Just like warriors in a battle, most couples undergoing a divorce do not have the time to feel its impact themselves. It is only later that the full impact of it all sinks in. Each divorce is different, each family has its own peculiar problems, and everyone on earth has been lucky enough to be unique individuals with unique problems. The situation that arises after each divorce depends on the circumstances of the divorce. But there are some common ‘heads’ under which it is possible to categorise these issues. The first horn of dilemma that we face is trying to grasp the fact that we are very different as individuals and just one common bundle of chemical reactions and nerve endings when it comes to the common emotions that characterise us humans. So while we need to mourn in solitude, we also need to start the painful but inevitable process of connecting to society again.
Who is lonely and who is alone? These two are different concepts, after all. A person who is lonely is alone, but does not want to be so. The case may be much more complicated after divorce. On one hand, there is a terrible pain, relief or both at having lost a partner, and on the other hand there is the unwillingness to come out of the protective shell of being lonely. This may sound insensitive and harsh, but most divorcees like to hide behind a curtain of being lonely because they are not willing to take a chance again. The general feeling is that al relations are transient, so why bother to build another one while we can occupy a piece of the earth as visitors without a stake? While loneliness is a cage, not all birds may want to hop out of it if they find the door open one day. It is only normal to miss your partner, and unless it was an abusive marriage, everyone does miss the exes in the days that follow divorce. The best way to cope with this is by trying to get back to the world again; there is work, friends, a bit of gym could help too, or a trip alone or with friends.
Guilt and Insecurity
A lot of people spend a good part of their life post-divorce in blaming themselves or trying to place the blame somewhere. It can be the partner, his or her lover, work pressure, bad habits, children, difference of opinions, politics, God – the list is endless. To begin with, either people wallow in self-blame and, therefore, self-pity, or try to shift the blame absolutely anywhere else. None of these is going to help us in healing ourselves. Introspection is a tough task at normal times, so after a crisis like divorce it may seem to be impossible – but it is very important nevertheless. It will not be possible to heal the emotional wounds properly unless one faces the facts squarely for what they are.
Relief or Grief?
For some people, the circumstances of the divorce are so bitter that the only feeling left at the end of it all is an immense relief. On the other hand, there are those who do not want to give up on the relationship and there is a lot of pain involved in the process of letting go. There are also those who fell both emotions, the relief of having a gangrenous limb being chopped off combined with the grief of becoming incomplete for life. Whatever the case may be, time is the best healer, apart from work, and mixing with the rest of the world again.
The greatest change is wrought in the lives of those who become single parents. The sudden burden of responsibility extracts a heavy financial, physical and emotional strain. One needs to be prepared for this as soon as the divorce proceedings start. Education, health care and other issues involving expenses should be first taken care of. Visitation and maintenance details need to be worked out as well.
As the above points show, life changes overall after divorce. But a rainbow always comes out after the rains, and that is what keeps us going.