Only someone who has been through a divorce can understand the term “the brokeness of divorce”. By someone who has been through a divorce, I mean, of course the divorcing spouses, but also their children, their parents, their extended family and their friends. How do these individuals heal the brokeness of divorce? Here are 7 ways to heal the brokeness of divorce.
For those who have been through divorce, the image of shattered glass represents it well. It’s that same feeling of helplessness as when you drop a delicate glass and it shatters before your eyes in what seems like slow motion. You see it happening, but it’s too late to stop the inevitable brokeness.
Another analogy, I personally thought of while going through my divorce was that of having a limb such as an arm or a leg amputated. You can survive such loss, but will always be affected by the loss.
So, how do you move forward toward healing the brokeness of divorce? What does wholeness look like? Below are 7 ways you can start the healing process of the brokeness of divorce. Although, the list is aimed primarily at divorced spouses, other family members can benefit from doing these things as well.
7 Ways To Heal The Brokeness of Divorce
- Admit That You Are Broken. Based on personal experience, this was the hardest one for me, to admit there was a broken heart and a broken spirit inside of me. Any competent person would tell you that the divorce was my ex-husband’s fault (statement is being typed with tongue-in-cheek sarcastic humor). There is usually two sides in a divorce with truth somewhere in the middle. Where my real healing came was when I could finally admit that I had some fault in the marriage failing and accepted my share of the blame. I recently participated in an online Bible study called The Broken Way by Ann Voskamp. Click the link to find it on Amazon and see a preview as well as reviews. I wish I’d had this beautiful study and book during my divorce to help me understand brokeness and how admitting it leads to true restoration.
- Let Go Of The Guilt. If you let it, guilt can be the most toxic emotion and will literally destroy any chance of happiness in your life. We all fail everyday at something. As Christians, we all sin and fall short of the glory of God daily. Christian society has led us to feel that divorce is a sin dirtier than most others. It’s not…..
- Ask for forgiveness and give it to others. First, as a Christian, you’ll want to ask for God’s forgiveness if you haven’t already, but there are others you may need to ask for forgiveness from as well. Even if you are not a Christian, forgiveness is still necessary to find healing. Maybe a friend who you were unkind to during a difficult time or your children because you behaved in a way around them that doesn’t reflect the parent you truly are.
- Forgive Yourself. So you have number 3 already covered? What about forgiving yourself? Does the guilt I mention in item number 1 haunt you? Do you constantly question whether you could have done anything else to salvage the marriage? Stop….this won’t accomplish anything! Forgive yourself and toss out the guilt!
- Find Yourself before You Find A New Love. In the 7 years after my divorce, I made a point to spend time socially with other singles, especially at church. Like most of my single friends who were recently divorced, I immediately tried to get back into the dating world after 13 years of being married. It was awkward, it was heartbreaking and very disappointing. I expected the person I was dating to act more in the manner that a spouse should as far as me being the center of their world. The problem was, in most cases, they were doing the thing that I was trying to do….find themselves. God used my failed attempts at dating to show me that I really didn’t know myself or what I was truly looking for. Fortunately, I started getting to know my single male friends at church and at work on a strictly platonic basis. I started watching how they treated the women in their life…their mom, their daughters (if they had any), their female friends, and sometimes I even had the opportunity to see how they treated their ex-wives. Plus, my identity for 13 years was as so-in-so’s wife, daughter-in-law, etc. Who was I on my own? As the old saying goes about “the cheese stands alone”, who was I when I stood alone? You’ll be surprised by what you liked doing as a couple with you ex-spouse turns out to be something that you have no interest in doing as an individual.
- Don’t Look For Your Other Half. When I met my husband, we both agreed that we hate the old saying “Two halves make a whole”. We discussed how we had come to learn that it takes two whole people to make a whole relationship. While it’s beneficial that you share some common interests, it’s more important that both individuals are confident in who they are apart as well as together. Fully understand who they are as an individual and make sure they are with you because they want you, not just need you.
- Enjoy Blessings And Restoration. The final step in healing from the brokeness of divorce is to start enjoying blessings and restoration. God’s blessings and restoration of your brokeness is usually multiplied in comparison to what was lost. Have an open heart and an open mind. You may not have the storybook version of “Happily Ever After” in the end. Blessings come in many forms and our expectations shouldn’t be put in a box. If you do that, you might be cheating yourself out of something great!
This list of 7 ways to heal the brokeness of divorce only serves as a guide. We wish you well on your journey toward your own “happily ever after” these day!