If you are in a seemingly happy marriage, hearing “we need to talk” can send icicles down your spine. Those words are never a good sign, no matter who they come from. This is especially true if your spouse drops the surprise of wanting a divorce. While some may feel relief by the decision to go through with a divorce, for others, a divorce, particularly an unwanted divorce, can take its emotional toll. Much like the start of a relationship, the end of a relationship can carry just as many feelings.
An unwanted divorce is a divorce that occurs because one party wanted to end the relationship. They can be the result of cheating, unhappiness or a myriad of other problems. The receiving party of news of a divorce may feel blindsided. This can lead to negative feelings about yourself, your spouse and maybe even your children. It’s important that you immediately start the healing process to protect your longterm mental health.
What feelings are normal during the divorce process?
Anything you feel during the divorce process is normal. Whether you feel elation to be legally done with a habitual cheater, confusion after leaving an energy-sucking narcissist or sadness after being blindsided by a loving spouse, you are likely processing some sort of trauma. And that’s OK.
In addition to the hurt of a relationship ending, you may also feel shame, anger, and resentment. These feelings can be true even if you were the one who made the decision to end the relationship.
Tips for healing after an unwanted divorce
When you go through a divorce, your self-esteem can be affected negatively. You may feel unlovable or like you’ll be alone forever. However, just because your relationship didn’t work doesn’t mean that you are unworthy of love. In all likelihood, if you are going through an unwanted divorce, the problems existed more in your spouse than you.
Do not blame yourself. Do not self-criticize. Doing either of these actions will make it that much harder for you to heal. This is a time when you should be good to yourself. While this may seem difficult, the following tips can help you as you transition into your new phase of life.
See a therapist
Seeing a therapist is normal. We’ll repeat, therapy is normal. It is perfectly fine to go sit with an unbiased party and talk it out. While you may think turning to your friends and family is going to help you, it’s likely your friends and family are just agreeing with your feelings. An outside party will be able to shine a new light on your situation and help you explore your feelings with honesty.
Get to know yourself… again
Being married to someone for any amount of time can result in losing yourself. Your identity can eventually revolve around being a spouse and a parent. The dissolution of your marriage can cause you to lose your sense of purpose. However, your newfound freedom may be the perfect opportunity to find out who you are. Trying new hobbies and connecting with friends both old and new can help fill the time and help you rediscover yourself.
Celebrate being single
Divorce parties are becoming more common. While this may be on the extreme side of divorce, there are other small joys that come along with being single. For example, maybe your silver lining is the extra closet space for your shoes or being able to stretch across the bed.
Give yourself time to heal
With apps that put a potential new love at the end of your fingertips, it can be tempting to jump on Tinder, Bumble, Her or Grindr to avoid crying over your former spouse. However, having a good, deep cry can be therapeutic. Do it. This doesn’t mean you should have a months-long pity party. Feel your feelings honestly and openly, but give yourself a time limit to adjust to your new life. After all, when you do meet the person you want to start over with, you want to make sure you’re coming in with a fresh heart. Taking time to heal will reduce the chances of you bringing any baggage from your divorce into your new relationship.
Take care of your children
Your children may be confused by the split of their parents. It’s important that you have age-appropriate and honest conversations with them. It may also help to get your children into therapy to help them transition. In some cases, a family therapist may be able to help the entire family transition during the divorce.
Remember, time heals most wounds
Yes, it hurts now. But tomorrow it’ll hurt less. And the day after that it’ll hurt less. While the wounds from an unwanted divorce may never heal, you will learn to live, and possibly even love, again.
With a Carlson Divorce Lawyer, you’re never alone
During a divorce, your lawyer is the person who will know the ins and outs of what you are going through. It is important that you hire someone you can trust and that you feel comfortable with. In order to get the best possible representation, you will need to tell your lawyer intimate details that you’ve never shared with anybody else.
The Carlson Law Firm handles divorces in Bell, Coryell, Milam, Lampasas, Williamson, Hays, Travis, Bastrop, and Burnet Counties. Our family law attorneys have the resources and know-how to get the best resolution for you and your children.
Our attorneys will make the process easy and seamless. Contact us today to schedule a free phone or virtual consultation.