Divorce is a life transition.
All of us have seen the pictures of tornado victims returning to their homes, or what is left of their homes, after the disaster. They grieve, they take inventory. And they begin the process of rebuilding.
Divorce feels like that. What was safe and familiar is now lying in a rubble. You look around and realize life will never be the same. But you know in your heart you must begin to rebuild.
When I coach divorced people, we deal with emotions and healing, yet the end goal is transitioning to a new life. To do this, I use a principle I call moving from WE to ME.
Marriage is a partnership where both parties look out for the needs and interests of the other. Even when the marriage breaks down and ends, we are conditioned to take the other partner’s interest and needs into account. This is a good thing in that it may keep the process from disintegrating into a contentious, legal landmine. However, it becomes a problem when it hinders you from making decisions for your own well-being.
To some, this may sound selfish. But the truth is, in order to heal, we must go through this transition for two reasons: First, you need to build a new relationship with your ex, emotionally detaching from “spouse” and moving to friend or co-parent. If you are still thinking as a couple, it will be difficult to emotionally detach and move on.
Secondly, you must begin to make decisions that will help you transition into the life that awaits you. How can you best parent your child? Will you have enough income to sustain your new life? Are there changes in occupation or environment you need to make? What are you plans for a future relationship or marriage? In order to get to these new chapters in your life, you need to close the previous one.
Of course, you need to be cordial and cooperative to the very best of your ability during the transition of divorce. Nevertheless, you are now a single person, and you are responsible for you. No one else is going to do it for you.
One of the best gifts you can give yourself is to move from WE to ME.