Our marriages ended; everything is different. We wrote this post together after we did our Podcast for LoveWork – Skills for a Relational Life.
Between us, (with separate spouses), have 8 children, along with a few step-children in Kristy’s case. We are personally familiar with the confusion, heartbreak, upset and loss divorce can bring, along with the real-life complications of children, extended family, step-parenting, and new marriage.
We’ve both dealt with the legal system. We both had to learn better relational skills of our own for success in new marriages. We are both now happily married and work on these relational skills every day, week and month.
We are no better nor worse than you. And we’ve been where you may be at.
If you’re divorced, consider joining us at our next ZOOM session Sat, Aug 21 and Sun, Aug 22 11am-6:30pm, EST. Through small breakout groups, discussions and exercises we will help you find that the road forward allows for hope and joy, if you let it. Divorce can be the great beginning of the rest of your life. Click here for details.
It’s simple really. Someone once said, “Don’t waste your pain. Use it to help others.”
I wanted to share my story of divorce in the chance that by doing so, I could help someone else who may be going through it to feel less alone and to know that divorce can be a doorway into a new life full of opportunities that would never have existed otherwise.
No one gets married hoping that one day they’ll get divorced. No one enjoys breaking up their family and going through the divorce process. It’s awful.
However, divorce may be the failure of a marriage, but it is not the failure of your life. Sometimes divorce is the best thing that could happen to you. It can be liberating and empowering, a chance to create the life you’ve always dreamed of and to find the relationship you’ve always yearned for.
You deserve to be happy. You deserve to be in a relationship where you are truly seen and loved and cherished and appreciated for exactly who you are. Start by loving yourself. By believing in yourself and the possibility that there are beautiful things in your future.
During my divorce, I hung this quote on my bathroom mirror,
“Wait. And watch the universe be kind.”
It came true for me and it can for you too.
I was trained, as a therapist, to keep stories about myself to myself. The therapeutic session wasn’t about me; it was about the client/patient. I was to be a “blank slate” onto which the other person could project their stuff, and make of me whatever they needed me to be. One supervisor even advised me to think twice about wearing a wedding ring that they could see.
I mastered the art of being quiet. Talking about your own story was considered unprofessional and a borderline boundary violation in the world of psychodynamic psychotherapy in New York when I received my degree and started practicing.
Unless something I said about my story could absolutely help the other person. And was more for them than for me.
Talking about my divorce — thirteen years after I went through it — is exactly that. I know that many people are suffering in silence about ways in which they feel they’ve failed, and that divorce can represent the largest failure they’ve partaken of in their lives.
I went through it alone — without reaching for, or receiving — any help (beyond the occasional emails from a few remaining friends). I don’t recommend that. I want you/others to do it better than I did. If my talking could help create a community of people who were supporting themselves and each other through some of the darkest days of divorce, I was all for it.
Together with Kristy Gaisford, we’ve put together a weekend workshop about divorce. I knew that anyone considering taking part in such a thing had a right to know who I was, where I was coming from and whether I could understand them or not.
The only way to give you enough information was to open my mouth and talk about it. Just like we tell others to do. In the hopes that it would help.
What happened after the divorce represents some of the most painful and most beautiful moments of my life. If I can share about “how to get there” — to happiness in a new relationship/marriage — as you leave the failures behind, I want to. That’s why I talked about it.
The rest of your life begins right now. If you unpack, with love and understanding, what you’ve just gone through.