Everything You Need to Know About Life After Divorce
Divorce Recovery: Acceptance Of What Was and What Is
The clients who come to me for help in letting go and moving on after their divorces discover
that acceptance, a mandatory step in divorce recovery, comes in two stages. First we work to
be in acceptance of the end of our marriage and then we move on to accept what our life is
now, in the present. This second step in the acceptance process seems to be the more difficult
hurdle to overcome but it can be overcome successfully.
Acceptance of the undeniable fact that our marriage is over must be fully integrated into our
psyche for us to be able to create a new life. We need to look back over our marriage and
see exactly where we have confused what actually happened with our own personal
interpretation. All too often our interpretations of the events of our marriage are simply not
true, not factual. Our deep hurts have a tendency to cloud our thinking and limit our
Separating the facts from our biased interpretations will allow us to stop blaming our ex as
well as ease our resentments. We also learn how to see that any marriage, no matter what
may have occurred, is a product of two people, a mutual creation. Even if one of the partners
was unfaithful or deceptive, we must begin to see our part in the collapse of our marriage
because only when we can stop blaming and take responsibility for our part, do we take back
our power and our ability to move forward. If we are honest with ourselves, we know where
we could have done things differently.
Now comes the even more challenging step in acceptance: acceptance of our new life. Once
the fact that we are divorced sinks in, reality rears its so-called ugly head. We start to really
understand what our life is now that we do not have a partner. All too often, we react with
fear, anger and resentment.
There are many common issues that arise amongst my clients. The number one item seems to
be the day-to-day responsibilities for the children. Why am I the one who has to handle
everything and he gets to play with them every other weekend? I have to do it all: school,
homework, discipline, doctors, dentists, conferences, carpooling, groceries, cooking,
cleaning…you name it! Then Dad shows up once a week and every other weekend and it
seems like its all fun and games. This is unfair.
The list goes on and on and on. No more regular outings on Saturday nights. There is no one
to share household maintenance. Your finances now are solely under your control and for
many of us that seems daunting. No more extended family. The holidays loom before us
and we are lost. Mutual friends fall by the wayside. Need I go on?
This is where the real challenges arise and this is where we learn about our hidden reserves
of strength and how much we have learned and grown from the entire experience. There is
no doubt that it is hard and seemingly unfair. But guess what? That is the true nature of life.
Life is not always a bowl of cherries, quite the opposite. Life is chaotic and there is constant
change, oftentimes not to our liking. Life is not always fair. Life just is and we simply