It is time to find an article on divorce online and decide how we feel about it. Let’s head to Google.
I found an article on Hello Divorce called Embracing Your New Identity After Divorce.
I agree with the article that you lose your sense of self during a divorce. You no longer know who you are. You no longer have a direction for today or tomorrow. I know from experience I lost all sense of self and direction. I did not want to go on living because I did not know how to go on living.
A quote from the article says,
“individuals experienced only slightly less distress after a loss via divorce
then those who had experienced a death of a loved one”
I disagree with this quote only in that a divorce is a choice, whereas a death is not.
“Divorce is like a death but with intent”
They have listed a few ways for those of us going through a divorce to try to shed “spouse identity” and begin to rebuild our new sense of self.
*Grieve Your Spouse Identity-They are basically saying it is a process. One suggestion they give is to change your name. Step entirely out of the spouse role by making a statement that you are no longer that person.
I did not change my name back to my maiden name. In hindsight, I should have, but logistically the process seemed daunting.
Please keep in mind, too, that the time frame needed to “grieve your spouse identity” may take longer for some than others. For me personally, it took over 10 years to begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
*Evaluate Your Other Identities-Here they discuss that we do have other identities, or I will call them roles other than being a spouse. Our different roles in life could be our job, our families, our hobbies, and the list goes on. They suggest taking a look at all the “identities.” In looking at these roles, evaluate them and change what you need to change to have them fit your new reality.
Sometimes this is possible, and sometimes it is not. Adjust them as you can to produce a happy life for yourself. For me, this step would have been a long time coming. In the early pain of the divorce, I did not have the energy to focus on anything other than getting through the day.
*Reconnect With Your Inner Child or Core Self-They suggest thinking back to the things you may have enjoyed as a child and attempting to enjoy them again. They also mention that you should do the things you have always enjoyed.
I have talked about how when my ex left me, he took away all my joy. The things I used to love I no longer desired to put forth the effort to enjoy them. Early on in my separation process I started to do the things I used to love such as reading, cooking, and photography and even though I felt nothing in the process I began to force myself to do them. Over time, with the repeated effort, the joy in these activities returned. I would say to force yourself to do what you used to love and slowly the joy will return.
*Establish New Goals For Your Future-They suggest that even in our grief that we need to begin to develop new goals for our life and our future. On this I would agree. I think the quicker we begin to do this the quicker the healing process will begin.
*Nurture Your Personal Growth-Here is how they sum it up…
Instead of focusing on the loss, use your grieving to redirect yourself to
all the new possibilities ahead of you.
I would love to know how you feel about this article.
God Bless you on this journey.