Don’t Try This Alone

While I reflected on what was most important to speak about in today’s Weekly Dose, I realized that even though I have talked about this numerous times, it keeps coming up in conversations and so I know that it bears repeating.

This is a simple bit of insight I gained after I had gone through my own divorce process, and I have also witnessed the truth of it as I watched our own group members navigate through their own struggles.

Do not do this alone. Divorce is not for the faint of heart. It is best done accompanied by friends, family, mentors, books, podcasts, co-workers, neighbors, and others who have gone through or are going through the experience. This journey is one that should not be undertaken alone.

There is a strong push in our culture, particularly in certain segments, to tough things out… to go it alone and to suffer in silence. This way of dealing with grief or pain is not only isolating and lonely but it is also physically and emotionally unhealthy and harmful. Still there is a strong cultural push to “grin and bear” it, with the belief that we don’t talk about our problems in public. This persistent cultural belief suggests that it’s a positive thing to be a strong, rugged, individual who doesn’t need anyone.

In a world that admires this sort of rugged individualism, many people are left completely on their own trying to figure out how to handle the ups and downs of divorce. They might be confused about where they went wrong in their relationship, or how they are going to make it through this incredibly difficult time. They may be discouraged and worried about how they are going to reinvent themselves after this is all over. Toughing it out alone and suffering through this process in silence is such a lonely and unhealthy way to handle the many losses and painful parts of divorce. It offers no assistance as you go through the current dilemmas and no insight as to how to repair behaviors that may need tweaking.

Since humans are social beings, it stands to reason that we actually do rely on one another, whether we like it or not. And when we are going through tough times, we need friends, family, and those who care about us to be there, offering strength and encouragement and even an occasional push forward, when necessary.

When we are struggling through the difficulties of divorce, or any other painful experience in life, we do not need to fall for that stoic, rugged individualist story. That idea is not going to help us in the least. Humankind would not have reached this stage of evolution if we had been using the rugged, Individualist model. We need to collaborate with each other, learning to accept help, look out for, lean on, empathize with, offer kindness to and gain support from people who care for us.

For your own well-being, don’t go through the struggles of divorce alone. Find people you can trust and then accept their support and encouragement. By this one simple decision, you’re ensuring a greater outcome and brighter, healthier future for yourself.

Weekly Dose Divorce Support Group

Denise Palmer


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