We all know that the pain that follows a divorce is horrible, and can probably be multiplied by a very large number if the divorce was sudden and/or unexpected. When we’re in the midst of heartache it can truly feel as though our broken parts will never heal, and that we will never feel whole or normal again.
Yet healing is a very natural process. We can all heal. Some of us may be stuck in a loop of grief, not knowing how to help ourselves move through and past the pain. We may be unknowingly committed to outdated beliefs and stories – beliefs that are holding us back from creating a new life and story for ourselves.
I’m a firm believer that TIME is one of our best friends when it comes to moving forward and healing from heartbreak. Yet all the time in the world will NOT help if you’re not giving it a bit of a helping hand. When people say that time heals nothing, I say yes and no. Time DOES heal – but not time alone.
Sitting around waiting to feel better will probably not be enough to make you feel better. If you feel that something is missing – that you’re not moving forward and healing from your divorce, it may be time for a few life and mindset adjustments.
Here are 4 reasons you may not be healing from your divorce:
1. You’re stuck in RESISTANCE mode
When ‘bad’ things happen to us, it is a very normal thing to struggle and resist against what is happening. Yet here’s the thing: hard as it may be to come to terms with, accepting the change to your circumstances, rather than resisting it, is extremely important in helping you navigate what is happening. If the decision to divorce is final – whether it was your choice or not – stop wishing it otherwise.
You will only prolong the pain, and delay your progress in moving through the grief if you spend time and energy wishing and hoping for things to be different.
I have learned that nothing is truly permanent in life – good or bad. Once you accept that situations and people naturally evolve, you’ll find that change becomes a lot less daunting. A huge obstacle for a lot of us after divorce is learning how to get over our preconceived notions of how things ‘should’ be. Yet all of us can learn to change our thought processes, and as a result, let go of outdated beliefs and stories.
It is normal and healthy to grieve. Allow the grief, and allow it to pass when it’s time. Learn about the grieving process – know where you are at in the process. And know that with allowance, it WILL pass.
2. You’re still stalking/speaking to/spending time with your EX
It is a very noble idea to want to ‘stay friends’ with the ex. Sometimes, its best left at that – an idea. Why? Because in order to move on and heal from our divorce, we simply must learn to emotionally detach from him.
Some context: when we have spent a good portion of our time with another person in an intimate relationship, emotional bonds, and ties will have formed – this is a normal and natural process. During a break-up, those bonds are ties must be severed, and this naturally hurts.
We don’t like the hurt, so we fight it. We often do everything we can to hold on – to our partner and to our memories – and this is where our troubles begin. We simply don’t know how to let go, or emotionally detach. The good news is that with a little time and a little effort, we will get through the hurt and begin to feel better.
Accepting that the relationship is over and allowing the grieving process are important first steps to getting your ex out of your headspace.
The next focus needs to be on maintaining separate lives and ending the reliance on him. RESIST the urge to know what he is up to, who he’s seeing, where he’s going. DON’T stalk him or her on social media, and don’t ask others (especially your children) what he is up to. If you do need to be in contact – focus on keeping it simple and business-like.
This is truly the best way to emotionally detach and most importantly, HEAL.
3. You’re not spending ample time LOVING yourself
Most of us lose a part of ourselves whilst in a long-term relationship or marriage. I lost a BIG part of myself during my seventeen-year marriage. I married young and over the years somehow managed to forget that I was somebody outside of the marriage at all.
Needless to say, when my husband left I had quite the task both rediscovering and learning how to love ME. I had to re-learn a lot of self-care, and a lot of self-love. And so it may be for you now.
Truth is, most of us struggle with self-love. And the struggle is never more real than in times of change and upheaval – when we are pushed WAY out of our comfort zones, dealing with a broken heart, and naturally feeling our crappiest and lowest.
Yet the time just after a divorce is the perfect time to start learning how to truly love yourself. It is the perfect time to go deep within yourself and find out what it is that makes you tick – what fires you up, what gives you comfort, what it is that you need to do to fix your broken parts for GOOD.
Do your best not to spend all of your time thinking, obsessing or worrying about your ex – or when your next relationship will be. Learn to use this time alone wisely. SPEND time alone. Learn to love being alone. Learn to love and care for yourself – TRULY love and care for yourself.
4. You’re not setting GOALS for the future
During a significant life shift such as divorce, there is a definite healing power to be found in intention or goal setting. After having just completed one chapter of your life, it makes sense to lay some plans for how you would like the next chapter to be.
Your goals may change over time as your psyche slowly adjusts to your new life and reality, but that’s OK. Even if you don’t achieve a particular goal, or it changes significantly to accommodate your changing feelings and circumstances, there is still power in letting yourself envision some concrete plans for your future, doing what you need to do to make them reality, then letting go and allowing the universe to take care of the rest.
Use your newfound knowledge of yourself – who you really are and what you really want in life – to start setting some goals – big or small. And remember at all times to have FUN with it. Good luck.