The Road Through Recovery after divorce starts with pinpointing exactly where we are “stuck” or “in pain”. There are five phases within it. It is a cycle of feelings we experience in the divorce recovery process. You can read about the first three phases that are explained in previous blog posts.
You may be stuck in the Rejection phase if you don’t accept the reality of your life as it is now. Refusing to accept the “here and now” means not allowing the feelings you need to cope with in order to begin the healing process.
The second phase, Resentment, simply means that although you let the conflicting feelings come in and you experience them, you have trouble handling them in a responsive manner. It is easy to fall into the trap of victimhood.
Renegotiation is the third phase whereby you want to replay the past so that there is a different outcome. Although, the past is gone and can’t change it, you may be stuck in the “What If” or “If Only”. Focusing on what you could have done in the past takes away the potential for the future. You can’t change the past but you are the creator of choices and decisions you make for the future.
The fourth phase is Remorse.
You may be stuck here if you find yourself less outgoing and withdraw into yourself. The good news is that you are beginning to accept “what is”. You find yourself taking some time for personal reflection and soul searching. This is healthy. It only becomes unhealthy if you spend more time than is necessary in this space of emotions.
These emotions are a necessary part of the healing process. This phase is one whereby you experience a sort of mourning process before letting go. It is the precursor to the last phase, Reality.
Having a strong support system of family and friends as well as being mindful of self-care is essential, during this time. Some try to avoid this phase as much as possible so as to not feel the terrible sadness and regret that comes up.
Unlike other phases you may experience, this phase is necessary to acknowledge and accept so that you are able to heal by reflecting on the loss. These feelings and emotions need to be experienced; because otherwise, they become an albatross around your neck weighing you down.
Lisa is married at 22 after finishing college, raises four children and gets divorced after 39 years of marriage. She and Richard grew up in the same town. The marriage was rocky right from the start. Richard and Lisa were both “too young” and basically “stuck it out” for the children. Why? One reason is because of the upbringing and mindset so typical during that generation.
As a dutiful daughter, Lisa does what is expected of her. She marries Richard. After all, they date exclusively during the last two years of college. Richard spends more time at her house than his own. It is the natural progression. This scenario may sound familiar to some…
Lisa initiates the divorce. She intuitively knows almost from the very beginning that the person she marries is not necessarily the person who she will be happy with for the rest of her life. After the children are grown and gone, she decides to make the break.
As a result, Lisa experiences terrible guilt for having ended the marriage as well as staying in it so long and feeling so unhappy. As she looks back on her life and the people close to her that are affected by her decision, it is hard for her to feel good about being true to herself. She is filled with regret.
Lisa becomes “unstuck” and RISES UP AFTER DIVORCE when she acknowledges and accepts the uncomfortable feelings she is experiencing. She gives herself permission to accept that she was being true to herself in spite of these feelings. In forgiving herself, she frees herself to move on. Here are some the issues that she needs to work on.
Lisa does some research and comes up with these action steps. (The research is a learning experience and empowers her to help herself with finding solutions.)
Find Out If You Are Stuck Here.
If this phase on the Road Through Recovery resonates with you, I encourage you to take the free REMORSE PHASE SURVEY. It will guide you to pinpoint where you may be stuck. There are specific statements to answer. If they ring true for you, then, you’ll receive ideas and suggestions you can implement right now. You can overcome the challenges you are facing.
Learning to change your thinking and focusing on the positive aspects of your situation will help you to move forward. Creating the right action steps to take right now will empower you to take back control over your life.
Does wallowing around in regret, blame, shame, or guilt empower you in a healthy way?
Is it going to change your situation, circumstance, or the condition of your present life?
Which action steps do you feel will help you to create a more positive, purposeful life going forward?
Learn the three secrets to break free from the past, watch this free webinar. Learn how to RISE UP AFTER DIVORCE and create a life you would love living. Learn how to change your thinking, your attitude, and your perspective.