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DIVORCE RECOVERY

No one ever wants to see their marriage end in divorce. Unfortunately, most people will experience divorce at some point in their lives. When it does happen, navigating the rough waters of life after divorce may be a challenge. Questions like “What should I do about dating?” “I’ll never find genuine love again,” “I’ll always be lonely,” “My glory times are behind me,” “How do I deal with my two children’s well-being?” “How should I deal with my ex?” and many other related questions can drive one insane and make you feel devasted. A common reaction is to conclude that living a fulfilled life with someone you love and want to spend the rest of your life with is no longer possible. In this post, we are going to into why you need divorce recovery and the best approach to guarantee you success.

STAGES OF GRIEF

Divorce comes with five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.

DENIAL. There is a sensation of shock when you go through this first stage of divorce. You cannot just fathom it’s happening or connect with it. Your mind is unable to settle this since it would alter the fundamental essence of who you are.

• The next stage is ANGER. At this point, you express anger in a variety of ways and can range from outbursts of pure rage to simmering cold inward rage. Anger is a natural reaction, but if it’s not controlled promptly, it may be quite harmful. It can also be directed in a variety of ways; you may be angry at yourself, your ex, family, friends, and so on. After that, it comes the time to BARGAIN.

BARGAINING. At this point, you’re doing everything you can to avoid the divorce. You might promise to change or even pray to God. This is the point where you desperately strive to avert the inevitable, even though you know it’s already happened.

• The next stage is DEPRESSION. It is sometimes the most difficult and perilous stage, and we all go through it differently. You may start to believe that end is near and that you will be unable to do the normal things in life.

ACCEPTANCE is the final stage. It’s at this point that you’ll recognize you’re no longer married. It generally occurs when you can reconcile your sense of self with your new circumstances. Some people acquire an even greater level of acceptance by achieving true forgiveness – which is a word that is misinterpreted!

Each of the stages takes time to achieve full recovery from divorce. But once you know how to do it, you may get through them much faster than you think and emerge much more committed to a happy life on the other side.

RECOVERING FROM DIVORCE

Divorce recovery is like driving in a fog. It can throw you off balance, leaving you vulnerable and disoriented. You may feel as though you’re bowling off track and out of control at times. You have no idea how it will turn out. Divorce recovery is challenging enough without adding to the difficulty. When dealing with the aftermath of a divorce, we frequently overlook the obvious and make our recovery more difficult by assuming those imaginary losses are real.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO RECOVER FROM DIVORCE?

One of the most common laments I hear from recently divorced people is, “how long will it take me to go through all these processes?” Different schools of thought give different options. Some say it will take years; some say that divorce recovery will take one year for every year of marriage; some claim it will take one year for every two years of marriage.

Whatever the source of your divorce recovery, one thing is sure: it will take a long time. Another fact is that you may not do anything and get recovered, and you may or may not experience all the five (5) stages of grief.

Not doing anything at all is not the best choice for you, as you can risk being stuck in any of the stages. Think about it: Which do you prefer: being bitter or angry with your ex-spouse?

Do you want to completely heal from this difficult process without becoming stuck?

Here is the good news! We all carry a compass that guides us when we’re lost and vulnerable on the hazy path to divorce recovery. The compass leads us through the confusion of divorce recovery with a true sense of control and stability, and this is where your personal principles come into place. Your personal principle gives you the confidence to determine whether your actions are right or wrong in your recovery situations. It reassures you that you’re on track to a successful and meaningful life after divorce, allowing you to move ahead in the face of uncertainty. With that being said, there are a variety of things you can do.

WHAT YOU CAN DO

Recovery from divorce is grouped into three (3) stages:

1. STABILIZE your reactions to the divorce;
2. RELEASE your fear of the unknown future; and
3. PREPARE for your next relationship to avoid becoming divorced again.

The First Stage : Stabilize Your Reactions to the Divorce

You can begin to release your emotional reactions towards your ex, the divorce, and your new life after divorce. You also start to let go of your ties to “the way things used to be.” The following are the steps involved in the first stage: Step 1: Separate yourself from your Ex. You’re about to embark on a new and exciting chapter of your life. It’s time to evaluate your reactions to your current life after divorce and start disconnecting how your life used to be from the life you’re living now. Step 2: Recognize the harm that has been done. Divorce can be a devastating experience in one’s life. To keep the injury from defining the rest of your life, you must first identify it and treat it. Accept Your Uncertainty in Step 3. You didn’t marry your ex-spouse because you despised him or her. There were “good moments” and “not-so-good times”. Divorce brings with it doubt and second thoughts, which must be discovered and addressed. Step 4: What is your transitional goal? Most people set goals that are doomed to fail for their divorce recovery. Goals that will lead to a successful life after divorce are what you need.

The Second Stage: Release Your Fear Of The Unknown Future and Accept Your New Life Situation

At this point, you remove the impediments to a smooth transition. One stumbling block is your reluctance to give up the good times you had with your ex. The fear of not knowing what the future holds is another obstacle. These two barriers combine to produce a formidable roadblock to change. You will be able to release this natural resistance and overcome your hesitation to accept and welcome your new life position. The following are the steps involved: Step 5: Overcome the Consequences of Fear. We are locked in the past because we fear the unknown future. To embrace the future with hope and happiness, you must overcome your fear. Step 6: Release the Consequences of the Loss. Life transitions, whether desired or not, result in some losses; and divorce is no exception. However, almost all of us believe we have lost more than we actually have. So, if you didn’t lose it, don’t grieve it! Step 7: Bring Your Ex-Relationship to a Successful End. All relationships come to an end when critical issues are left unspoken. Identifying and dealing with these issues allows you to move forward without the baggage that divorce brings.

The Third Stage : Prepare for Your Future - Your next relationship

You apply what you have learned during the divorce process and envision a new life that is both meaningful and rewarding. The following are the steps involved in the stage: Step 8: Prepare for a New Relationship. A successful relationship necessitates that you obtain what you need. If you want your next relationship to flourish, you must use your head and your heart. Step 9: Re-calibrate your life and reinvent yourself. Divorce gives you a once-in-a-lifetime chance to redefine who you are and how you want to live the next chapter of your life in the most meaningful way possible. Your task is to seize this opportunity to start again with a clean slate. Step 10: Plan Your Future Based on the Past. Now is the moment to put all you have learned into practice, and design a path to a happy, productive life after divorce. Remember that a goal without a strategy is nothing more than a dream.

OTHER THINGS YOU CAN DO
• Speak to your friends and family who have experienced similar issues.
• Seek counselling from a reliable counsellor or a reputable religious leader.
• Read books about divorce recovery.
• With the introduction of the internet, several online resources about divorce recovery are available, irrespective of the choice you make for your divorce recovery process.

Final thought

Finding a support group in your neighbourhood or on the internet to join is one of the best pieces of advice I could give someone going through divorce recovery. Even if you are afraid, I encourage you to move outside your comfort zone. It may be one of the best decisions you ever make. You’ve been given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to live a happy and rewarding life, so do it for yourself and for those whose lives you impact. By following the tips outlined above, you have a good chance of making what could have been the worst experience in your life into the best thing that could ever happen to you.

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