Healing From Divorce
Dawn Cove Abbey
Roadside Assistance For Your Journey Through Life
- Dedicated to helping people return (and maintain) sanity and decency to life -
From the eBook: "One! The Journey hOMe", by Klaas Tuinman M.A  © 2007-2020

Questions and comments welcomed.
                               Divorce & Healing
Divorce is one of the most emotional events an adult can go through. At one time the marriage
(or common-law relationship) usually started with great expectations and intense attraction. For
that to come to an end, no matter how or why, you can expect the emotions to be strong.
Recognizing and understanding the associated stages of loss will help you know that the healing
process is under way.

                   EMOTIONAL DIVORCE

Stages of Loss
Denial: Inability to deal with the reality of situation.
How you feel:
  • You tell yourself it isn't really happening.
  • Believe he/she he will "Come to their senses."
  • Convince yourself that your partner is the problem and somehow if they get "fixed"
everything will be alright.

What to do:
  • Recognize the reality of what is happening.
  • Watch what your partner does, instead of what they say.

Depression: Everything seems hopeless.
How you feel:
  • You feel helpless and alone.
  • Experience a loss of appetite, poor sleep habits; physical pains may develop.
  • Experience a loss of interest in friends, self, life.

What to do:
  • Admit you're hurting. The end of a relationship is painful.
  • Don't deny it, fight it, or cover up. Allow yourself to hurt. Be with the pain - absorb it.
  • Be nice to yourself.
  • Start "doing" one small task at a time.

This stage may take you by surprise if you have never learned to identify or express anger.

How you feel:
  • You may do and say things totally different than your ordinary way of behaving. You can
literally "shock!" yourself by your strong feelings.
  • At the anger stage, you may be incapable of objective reasonable behaviour.
  • You may want to act out your anger in a destructive way, "Don't."

What to do:
  • Recognize that anger is a normal response and necessary to putting some emotional
distance between you and your partner.
  • Let the anger out safely, i.e. physical exercise, such as swimming, running, jogging, etc
  • Anger can produce a great deal of physical tension and energy. Use it constructively.
Work, reorganize closets, do heavy cleaning, etc.

Bargaining: Attempts to make deals to restore familiar family structure.
How you feel:
•        You may bargain with yourself, your partner, even with God. The bargains you make
will have a self-imposed time limit.
•        Bargaining is usually out of desperation, anger, or last gasp of denial.

What to do:
  • Recognize that bargaining-with time limits is a healthy-step toward acceptance,
  • Realize that your attitude is changing and you are beginning to understand that
your survival doesn't depend on one relationship.

Acceptance (Partial): I survived (Now what do I do?)
How you feel:
  • I don't like what's happened, but I'll accept it.
  • Still close to the pain so you set up barriers: a) Lack of trust b) Damaged
self-image c) Societal stigmas d) Fear of future.

What to do:
  • Look at how much you've grown and be proud of yourself.
  • Set realistic goals and accomplish them.
  • Stretch to reach real acceptance.

Real Acceptance: Growth and hope.
How you feel:
  • You like yourself and realize you're a whole responsible adult.
  • You are willing to reach out and open up to other people.
  • You are enthusiastic about getting on with many areas of your life.

What to do:
You are doing it!

Healing Process
The process of healing and growth is not the smooth progression many people assume.
It's more a lightning bolt, full of ups and downs, progressions and regressions,
dramatic leaps and depressing backslides.

Realize this and know that the healing process is under way.
(I highly recommend checking this site below, out: KT)

Permission to photocopy with credit given to The Family
Centre Room 20, 9912  106 Street, Edmonton, Alberta T5K 1C5
Phone (780) 423-2831 Fax (780) 426-4918
Email tfc@the-family-centre.com
Website www.the-family-centre.com DVS003