Healing After Divorce
What comes to mind when I think of the word “healing”, are the words accountability and responsibility, as well as the question: “what was our role in our pain?”
I believe all of us choose how to take part in our struggles, whether subconsciously or not, and yet “our role in our pain” has very little to do with blame, and it is still up to us to find our own path to healing.
Healing is a very personal journey, and one without a final destination, in spite of how much we would prefer to see our pain vanish instantly. Healing from any type of struggle is not easy, let alone when it involves another person, a husband with flaws, baggage, and possible trauma. A person, who much like ourselves, is imperfect. A person who hopefully can learn from their mistakes, but inevitably, that rarely happens without being a source of pain such as emotional, or verbal and or physical abuse, and in some cases all 3, and those, even when on their own, leave undeniable scars.
Many women suffer from PTSD during their marriage, as well as after their divorce, and it can take years before women can get back to feeling like themselves again, and sadly, some never do.
The healing journey requires courage and one other simple element to begin: the desire to heal. That moment is often defined by the very instant a woman just knows something needs to change.
She wakes up one day and she wants a different life. To some, it is a matter of life and death.
A few quotes have been written around the concept that in order to get a different result, we must do something in a different and new way.
Well, let’s just say that, for most women, who have become accustomed to some kind of abuse and/or neglect, they don’t really know what that is. This brings me to the next step.
During this phase, and that can be “pre-divorce”, it is crucial to get some kind of help, from someone who is trained and equipped to guide the next steps. It is also important to have a good support system amongst a few trusted friends, although in some cases that can lead to what I call “toxic venting.”
Some women may need therapy depending on the kind of abuse they have experienced, and some will thrive with the help of a coach who can guide and strategize towards a healthier dynamic and new way of living.
In addition, a good “self-care” practice can help and even speed the healing process. It’s not uncommon for women to “check out” at some point during a troubled marriage, so my philosophy is, “we divorce ourselves long before we divorce our partners”, meaning we put ourselves last.
So self-care can take time because we, as women, must learn to give ourselves permission to take care of “us” first.
There are 4 types of self-care :
1. Physical: here you get manicures, pedicures, massages, you take time to pray, reflect, relax, sleep in, read a good book, watch a good movie…the list is endless.
2. Choice: here you choose to give yourself permission to invest in your healing, and you seek and hire professional help.
3. Self-preservation: here you learn to identify and “say NO” to the things and to the people and their actions towards you, that no longer serve you.
4. Tribe: here you align yourself with like-minded people, who can be the best people to have in your tribe. They can hold you accountable and support you when you need them. They help you feel understood.
It’s important to remember that the process of healing begins the moment we desire it, but healing from divorce takes time. There will be days filled with anger, grief, resentment, and regret. And other times, our hearts will be filled with our love for our Redeemer and with His love for us. There is such beauty in any process of healing, even with all of its imperfections. It is a new chapter, a second chance if you will, and there is room for self-discovery and newfound freedom. This is the direction towards the path God wants for us all: abundance on all levels, whether we are divorced, married, single, or widowed. We must embrace our healing journey knowing that just because our marriage didn’t work out as planned, it doesn’t mean we are not valuable. Psalm 46:5 (NIV) “God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day.”
This Psalm is a sweet reminder that, even when we are filled with the spirit of God, we may still experience falls and failures, but God is right there to rescue us, even when we fail to feel His presence.
To the women reading this blog, you are beautiful, you are powerful, you are enough and you are worthy of all great things. Forgive yourself and give yourself grace, and most importantly, give yourself permission and time to heal.
Lastly, reach out to those who love you and care for you, and ask them to pray for you, for your healing, and for clarity and wisdom over you.
Blessings & much love,