Going through a separation and divorce can be one of the most painful experiences of our adult life. It can feel as if the world will never be ok again. The idea of recovery and even a life beyond divorce with a new relationship and joy can be almost inconceivable. People tell us it will end, life will get better, there is hope…
Suddenly one day, there it is. A day where you didn’t cry. A day that wasn’t consumed by self-doubt, blame, shame, and grief. Those days become more frequent, until one day you realise you are laughing and looking at potential new partners with a gleam in your eye.
Yass! I am over my divorce. Done with all of that, onwards and upwards.
Until your ex gets engaged, or has a baby, or buys a house, or any of those other things that previously had been your domain. Those feelings of grief and inadequacy, betrayal etc come rushing back in. Except…we don’t feel as entitled to those feelings now. We are OVER the divorce. We are happy now. We have a life beyond the ex.
‘When will it stop hurting’ we rage!
The answer to that is ‘sometimes’. It will stop hurting sometimes. There are always going to be moments of hurt. Those moments will become further apart. They won’t be triggered by the mundane of everyday like they used to be. They will be triggered by those big life events we thought we would be sharing with our ex for the rest of our life.
Feeling that sense of hurt, loss, and pain is not silly, weak, stupid, or any of those other things we tell ourselves in the midst of our pain. Feeling those things is a part of dealing with a massive loss.
When a loved one dies, we know there will be moments when we miss them more than others. We accept there will always be a hole where that loved one used to be. A divorce is the same. It’s a loss, a death of a dream. There will always be a hole where the marriage used to be.
We can remarry, be ecstatically happy, and yet still have those moments of pain.
When they inevitably hit, take a moment. Acknowledge the loss. Shed the tears. Honour the feelings. It will pass, the joy will return. Life will go on.
And it will stop hurting, for most of the time.