If you are already divorced but its effects still remain, you are probably wondering, “Why is it taking so long?” “I thought my divorce would just be a distant memory by now, not a constant thorn in my side that keeps interfering with my daily life.” “When will things return to normal?” “When do I get to move on to the next chapter in my life free from the fallout from the past?”
Just because a divorce is final doesn’t mean the debilitating effects are gone. Left untreated, these effects typically linger for 3 to 5 years, and can persist for up to 20 years and even longer. The specter of living the rest of your life in post-divorce limbo is frightening, but not, as you will see, necessary.
Divorce imposes great pressure to change on its victims. Most of us resist accepting and adjusting to the new situation. The Smooth Divorce Transition Program helps people dissolve their resistance to making that change, and helps them let go of how life used to be so they can enjoy and prosper in their new life after divorce.
(Click below for the text of the audio clip.)
Faye's Story Illustrates that This Stuff Doesn't Get Fixed by Itself: She Took Her Resentment to the Grave(beginning at 1:19)
Faye, my sister-in-law, offers a perfect example of the lingering effects of divorce. She is the sister of my second wife, Anne. When I met Anne, Faye had already been divorced for five years.
Her divorce was messy. She and her husband were teachers in the same, relatively small, school system. Everybody pretty much knew everybody else. He left Faye for another teacher in the same school system. It came as a complete surprise to Faye. She was mortified and enraged when it happened and was still deeply resentful five years later when we met.
Whenever her ex’s name was mentioned in casual conversation, her response was almost always sarcastic and critical. For twenty more years she carried her resentment. She never had another intimate, long-term relationship. She put all her energy into her career. Finally, she died of cancer, still holding on to her upset at having been “done wrong.”
Faye never recovered from her divorce. She was stuck. She was unable to accept and adjust to the change in her life caused by the divorce.
I knew Faye before my career turned to helping folks recover from divorce. Unfortunately, at that point I could not help her.
After I did become a divorce recovery coach, one of my early clients further demonstrated the consequences of being stuck and unable to recover from divorce.
Ellen's Story Demonstrates How You Can Be Paralyzed by Anger for Years (beginning at 3:07)
Ellen had been in a relationship for over four years. It was the first long-term committed relationship she had ever had. She thought she had at last found her life partner.
On that fateful day, she returned home from a business trip to London. Her partner picked her up at the airport. On the way home her partner announced, completely out of the blue, that she had moved out and the relationship was over.
During our first meeting, Ellen had trouble telling the story. She was so distraught she refused to even call her partner by name. She was totally dismayed that her life partner would do such a thing with no warning. She was deeply hurt and seething with anger at what her partner had done to her.
Her life was a shambles and came to see me only at the stubborn insistence of a friend of hers who was worried about her welfare.
As Ellen told her story, I was trying to guess when the breakup had happened. Her distress was so raw that I figured it must have happened in the last two or three weeks. So, I asked her. She replied, “Next Saturday it will be exactly 4 ½ years.”
Ellen worked through the Smooth Divorce Transition Program and five months later she could not only discuss her ex with me, but also was able to meet with her ex for the first time and recover some of her mother’s mementos that were stored in her ex’s storage unit. A year later she had found a new partner and she was once again happy with her life.
Both Faye and Ellen had made the same common mistake of believing the biggest cultural myth about recovering from divorce: “Time heals everything.” Time, it turns out, doesn’t heal a damned thing. What is important is what we do during the time. Waiting for recovery to be plopped in our lap is a sure recipe for agony and continued pain.
Both Faye and Ellen also were stuck on one of the most common issues that delay recovery from divorce: “Why was my ex such a jerk! How could he or she do such a thing to me?” It cost Faye over two decades of happiness and Ellen over four years of intense torment.
Hope's Story Illustrates How Several Common Issues Can Cause Months of (Unnecessary) Misery (beginning at 5:35)
Hope had been divorced for 18 months and had one daughter with her ex. Like Faye and Ellen, (1) she was upset by her ex’s being a jerk, primarily his intimidating attitude towards her and his refusal to make child support payments on time. In addition, (2) she was having reconciliation fantasies that confused her because she did not want to reconcile. (3) She was upset because she had not gotten over the divorce in 18 months and (4) felt the best years of her life were already behind her. And (5) she wanted to return to the mainstream of life – but didn’t know exactly how to do it.
A few weeks into the Smooth Divorce Transition Program, Hope was able to confront her ex about the child support problems and no longer was intimidated by his antics. Also, her reconciliation fantasies became few and far between. And when she did have them, she understood what they were all about and they no longer worried her. She was able to direct all her attention to her daughter and her career and looked forward to a bright and happy life after divorce.
George's Story, I call it '3rd Time's a Charm,' Shows the Importance of the Last Step in Transition: Preparing for the Future (beginning at 6:48)
George had been divorced three times. He (6) was afraid to start a new relationship because he did not ever want to go through divorce again. However, (7) he was afraid he would never find true love again and always be alone and lonely.
After completing the Smooth Divorce Transition Program, George realized he could and would find a new life partner and approached dating with new-found confidence based in an understanding of what he required in a relationship and a new ability to take a proactive role in developing new relationships.
What Can You Do to Kick Start Your Transition from Divorce? (beginning at 7:33)
Which issues and situations sound familiar to you? Are there others? Do you feel like in some ways you are stuck? Does your ex, or the thought of your ex, impinge on your day-to-day life and happiness? Does the task of ending the pain of your divorce feel daunting to you? Do you even feel a little bit embarrassed by the fact that your divorce is still affecting you and your life?
Even though this is one of the most frustrating times of your life, be reassured your reactions are normal.
Also, these issues are not insurmountable problems. Time heals nothing by itself. It’s what we do with the time that matters. The Smooth Divorce Transition Program shows you what to do with your time – and then helps you do it.
Just know you will get through this. The Smooth Divorce Transition Program will help you end the pain of divorce and dissolve the fear of life after divorce. Plus, it will do it up to 10 times faster than any other method.
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