- Jessica Patterson, LPC
Your New Life, After Divorce
Updated: Dec 15, 2021
You never imagined it could happen to you. Your husband or wife would never [fill in the blank]. And yet, here you are discovering your spouse has been living a separate life from the only reality you've known for years. Your stomach turns as you discover that your whole world has come crashing down around you. You feel alone and duped. You spend the next several months in shock as you grasp at all you can to save your marriage. With tear stained cheeks and tired, swollen eyes, you face each day trying to hide your despair from the rest of the world. You hope and pray your partner can be trustworthy again... that you can trust again.
Unfortunately, after months of counseling, support, and prayer, you see no change in your spouse's destructive and harmful behavior. You come to the point where you know you can't take anymore of the abuse and "gaslighting." After prayer and wise counsel, you make the painful and life-changing decision to leave. Now what?
No doubt, you feel the pain of time being stolen from you. Your broken heart feels like it has fossilized. You are left to pick up the pieces of a life that seems to have been destroyed. This mountain of pain and grief can seem insurmountable at times, but there are ways to summit it that can lead you into restoration and victory.
The first thing you need to do is understand that you are not crazy, dumb, or weak. You are courageous. You tried to repair a marriage even after it became your worst nightmare. You then had the strength to walk away when it was necessary for your own safety. You bravely stepped into the unknown territory of starting a new life. You have already endured so much in this battle, Warrior, and you will persevere.
Next, you must find support. You are in for quite an emotional journey, and it should not be taken alone. Tell your story every day to trusted friends and pastors, as you process whatever thoughts and emotions each new day brings. Spend extra time being intimate with God, as He draws you closer to Himself. He is the best comforter, and there is no better place to be than fully dependent on Him.
Third, work on your recovery. Make sure you are taking this time to work on your own mental and emotional health. Find a therapist (Well, hello! It's nice to meet you!) who can walk with you on a path to full healing and recovery on the other side.
Because the other side is there, I promise.
Finally, take some time to find yourself. You have spent years identifying who you are within the context of your marriage. Indulge in things that bring you happiness and peace, and funnel this back into your own worship. Develop skills and knowledge in the things you are passionate about. Rekindle old friendships. Work on your health and fitness. You will be amazed at the improved, happier "you" that comes to the surface.
"You never know how strong you are, until being strong is the only choice you have." -unknown
"I will restore to you the years the locust has eaten..." Joel 2:25
If you have found yourself in a similar situation to this, please feel free to contact me. I specialize in working with men and women who are recovering from the trauma of leaving an abusive situation, and would be honored to walk alongside you on your journey to healing.
Jessica Fine, LPC email@example.com 512-238-1700 ext. 321