Healing from divorce is not easy. It is often a long and excruciating process and always brings out strong emotions.
The divorce process frequently leaves people feeling:
- Emotionally raw and overwhelmed
An important part of divorce is the repair process. The repair process includes learning to honor and heal the many normal and natural emotions of divorce:
- Anger at yourself and your ex-partner;
- Shame and guilt that haunts you and keeps you stuck and unable to think about many of the alternatives and possibilities;
- Sadness and despair over the loss of the relationship;
- Anxiety over the disruption of the family;
- Loss of a lifetime of hopes, dreams, expectations.
I recommend that clients wait to start dating until they have completed the repair process and regain some of their personal strength and resilience. I strongly urge clients not to move in with anyone or get into a committed relationship during this all-important process.
The repair process takes more or less time depending on various factors:
- What was the nature and structure of your relationship?
- How much conflict, resentment, or power struggles did you have in your marriage?
- How available are you to the normal, natural and necessary feelings you are feeling?
- How strong is your external support system?
Remember that typically, the men and women you meet while you are healing from the pain, disappointment and emotional upheaval of your divorce will more than likely not be a good match for you.
Understand that we project a certain image and express certain energy all the time. Our sense of self and our energy is changing constantly and is always a mirror reflection of what we are dealing with and experiencing in our lives.
When we are passionate, creative and making choices and decisions that match our life purpose and values, we project self-confidence and express enthusiasm, joy and a real excitement about life! Conversely, when we are healing from divorce, we may likely project a more dependent, fragile image and experience less joy, passion and enthusiasm in any given day than we might otherwise.
The people who meet you when you are not at your best are attracted to your vulnerability and to that part of you that is more needy and wanting to be comforted and taken care of. These folks are signing up to be with a less passionate, less independent, less self-reliant person.
As you heal from the grief and loss of your divorce you regain your personal strength, passion and joie de vive, the men and women who signed up to take care of you generally wind up feeling jealous, confused, and threatened by your “new independence.”
Recovering from loss and heartache is an inside job. It is important to stay mindful of body sensations and your reactions and responses to people and situations.
Become a good observer of yourself. Notice new attitudes, thoughts, feelings or beliefs that might be emerging?
Have you learned anything you would like to integrate into your worldview or your way of being in the world? With friends and family? At work? In another love relationship?
Let me end by encouraging you as strongly as I can to trust the process and trust yourself to be able to get through the tough times alone. Please resist attaching to new acquaintances and friends who see you as less than you are.
Remember, only YOU can make it happen!