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Let’s face it, many of the millions of the divorces that take place in the United States today are not wanted by one spouse. Some can see the divorce coming, whereas others are surprised. 62% (42% men and 20% women) wanted their marriage to work, according to the Austin Institute For The Study Of Family & Culture. Of those, 37% involved infidelity, whereby the other party filed for divorce those reasons—not because they did not want to stay in the marriage.
Some couples go through a divorce because one party simply wants out of the relationship for various reasons, and is unwilling to get counseling or find other ways to save the marriage.
Nevertheless, millions of Americans who are dealing with an unwanted divorce typically have a difficult time coping with this form of rejection. According to Dr. Fredric Neuman, MD, people that deal with rejection experience emotional distress. Below is an explanation about the best way to cope with an unwanted divorce.
Identify Things Out of Your Control
Like death, no one can control the outcome of a marriage. It requires both parties to be willing participants. There are certain things that we just cannot control, regardless of how hard we try. Even though couples make vows, and commitments to honor and respect their marriages, some simply change their minds. Even if you’ve given 200%, sometimes giving your all is simply not enough to keep a marriage together.
It is important to prevent “what if“ scenarios from running through your mind. There may have been things that you could have done differently. However, dwelling in the past at this point may prevent you from moving forward. But, if you do indulge in “what if” scenarios, only do so to use that wisdom to do things differently in your next relationship.
Addressing and Coping with Your Feelings
If you are going through an unwanted divorce, you may be experiencing feelings of rejection, abandonment, betrayal and loss. Especially, if you’ve been married for a significant period of time, and have invested years into your marriage, only to have it end.
If someone outside of the marriage has contributed to your divorce, you also may be experiencing feelings of jealousy, anger, and rage. According to the staff at Mayo Clinic, the best way to address these feelings is to express your feelings of anger when you are calm. They also suggest writing your feelings down.
The thing about going through an unwanted divorce is that many people feel embarrassed and ashamed, and try to mask the true feelings and the pain inside. Feelings of pain and rejection, abandonment and betrayal are natural feelings that are involved with an unwanted divorce. However, it’s the way that one reacts to it that determines how quickly a person will recover.
When people go through a divorce they are, in a sense, going through a death because it is the death of a marriage, according to psychologist Dr. Juli Slattery. In fact, she and other experts agree that the grief associated with a divorce is even more emotionally complicated than the emotions that one experiences after the death of a spouse. Unfortunately, friends and family tend to be more sensitive following the death of a spouse, but not so much after a divorce. Divorce brings about a wide variety of insecurities, such as the loss of housing and financial security, in conjunction with the loss of pride and acceptance.
Because of the emotional trauma and complications that follow an unwanted divorce, coping with it should be taken seriously. After an unwanted divorce, a person may likely struggle with areas such as trust and betrayal. Not, addressing these areas can prevent one from moving forward and can contribute to bitterness and callousness of heart.
Studies suggest that it takes four to five years to adjust to a divorce. But in the meantime, stay surrounded by people who understand the particular situation and can offer authentic support and care.
Proactive Steps to Better Cope
Sadly, if you or someone you know is experiencing ill feelings towards a former spouse, it can slow down the recovery process. Thankfully there are proactive steps to be taken to adjust to the divorce.
Speak to Someone Trustworthy
Opening up, and speaking to a trusted friend helps to avoid keeping feelings bottled up inside. A parent, sibling or other trusted friend often make great sounding boards for discussing feelings. This may be very instrumental in helping find ways to cope with an unwanted divorce and moving forward with life.
Get Proper Support
Sometimes the support of more than one person is needed to assist in coping with a divorce. There are support groups available, counselors, and pastors who can also reached out to for help in managing the pain and address emotions. Experts from this group can provide professional assistance if further help is needed, in addition to support from friends and family.
Find ways to Recover from Ill Feelings
If you or someone you know decides to speak with a professional expert to help cope with an unwanted divorce, a trained therapist or counselor can provide detailed expert information more specific to one’s unique situation, and help find ways to get on the road to recovery and began rebuilding life faster.
Avoid Feeding Thoughts of Negativity
Hanging around people that encourage ill feelings or harboring ill feelings prolongs the recovery process and lends itself to anger, bitterness and callousness and could be avoided.
Learning how to forgive an ex-spouse and oneself for a divorce regardless of fault helps the healing and recovery process. This isn’t something that should be expected immediately. It does take time, as does healing.
Create New Social Circles and Participate in New Activities
It may be too painful to continue to run in the same social circles shared with a former spouse. Certain reminders can trigger additional pain and possibly prolong the recovery process as well. Joining new groups and meeting new friends is a great way to start moving on with life.
Conquer Feelings of Distrust and Abandonment
After going through an unwanted divorce, one may struggle with issues of trust and betrayal, more so than with other areas. Be sure that the recovery process includes conquering these areas. That way, upon meeting someone new, one can be more emotionally whole and ready to move forward with a new relationship.
Beginning to take steps towards recovery will help a person to find new beginnings filled with hope, opportunities, and promise. If you or someone you know would like some assistance in the recovery process, there are several trained professionals available to help.