I’ve dwelt on the topic of healing after divorce for a while because it’s so important!!
You can’t move forward after divorce until you’ve healed your broken heart.
In the first part of my series on healing, I talked about grieving the death of your marriage, and in the second part, I talked about the things you can do to help your children heal because they’re hurting too!
In this third and last (for now!) part of my series on healing, I’m coming back to you.
You get to decide: To heal your broken heart or not to heal?
Did you know that research carried out by the American heart association indicates that “a real-life broken heart can actually lead to cardiac consequences?”
Yikes! I don’t know about you, but I want to leave a full, healthy life! My life is too precious to waste it. I pray that you know your own worth and feel the same way.
At some point, you will need to decide if you want to move forward, heal your broken heart and realign with God’s plan and purpose for your life. You will need to decide if you’re tired of being sad and angry. You will need to decide if you want to rejoin the world of the living, whether you want to thrive.
Yes, you get to decide. It’s up to you. Really.
It’s normal to grieve the loss of your marriage, to be sad at the premature demise of this thing that you thought would last forever. It’s normal to be angry at being treated unjustly. Being rejected and cast aside like yesterday’s news stings! I’ve been there, I know. The hurt, pain, confusion, anger and all the other roller-coaster of emotions that you feel? Normal!
No one can tell you how long it should take to heal your broken heart.
It takes time… to grieve and mourn what once was. It takes time to get all those negative emotions out of your system. There’s no prescription for how long it should take, we are all so different and we process the pain of divorce in our own individual ways.
But at some point, you will have to decide that enough is enough! That your life is too precious to waste any more time crying over spilled milk. That the pearls of your future will not join the debris of your past.
Harsh? I’m sorry, I don’t mean to sound harsh. But I’ve been there and I can tell you that your life is too precious to waste, weighed down by sadness….your energy sapped by constant musing about what happened. You are valuable, beloved by the King of the Universe. This is your truth! Will you embrace it?
‘since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, I will give men in exchange for you, and people in exchange for your life…”Isaiah 43:4 (New Living Translation Bible)
Do you hear how much God loves you? He calls you precious, honored, loved. Regardless of your broken heart, this is your truth! Nothing can change this.
Misery loves company, and if you’re not careful, you will find that years have gone by and you are still sitting there, crying, looking at old pictures and feeling sorry for yourself. If you’re not careful, time will pass and you’re still part of that online group, where everyone seems to just want to wallow in their hurt and pain, and all attempts to move people forward are met with utmost resistance….because some people just want to stay miserable.
Why?? Why would you want to stay miserable? You’ve already been through an experience that has broken many others. You are still here, with your future beckoning!
So, if you’re ready to let go of the past and embrace the future, here are some tips to help you along:
1) Set appropriate boundaries
You need to set boundaries in all your relationships, including with your ex-spouse. It is crucial for your relationship with your ex to be civil and respectful. However, you do not have to be friends. It baffles me why many people insist that a woman has to be friends with her ex “for the sake of the children”. This is just not true and puts undue stress on a woman who already has much to deal with.
Like everyone else, you can choose who you are friends with, and that includes your ex! If friendship is possible (or desired) in your situation, that’s great! However, if you have an ex who has continued to threaten and attempt to intimidate you after the divorce, it may be difficult (or impossible) and continuing to try may add another layer of unnecessary stress to your life. No… you don’t have to be friends with your ex, especially in the early phases of your divorce recovery. Focus on your own healing and protect your broken heart so that it can mend.
Evaluate your other relationships and decide who should be in your life and at what level of access. Distance yourself from people who pull you into sin or fill you with negativity. Choose wisely. Your relationships will change after divorce and that’s ok. Those who should stay will remain in your life, but you can choose who you let in.
2) Stop talking about it all the time
That will get you in a rut faster than anything else! What he did, who he did it with, what he said… What difference does that make now? There will be times when it’s appropriate and needful to share your story. However, if you find that you can’t do so without it becoming a “vent fest”, don’t even go there…your heart still needs work.
3) Take Care of your body and your soul
What’s fueling you? Garbage in, garbage out! What are you thinking about? Watching? Reading? Eating? Set some time aside on a weekly basis to exercise and make sure you’re fueling your body with the right foods. Make a plan to lose that extra weight. You will feel better if you look better.
4) Fight your way out
Dig, crawl, walk, run, do what you need to do to find your way to healing! Talk to a counselor, a therapist, your pastor or attend a divorce support group. Do whatever you need to do to find yourself again.
In the early stages of my divorce recovery, I scheduled an appointment with a Christian counselor. And no, it wasn’t because I was sad or depressed. It was because I was mad! I was so angry about my divorce. But I decided that enough of my energy and emotions had already been wasted and that I wasn’t going to throw any more good after bad. You should do the same.
5) Redirect your energy
You know all that energy that you’ve been spending being angry? or sad? or (that emotion) that often overwhelms you? Channel it into something that you enjoy. Serve at your local church. Go on a mission trip. Join a dance club. Serve on a local board. Pour yourself into something that feeds your soul.
6) Make your home a sanctuary
Now you can! Let the sound of your children’s laughter fill your home. Make new traditions instead of crying about the ones you lost. Get those pink bedsheets and the flowery curtains. Do You!
I look forward to hearing how you’re growing in your journey to wholeness. Leave me a note in the comments section below!