4 Keys to Keeping Calm during Divorce
By Jessica Gaffney, MSW
Are you going through a divorce? Does it feel like a long drawn out process? Are you trying to maintain a positive attitude in public, but inside you feel full of fear, anger and confusion? Divorcing couples often experience a breakdown in communication, the very opposite of the intimacy you felt when you first got together. You may find it difficult to communicate with your spouse, and might not even know exactly what you want – with the exception of just wanting it to be all over!
But now, more than ever, hearing each other can save you decades of bitterness. These guidelines will keep you calm during your divorce. If you take a minute to really think about what you want – it’s probably peace of mind. If it’s going to end, end it well. Here’s how…
You want to be able to laugh and enjoy life now, not once the ink is dry.
You want to be able to sleep at night.
You want clarity and to believe that you have a future and a life outside of the divorce process.
“Peace does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work.
Peace means to be in the midst of all those things and still be calm in your heart” ~ Unknown
Right now you may be thinking that if God cared enough about you, He would change your spouse and they would fix the marriage… and that would give you peace. But here is where the work begins. You need to shift your focus off your spouse and take care of you. After all you, are you in control, even if you feel like you’re not. You get to choose how you handle your life. This is a unwanted transition your life. Now what do you do?
Let’s ask you what you want. Using the LOVE Principle from the LOVE Institute you can find out immediately. Part One- Listen. Listen to the thoughts and fears in your head. Write them down!
There may be a lot of worries and negatives. The best thing you can do is arrange them by issue. Fear of the future, Concerns for your Kids, Social outcomes, Spouse Issues, Financial, etc. You can highlight them once you write them all down and put them in their own little box.
Once you have done that, you need to observe how you are acting out, lashing out, and how your emotions are impacting you. This can happen with your sleep, work performance, weight and energy levels etc. Write down your observations for each area. If you don’t feel like getting out of bed, why is that? Write down the thoughts associated to it. Are your drinking alone, are you excessively exercising, are you unable to focus or are you ranting in front of the kids? WRITE IT DOWN.
These occurrence will pile up quickly. Do you want to know why? Because all of your fears, concerns, and anger needs to be validated. All of your reactions and feelings are part of healing and part of separating from the two shall become one. When god said he would all things together for his good, you may have misinterpreted that to mean your marriage would not end, and that this was a test. I understand your thinking, but that doesn’t mean it’s right.
Your use of scripture here needs to be encouraging. You need to build you up, not the marriage. The marriage is ending, (Not that God can’t save it) but that is between He and your spouse, because your desire to save it has already been stated. The Word of God is useful for building up, rebuking, for counsel. It can be all those things for you.
Allow your relationship with God to grow so he can show you the area of your life where he will provide and protect you, including giving you grace. Know that it is possible to go through the divorce process without losing your sanity!