Navigating a divorce and the aftermath is one of the biggest challenges nearly fifty-percent of us have to endure. Looking back, I'm pleased to say that, even through my pain, I managed to make some good decisions.
If you've been in similar shoes, I encourage you to add or delete what's worked for you by commenting below.
1. Shame myself for hating my ex in his treatment of me. I knew I wanted to forgive him someday for my own sake, but I learned I couldn’t rush it. Driving down the freeway, pounding the steering wheel and railing at him during those first few weeks after learning he’d cheated on me was good therapy.
2. Isolate myself. Yes, I needed private time to cry and grieve, but I also needed the company of others who were happy to love on me.
3. Become a broken record, talking too much about what my ex did to me. This was a difficult task; I wanted to tell the world what a dirty dog he was, which leads me to the next point.
4. Become a martyr. I recognized I wasn’t always as blameless as my ego wanted me to believe. I worked on seeing where I’d messed up, too, but realized it was too early to gain perspective. In telling friends who had not been in the know, that my ex had immediately remarried, I confess to finding their gasps momentarily thrilling.
5. Do damage to my ex’s possessions he had yet to retrieve. I’d found damning email messages on his computer, and I so wanted to attack it with a baseball bat. I managed to refrain, unlike a friend of mine who threw her entire china service at her ex and tried flushing his sport coat down the toilet.
6. Try to turn my son against his dad. I reasoned that my kid would be dealing with the facts of our divorce and his dad’s remarriage, and my piling it on would make the situation even more hurtful. I didn’t want him to feel he had to choose between us.
7. Complain to my ex’s mother about him. She was a lovely woman, and I didn’t want to put her in an awkward position. Moms have enough to deal with without being told how rotten their kids are. If she’d asked, I would have stuck to a few salient facts.
8. Stay in any relationship that wasn’t nourishing. That included my church where I was just another number and a few friends who didn’t support my decision to divorce. There might be other times to agree to disagree, but this was not one of them.
9. Become bitter and swear off men forever. It helped that my dad and brother were both upstanding guys, and I knew other married men who were, also. I believed there would be someone good for me someday.
10. Begin looking for love too soon. I’d tried that after my first divorce, and it didn’t end well. I needed to find my authentic self before being able to recognize the right man for me.
If you're going through, or have gone through a divorce, what are the things you've told yourself you would never do? Were you able to keep that promise to yourself? I know my readers would love to hear about your experience.
p.s. This discussion is about personal interaction and not legal issues. Please keep any mention of violence to a minimum. A little humor is a good thing too.
Do you have a divorce experience to share? Have you been shamed by a church because of your divorce? There are hurting people who need to hear your story, who need to know they are not alone, and who need to be encouraged. If you are interested in sharing your story, email Linda for guidelines: Linda@LindaMKurth.com
Linda M. Kurth is a writer and a divorced and remarried Christian. In going through the divorce, she experienced a dichotomy of responses from the Christian community. After sharing some of those experiences in her upcoming memoir, God the Devil, and Divorce, she's heard many stories of divorced Christians who have struggled with the same issue. This blog invites divorced Christians to tell their stories with the goal of encouraging churches to resist condemnation and become a source of healing and grace.