For many men and women in a wide variety of situations, divorce is a legitimate and appropriate choice. The latest available statistics reveal that the divorce rate in the U.S. is upward of 50%; in the U.K. rising past 50%; and in Western Europe it is significantly lower. The divorce rate in Australia and New Zealand will approach the 50% mark by 2015; and reliable statistics in Asia reflect a divorce rate of under 20%.
Getting divorced is a process and consists of 3 main elements:
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 lonely, flawed, enraged, undesirable, helpless, empty and emotionally raw and overwhelmed.
If you or someone you know is going through a divorce, the best recommendation I have is to put together a team of knowledgeable, experienced professionals who will work on your behalf for the best possible outcome for you! Lawyers, mediators, therapists, coaches, accountants, clergy and financial planners all have valuable points of view to consider. If you have children stay in close communication with your children’s teachers and the parents of their friends.
An important part of the repair process is learning to honor and heal the many emotions of divorce. Please remember that all these emotions are a normal and natural response to 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
While there is no argument from me that divorce can be painful and awful in many ways, you still have choices when it comes to your response(s) to getting divorced. I urge you to become willing to choose:
- Deepening your self-awareness
- Renewing self-respect
- Learning to make new choices
- Working on forgiveness
Take the first step on the road back from the awfulness of your divorce. Step toward repairing and restoring an injured part of Self; forwarding cooperation and good will with those with whom you have been in conflict; reducing any on-going harmful impact on yourself and your children; exploring the values that drive your decisions and creating useful, healthy ways to meet your needs. You can say goodbye to pain and confusion and begin to design a life that is rich and meaningful today.
Remember, only YOU can make it happen.