Regarding divorce, no one can tell you what your next action will be. You will be venturing into unexplored territory. If you are in a toxic relationship, or out of one, will you do everything you can possibly think of to press forward? Sinking into debilitating depression, sadness, or anger, isn’t a conscious choice people make. It happens to them. You have to stumble upon a way out.
Think of, “Under the Tuscan Sun (the movie),” when the character of Frances says, “Do you know the most surprising thing about divorce? It doesn’t actually kill you. Like a bullet to the heart or a head-on car wreck. It should. When someone you’ve promised to cherish till death do you part says “I never loved you,” it should kill you instantly. You shouldn’t have to wake up day after day after that, trying to understand how in the world you didn’t know. The light just never went on, you know. I must have known, of course, but I was too scared to see the truth. Then fear just makes you so stupid.”
Not everyone dealing with stress and conflict in their relationships, opts for divorce or separation. It depends on the relationship, situation, and the resiliency of the two people involved. Many couples go through difficult phases, resulting in dysfunction, frustration, and disengagement, but are able to mend and heal. Many others have made the journey to lead separate lives from former spouses. It is one of the most difficult decisions you will make. Divorce can cause one of the most profound levels of stress and anxiety. If children are involved, they will often feel responsible, frightened, and wish for a reuniting between the parents, while at the same time feel relieved that the fighting and conflict between their parents has ceased. They will experience grief and bereavement as if there was an actual death in the family. There is tremendous loss and suffering that all family members feel.
It is your body that remembers this trauma, your mind will try to forget, but it is your future life that you must reinvest in. To be a single parent is one of the most difficult endeavors I’ve ever witnessed. At times, you are father and mother rolled into one, a multiple personality.
Some suggestions are:
1. Attend to your physical health. Lose weight, gain muscle, feel strong. Find physical activities that match your interests, or you won’t continue to do them.
2. Bond with children, or other important people in your life.
3. Volunteer your time, someone out there needs your attention, if you have it to give.
4. Find a traveling buddy, and seek new vistas, find the beauty in life, even if you
never leave town.
5. Develop a new positive, life affirming habit, such as a hobby, a hidden talent.
6. Cook for others. Create a feast for yourself and loved ones. Make it a nurturing event for all, including yourself. You don’t have to spend a lot, just get engaged in the moment.
Find that balance, mentally and spiritually, that allows you to develop inner calm and serenity. Break out of the triangulating pattern of victim, perpetrator, and survivor. Flourish, and defy negative, angry monsters that you fear, real or imagined; live the good life. As you carry on, time has a healing effect. Develop the ability to take a compliment.