Divorce: Rising From The Ashes
I’ve always said that I’d much rather have physical pain than emotional pain. There’s nothing quite like that hurtful anguish that isn’t in any particular place, that has no place you can put a bandaid. And the trauma of divorce is as bad as any, with it’s accompanying seemingly forever waves of that sick feeling deep in your gut. Life has taught me that the only way out is through. That on the other end of every dark tunnel there really is light. We can and will rise again, wiser and stronger.
Sometimes I wonder why we glorify marriage so much, when the divorce rate in the United States hoovers right around 50%. About the same odds you get at a roulette table in Vegas. Seems questionable if not silly that we’d put so much at stake in something with such a high chance of failure. But being the optimists and fantasizers we are, we think we’ll be on the winning side of the next spin of the wheel.
You’re thinking by now that I’m a little bitter. Not so. In spite of the unpleasantries of divorce, there were moments and experiences in marriage that I still hold as treasures. I would not want to have missed out on them. And, as I said, the journey through and out of that dark tunnel taught me things about life and myself I could never have learned otherwise. From the ashes, I still fancy myself as having risen like the Phoenix.
Good, Bad, and Ugly
Yes, there is a good, a bad, and an ugly to divorce. If you want a focused look at just how good, bad, and ugly it can be, look at the articles on Divorce Debbie. There’s some relationship advice there, too, in case you’re determined to rescue your ailing marriage relationship. After all, it’s only over when one of you says it’s over.
I think the ugliness of divorce is mostly about the way we, as human beings, cope with the emotional trauma. It’s not the trauma itself, it’s the fear and anger that lies at a deeper emotional level. It just shows up as the anger that fuels the fire of the ugliness.
As for the bad, there’s little dispute that it’s always the kids who bear the brunt of the longer lasting emotional effects. While they survive, they carry with them vivid and sometimes painful memories of scary times. Those memories can be conscious and subconscious, and will effect most if not all of their future lives. That’s why it’s so important for both parents to stay in the game with the children. Stay connected to them. Let them know it’s not at all about them, it’s about two adults who are dealing with adult issues. Never let them question that you love them and will continue to be there for them.
The good is what comes when you emerge from the tunnel. When the divorce is over and the new rules of life are in place. This is when you get to rebuild, re-create yourself. This is when, by focusing on everything positive in your life, you create a whole new story of “you” and is another chance to do life different, better, and in a more fulfilling way.
Divorce: Rising From The Ashes
When ever I’ve gone through turbulent times in my life, I’ve found strength from two external sources. Inspirational stories and books, and the loving support of friends and family. Here’s a couple of reads that you might enjoy:
This Way Up, by Patti Clark. You can find a article about it here
Getting Out of The Good Girl Jail by Sandra Felt. You can find an article about it here.
And then there’s the internal source. It’s that part of you and me that’s our inner resilience. The part that kicks in and provides that spark to get up, once again, and stand tall. It provides the intuitive urges as to what step to take now, in this moment. If you follow it, magic happens. I don’t pretend to know how, but I’ve had it happen so many times that I know it’s real and we all have it. I’ll share the results of that listening from a recent experience. It’s the image below, that was created to remind me to let go in a new and empowering way. Maybe it’s perfect for you, too.