How to Move on When You Didn’t See the Divorce Coming
When you had no idea that your ex was leaving, picking up the pieces after your divorce can seem impossible. Especially when you still don’t fully understand why the marriage is over. It’s important to contemplate what happened, but if you’re not careful, you could end up hanging onto the past when it’s time to let go. Fortunately, you can take steps to make it easier to move on.
Consider What You May Have Known But Didn’t Want to See
When you were going through it, you may have believed that your divorce came out of nowhere. After the fact, you may start to recognize that there were red flags in your relationship you saw but did not want to deal with at the time. Maybe there were issues with emotional intimacy, or the two of you often fought about finances. It may have been that you married with different goals for your shared life only to find that you were incompatible in several critical aspects of your relationship. By taking an honest look at your marriage, you may be able to see that, in retrospect, everything wasn’t “perfect” and that you were not truly happy together.
Getting the Support and Help You Need from the Right Places
Initially, you will most likely turn to those people closest to you for support. Your friends and family will undoubtedly share their insights and opinions as to why your ex left. It's important to have a support system, and spending time with people you care about can be reassuring.
Remember though, your loved ones are there to encourage and comfort you, rather than to be impartial or therapeutic. You can talk about the divorce with friends and family, but at a certain point, you may be dwelling on the details rather than moving on.
Going through a divorce under any circumstance is a significant change to your life. Having to do so when you had no idea your ex wanted a divorce can be traumatic. As you work through your emotions, you may benefit from talking with and getting a trained therapist's perspective. When you review the divorce and your relationship from a therapeutic perspective, you can focus on healing from the experience. If you are experiencing sleeplessness, lack of focus, depression, and physical illness from the trauma of your divorce, these symptoms can interfere with your ability to function and understand your situation. By working with a trained mental health professional, you can get help with any additional issues that may be preventing you from experiencing optimum wellness.
Accept That You May Never Know “Why”
If the divorce blindsided you, you might still be trying to understand why it happened. Having an answer as to why your ex left may seem like it will solve everything. However, you may already have an acceptable explanation. Sometimes, people just aren't willing to be honest about their reasons for leaving. If your ex won't come out and tell you something definitive, that could be because they don't want to. Someone unwilling to disclose information during your marriage may also be that way throughout your divorce. But it's also possible that your ex can't articulate an explanation for why they left the marriage. Some marriages fail because of tangible reasons, such as infidelity or abuse. Others may not work because two people just aren't right for one another. Your ex may not know exactly why they wanted to divorce—and your getting fixated on the "why" won't change the past. But getting stuck on trying to find that why can delay you from moving towards your future.
Don’t Take on Someone Else’s Timeline
When you go through a divorce, you may inadvertently compare yourself to other people. Your sister or best friend seemed to get over it so quickly; why is it taking you so long? There is no timeline for "getting over it." Everyone is different. And just because someone else appears to have it together doesn’t necessarily mean they are really done processing their feelings. You don’t owe anyone an explanation as to when you will be "over it," and a friend or family member who is pressuring you may require a firm boundary. Your timeline is your own, and you will get there. The important thing is that you are actively working towards the goals of healing and moving on with your life.
Consult with an Experienced Wisconsin Family Law Attorney
Attorney and Mediator Karyn Youso of First Look Family Law has extensive experience helping clients evaluate their circumstances and understand their choices before, during, and after Wisconsin divorce. She understands the complexities of divorced life and can help you access the resources you need at every stage. Come in, and let us take a "first look" at your situation so you can figure out your next steps.