Divorce, Forgiveness, and a New Beginning
Key Points
  • Forgiveness is for peace of mind, your peace of mind. Holding a grudge only keeps you from moving forward and starting a new life on a positive note.
  • Learning to live as a single person may be difficult, isolating yourself from social situations does not help in your divorce recovery.
  • After the divorce you can move forward and start over. Don’t keep hold to anger you might feel toward your ex-spouse.

A person must forgive his or her spouse. A healthy recovery means coming to terms with anger and hatred. Forgiveness brings peace to both parties. Bundling anger and hatred makes for misery. Forgiveness binds the wounds.

A divorce presents a chance to live alone - at least for a time - without the interference of another adult. But a person must take care to eat healthfully, exercise regularly and take care of the body, mind and soul. Pampering is not a bad idea - go for a massage, indulge in a nice dinner, take a vacation, even a short one, to some place (but not to revisit a vacation from the past).

Divorce moves a person forward in life. Divorce is a time in life when a person can start over again in many respects, a time to ponder the direction of life: work, home, friends, a new romance (which can be very tempting but requires care because most people need time before they can couple again).

The time should not be squandered. Divorce is an opportunity to see life steady and whole, to look at the world straight in an eye, and come away stronger. Career, friends, goals, geographic changes – all are up for review. Sometimes the spouse who initiated the split has a hard time facing the grief that comes with a divorce. Going into the divorce it may be hard to imagine the feelings of loss that are very normal. If nothing else, divorce means that the helpmate in parenting and finances is gone from the scene. For many grief means depression.

Sometimes a spouse rebounding from divorce isolates himself or herself for a time during their recovery. Like a wounded animal, the person does not want to socialize, meet new people, talk with friends or relatives or try anything new. He or she needs time to regroup and rejuvenate to begin life anew as a single person. 

Friends and loved ones help best by being patient.

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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