Going Through a Divorce? How To Deal with The Scarlet Letter “D”
Do you ever feel as though you are being judged for your divorce? Have you ever felt as though you are walking around with a scarlet letter "D" on your chest as a symbol of your divorce and everyone else’s disappointment?
Like many people I talk to, you are probably trying to avoid any conversation regarding your marriage or divorce. You would rather enter into what I call a “divorce hibernation” where you isolate yourself from everyone else, stop doing the things you enjoy, and slowly (and sometimes without detection) allow the feelings of sadness to enter.
Now, if this sounds like you, I have a little story that I hope will help you to go from being divorce dormant to excitedly engaged. As you may know, I was married for the first time at the age of twenty-nine which ended in a divorce three years later. While I was going through my divorce, I felt extremely embarrassed and ashamed that I could not make my marriage work. To make matters worse, my friends and family had no clue on how to broach this sticky topic. While some friends would respond to the news by talking badly about my husband (“I never liked him anyways.”), others began to avoid me like the plaque (almost thinking “Here comes Debbie Downer.”) Regardless of their response, I could not blame them. There is no “Congratulations on Your Divorce!” card made by Hallmark. If Hallmark can't figure out a way to say it, then there is probably nothing to say.
Looking back, the thing that transformed my divorce experience was changing my state of mind. I went from embarrassment and ashamed to optimistic and curious over a period of time.
You may be thinking, what caused the difference?
Here is my tip: Stay Connected During Your Divorce!
First, you must build up your friends and hobbies. Decide who you can count on to distract your brain from the difficulties you are experiencing, and find new hobbies or interests you can start participating in. Experiencing moments of joy will help carry you through.
Second, you must understand what your feelings are and identify ways you change your emotions. Your divorce will cause you to experience more than seventeen different feelings. You must understand your mood each day and find ways to counteract the negative feelings through inspirational quotes, books, or seeking the help of a professional to talk to – anything that works for you.
Third, remember that your divorce is only one stage of your life. A new chapter will unfold and you can create a better future by identifying what you do or do not want in the next stage of your life.
If you are able to practice the three tips above, you will stay connected to your friends, interests, feelings and desires to shape a positive future.