Today’s Daily Prompt says, “We all know someone who could use a pep talk… so write them one!”
I thought about any number of pep talks I could write: for my friend who is on the verge of becoming a mother, for my friend who is in a difficult situation at work, for my friend who is struggling to help someone close confront an addiction. But when I opened up WordPress to craft this post, a new post from a blog I have been following popped up, and I knew who the recipient of my “pep talk” had to be. So Matt, this is for you, and for anyone else reading this who is navigating the murky and tumultuous waters of divorce.
There is such a thing a “normal” life after divorce. But it will take longer than you think. Longer than you want. Longer than you might hope. But you will get there.
The journey will not be smooth.
You will hear things you wish you could forget. You will say things you regret. You will think that you are losing your mind. You will feel like you have lost the will to be kind.
You will rage at the small injustices and crumple under the force of the big ones.
You will cry. Even if you’re not really a crier, you will cry. And if you ARE a crier, your neighbours might want to head for higher ground.
You will find it utterly impossible to imagine a state where you do not feel as awful as you feel right now.
But it will get better. Someone told me it would take two years for me to feel “normal” again. I’d say that was a conservative estimate. It took me two years to feel relatively “together.” “Normal” was a longer time coming. But it did come.
If you haven’t already done so, make a beeline to your closest bookstore and invest in a copy of Rebuilding: When your relationship ends by Dr. Bruce Fisher and Dr. Robert E. Alberti. Or see if there is an agency somewhere in your neck of the woods that offers the “Rebuilding” course that is based on Fisher and Alberti’s work. It will make a difference.
Eventually you will build a new life that doesn’t revolve around this enormous hurt. So will your ex. It will take one of you longer than the other to move on in this way, especially if one of you wanted the divorce more than the other. But eventually you will both find new ground to stand on.
The kids will get older and grow into their own lives. So will you.
One day you will find yourself in a conversation with your ex and realize that you are not clenching your jaw that way any more.
One day you will discover that you have let go of something you thought would anger you for all eternity.
One day your ex will surprise you with a phone call just to wish you well before a big event like an important job interview. Or surgery.
One day you will listen to someone in the throes of new-divorce angst and rage and self doubt, and you will catch yourself thinking “was that me?” And you will appreciate the learning that you did along the journey from there to here.
And you will be grateful for the person you have become along the way.