SLEEPING ALONE AGAIN – DIVORCE RECOVERY
This night will pass. . .
Then we have work to do. . .
Everything has to do
with loving and not loving. . .
WHEN NEWLY DIVORCED there are many emotional and practical changes in life to manage. Very often we feel hurt, anxious and depressed. These feelings can seem to occupy our time and energy, to set up camp and dominate our life. To feel that way is normal. To stay that way is not, and that is why therapy can be enormously helpful.
A therapist’ guidance and support can be a lifeline as you’re striving for balance, stepping into a new lifestyle; one foot in the air, and the other not quite landed yet. Re-positioning into your role as a single person (and perhaps a single parent ), rather than in a partnership, is quite a transition. You’re establishing new patterns of relating to society in general, along with immediate friends and extended families – on both sides. Not to mention that you’re adjusting to sleeping alone in a kingsize bed (so to speak).
Common feelings include guilt, smashed ego, anger, fear of being poor, betrayal, sadness, blame, loneliness, confusion, fatigue. Factors usually in play are:
- Finances (Will there be enough money?)
- Housing (Will one or both have to move? How to adjust?)
- Parenting agreements (How to keep children stable with two homes)
- Relinquishing former couple social circles, and perhaps in-laws and extended family
- Establishing new relationships/social activities as a single person
- Learning how to operate a household as a single person/parent
- Resolving extended family issues; questions; expectations.
- Dealing with the UnFamiliar -- in many areas at once.
Then there’s the kids. If children are involved, settling them into new roles, is a priority; as they now have ONE home (hopefully), not a broken home, but “home in two locations”. Learning and adjusting to co-parenting roles can be problematic, especially if you haven’t cleared out your hurts, resentments and blame. He or she also may have a new partner to adjust to. This is a minefield to navigate.
As said above, an educated and experienced therapist can be very helpful – helping you remember too that the sun still shines in the sky, birds still sing, the wonder of life still keeps on happening. Even though you’re divorced and hurting right now. The power is within you, to cycle through and live the life you want.
But no one says it’s easy; divorce is painful, whether you’re the “leaver” or the “leave.” Each has its own set of emotional and practical issues to adjust to. In addition, there are different emotional and practical factors at play according to whether the divorce was sudden and unexpected, or if there was a slow buildup to the parting of ways.
Again, it is normal to feel the hurt and anxiety but it’s essential to your wellbeing to not let these feelings become normal. It’s important to understand that these powerful feelings need to be surfaced, to empty your heart and mind of all its sediment before it has a chance to harden. So that new life can grow.
I have been through this process myself, rebuilding an overturned life from divorce. I can personally vouch for the fact that even the messiest of divorces, where every seeming mistake is flagrantly exposed and every facet of life is disrupted seemingly beyond repair . . . can not only be healed but can be life-enhancing. We have to face the pain, honestly empty our hearts of negativity, and then new life can take root and grow; quite possibly into a more grounded, healthier and authentic life than before. There IS life beyond divorce!
I work with divorce recovery in a variety of ways: books, podcasts, educational materials and information. A significant part of my education/training has been in how to deal positively with divorce, and the issues that are involved. Divorce doesn’t have to be a life-destroyer.