A Crash Course in Surviving Divorce – Part VI

I came across a very helpful and validating article this week, and I’d like to share a sentence or two. I believe it offers a greater understanding of the depth and breadth of the damage caused by divorce. In the Huffington Post blog, Kathleen Hall (stress expert and founder of the Mindful Living Network) had this to say: “[During a divorce], you’re sorting through core issues from the time you were born, about marriage, love, and children—it’s like a bomb being dropped on everything you’ve ever thought or perceived about yourself in life. It’s going to have every physiological effect that you could imagine.”

Kathleen’s statements add validity and weight to the overwhelm and breakdown that occurs when we experience divorce. Even those who initiate divorce and truly want to dissolve their marriage are often unaware of the vast reach of divorce and all the parts of their life that will be affected. I believe that we need to continue to drive home the truth about the difficulties we face during this process, because the narrative adds pressure to a story that individuals should “just move on.” I find that message to be an unnatural and unhealthy approach to dealing with this difficult and dysregulating experience.

What I have found to be true in my own process and for many individuals I work with is that if we do not allow ourselves to feel the grief and pain of this rupture and work through it, that pain is going to resurface in our lives in unhealthy and damaging ways. It is imperative to take the time to allow the natural healing process, feeling and working through the difficult emotions that come to visit us. After all, we are putting to bed the childhood dreams and fairy tales that were instilled in us about life and relationships, and now we need to construct an entirely new belief system in their place.

Currently, we are hovering around 41% of first marriages ending, and therefore, it may appear commonplace and normal. However, that does not diminish the intense pain or lessen the anxiety, fear, and grief that we feel. It takes a great deal of strength, endurance and help from others to navigate through this process, especially if you’re working to maintain a healthy body and mind during this time.

My wish for you is that you allow the process to unfold. Do not try to circumvent it by avoiding the big emotions. Feel all the feelings that present themselves to you. In this way, you’ll be honoring the ending of the dream you had all those years ago for your marriage and your life. You’ll be working through the pain of this ending in the healthiest way possible. When you have allowed true healing to take place, you’ll be ready to move on, establishing a new, more realistic understanding of all relationships, especially the one you have with yourself.

Weekly Dose Divorce Support Group

Denise Palmer


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