I will never forget the day when sitting in a marriage counselor’s office with my husband after months of sessions; he looked at me said ‘You’re finished, aren’t you?’. At that moment all I could do was nod my head and say slowly ‘Yes’.
The moment of making that decision and acknowledging it is the beginning of a new life. So many emotions run through us when we reach that jumping off point. Emotions of relief, happiness, loneliness and lots of fear can course your veins within a few minutes. Fear of what home life is going to be like leading up to a divorce; fear of the divorce process; fear that you won’t be able to make it on your own. For me, I had all that running around my head as I continued to sit in that counseling session. I don’t remember anything of what we talked about; I just wanted to flee.
Afterwards, I got into my car, drove around the corner, parked and cried. Tears of relief streamed down my face from finally making the decision and verbalizing it. I was ready to move on. I knew that I had finally reached a point where the pain of our marriage far outweighed my fear of moving on. I knew that my decision came from an inner strength in myself that had gotten lost over the years in my marriage. I knew I made the right decision for myself and my 4 year old daughter. When my tears subsided, I called a friend and shared the news with her; my relief and my fears.
Here are some suggestions as you move through (and after) the divorce process:
- From family members and friends are important.
- The ability to call someone to solicit support or advice assists in maintaining our emotional strength to move forward.
- Stick to your routine:
- There were days I just wanted to stay in bed and call in sick to the office.
- I received good advice from a friend who just encouraged me to keep my routine as normal as possible.
- The rhythm of a daily routine helps us keep life simple and that in turn stabilizes out our emotions.
- Give yourself permission to be emotional:
- I cried every day leading up to (and after) my divorce was finalized.
- I had cries of happiness, cries of fear and cries that I didn’t even know why I was crying.
- It is okay and it IS healthy to let your emotions bubble up to the surface.
- Take care of yourself:
- The emotional toil of going through the divorce process is a time when you need to take particularly good care of yourself.
- Take baths or long walks to clear your head.
- Eat healthy, exercise and get plenty of sleep.
Above all else, take each day as it comes. Don’t worry about tomorrow or next week. Just focus on today and making the next right decision for you.