day Become Dim

The beautiful wedding gown train becomes a dim memory for a bride whose marriage is over.
The beautiful wedding gown train becomes a dim memory for a bride whose marriage is over. | Source

The Sacred Wedding Vow is Framed in Memory

A couple shares a sacred moment during the exchange of the vow, believing it will last forever.
A couple shares a sacred moment during the exchange of the vow, believing it will last forever. | Source

Accepting the End: 6 Tips to Help You Cope and Move On

This article is dedicated to those individuals and couples who fought valiantly to save their marriages but it just wasn't in the cards. As long as you know in your heart you did everything to save your marriage, you've done enough. Here are a few suggestions to help you transition from being married to starting over and rebuilding your life:

  1. See your marriage as having had a purpose in your life that has run its course; make a list of what you've learned, how you've grown from the experience, and what you've gained from the challenges; use these insights for self-exploration and future relationship success.
  2. Acknowledge a mixture of contradicting emotions and allow yourself to feel each one, e.g., anger, loss, sadness, guilt, relief, failure, abandonment, fear, and liberation.
  3. Monitor the duration of these emotions which may indicate serious symptoms of depression; contact a professional healthcare provider if the feelings worsen over several weeks, affecting your ability to function.
  4. Consider seeing a therapist to assist you in getting through grieving the loss of your marriage; coping with the end of a marriage is sometimes compared to the process of mourning a death.
  5. Connect with good friends for social support; try to stay active with your church, civic groups, and clubs; engage in hobbies and recreational activities; seek out therapeutic support groups if necessary.
  6. Count the blessings and cherish the good memories of your marriage; recalling the positive parts of your marriage history will help with the healing process by reminding you that it was not all in vain.

The Wedding Day That Went Awry

© 2014 Janis Leslie Evans

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    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      A beautiful writing, poem and song. I really enjoyed it all and listening to the song now. I think classes should be given to kids on marriage, how easy it is to get off track and how painful it can be, unsettling and in some cases expensive not to mention the children when they are involved. Who gives thought to any of that before marriage? Anyone?

      ^

    • janshares profile image
      Author

      Janis Leslie Evans 3 years ago from Washington, DC

      All so true, Jackie. Thank you so much for reading it. I'm so pleased you enjoyed the poem.

    • MG Singh profile image

      MG Singh 3 years ago from Singapore

      Very practical, I must say and well done

    • janshares profile image
      Author

      Janis Leslie Evans 3 years ago from Washington, DC

      Thank you very much, MG. I appreciate your comment, fanmail, and follow. Very kind of you.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Beautiful caring and helpful hub. More marriages end early now than become 'death do us part'. Touch wood mine is still going, but this is valuable advice and very sensitively written. thank you Jan.

    • janshares profile image
      Author

      Janis Leslie Evans 3 years ago from Washington, DC

      Thank you, Jodah. You're quite welcome. Thank you for reading it, appreciate your visit and comments.

    • Beth Eaglescliffe profile image

      Beth Eaglescliffe 3 years ago from UK

      This is a thoughtful and thought-provoking article. Voted up.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Jan, very useful and thoughtful. My divorce was finalized on the eve of our 20th wedding anniversary. I believe in remembering the positives. After almost 20 years, my ex and I both spent Christmas together with our son and family and we enjoyed it. Life goes on!

    • janshares profile image
      Author

      Janis Leslie Evans 3 years ago from Washington, DC

      Glad you liked it, Beth. Thanks for your comment and vote.

    • janshares profile image
      Author

      Janis Leslie Evans 3 years ago from Washington, DC

      That is fantastic, MsDora. Thanks for sharing that positive outcome. I appreciate your visit.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

      Interesting and will benefit many I am sure.

      Eddy.

    • janshares profile image
      Author

      Janis Leslie Evans 3 years ago from Washington, DC

      Thanks, Eddy. Always good to see you.

    • Poetic Word Bird profile image

      Malik S Canty 3 years ago from Brooklyn, NY

      Good advice and Needed advice for those who want to get this thing called Love Right...Your insight is refreshing, Keep the words flowing...

    • janshares profile image
      Author

      Janis Leslie Evans 3 years ago from Washington, DC

      Thank you for reading and commenting, Poetic. I appreciate it.

    • mylindaelliott profile image

      mylindaelliott 3 years ago from Louisiana

      I love your poem. The tips are very useful too.

    • janshares profile image
      Author

      Janis Leslie Evans 3 years ago from Washington, DC

      Thank you much, mylindaelliott. So glad you found the tips useful. Thanks for your visit.

    • carolinemd21 profile image

      Caroline Marie 3 years ago from Close to Heaven

      Great article and I love your poem.

    • janshares profile image
      Author

      Janis Leslie Evans 3 years ago from Washington, DC

      Glad you liked it, carolinemd21. Thank you for visiting and reading this hub.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      To know the end of a marriage must be difficult to cope with especially if you were committed to the marriage your tips are most helpful.

    • janshares profile image
      Author

      Janis Leslie Evans 3 years ago from Washington, DC

      Thanks so much for reading, DDE.

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 2 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      i had often some ups and downs in my marriage but for the sake of our kids, we stayed on, just talk less. In the end, I don't voice out my opinion now.

    • janshares profile image
      Author

      Janis Leslie Evans 2 years ago from Washington, DC

      Glad to hear it worked out for the sake of the family. But I hope you didn't sacrifice yourself too much by not sharing your position. Thanks for reading this one, peachpurple, and commenting about your own personal experience.

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