A little over a year ago I was divorced.
I wished I’d blogged the entire ups and downs of what I’ve faced after divorce, but you’d probably run away screaming in terror. While, this blog is geared toward Angel Guidance (based on my books) I also wrote a book called Ties of the Heart, and in it I expressed what I had learned so far about the ins and outs of divorce recovery.
I’ve been on a self-help journey since just after my divorce, and man has it been suck. Here’s some things no one tells you that you face.
A crap load of guilt
I have never been someone who has dealt with guilt, ever, in my entire life, so when this emotion hit me I didn’t know what to do. Because I initiated the divorce and made some pretty intense moves, I had an onslaught of emotions afterward. Some of the thoughts you face is: I should have tried harder, I should have listened, I should have–etc. It’s like facing a tidal wave full force and trying to swim. That’s divorce.
2. A rehash of the past again and again
I have no idea if all divorcees suffer from this, but I was hit again and again with my past, and what I could have done differently. Not only that, but going into a new relationship is like putting fuel on the mental fire. You tend to compare the present with the past over and over, and if not careful, you’ll drive anyone away who actually could be a decent person.
3. It feels like someone died
I’m not downplaying grief, but with divorce it’s not only grief but it’s an on-going grief, because the person didn’t die. They either chose to let the relationship die, or you did, and in doing so it causes a wave of pain afterward. Your mind relives what was, what could have been, and if only’s hundreds of times during the day.
4. Anxiety and Depression become your constant companions
I’ve had my ups and downs in life (mostly from my marriage) but I never had anxiety until the last year or two before I divorced. The onslaught of these two crappy companions hit me like a bomb afterward even stronger. I would get anxiety for no reason at all, wake up with it, feel it during the day, and end up begging myself to please stop.
5. Feels like you’re insane
I know that sounds really intense, but it’s true. I remember thinking over and over that I felt like I was a crazy person. The reruns in my head, the conversations, the feelings of losing everything; all of it made me feel like I had dove off the deep end into something I couldn’t recover from.
Advice from a divorcee to a “I’m thinking of divorce”
If I could advise old me, before I jumped and cut off all chances, I would have told myself before it got to that ‘I’m done’ feeling to get help. Depending on the person, I believe there are stages leading up to divorce. The number one thing I felt lead to mine was the thought of: ‘He doesn’t love me. If he loved me he would–” And sadly, I believe I was right. The whole thing was a giant rejection when I left, from not being sought after, to messy emotional confusion, to divorce. Sadly, even after I reached back out to him, after I came out of the wave of crazy pain, I realized I still loved him, but found out sadly that he didn’t want to pursue. This was the leading factor I divorced him in the first place.
Was this avoidable? I don’t know. But, if I’d known the pain afterward, I’d have at least put in more effort when I walked out the door. But, sometimes getting to the “I’m done” point is hard to come back from. Not unless the other spouse wants to put in some major work–that is if the other doesn’t rush the divorce like I did.
What can you do?
Okay, I want to end on a happy note. If you are thinking strongly about divorce, I want to say it isn’t too late. Get help BEFORE your breaking point. Usually after that, it’s much harder to repair. If your spouse doesn’t want to work on it, you must ask yourself “If they don’t find value in our relationship then why am I here?” Sadly, that’s the place I hit when my husband didn’t text me for a month after I walked out. Even though I clearly said, “You can call me, text me, and date me, but we are starting over.” Sometimes it does end, but I would highly advise you, if you are thinking about it, tell your spouse and get help quickly. Don’t wait. Scrape together the money and go to counseling. Eat beans for a month, your relationship, your heart, and your family are worth it.
Please get help. Your heart is worth it.
From a divorcee