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Lessons From the End of a Marriage

A “How to Thrive” Guide After Divorce

What Are You Waiting For?

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Have you ever had the flu?

I mean the full-on, full-body type that leaves you shivering and feverish, an aching human husk collapsed beneath the covers. The rising temperature somehow short circuiting your brain until all thoughts are amorphous jello and the mind doesn’t even recognize its own attached body. The kind of illness where all you can do is stay beneath the sweat-stained sheets and wait it out, praying that it will slip out peacefully before it kills its hostage.

In those moments of acute illness, we have no choice; we are a prisoner of the poisons coursing through our bodies. All we can do is wait for the battle to be won before we begin the process of rebuilding strength and vitality.

But not all illnesses are so severe as to be debilitating.

Have you ever had a cold?

The kind that starts with that tell-tale scratch down the back of the throat before it progresses into a log jam in your sinuses. An illness that leaves you feeling depleted and irritated, especially when the cough lingers and refuses to vacate your rattled lungs. The encroaching mucus dampening your thoughts, like a heavy blanket slowing you down.

In those moments of lingering illness, we have a choice. We can back off from life and retreat to the blanket on the sofa, waiting weeks for the symptoms to retreat. Or, we can address the features of the illness with medicines and modalities while we continue to live our lives, even if they are slightly reserved.


The first days and weeks of divorce certainly feel like the flu.

You may well be flattened. Dependent upon others for every care.

Disconnected from your life and from your self.

But divorce is not an acute illness.

It’s a lingering one.

If you wait until you are healed to begin living, you will be wasting many precious days while sitting under the covers.


So, what are you waiting for?


I know you hurt.

But pain does not preclude life.

I know you think about the past.

But the past only steals the present if you let it.

I know you feel the empty ache of loss.

But wallowing in the hole won’t help to fill it.

I know you’re not healed.

But you’re also not contagious and life itself acts as a soothing balm.


So, what are you waiting for?

Get out there and live your life.

Embrace the possibilities and celebrate the successes.

The healing will happen alongside.


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11 thoughts on “What Are You Waiting For?

  1. I don’t want to get better. I just want my family back. I miss my wife, she was my best friend. Now she says she loves me like a brother, told me to move on. We have five kids, why should I have to move out and move on when she is the one that wants out of the marriage? I was a stay at home dad for ten years, I get a job and she flips out. It was hard enough being away from the kids all day, now I am supposed to stay away all week? I am dying and withering all week long. On Friday, I am super excited to see the kids. On Friday afternoon, I see her and I am a slobbering mess all over again.

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