1. Find someone to talk to. A friend, family member, clergy,
or counselor – someone who will listen compassionately without judgment even as you
tell the same story for the seventh time. This is how you metabolize the pain
in your heart, sharing it with others, expressing it, making sense of it.
Honestly evaluate the relationship. While
looking at the relationship from the beginning until the present, fairly assess
the good times and the bad. Every
relationship has both. It is not helpful
to pine for the perfect soul mate who left you, or to see only your former partner's undesirable
characteristics and the negative experiences you had together. Part of the grief is that you lost something valuable
and worthy. For some, there is grief about losing an identity or grief about putting up with someone else's bad behavior.
Read books about healthy relationships. As you read, see what you can identify about how you and your ex did or
did not effectively communicate or practice other strategies to nurture a
mutually fulfilling relationship. What do you want to be different in the
Is there a pattern? Is there a history of other intimate
relationships not working for the same reasons as this one? Were you defensive
when your partner wanted to improve the relationship? Are there issues from the
past that got triggered in the relationship that had nothing to do with your
partner? Some of the best divorce advice is to evaluate what mistakes are you willing
to accept responsibility for in the relationship. Find a relationship counselor
or coach to help you identify and adjust those areas so you can be ready to
build healthier relationships in the future.
5. Do your best to make peace with your
former partner. Maybe you are co-parenting with your ex. Even
if you do not need to actively work with your ex for the sake of the children,
bringing emotional closure to the relationship can go a long way toward
healing. A counselor or coach may be able to help you bring closure
individually or as a couple, giving you an opportunity to say what you
appreciated about your partner, and saying goodbye to the previous
Deal with your anger. What do you
need to forgive? Forgiveness is simply letting go of a debt. The debt that you
feel your partner owes you is likely impossible to be repaid. What can you let
go of, so you can have a fresh start?
7. Join a Grief Recovery Workshop. Grief Recovery Workshops
are not just for those who have lost a loved one to death. We identify
over 43 different kinds of losses that result in grief, including
divorce and dealing with the loss of "less-than-loved-ones." Divorce
results in a lot of confusing emotions. Grief Recovery provides a
process to sort those out.