Divorce leaves emotional bruises and scars, some are very evident to you and the world around you, some we hide, and are the only ones who really understand the depth of the pain. While yet others, (especially in the very early months after a divorce), you are not even aware of. People who know my story, know that by my only admittance, I was a damaged open wound of pain during and immediately after divorce. It's interesting because even when you want the divorce as I did, it often makes the pain no less real, or the depths of it any shallower.
I talk to thousands of divorces, some are shocked that they even feel this kind of emotion disuniting themselves with someone, who by their own words doesn't or even worse never made them happy. So why do we feel this pain? I am going to say the vast majority of it is self-inflicted. We of course often have exes who we still love who leave us, this kind of pain is understandable, but also something we all can to move on from.
Sometimes we have the kind of exes who love to create drama and discord. Ones who may in fact be text book narcissists, sociopaths or psychopaths. This type of ex will of course relish in the daily harassment, button pressing and all around abusing behavior, that was probably the very things that sent you running for a divorce lawyer in the first place. No one married to any of these types of people should expect anything else from them post-divorce. Divorce WILL NOT all of a sudden change in anyway, the basis of the person either of you are. You may think this doesn't sound very hopeful yet, however this is exactly the key to dealing with this type of person post-divorce. Presume they will continue to be the person who you divorced, presume they will in fact heighten this sadistic behavior towards you. This is your ace in the hole, I speak to many post-divorce people and I cannot express enough that, you cannot control other people or your exes' behaviors, you can only control your reaction and perception to it. I think it isn't an easy feat but when you work daily on your reactions, and thoughts, surrounding your divorce, you think positively, you relish in your new found freedom, it is possible to do. You need to practice, kind words and thoughts about our self, and little by little you will emotionally, get stronger. Each positive step you take, each emotion you put to rest, and heal from, the anger, the hurt, the unfairness, the turmoil, becomes a link in your suit of armor, you are building to both protect you, but to keep your disruptive exes out of your life. They over time, like all humans, will direct their negative attention elsewhere, when they see that they are no longer getting, any kind of reaction from you.
Remember a narcissist, sociopath, psychopath, have very little or no conscience, but what they feed off is reaction. The way they see you react negatively and in pain, is like an ice cream sundae to a hungry sweet toothed psychopath. They literally feed off this game of pressing your buttons to get a reaction. So you disarm them by showing no reaction. Not all divorces have such a severe form of post-divorce demon to battle, but if you look at a fairly non contentious divorce, there will still be pain felt by all parties.
The pain of loss, is universal, the pain of feeling like a failure, the odd uncomfortable feeling, we all feel when change is thrust upon us. After all very few us are enlightened enough at least initially, to see divorce as a success. Maybe we wallow in bed for months, suffering from "wow is me-ism" maybe we act out, party like crazy, drink too much, date like mad and all around actually inflict more pain on to ourselves in the process. We throw our self's huge pity parties than can in some cases last decades, with people becoming somehow stuck in this one life event that they allow, (because it is them), to define them forever. We can be tempted when things didn't end as planned, or on our terms, or with a "marriage settlement agreement" not of our liking to become self-appointed perpetual victims and martyrs, to the pain of divorce.
I actually even personally bought into this mindset, for year or so after my divorce, it was not only by far the worst year of my life, but it was also I realize now in hindsight totally avoidable. If you step away from the internal pain and you really start to examine the pieces of it. The reality of what divorce is as opposed, to the drama that runs through our heads and the pain through our hearts. What is divorce? It's simple- it's two people who probably at one time loved each other, but who no longer can be happy together, choosing to be happy apart. Are we failures? Absolutely not, for a lot of us, our marriages lasted decades and often produced, gorgeous, wonderful children. How can this be a failure? Together you bought other well-adjusted humans into this planet who usually you both love dearly. Do we all have control over our own daily thoughts, and perceptions? YES we do, happiness is not something any of us should be deriving solely from anyone else. Happiness is a choice, and it's internal we all have the power every single day, to be happy. Do we have a say over our daily actions? Of course we do, each day is filled with 24 hours that you for the most part choose, where to focus your energy, are on a beach with your children focusing on the joy, of seeing your children so happily building sandcastles, or are you on your phone engaging in a bitter bitch fest with your ex or about your ex. Are you using your energy wisely, focusing on what you can change, and what you can do, or are you obsessing about everything you can't do?
Life is truly what you make of it. Your post-divorce life can be anything you want it to be, you are only limited by your belief, and your attitude towards it. Your outcome could be as dismal as mine was, but you still have the power to turn it around, change your attitude, change your life, it's doable by anyone. Stop allowing yourself to fall victim, to a 7 letter words, "DIVORCE" that's all it is. Life is ever changing, we are more resilient to change than we give ourselves credit for. We are stronger than we believe! We can control our reactions to any ex in most situations, once you no longer allow your ex and divorce to control your reactions, thoughts and life, and you are truly free. We are more in control than we believe of our own destiny, if you truly let go of your past, if you truly focused all your energy on positive, present and future goals, how much better would your life look? Much I am sure. So when you divorce, it's acceptable initially to feel victimized, like a failure and in pain, but you have to take personal responsibility for your own life, own thoughts, own behaviors and own happiness. Once you have reached this place emotionally, you can rest assure you have finally slayed all your divorce demons, and can move on to a bigger, better, happier post-divorce life.