Divorce is heartbreaking and painful; you have to deal with your marriage being over, financial and home life changes, and not to mention the strain of getting the divorce.
You may have struggled to try and save your marriage as well, and are feeling “stuck” or fighting loneliness and don’t know how to practice good post-divorce care.
In other words, you have no idea how to move on after divorce. But don’t worry — this is common, and you’re not alone.
Nobody wants to admit that they get stuck along the way in dealing with divorce. It would be like admitting to yet another shortcoming.
“My marriage failed and I can’t get over it!” Making a statement like that for many people would be tantamount to taking out an ad on Facebook saying “I’m a loser.”
But the truth is that everyone gets stuck somewhere along the way dealing with divorce.
Feeling stuck at least once is normal because learning how to get over divorce isn’t a required course before getting married.
Besides that, it doesn’t matter how many books you’ve read, how many times you’ve talked it over with your divorced friends, or even how many celebrity divorces you’ve followed, you’re going to get stuck. (Yes, this is true even if you’ve been divorced before because every divorce is unique.)
You don’t know what it will take for you to get over your divorce until you’re done dealing with it.
However, in all my years working with people dealing with divorce and going through my own divorce I’ve found the most common reasons people get stuck.
By knowing these reasons, you’ll be better able to identify then when you start to get too mired in your misery. And when you know exactly what’s tripping you up you’ll have an easier time finding the specific help you need to continue dealing with your divorce instead of staying stuck.
Here are 7 reasons you feel “stuck” after your divorce and how to move on:
1. You’re grieving
Many people get trapped in lamenting what they’ve lost. This includes the hopes and dreams of what their marriage meant to them. It also includes more tangible things like the house and the 401K.
And it includes the relationships that are lost.
2. You feel like a victim
When you get ensnared with feeling powerless you’re about as stuck as you can get. Feeling like a victim also shows up as needing to assign blame — either to yourself or to your ex.
Anytime you relinquish your power to change your life, you’re giving up and dealing with divorce becomes impossible at that point.
3. You’re angry
Anger, fury, and rage are a normal part of the divorce process. However, you can get imprisoned in these emotions because they feel so powerful and righteous.
The trick to using these strong feelings to help you deal with divorce positively is being willing to look underneath them. When you do, you might discover another layer of hurt that needs healing.
4. You feel worthless
Most people experience feelings of being unwanted and worthless when they divorce. And it makes sense to do so! After all, if the one person who said they wanted to spend the rest of their life with you is content to toss you out with the trash, then what else are you supposed to think?
But the truth is that divorce does nothing to define your value.
5. You’re afraid
This is a biggie! Fear is the driving force for people staying stuck in all kinds of situations besides dealing with divorce.
If you can remember that fears usually fall into one of three categories (fear of loss, fear of dealing with divorce, fear of the future), then you’ll be better able to deal with each of your fears.
6. You’re unwilling to explore love
It might sound funny, but many people who are otherwise successfully dealing with divorce get stuck in a belief that there’s no such thing as love for them or that they now have to have rules about how they will experience love.
However, the failure of your marriage has nothing to do with your ability to experience love in the future.
7. You’re feeling lonely
The loss of so many relationships surprises most people who are dealing with divorce. But on top of those losses comes the feeling that no one else really understands (or maybe doesn’t want to try to understand) what you’re going through.
Divorce is a horribly isolating experience. And the only way to make it through without getting stuck in the loneliness is to find a support system.
These seven reasons people get stuck dealing with divorce are broad and you might not see exactly what you’re facing in this list. However, keep in mind that these are general categories of problems people face when they’re going through divorce and, if you look carefully, you’ll find a hint for the help you need to get through the specific challenge you’re facing.
And the best part is that by knowing how you’re getting stuck, you’ll be better able to move through it so you won’t stay stalled for too long. Just remember that everyone gets stuck as they’re dealing with divorce, but with this cheat sheet you will find your way through your healing much more quickly.
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