Divorce As A Growth Process
The Parents Guide To Divorce
by Rayna Lumbard, LMFT, MHT
Every relationship has a beginning, middle and end. Even though a couple's love can be very strong during their marriage, love alone is not enough to keep their relationship healthy and fulfilling. Couples who learn to deal with conflict by communicating their differences in constructive ways can weather the "storms" that show up in every marriage. When emotional damage from these storms is too great, one or both of them may feel too resentful or hopeless to stay together, choosing divorce as the only option. Many divorces are traumatic, difficult and painful to experience. The family break-up usually causes upset, worry, and feelings of loss and even betrayal not only to the couple and their children, but also to others close to them, including their own parents and friends. It's important that each person involved allow themselves to deal with the issues to go through an emotional grieving process to release emotional pain (anger, fear, sadness…) in order to let of life dreams that will not materialize. Dealing with this major life transition takes time as the former couple learns to restructure their separate lives. Hopefully they will develop and maintain a friendly and even positive attitude towards each other while seeing their children and extended family members. Being aware of and learning important lessons in how to love themselves and their children unconditionally on the journey through divorce is vital in guiding the former couple to move on successfully in their separate lives. It's important for the couple to continually communicate that they are divorcing each other, not their children. Parents who provide continued reassurance that the divorce was not the children's fault along with giving each other the time and space to develop and nurture continued contact with the children will add to the stability they need to grow into mature, loving adults.
Here are some steps the divorcing spouses can take in the journey to heal themselves and start their new lives as a divorced/single person.
1. Meet regularly with a close friend and talk things over--whatever is on your mind. If that does not promote the deeper healing, seek a professional therapist who can help you heal your intense feelings and issues. It's important to regain more confidence in yourself again, renew your energy, and begin setting appropriate goals. This will help you deal with the stresses of separation and divorce.
2. Forgive yourself and your ex-spouse for mistakes you each made in the past, learn from them, and begin finding ways to appreciate each other and the growth you could have only experienced because of your close, intimate relationship with each other.
3. Schedule meetings with other people and professionals who are supporting you in the most positive ways. If possible, working with a mediator instead of separate attorneys can be less upsetting and more affordable.
4. Attend a seminar or lecture that will help you parent your children through the divorce process, handle your finances, or other important issues.
5. Take good care of yourself by finding time for exercise, walking regularly, and/or healthy eating. A good psychotherapist, couples therapist, or success coach can ease you through this difficult period. When you are feeling nurtured and fulfilled, you will be able to balance the pressures of working, parenting, and having your own life.
6. Be patient with yourself and your children through this new journey. Divorce is not only the end of an era, but hopefully is the beginning of a happier and better life to come! You have the opportunity to create your life the way you choose.
7. Renew your faith through religious or spiritual practices that are uplifting to you. Learn to be alone without feeling lonely. You can become your own best friend.
8. Keep a journal of your feelings, dreams and what you are passionate about. Begin using these ideas to turn your action steps into stepping stones to dance into your new life. Take your time, be gentle with yourself, and keep looking forward so you can truly enjoy yourself!
Rayna Lumbard, LMFT is a gifted Marriage and Family Therapist, Master Hypnotherapist, Psychospiritual Energy and Sound Healer. She facilitates powerful transformations for individuals and couples in her therapy ~ healing practice, InnerSuccess Transformations. She is also the author of “Empowering Your Divine Life Purpose,” the lead chapter in the new book Authentic Alignment. Rayna has positively inspiring ways of actualizing your unique vision and life purpose into action to create the love, joy, bliss, and balance to accomplish your dream life.