3 Steps After Divorce: Accept, Grieve and Grow

DIvorceYou have done all you can for your marriage. You still love your husband, but he refuses to work on your relationship any further and has decided to divorce. It is a helpless feeling and you are left lost and confused with nowhere to turn.

There are many women who have been in this exact same place and are offering their help with divorce. Your situation is unique to you alone, but you are not alone. What I’ve found so inspiring about this topic is the number of women who have given their advice with such a passionate desire to help other women who are going through divorce.

In today’s article we discuss three important steps to take after divorce, accept, grieve, and grow.

Accept

Nobody deserves to be treated any less than they deserve to be, and wanting to stay married to someone who doesn’t want to be married to you just inflicts pain and cruelty on yourself. This isn’t how to role-model “strong and healthy” relationships to your kids. I always ask, “What would I tell her in a similar situation? Would I want my daughter emulating this behavior? ” If the answer is no, then I don’t deserve to be treated that way or to be acting in that way either!

Monique Honaman, Author, The High Road Has Less Traffic: honest advice on the path through love and divorce, High Road Less Traffic

Grieve

Give yourself permission to grieve the loss of all the hopes, plans and dreams you had for your marriage. If you try to protect yourself from emotional pain, you will only be putting this grieving process on the shelf, delaying your inevitable sadness. Grieving serves a purpose, in that it helps us to let go of the loss of the marriage and move forward. It is understandable that people want to avoid the intense feelings of fear, anger and loss. However, avoidance of grieving now will result in future losses being even more difficult to cope with. You will find yourself grieving for both the old unresolved loss and the new loss – which will be significantly more difficult and burdensome to you.

Don’t go through the grieving process alone. Seek out emotional support from family, friends, clergy. Reflect back in your life and use coping skills that helped you in previous situations. Avoid turning to self-abusive behaviors including alcohol or overeating. Be patient and kind to yourself during this very difficult time.

Eileen Lenson, MSW, ACSW, BCD, Life Coach, Lenson Life Coaching

Grow

In all of my years of helping women grieve, heal and create a fulfilling and fun new life after a divorce they didn’t want, I know of only two instances where the husband reconsidered and re-committed. It’s very rare for them to turn back, once they are on that path to divorce.

Remember this: “If he is dumb enough to leave, you have to be smart enough to let him go.” So, if you have faced, or are facing, a divorce you don’t want, you have two choices: (1) Be a bitter and sad and angry woman for the rest of your life, or (2) you can get R.A.D.I.C.A.L.! (R.A.D.I.C.A.L. is an acronym for Rising Above Divorce In Confidence And Love).

Getting R.A.D.I.C.A.L. means getting strong physically, emotionally, socially, intellectually, financially and spiritually. It means getting the tools, resources and concrete strategies you need to thrive, and developing social connections with people who will help you move forward. Just remember, your future is your choice, and that includes the choice to create an adventurous, exciting, love-filled life beyond your wildest dreams!

Suzy Brown, President, Midlife Divorce Recovery, LLC

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