Divorce Can be a Major Life Changer

Few personal crises rival the destruction created by a failed marriage. The process of choosing to divorce, legally severing a marriage, and recovering following the divorce is exhausting emotionally, financially, and often physically. Once the divorce decree has been signed, time sets to work on the wreckage of a failed marriage, but it can take years for the former spouses to come to terms with what they had hoped would be a lifetime commitment.

Sometimes people find professional counseling very helpful, even months or years after the divorce is final. Unresolved issues and deeply seated problems can sabotage, not just future romantic relationships, but also interaction with family and friends. Children, even older adult children, sometimes struggle to come to terms with the fall out from their parents’ failed marriage. The parents’ divorce affects their lives as well, and they may need the help to sort out their feelings. Without that help, many children of divorce grow up and struggle with healthy relationships as a result of their experience of the parents’ failed marriage. 


For many people, divorce recovery is not possible until they have come to terms with how that fits within the context of their faith. A person of faith may find that a failed marriage shakes his or her religious beliefs. Whether the divorce was the result of infidelity or abuse, or it was a no-contest separation between people who grew apart, the guilt and pain associated with a divorce is real.


A person should try to maintain friendships during and after a divorce. A divorce strains and tests all your relationships. Many people discover that their circle of true friends may be significantly smaller than they imagined. Family, thought to be compassionate, if not supportive, may be surprisingly distant. Friends may now take sides, however, help may emerge from unexpected sources.

In order to survive in the newly single life, a person must ascertain what's essential and positive and dismiss all else. This means finding people who are supportive and accepting. It will be hard enough to recover; there's no reason to do it with critical or judgmental people as constant companions.

No one should rush into a new romance. For some, the circumstances of their divorce leave them unable to embrace a healthy romantic relationship for years. For others, a matter of months or weeks is all the separation they need. Whatever the timeline, remember that it is just that an individual decision. Those who judge do so based on their perception of what is appropriate. With the exception of children and a very select few other people (perhaps parents or close siblings), other people's opinions should be largely ignored.



Suggested Reading
The Divorce Recovery Journal The Divorce Recovery Journal
An interactive book of insightful observations splashed with humor, useful advice on divorce and starting over, and space for your personal journaling.

Author: Linda C. Senn


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