Divorce & Valentines Day

By

Divorce & Valentines Day
Being open to all kinds of love this week


For awhile, when I was going through and recovering from divorce, I dreaded the thought of Valentines Day. “Love is over,” I thought. How depressing.

 

Feeling isolated and vulnerable was not good. If I didn’t change my perception of the circumstances—my choice to do, or not—the negative, pity-party feelings would take over and I’d slide downhill emotionally. I generally choose to fight that slide tooth and nail, and, as we know, life continuously provides plenty of practice.

I already knew that eating chocolate or having a glass or two of wine might make me feel better, but certainly the benefits of those options were temporary and if I overdid either or both, I’d feel fat and sick shortly thereafter.

I learned to ask myself, as soon as I’m aware of my negative state, “How can I look at this differently? Is there a way I can feel better NOW?“ When I am willing to ask these questions, rather than feeding negative thought cycles, I open up potential and possibilities. Choosing to ask the questions heralded the beginning of change.

Instead of the pity-party, here are the more constructive thoughts that led me out of my poor-me state.

True, I didn’t have a romantic partner, but there was a lot of love around me. I chose to look at the glass half-full. Our dog was always ecstatic to see me when I got home. Our cat, wrapped herself around my neck on the back of the couch when I read or watched TV. Their devotion was quite obvious and welcome.

Although my four children, who ranged from 12 to 18 at the time, were more interested in avoiding a parent than hanging out with one on Valentine’s Day, we shared a very deep common bond that remains to this day, 20 years later.

I was not alone. I had friends who cared about me and were there for me, to one degree or another. Their support was critical to my emotional well being. There were people at my church who were glad to see me and would give me a hug if I needed it. I also learned to ask for a hug because the physical connection was like medicine and helped me feel better.

To feel love I had to give it. The most loving thing I can do for myself is to love others. If I felt paralyzed in this area, I would begin by patting my animals. That would open me up a bit. It also reminded me that a gesture of love does not have to be grand to be felt.

I thought about what I might do to show others I love them. Appreciation and acts of kindness made me feel good. I thought about who might need some company or a phone call. What small thing might I do for each of my children? What can I say or do that would make a difference?—a gesture of affection, a cup of hot chocolate, an affirmation of something important to him or her, or listening to their music in the car.

I had two elderly friends who always appreciated a phone call to check in. Another friend had lost her husband and may be happy for some company. I wasn't the only person without a romantic partner. I forgot that others have a hard time too when I was feeling sorry for myself.

Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Micki McWade

Divorce Coach

Micki McWade, LMSW

914 557-2900

Offices in Manhattan, Mt. Kisco and Fishkill NY

mickimcwade.com

The practice of peace and reconciliation is one of the most vital and artistic of human actions. —Thich Nhat Hanh

 

Location: Mt, Kisco, NY
Credentials: CSW, LMSW, MSW
Other Articles/News by Micki McWade:

PARENTING THROUGH DIVORCE SERIES: Protecting the Kids, Article1.

By

A client had a common question for me this morning, and it made me think about sharing our exchange with readers at YourTango. Here's the truth: you can’t be too smart while going through divorce. The more you know about children and divorce, the better. You can avoid doing unintentional damage by learning as much as you can now. It's easier to ... Read more

Creating Successfully Blended Families

By

After perhaps a long dry spell of emotional deprivation, you finally find your soul mate and are in love with the person of your dreams! Elated and full of enthusiasm, you dream about how you will share your lives one day in a blended family. There will be someone to come home to. You will be part of a family again, instead of living alone as a single parent, ... Read more

How To Get Through Your Divorce Without Hating Your Ex (Really!)

By ,

When divorce proceedings and mediation get heated (as they are often bound to), it's all too easy to get wrapped up in a ball of frustration and anger toward your ex. But will that really help you heal and move on? Here, relationship experts Lane Cobb and Micki McWade talk you through it. Working for a smooth divorce is no small task, as Cobb explains: ... Read more

See More

GET MORE ARTICLES LIKE THIS IN YOUR INBOX!

Sign up for our daily email and get the stories everyone is talking about.

Ask The Experts

Have a dating or relationship question?
Visit Ask YourTango and let our experts and community answer.

FROM AROUND THE WEB