Dealing with divorce is overwhelming. You may feel overrun with tension, apprehension and feel you have nothing to look forward to. We enter a marriage believing it will last forever and that we will be holding hands together until we grow old. Sometimes the news of a flailing relationship catches us off guard. There are times when you recognize it’s going to happen anyway, even with outside counseling. But not all relationships are equivalent. People change and people drift apart. When these interruptions happen, they spill into our marriage and chip away at the union. When it comes to believers, they tend to take a divorce to heart since they believe it is unacceptable in God's view. However, we all live in a fallen world and as long as we are on earth, bad things happen--like divorce. With one last swallow, take a deep breath and prepare to move forward. Here is what you can do when you are hit with the reality that sometimes saying "I do" is not forever.
Dealing with the disappointment.We don't care what it is, disappointment is a happiness thief. When you believe that you are going to be married forever and you encounter a breakup--the ramifications anesthetizing. Philippians 4:6-7 explains that we don't need to be anxious about anything. "But in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." There is nothing wrong with feeling disappointment, but have a strategy to overcome it.
Tap into your inner strength.
We need to tap into our inner strength in order to rise above the arduous challenges that come with a pending divorce or after a divorce. You need to be tolerant with yourself as there are no magical solutions except time. We also need to be real because this will be the hardest work that you've ever done. The bottom line is that divorce is an enormous life transition. You will be hit with all kinds of irrational thoughts and irrational feelings. Take these on and counteract them by seeing yourself rise above it all.
Work on your acceptance.You will be going through the 5 stages of grief like denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Any loss that we suffer will be felt and you will need to walk through these stages. Denial is a great obstacle to overcome, but it has its applications. "Denial helps us to pace our feelings of grief. There is a grace in denial. It is nature’s way of letting in only as much as we can handle," Grief.com reported. Accepting that your marriage didn't work is a hard pill to swallow. However, we need to accept things so we can move on and acceptance helps us accomplish this. God gave us these mechanisms so we can survive difficulty.
Value peace more than being right.We are sure that there are many grievances that you could share with your friends and with your attorney. Some fights are worth letting go. Anger and bitterness are common in a divorce. "Expressing anger to your ex-spouse through the legal process invariably leads to prolonged, emotional proceedings that will ultimately leave you – and the family resources – drained dry," Divorce magazine shared. Using the court to prove that you are right will devastate you further. You might have justification, but you will only hurt your own cause.
Voice your frustrations to God.God already knows the deal, so why not have a chat? Remember you can always go to Him for anything. He will not be shocked by what you have to say! Having a relationship with God while you are navigating through this time is imperative. When we do this we might find the strength to carry on and have the wisdom reassess our blessings that we have. “I will remember them, and my soul downcast within me. Yet, this I call to mind and therefore I have hope," according to Lamentations. Prayer is your connection to Him and a way to find respite for the soul. Making this a practice during good and during bad times will bring you a source strength and stability.
Understand that some relationships fail.Actor Cuba Gooding Jr. filed for divorce from his wife Sara Kapfer after 20 years, citing irreconcilable differences. Gooding is no different from many of us who once believed that the relationship will last forever, but things happen. It is called life. You need to understand that some relationships are able to make it through trials, while others don't cross the finish line. Some people are prone to more drama and more fights than others. When we can wrap our heads around the idea that we are not living in a fairy tale, then we can see things more objectively.
Go easy on yourself.Go easier on yourself as you adjust to the changes. You might want to change your environment so you can find rest. Travel somewhere over a weekend or spend time with friends. You need to be more gentle with yourself. Do something that makes you happy and allows you to forget your problems for a time. Once you do this, you can build on it and allow yourself to be happy again.
Guard your mind.Your thoughts might be your most significant adversary. Anytime that you notice a negative thought edging into your thoughts, review God’s truth. Find a Scripture to neutralize these enemies of the mind. Soon you will find more independence and more liberty in this area.
In a perfect world, there would be no heartaches, no hate, no violence and no divorce. But as long as we live here on earth, it's something that we all wrestle with. As always, it is up to us to not allow our hearts and our minds to become distorted in our distress. A failed marriage is part of this sometimes demonizing puzzle. When a marriage doesn’t work, it doesn't mean that you failed, it means that sometimes "I do" isn't forever.