In an ideal world, divorce is the ‘conscious uncoupling’ of two individuals who have grown in different directions, and who both agree divorce is in their best interest.
But more often than not, one spouse wants the divorce, but the other does not. One spouse is adamant about it, and there is nothing that can be done to change their mind.
For the one being forced to divorce, it feels as though your entire world is collapsing around you, while you grasp at straws attempting to hold it together.
You may have not the slightest inkling that your spouse was even unhappy (though hindsight is always 20/20).
Panic sets in, and a veil of darkness clouds your judgement and rational thinking.
You can plead and beg, but that usually makes things worse.
You may spend wakeless nights asking yourself why, how, when did it all go so wrong.
But soon, you will settle into the uncomfortable conclusion that there is nothing in your power that can be done to stop this divorce from happening. Now what?
Now, it’s time to come to the very hard realization that this is happening, and you must find the strength to get through it, and eventually, get over it.
If it is your religious belief that divorce is a sin against god, well now it’s time to let god deal with it. Some things are out of your hands, and sometimes a divorce is just of those things.
Let Go, and Let God: a good mantra even if you are not religious. If you are going through a forced-divorce, this is one of those times where it’s okay to go with the current of life when its pulling in a direction you never thought possible.
Sometimes there is nothing you can do but let it happen, and embrace the change- the good and the bad. For its life’s toughest moments that we learn from, and grow strong from.
By accepting your new destiny, it will be easier to see things clearer, stay rational, and stay focused on what you can do. You may not be able to convince your spouse that divorce is the wrong option, but there are things still within your control.
Map out what you can control, and what you can’t. What can’t, should not be dwelled upon.
Put your energy into what you can control, like the logistics of your present situation: Will you move? Will you go back to work? What tactics will you use to ease the burden on your children? On yourself? Will you date? Will you take up yoga and meditation? Maybe see a therapist?
Focus on positive, healthy, and helpful steps to get you through your present unfortunate situation. This too shall pass…
Think about the possibilities for your future: your new and improved future!
Instead of fearing your open-ended future, welcome the unknown- a hopeful, positive, open space that you can fill with happiness, love, laughter, and even more wisdom than you had before. Even if you remained in your marriage, and this forced-divorce never crossed your path, then still, your future would be open-ended. That’s the thing about ‘the future’ – it makes no promises or guarantees. That’s just the nature of the beast.
Positive thinking is a day by day task. It takes effort; eternal optimism doesn’t happen overnight. It is a daily commitment to grabbing life by the reins. Small steps and tiny personal victories build upon each other, and add up. Until one day, you look back, and see how far you’ve come.
And if you find yourself slipping back into your desperation, you must ask yourself, what can I do today to get me out of this dark hole? What can I do today that I actually do have control over? And the answer can be as simple as beautifying the garden, mending old cloths, getting exercise, taking a dance class, and in particular, charity work.
The best way to stop feeling sorry for yourself is to give to those in need. In fact, some people claim helping others is actually the secret to happiness.
Volunteer at a shelter, a school, a library, any organization you feel drawn to. Giving to others gives you a purpose, and shifts your perspective from me-focused, to a more a holistic worldly one. Research shows that giving actually activates the same parts of the brain that are stimulated by pleasure.
Sometimes divorce is the ONLY thing on your mind, especially when it wasn’t your choice in the first place. Charity could be the best way to get yourself out of that dark ‘divorce, divorce, divorce’ place in your head. A vacation for your mind!
In conclusion, know that you are going to be put through the grinder at times, and it won’t be easy. But stay strong, stay busy, stay productive, stay sane, stay in check with your stress and gloominess, and stay in control of your future.
Even though your spouse forced this divorce on you, it is ultimately you who gets to write your own ending.
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