Saturday, January 19, 2008

Coping After My Divorce

What feelings can I expect to experience after my divorce is finalized?

Not unusual for people who are divorcing, or who have even been divorced for a long time, to have dreams about their ex-spouse. Sometimes they're even good dreams, sexual dreams. Sometimes they're terrible dreams or confusing dreams. Not unusual. Those people were important in your life, that's why you're dreaming about them. Not unusual sometimes to think about them, be curious about what they're doing. They were, once again, important people in your life, and to be curious about them does not suggest that you want to reconcile, but it only suggests a basic curiosity about human nature. It's not unusual to have, sometimes, feelings that maybe you made the wrong choice, because people want to review their history often and look at their choices retrospectively, but you're not going to be able to do anything about it now.If you're divorced and if you have feelings that are emerging about that spouse, and you want to attempt to reconcile, even though you're divorced, you're certainly welcome to introduce that concept to your spouse and lose nothing by saying, "I wouldn't mind talking to you about us." Sometimes they'll be receptive, sometimes they won't, and sometimes an effective reconciliation can be made.

How can I best cope with the feelings I experience after my divorce is finalized?

Because divorce is so overwhelming and because it has so many different facets (social, intellectual, emotional, physical) it's important that you realize that the things you're going through are things people go through. That they're normal. When they start feeling abnormal is when they last too long and when you can't function your life and when that happens you need to seek out professional help. In the interim, however, before it gets that bad there are often books that are available. There are supports groups, there are lectures and education, there's great websites like this one so that you can learn more about what people go through in this extraordinary situation that is normal even though it feels so terrible.

What do I do if I can't get over my divorce?

Not getting over a divorce really means that you're stuck. It means that you don't realize your value. You haven't been able to take stock of yourself as an independent person. You still see yourself as merged with that other person and it means that you really have become transfixed. You need to move away from that. You need to stop talking about the divorce in order to get over it. You need to stop worrying about it. You need to start thinking about yourself, not in relationship to the person that left you or you left, but really look at how you want your life to be. You need to set goals and intentions and you need to find out ways to get to those goals.

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