What is the number 1 KEY to coming out stronger through divorce? Support! We all know, intellectually, that we need support. It seems like a good idea. Following are specific reasons why support is the key to thriving through divorce.
Loneliness- Divorce is often a lonely road, but it doesn’t have to be. Divorce can be so isolating- many people feel like they are the only one experiencing it. While your family and friends can be great, if they didn't experience divorce, they may not truly understand what you’re going through. When you connect with others who have experienced divorce, there’s a connection that’s hard to explain. They don’t judge you. They get it. Find a support system that includes others going through divorce. You’ll see what a difference it makes - you won’t feel so alone and isolated.
Shame- Divorce can be so difficult because many people are ashamed of the fact that they’re going through divorce. They feel like they’ve failed and that everyone is judging them. There’s a tidal wave of negative thoughts and feelings that pop up out of nowhere. Thoughts like:
“Everyone's looking at me differently.”
“They think I’m a failure.”
“I’m not good enough to make the marriage work.”
“There’s something wrong with me.”
These thoughts are common in divorce unless you're around others who’ve experienced divorce. They help you see that you're not the only one going through it. Hearing others experiences lifts the burden of shame so that we can put our energy toward moving through divorce and coming out stronger.
Hope- It's normal to feel overwhelmed, sad and that life is never going to be good again. You've never been through this before and you don't know what the other side will look like. Hearing from a divorce coach or other people who have made it through divorce and are now thriving is a huge help to give you hope for the future.
I find these song lyrics by Sara Groves about friendship articulate clearly the heart of why everyone who’s experiencing divorce needs support more than anything else.
“Every burden I have carried,
Every joy--it's understood.
Life with you is half as hard,
And twice as good.”
Take the time to reach out for support. I know life is busy and you may feel you’re just surviving. But if you put yourself as a priority and work on making connections, everything else will be so much easier. There’s so much support available out there for you when you just seek it out.
Here are two opportunities to get the support you need:
Jill Barnett Kaufman is a Divorce Coach, Therapist, Parent Educator and Divorce Mediator. She is an experienced professional who helps clients discover new ways to resolve a variety of challenges when considering divorce, starting the process of divorce or are already divorced.