The emotional rollercoaster of a divorce
Everyone knows how horrible it is to lose a dear person and to have to figure out your life after this loss. However, I was surprised to read the other day about the impact of death and divorce in a person’s life and how close they were in terms of influence in our life. Although it seems that the loss of a loved person is one of the worst moments of someone’s life, research shows that divorce’s emotional impact resembles the size of a permanent loss.
It's not as simple as it seems.
Myth: Divorce is just a painful legal procedure where you separate from your partner and then you move on with your life.
Reality: Going through a divorce is more complicated than it seems. And at this point, let’s separate the emotional divorce from the legal divorce: the legal procedure that will separate the lives of two people and can take a few months. However, the emotional divorce is longer in duration, more complicated and it can start even earlier than the legal procedure. It starts at the moment when we realise that we can no longer continue the emotional relationship with our partner and it expands into a wide range of overwhelming emotions while we process the loss and the change in our life.
The emotional rollercoaster of the divorce.
Let’s take a look at some of the emotions we go through (not necessarily in this order, since everyone experiences them differently):
"I can't believe this is really happening."
“You will regret it!” “You left me do everything by myself”
"How could you do this to me? I never expected that from you.”
"I hurt him. He didn't deserve this pain."
"I will start a new life now!"
“It’s too much”, “I need somebody to clearly say it to me”
“Did I make the right decision?”
“I went to bed and I wish I wouldn’t wake up the next morning”
“I wish I will find a kind and caring woman so that my kids will see what a loving relationship is. They have never seen one.”
“No one cares about me”
“I am not worthy of love”
“I should have tried harder”
"I will be judged. I will be forgotten. I will make the same mistakes again."
“How am I going to present myself to my colleagues and my family now?"
“I never wanted it to finish like this”
“Thank you for all the nice memories”
“Your love was a lie”
“I don’t know what I want or not want. I don't know who I am”
“I am not going to make it by myself”. "I am not important to anyone. I don't matter."
"I miss him. I miss the person I met in the beginning of our relationship."
“What about the kids? I should compensate for the pain I gave them” .
That's a lot, right?
Process takes time. And it's necessary.
In our society we learn to rush through changes and to move directly to the next step and settle there. Sometimes, though, the process itself is as valuable as the settling. We cannot put a lid on the emotional process of a divorce - it will happen either way or another. Even if we move on fast to the next relationship, there is a high chance that we will inevitably project some unresolved issues to our next partner (who have no idea, by the way).
Re-calibrating ourselves and re-identifying our purpose in life is of paramount importance. There are emotions, thoughts, realizations that need to be done before we move to the next relationship, without carrying any emotional baggage and throwing it on them.
Let's not skip this important step.
Take action now.
YOUR SIGNIFICANT OTHERS.