53% of marriages end in divorce and that does not include people who have lived together and then ended the relationship.
It also doesn’t count the people who are still married but have no real relationship with their partner. Immediately after a relationship ends, we are filled with a sense of loss, sadness, anger, blame, guilt, resentment or even hatred.
The toughest part about divorce is the lack of support from family and friends. Divorce still has a stigma to it; it’s seen as a sign of failure, disgrace or dishonour.
Parents of the divorcing couple often encourage the couple to stay together to avoid embarrassment. So most people going through divorce find themselves having to deal with the legal issues of dissolving the marriage alone.
The emotional issues however, have a far greater impact and are a lot longer lasting.
As a relationship coach, I have seen so many wonderful people who are still filled with the fear of being hurt again. They wear their pain like a shield to protect them from the world.
Many swear they will never get into another relationship. Most don’t know how to release all the negative emotions and become bitter and resentful. They find it difficult to trust again and often project the failings of the past relationship onto any possible future partner.
So, we ask ourselves: will it ever get better? As soul-destroying as divorce can be, you can heal from this if you consciously choose to. In a world of information, ignorance is a choice.
Help is available if we can simply ask for it. A professional who is not emotionally involved in your crisis can observe the overall situation and guide you through it. The result is that you feel understood and supported and you will heal faster.
You have to be willing to consciously put in the work. As long as you remain in a place where you are blaming your ex-spouse for the breakdown of the marriage, you give them your power.
If someone else is responsible then there’s nothing you can do. But if you take responsibility for your part of the breakdown, you will not repeat the pattern.
Sometimes it’s the things we did like cheating or mental and physical abuse. Sometimes it’s the things we didn’t do like ignoring the problem, taking our partner for granted, not speaking up when they were irresponsible with money or alcohol.
Either way, own your part of the problem. That way, you can see how you could have done it differently and the next time you’re in a relationship, you will be much more conscious of how you create the relationship.
Speaking of the next time, you cannot dive into a new relationship until you do the healing work and find yourself again.
The process always starts with a strong decision to take charge of your life and your emotions. Start the detox process by firstly letting go of all the things in your home that have a strong connection to your ex-spouse. That is the physical detox.
Then start letting go of all the negative emotions as these cannot and will not serve you in the future. If your future happiness is a priority, then you cannot step into that future with emotional baggage from the past.
Free yourself! Forgiveness is not so much about the other person as it is about setting yourself free.
Once you have physically and emotionally detoxed from the marriage, you are ready to create a brand new life. It’s still not time to get into a new relationship.
This is the time for renewal, a time to nourish yourself, a time to find out who you are and what matters the most to you.
What makes you smile? What are you most passionate about? Are there places you’d like to visit? Feed your body with healthy, nutritional food; feed your mind with strong, positive thoughts. Fall in love with yourself and fall in love with your life.
Only when you can be happy on your own, are you actually ready for a healthy, happy, mutually beneficial relationship.
Now you have this beautiful, whole person to share with someone new and the law of attraction states that like attracts like, so the new person will be a reflection of the new you.
When you take the time to do the work, you become a better, stronger version of yourself and you become clearer about who you are, what you want and what you have to offer. So, looks like there is life after divorce, after all.
Kas Naidoo is a relationship coach and matchmaker. She can be contacted via [email protected]