I believe that all divorces are traumatic and emotionally difficult but there are some divorces that are especially challenging, like Debbie who found out her husband was a pedophile, like Kay whose husband came out as gay after twenty-five years and like Barbara who was left with virtually nothing when her husband left to be a dealer in Las Vegas.
Jen’s divorce was devastating – realizing she was married to a pathological liar and someone with a serious gambling problem, dealing with cancer and losing everything. Jen’s parents provided her with tons of emotional, practical, and financial support but what also help Jen was prayer. Here’s Jen:
You know…I can’t put my finger on any one event, but whether you believe in something bigger than us or not, I really think there’s something to prayer. Whether you use meditation and a time for you to calm yourself down and reflect, or whether you really believe you’re praying to something greater than you, I’ve got to be honest, that really helped me.
I didn’t do therapy. I’m a very self-aware person, so if I’m feeling something, I’m very “why am I feeling this way? And what is it that’s bothering me?” I’m very analytical. I over-analyze everything, and I’m a spiritual person. Whenever I would have one of my breakdowns, I’d curl up in a corner of the room and cry and just pray.
“Help me get through this. I don’t know what to do, I don’t know what decision to make.”
That was my nightly ritual, I would break down in the corner of the room, in the bathtub, on the side of my bed, and cry and pray. I would plead to help me get through this. I would pull out everything. I would pray about feeling guilty because I thought it would be easier if he died. I’d pray about feeling I was such a jerk. I would just spew everything to the air.
Then I’d pick myself up and be okay. I always felt better. I always felt this peace afterwards. I can’t tell you exactly where it came from. I just felt like I was going to be okay. I knew it.
If I have learned anything from this, it is that you’re going to go through stuff that is miserable and gut-wrenching and there’s going to be nights where you just think it would be easier to die. It always gets better, if you just hang in there, if you just keep plugging along, if you don’t give up on stuff that you want and your dreams and your kids, if you just keep going, it’s going to get better.
It might take a little while, but just don’t give up.
The Divorce Coach Says
Praying isn’t going to work for everyone – it wouldn’t work for me. I did go to counseling in the months leading up to my divorce and that helped. For some people, like Carlos it might be journaling, for others it might be conversations with close friends. What each of these has in common is the act of pouring out your heart, openly and honestly without fear of judgment. Articulating your fears forces you to think about them and to connect the dots and that can bring clarity. I’ve always found too that once “it” is out in the open, “it” isn’t so intimidating. Hence the feeling of relief.
What works for you? Is it prayer? Why do you think it’s so therapeutic?
Photo credit: ashley rose