It's a question that every person going through divorce asks: How Do I Get Over this Hurt? They ask their friends, their family, their therapist, even themselves. They also ask me. And here is how I answer.
In most cases, when two people get divorced, one person wants it and the other doesn't. I always have a hard time deciding whose shoes I'd rather be in because both breaking up with someone and being the one broken up with are gut-wrenching.
Here's a benefit of being the one broken up with: Unlike the person who ended the relationship, the person who was broken up with will never have doubt that they did the right thing, or that things might have been different had they tried harder, or even that they miss the person and realize later they made a huge mistake.
The person who was broken up with didn't have a choice. Their ex wanted the divorce. So, there is no self-doubt, guilt, or indecision. It was done to them.
Now, is that easy to deal with? Absolutely not. It is brutal. But, here is one thing that might help you get over the hurt. Pretend I am a psychic who is able to see into your future. And, let's say you are a woman, and this is what I predict for you:
It is five years from now. You are sitting at a kitchen table having dinner with an attractive man, who seems really happy being there. On your left ring finger is a diamond and a wedding band. The two of you are laughing. You look very very happy.
Here's the thing. No one knows (including me) that this will be your scenario, and I don't even know if being remarried is what you want. My point of painting this beautiful picture of your possible future is that you WILL have a beautiful future, and you WILL get a life that is happy and that works for you. It just takes time, and you have to go through the misery of your divorce to get to the other side (the happiness side.)
Remember that movie, The Shawshank Redemption, where Tim Robbins escapes from prison by crawling through a sewer pipe? It's kind of like that. He had to spend 20 years digging a hole in his cell, and then he had to crawl through crap (literally) to get to deserved freedom and ultimate happiness. You are in that hole right now. I was there. So was every person who has ever gone through a divorce. But you will come out of it and have a future. It might be the future I just described, or it might be something else, perhaps a career you are passionate about, or a new hobby that changes your life. The beauty of it is that your future is your choice!
Thinking this way is how you get over the hurt. Grieve the loss, feel sorry for yourself for a little while, (not too long) and then get tough and start to rebuild. Focus on figuring out what you want -- career, hobbies, friends, etc. and then go get it! As for future romantic relationships, it's natural to feel scared that if you put your heart out there again, someone could do to you what your husband or wife did. But, try to overcome that fear because if you put your heart out there again, some guy (maybe the guy at your kitchen table) might love and cherish you forever. Ask yourself if it's worth the risk.
You WILL get over this hurt. You just will. Changing the way you think about it helps.
Jackie Pilossoph is the author of her blog, Divorced Girl Smiling, and the comedic divorce novels, Divorced Girl Smiling and Free Gift With Purchase. She also writes feature stories, along with the weekly dating and relationships column, "Love Essentially" for Chicago Tribune Media Group local publications. Pilossoph lives in Chicago. Oh, and she's divorced.