Is divorce in your future? Here’s what you need to know!
- Your brain won’t work right for a while. You’ll fear that the affected thinking is permanent. It’s not. But invest in notepads in the meantime because you’ll need to write everything down. Your brain is sluggish because it is recovering from a TLI – Traumatic Life Injury. It will get better.
- When you see seemingly happy families or couples, you’ll experience jealousy like you’ve never imagined, your brain throwing toddler-like temper tantrums of, “It’s not fair.” Sometimes it’s easiest to give them a little distance until your envy fades. And in the meantime, watch or read about people that have it worse than you.
- Your body will change. You may gain or lose weight, depending upon your personal dietary response to stress. Wrinkles and gray hairs may suddenly appear or increase in number. You will catch every cold and digestion will be impaired. Protect your sleep, eat your veggies and buy a new belt.
- At some point, you will have a sexual dream or fantasy about your ex. And you will go from feeling both titillated and comfortable to being repulsed and unsure. You will wonder how you ever found him or her attractive. Take a lesson from preteens and develop safe crushes and fantasies on famous people. It helps to reassure you that you’re not dead while protecting you from fantasizing about your ex or encouraging you to get between the sheets with another before you’re ready. And the first time you do engage with a new partner? You’ll feel like you’re cheating.
- You will be memory slammed. And it will happen just when you feel as though you’ve made progress and when your mind is other places. And it will feel as though you’ve caught a bowling ball launched by Babe Ruth with your gut. Keep breathing. It will fade.
- The court process will be worse than you ever imagined. But at the same time, it will be much less important than you believe. You will give the paperwork and the process too much power over you. And you will only realize that misappropriation of significance after it’s over.
- Your brain will become your worst enemy, offering up, “What ifs” and rudely bringing up painful memories just as you’re trying to get your sh*t together. You don’t have to indulge its every whim. Try exhausting it or distracting it, much like you would with an unruly toddler.
- You will experience a false dawn, a period where you feel excited and “over it.” And you will be angry when others caution you that it’s too soon. As much as you want them to be wrong, you will soon learn that they are right, when you come crashing down again. Even though this respite is brief, let it fill you with hope.
- Over time, you will start to see the person you were before the divorce as a separate entity. A different person. A foreign person. You will speak of your life in two chapters – before and after. And as you move further into your new chapter, the pain of the old begins to fade.
- As the immediate emotions of fear and anger and despair begin to soften, frustration will move in. You will feel stuck and wonder why you can’t just be done with it already. You will feel embarrassed that you’re still struggling, believing that you should be done by now. Sometimes this is harder than the initial pain because your rational brain is being held hostage and is fighting against the restraints. Escape takes time. Stay with it.
You will be okay. I promise:)
10 thoughts on “Facing Divorce? Here’s What You NEED to Know”
Thank you for another brilliant post. I’m nearing the end of the court process and all the things you’ve listed here rings true. I’m really hoping number 11 will come soon one day. Until then, I’ll keep reading.
Hope it comes soon for you too!
Excellent post. You captured many of the aspects of the dissolution process. It is about starting over and creating something new. When one embraces this opportunity, then the darkness of divorce can be left behind.
Hi, please can you write something about dealing with the rejection. My husband (44) of 15 years is divorcing me for his 28 year old blond co-worker. I (43) am devastated. I was blind-sited. I was told every day that I was loved only to be informed by both of them on 7 July 2015 that they have been sleeping together for 3 years. They are happy and I am forced into a divorce, unhappiness, financial loss, the kids are upset, the loss of my house ect ect ect. But most of all how do I stop loving a man that I have loved for all these years. How am I going to face walking into them in a shopping centre. Some days I feel like I was brain washed by is love and now that I have to face reality of him being with her, I can not accept it. I am not living in reality. I was lied to every day for 3 years. The day before I found out, he even asked me to renew our vows. He obviously new that she was growing impatient and was going to tell me the truth. This Christmas holiday was horrible. He took her to our vacation spot, I feel like I was just replaced. If I get angry I look like the crazy bitch, If I am nice, he thinks I accept his decision and we can be friends. HELP
I am so, so sorry. The pain of rejection is especially acute when it is paired with a sense of replacement. And the deception only adds more. Have you seen this piece I wrote about rejection? It might be a good starting place. http://lessonsfromtheendofamarriage.com/2014/11/10/because-it-happened-to-you-does-not-mean-it-happened-because-of-you/
Thank you, I did read Lessons From The End of A Marriage. Please can you give more advice on how to deal with The Other Woman. She is 15 years younger than me. (No way to compete there). How can I deal better with the fact that my husband wants to marry her and have a baby as soon as possible, once our divorce is final. It is obviously not a crush as they are co-workers, and have been cheating for 3 years already. I am honest, I cant get past this. Thinking of walking into them, is stopping me from going out. I feel like she is laughing at me, because she won. She has managed to get him to divorce me (after a 15 year marriage), to loose my house, ect. When I see him (when he fetches the kids) I want to scream at him or deceiving me all these years. My girl friends say, I must be especially nice to him, as it will irritate her, if we are friends. Any thoughts?
Nothing I am going to say is easy. And nothing about the situation is fair to you or the kids. But sometimes we’re left with a mess in our house after somebody else had a party and we’re the only ones left who can clean it up.
The key is to learn to separate your pain from the people. You hurt. You’re angry. You feel rejected and discarded. Understandable. And it’s easy to view the people involved as tangible bodies of that pain.
And that’s going to keep you feeling that pain when you see them or hear about them. And make you afraid of running into them.
They no longer matter to you as anything other than coparents. Reframe how you see them and your expectations of them. Yes, it will suck. Suck it up for the kids.
The actions and choices that have hurt you have already been done.
Yes, be as nice to him as you can authentically. Not because it will irritate her but because when you lead with anger, it feeds that anger. Be nice to him for your sake and for the kids’ sake. As for her? Distance is probably best but be careful because too much avoidance also gives the thing we are trying to avoid more power.
One tip I heard somewhere is to refer to your ex as “your coparent.” It helps to remind you of what is really important and what your goal is after divorce with kids.
One more thing, she only “wins” if you give her that power. You’ve lost a lot. But she cannot take your spirit.
Thank you so much for replying. I also enjoyed reading How to Fall Out of Love.
I think at this time of my life I feel a little bit pathetic. I pray that he will come to his senses and come home, but I also realize that I will never be able to trust him again. I do feel annoyed by his family and some of my friends. They know how their new relationship is going, but because they don’t want to hurt me, nobody tells me the truth. I need to know how they are together. Does he hold her hand, does he look happy, do they have pet names, are they like we were together. Has he really given up on our marriage and has moved on so quickly. All those silly questions. Like I said before, as I don’t see them together, I can’t believe their relationship is actually happening. I am not living in reality. (Was I brain washed all those years? But I did feel loved by him, even while he was having an affair) Why can’t I accept that he is never coming back? I do feel guilt, I could have been a better wife, but he should not have had an affair. My mind is going around in circles. I am trying to fill my life with new activities, I am going to start a divorce course on 18 Feb and I bought a mountain bike. Hopefully I will meet new people, but still I want my husband. I want my life back! I think my anger pushed him away. I know I will never meet anyone that loved me as much as he loved me. And I know this is what his family and our friends think. I messed up and he moved on. I get what I deserve. He loved me more, but because I didn’t show appreciation, he fell in love with someone else. I wish I could turn back time.
You are not responsible for his actions. Reflect on your behaviors during the marriage. Learn from them. And then let go of the guilt/should’s.
And I’m so glad to hear about the course and the bike. Even though the latter scares the hell out of me!:))