You never expected this to happen, but now it has: you’re divorced.
Anyone who has been through it can agree that the road to divorce is a challenging one. Whether it’s a decision you arrived at amicably with your ex-spouse, or it’s one you felt you had no choice but to make due to unfortunate events, divorce is a long process. And for most people, it’s traumatic.
In my book, Remembering Wholeness, I teach that marriages can be an incredible place to face your wounds, heal together, and create a marriage that grows stronger over the years. But I understand that this is not possible for every marriage. In order for this to happen, both parties need to be willing to be accountable and dedicated to healing within the marriage.
When one person is willing to be accountable, and the other is not on the same page, it feels impossible to continue. Maybe there was abuse, addictions, or infidelity that caused too much damage for one spouse to handle. You may have found yourself in one of these exact scenarios, which led you to get divorced.
It’s common for women to think that once they get divorced, everything will be better. And in a lot of ways, that’s true! But it’s not going to happen overnight.
So how does one heal and recover after divorce?
“So I just got divorced—now what?”
Each month, I have a Live Coaching Call for all the members of The Carol Tuttle Healing Center. And we just had our July call a few days ago!
I answered questions from several members of the Healing Center on a myriad of topics including, finding their life purpose and creating more cash flow in order to live it.
One question, in particular, was one I want to highlight. It came from Michelle, who has recently been divorced and is recovering from 27 years of trauma, abuse, and dysfunction. She asked:
“How do I become my own authority again as I seek clear direction on what to do next in my life?”
This question applied to dating, hobbies, job, purpose, etc. She felt stuck and was lacking direction.
I appreciated this question so much, because it shows a desire to heal and move forward.
The thing is, in order to truly heal, you’re going to need to put in a lot of work—and it’s going to look different from what you’ve been doing in the past.
Want to heal? Divorce is just the beginning.
Though this is not true for all divorced people, it’s extremely common that most have never experienced a healthy relationship with a partner. Unhealthy, toxic relationships are a pattern they’ve played out since childhood. Because of that, they’re not even in touch with themselves when they end a relationship. This causes them to go from one relationship to the next, hoping it will be better with someone new, but nothing ever changes.
My biggest piece of advice? Stop dating, and date yourself!
Now is not the time to put yourself out there. Pause everything. Get off the dating apps, stop trying to attract a partner, and say no to any requests for dates.
I don’t say this because you don’t deserve to be happy—I say this because you do deserve to be happy!
But in order to actually find a happy, healthy, positive relationship, you have to heal the one with yourself first.
Why this time “alone” right now is crucial to your healing.
You cannot turn within and find your true self while at the same time being provoked into old patterns and set-ups. You think you will be strong enough to resist and change behavior, but your wounding will always win.
Honor that wounding. There is a pain that needs to be felt and a loss that needs to be grieved. For too long, you’ve been surviving, trying to make something that was broken, better.
You just freed yourself from a dysfunctional experience, and finally, for the first time in your life, you’re in a place to discover your true self. You’ve never been in this space before, with the awareness you have now. Your healing is just beginning!
Now is the time to focus on you! Motherhood and your own inner work are your priorities right now.
What does this look like?
- Days of feeling your feelings
- Evenings full of self-care
- Focusing on your kids
- Getting back in touch with what you like and dislike
- Noticing and honoring what you want and don’t want
- Doing healing sessions and inner child work through the Healing Center
You may experience a pull to date during your time alone. It could come from a place of loneliness, or a fear of being alone, or a desire to have a chance to finally “do it right.”
But if you give in to this too soon, you’ll re-create the situation you’ve just exited. And you have that choice—there’s nothing necessarily wrong with that. But the question is: what do you really want? Is that what you want to experience? I don’t think so.
Sometimes people want a quick return without doing the work. Or they think the divorce was the work. And in a way, it was. But you don’t go through what you did, what led to a divorce, and not have anything to recover from.
Be patient with yourself. Trust yourself.
People ask me, “How long will this take?”
I tell them, “As long as it takes.”
It’s not about the time. And it won’t last forever, I promise!
“Is it too late to heal after my divorce?”
I always recommend, if you’re fresh out of a divorce, wait to date! But if you’ve already dated, it’s absolutely okay. Maybe you’ve even had a relationship or two.
It’s never too late to take time for yourself. No matter how much time has gone by since you signed the papers, you can start today. Until you value you and meet your own needs, you won’t meet someone who reflects that back to you.
You’ll continue to attract “needy,” because you’ll be vibrating at a needy level. You’ve got to take care of healing your wounds first. No matter how great the next guy is, it’s not his job to do the inner work for you.
Your healing journey can start right here, right now.
This was just one of the powerful insights we covered on the live coaching call. Want to see even more? Watch the replay here.
You get access to this Coaching Call (and all the other calls we’ve done in the past) when you’re a member of the Healing Center. If you haven’t joined us yet, you can start your 14-day free trial right now.
How did this call help you? Post about your insights and “aha” moments in the members-only Healing Center Facebook group.
Psst. This coaching call had giveaways exclusively for our live Zoom attendees that are now closed. As you watch the replay, if you feel a tug toward any of the resources mentioned, treat yourself to them! You’re being called to them for a reason.