The topic of divorce is fraught with many emotions. In the next few weeks, we’re going to discuss some of the more common feelings surrounding divorce, demystify them, and discuss positive ways to handle them.
There is a lot of hurt and pain surrounding divorce and multiple people who feel its effects. It is not just the spouses, it is the children, the in-laws, the siblings, friends, and anyone connected to the broken relationship.
You might think that when one person consciously leaves the relationship, they will not be feeling this intense pain. I am here to tell you that is false.
Even when you are leaving an unhealthy relationship, you feel hurt and pain on a deep level.
The wounds of divorce cut to the core. You may have done a tremendous amount of personal development work like myself, counseling, and in general feel like you have moved on, but often there are layers of the pain that pop up over time for us to face and process.
When I abruptly found out that my marriage was not what I thought, I was scared and hurt to the point of having to completely rely on others to get through the motions of life. I was in a daze and did not know what to do. I couldn’t sleep and couldn’t stop crying. I was a basket case.
Fortunately, I had an amazing support system in my family and friends. Plus, the right people were put on my path to help me move forward and process the trauma and drama.
However, triggers occur even today that can evoke that deep pain and hurt. This happened for me just the other week. I’m not sure why it was hitting me then, but I felt it strongly so I sat down and had a good cry.
Knowing you were not loved properly by someone you cared about is a layered wound that opens up from time to time. From my own circumstances and hearing the stories of over 25 women, I believe that the pain of divorce brings with it a level of hurt and trauma from which you need to heal. Even if you part ways amicably with your spouse, a relationship as you know it is over. There is a loss and with loss comes sadness. It is an end of one chapter, and the beginning of a new one.
I think these feelings of pain are necessary and normal. I know firsthand that dealing with the hurt is difficult and uncomfortable. In the process, we often realize things we don’t want to realize–perhaps things we ignored in the past. This can be hard to face.
Unfortunately, many people suppress their feelings of deep hurt as it is easier and more comfortable to not deal with it at all. Sweeping your feelings under the rug creates the perfect environment for having issues with future life events. It will compound the pain you face in the future, and chances are good that all those un-managed emotions will cause you to handle stressful situations poorly down the road.
For example, a friend of mine whose divorce was finalized over three years ago told me that every time I talked about my book interviews with other divorcees, it brought back painful memories. It was too much for him to hear. He did counseling for several months after his divorce, but then stopped and threw himself into his work. I believe this was a way to distract himself from his own feelings and numb the pain.
Actively working on your healing allows you to positively move forward in life.
To move forward in life after deep hurt and pain, it is essential that we do not avoid our emotions. As uncomfortable as it may be, taking the time to process them is crucial to moving positively forward in life. This will bring you the awareness you need to facilitate your personal growth.
Personally, working with coaches, journaling, and simply allowing myself the needed time to heal was necessary in processing my emotions around my divorce.
Remember that it takes time and energy to heal your pain, as it does not happen overnight. To set yourself up for success in handling your emotions, make sure you take care of yourself. For basic self-care “how to” check this post: https://transformyourtruth.com/2019/04/30/self-care-is-not-selfish/
The processing of my “divorce wounds” has brought me great awareness. It has taught me how I want TO love and how I want to BE loved. Plus, I have much more confidence to handle the ups and downs of life in the future. The hard work is most definitely worth it.
How have you handled painful experiences in the past?