Life After Divorce
Re-post: I’m not divorced but have experienced it in my family and through the lives of tons of other people. After watching my parents and helping many friends and adults deal with a divorce, I’ve noticed some clear truths emerging.
I’m afraid many divorced adults buy into believing that they are stamped “Void” or “Damaged Goods” after going through a divorce (Like in Hawthorne’s Scarlett Letter). This taboo is apparent in a number of different ways. Let’s just get a few of these awkward areas out in the open so we can deal with them!
The reality is that a family entity has been broken, and there are a variety of real effects on you and those around you. What was created as “forever” has come to an end and there are real life consequences, regardless of “who’s fault it was.” My attempt in this post isn’t to get into when divorce is or isn’t ok (the Bible speaks clearly on both). My goal is to talk about where to go after divorce: life after divorce. Here are some realities with a few tips on how to deal with each reality. Life After Divorce(I would love for you to share this post):
Dating Life is Weird. Questions like these emerge: Do I date? How long do I wait? Am I ready? What will people think of me?
Thoughts on dating after divorce. You know, I don’t know your situation. I’ll let you call your own shots, but I do want to encourage you in this: Ultimately, do you care more about what God thinks of you or what others think? While you do want to be mindful of your kids for awhile, at some point you have to move on. You have to accept the fact that God can and will forgive your past and has an incredible future for you! Yes, I’m talking to you! You have to realize that some people are going to look down on you. Period. You have to decide that you don’t really care what these people think and that you are not going to let them dictate the way you live your life from this point forward. There, I said it.
(It is man’s job to love and God’s job to judge. Sadly enough, we often get this mixed up!)
Holidays are Weird. Let’s be honest, holidays and special events can be really painful, especially when kids are traveling around and splitting time between households (I know a lot of friends that have 4 or more places to try to go). Just because you and/or your spouse’s past have been forgiven, doesn’t mean that you won’t have real life consequences. Some of these consequences take the form of pain, some take the form of awkwardness during holidays. You are just going to have to make the best of it!
Tips on holidays after divorce: Start new traditions, be flexible, patient and kind and communicate expectations ahead of time with your kids. Also, just ask Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation), excessive alcohol, though tempting, doesn’t help.
Church life is Weird. Churches even have classes entitled, “Single…Again.” Wow, really? The heart behind these can be pure but can often give the wrong impression (like you are entering a leper colony). Reality is… those going through a divorce deal with a wide variety of social issues, “Well, now I feel weird around all my married friends…” or “Now everyone at church thinks I’m a reject.”
Tips for church life after divorce : If you feel weird, ask yourself this question: Is this something I am putting on myself or is this a sense I am getting from my church’s leadership? If you are unsure, ask to talk to someone at your church about your situation and make sure you are clear on where they stand. They can help you clear up any gray areas in your life or ministry so that you can heal and move on. They should try to help you find restoration and healing.
If you are having a hard time forgiving yourself, here are some thoughts: Confess to a friend you trust and ask them to pray for you. Get some counseling. Everyone goes through bad times, the wise ones are the ones that talk about it with someone. Study the Scriptures and see how Jesus engaged with those who needed forgiveness (with love, compassion and a call to repentance) and how he dealt with the religious (harder judgement, calling them out, or often not even choosing to engage with them). Memorize scriptures that deal with forgiveness, self identity, etc. This is how you let God speak to you about who you are in his eyes!
Bottom line is to allow healing to begin in your heart. This takes time, patience and most likely some real tough tears. Don’t forget that God is a restorer and rescuer and can bring you up out of the muck and mire if you will let him. He can take even the worst situations and bring healing. Don’t Give up!
Why is life after divorce so hard? I’d love to hear your thoughts and/or experience in the comments! You never know how your thoughts may help us understand things from a different perspective…
Dig TheWayItCouldBe.com? Subscribe to email updates out to the right for posts on leadership, family, culture, faith and social media.