If your marriage ends in divorce, you lose more than the marriage itself. Even if your marriage had problems, or you were the one who wanted out, you still will have grief over the dreams and hopes which have died with the relationship. The overwhelming feeling of loss can be confusing and difficult to understand. The following tips will help you move through these feelings and begin to focus on the future.
1. Get Support: The people around you will express a lot of conflicting feelings, because they’re experiencing shock and loss, too. This may be a time when you find out who your true friends are. Some of your friends will avoid dealing with you, or choose your ex. You need trusted friends, family, and a church or support group who will care about you, listen to you, and not judge or try to get you to “get over it.”
2. Talk or write it out: Talk and write until you’ve expressed all of your grief and loss, anger, confusion and disappointment. Assume you have a specific number of tears to shed, and the more you express your feelings, the quicker you will come to the end of the tears. Be aware that expressing all your grief may be more than some of your support system want to hear. A support group, clergy person or therapist will be able to listen without judging until you’ve said everything you need to say.
3. Have a ceremony: When you feel ready, create a ceremony for letting go of your grief. You may want to include some of your close friends, ritually destroy a memento which symbolizes your grief or the lost relationship, and share your hopes for the future.
When you are ready, The Unofficial Guide to Dating Again will help you complete the processing of this divorce and get ready to find a new partner.