10 Lessons I Learned from My Divorce
There is a grief process
Divorce is difficult. It doesn’t matter whether you wanted the divorce or not, it is inevitably a hard process. Just like in any other serious relationship, ending it promotes a variety of emotions. This was the relationship that, if you are like the majority of people, was going to last for the rest of your life. When it doesn’t, you mourn the lose of the person. This is necessary. Although you will be told to move on and be angry at certain parts of the person and experiences, you need to mourn the lose of she or he as your partner. Although the rational part of you knows it’s what’s best, processing your emotions is beneficial to you and moving forward. There will always be leftover remnants, apologies never said nor gotten, and triggers relating to your past. Give yourself time and permission to grieve.
Some people will treat you differently
When you get a divorce, the dynamics of life and relationships change. Friends and family know you as a unit, and due to their own insecurities and loyalties, it is difficult for them to be friends with both of you. Factors such as connection, family, beliefs, rumors, etc. make it difficult for your mutual friends to make harmonious decisions relating to both of you. Furthermore, some of your couple friends may subtly treat you differently. Remember, your real friends will be there. Although this is a difficult time, one of the positives is that you will develop even closer bonds with your true friends, and that’s amazing.
Right after, most of the people you meet make you rethink your decision
Okay, this is generalized, but I swear you will start to see so many relationships for what they are and it will make you rethink your decision. You will think about if it could have worked, is this the best you can do, you don’t want to go out into the world and date again, was it really that bad. All of these, plus more, will go through your head. And it definitely doesn’t help that your first few dates will probably have you writing and erasing the same text to your ex. Remember, this is a hard process. This is all normal. You will feel the ups and downs for a while. Keep with it and stick with your decision. You know deep inside you made the right decision.
You learn how much vulnerability plays a part in your strength
Vulnerability is one of the hardest emotions to show because we have been told not to show it. It is the opposite of strong. But we have all learned from Brene Brown that you can’t have strength without vulnerability. In fact, true strength includes vulnerability. As you go through the process, you will need to be strong for yourself and for your children, if that’s applicable. And the strongest version of yourself will always involve you being vulnerable. That is the place where you will heal, learn, and grow.
Don’t stuff down your emotions, feel them
We have all seen (and been) the girl sitting in bed crying with ice cream over her last break up. To be honest, I have done it. I have also listened to ‘Nothing Compares’ while I ugly cried on my dog. It helped me to release my emotions. However, a lot of times we think that if we stay in and cry, that we are “dealing” with it. Although that is the first layer, it is important to dig deeper and really examine yourself. It takes two to tango like they say, but now its your turn to take care of you 😊
Your ex is not the only person who will love you
Sometimes, it feels that way in the beginning and therefore after. Even if you questioned whether or not your ex loved you, you begin to think that maybe they really are the only ones that can love you, know you, and as sad as it sounds, deal with you. This is change, growth and anxiety lying to you. It is okay to feel this, but it is not okay to stay in this place. The most important thing you can do is to focus on yourself. That is the love that you need to go back to for you.
Don’t rush moving on
Heartbreak is devastating. The pain is so real, and for me, I just want it to go away. This can lead to negative coping mechanisms that we have all tried, going out often, drinking, and other distractions. They work in the moment, but the pain just grows deeper within you. These short-term fixes won’t last. Take your time. There is no rush. Go at your own pace, and when it’s time, you will know it.
Understand that you played a role in it
So, there is a lot of pain and blame that comes with divorce. There is also a lot of anger. I could recall every mean word, circumstance, etc. But it didn’t do anything for me. It just made me so upset and hard on myself. But I wanted my feelings and experiences validated, damn it. And that’s fair. However, no matter how fair it was or how much I was right, it was eating me up inside. I didn’t want it to consume me and define me. I knew I had to look within and focus on me. I needed to look at the role I played. As easy as it would’ve been to keep focusing on my ex, it wouldn’t have helped me in the long-term. It’s not easy to do. It puts the focus on you, and challenges you to take a look at what you need to work on, reevaluate. Take that chance. Your future self will thank you.
It sucks telling people, it really does
It is difficult to tell yourself that this is really happening, that it is really over. It may be even tougher telling others. We tend to put it off, still wear the ring, avoid it or make excuses. But this causes so much anxiety, and it is not worth it. In my opinion, you don’t need to tell everyone, but it is therapeutic and honest to tell those you love. If you don’t, you are inevitably still holding onto the relationship even if it is over. Give yourself a chance to move forward and find that love that was meant for you.
You will inevitably lose people
Like I mentioned earlier, people may treat you differently. With that comes the relationships that will ultimately end when you two end. This plays a factor in some peoples’ decision to divorce. As a unit, they had a great group of friends. Furthermore, strained relationship with family members may have decreased with the help of the relationship. Relationships are dynamic in nature and can be complex, especially familial ones. This is your support system and having a healthy and supportive one is one of the best things you can have in life. A divorce will disrupt the support system. But like I said, the people who love you will still support you. Things will change in life and relationships, some for the good, some for bad, but with this change stays the constants in your life. They won’t change. Listen to your gut. Trust yourself. Remember, that you are making the best decision for you, and have faith that this part of your journey happened for a reason. The ones that love you will stay along for the ride. 😊