Most people do not enter marriage thinking, “one day we will divorce.”
However, over the last three decades the divorce rate has continued to grow to include over half of the population.
I’d like to believe that most people enter marriage thinking “this is the man or woman I plan to spend the rest of my life with.”
There are a variety of reasons why marriages do not work out, but irreconcilable differences and finances are two of the most common reasons provided.
Divorce isn’t easy. When a couple decides to divorce, this means the end of their hopes, plans and dreams together as a couple.
If you are going through a divorce or know someone going through one, a few things to keep in mind are:
1. This is a transition that takes time and adjustment.
2. Pray and seek God’s will for your life. Where is He leading you and what is He saying about these changes?
3. Time heals all wounds
4. Healing takes time–we all heal at different rates. There is no set answer for how long healing can and should take. The important thing to remember is to allow yourself this time to heal.
5. Do not rush–you can’t rush the healing. Give yourself the necessary time you need.
6. Focus on yourself–this means to focus on figuring out who you are, your new goals and plans, seek God’s will for the next step and review your dreams.
7. Do not rush into a new relationship–give yourself time to recover from the previous relationship before rushing into a new one. Most counselors suggest a year, but take longer if you need it.
8. Don’t be afraid to dream–what dreams do you have that were not achievable in the past relationship? Are they achievable now? What steps do you need to achieve them?
9. Healing is a process–healing takes time and is not a step that can be rushed. Give yourself the time to work through the steps of healing that are necessary.
10. Do not be afraid to seek help–do not be afraid to seek professional help from a counselor.
11. Join a support group–groups such as Divorce Care and Celebrate Recovery are wonderful resources for working through this difficult and challenging time in life.
12. Nothing is impossible with God–whether you’re rebuilding your life from scratch, seeking reconciliation, or pursuing new dreams, nothing is impossible with God. Share your heart with Him, seek His path for your life and be willing to follow His lead. He’ll never lead you wrong.
13. Be careful what you share and who you share it with. It is easy to share our hurts with everyone but this can later come back to do us more harm than good. Remember the old saying, the less said the less to take back.
14. Not everyone will understand–to the outside world you may have been the perfect couple. Also, if a person hasn’t been divorced they may not understand.
15. Don’t allow your emotions to guide you–divorce is an emotional time and it is easy to act accordingly. Take time to stop, think and pray about a situation before reacting.
16. There is hope–things will eventually get better. The key is giving them time and waiting out the storm that is passing by.
17. Find a way to communicate–if children are involved, you will continue to have some part in one another’s lives. Finding a way to communicate and tolerate one another for special events is important for the family.
18. Don’t put other’s in the middle–don’t get anyone involved in the middle of your affairs. This only leads to more trouble later on.
19. Don’t force friends to choose sides–if people are friends with both the husband and wife, this is difficult on them as well. Do not put them in the middle or force them to choose.
20. Friends will be weeded out during this time. True friends will reveal themselves.
21. Forgiveness is essential for my health. Forgiveness isn’t easy and takes time, but it is better for me all the way around than being angry.
22. Remember Proverbs 15:1: “A gentle answer turns away anger, but a harsh word stirs up wrath.”
What lessons have you learned from going through a divorce?