When faced with the difficult and highly emotional task of moving forward in the wake of a divorce, it’s important to remember that the union you shared was in many respects, a living entity. So, as would be the case with any living entity, a period of respectful mourning is appropriate. And, just as there are various stages that are appropriate when dealing with the death of a loved one, there are those same stages to be gotten through when it comes to putting to rest the once-loved entity that was your marriage.
Eventually, however, the time comes to move forward. If, after traversing the normal stages of grief, you find that you cannot propel yourself forward, it could be that you suffer from more than remorse. You could be struggling with guilt, especially if you were the instigating partner in the divorce, even more so if you believe that your infidelity, or other actions, were the straw that eventually broke the back of the marriage.
Even if you can honestly say that you feel you bear the brunt of blame for the marriage’s ultimate demise, there still comes a time to put the past in its place. You have to forgive yourself. You’re human. You may have done something you now wish you had not. But, you can’t let it eat you up forever. If you find that you cannot completely forgive yourself, it may be time to get expert help.
- When a marriage collapses, its very much as if a person that was very important to us has died.
- It’s important to go through all the stages of grieving, just as one would in the event of dealing with a loved one’s death.
- If, after going through the stages of mourning, you still can’t seem to go forward, it’s very possible that a sense of guilt lies at the bottom of your reluctance.
“You can never go back to being the husband or wife you were. The life story you spent all of that time and energy co-creating together is over.”