Divorce, Are you sure friend?
So, I’ve been single for a few years now, and let me tell you it's been a journey.
When you marry young like I did, you do not have divorce on your mind. Trying to wrap your mind around how the vows you stood before God and stated to each other somehow got overshadowed by intentional distractions sent from the enemy or just taking accountability that you may have chosen incorrectly.
Let’s talk about what people don’t tell you when you are considering divorce or freshly divorced.
So here is my list of Things I wish I was told before I divorced.
- Enlist the help of the Holy Spirit- Have you gotten a release in your spirit? I remember my mother asking me “Are you scared God is going to tell you “No” because God is sovereign, and he knows the hearts of man and he loves you enough to give you the answer you need not the one you want.
Recommendations: fasting and praying on a regular and surrendering your feelings to God to allow him to speak according to his will and by way of what you want to hear.
- Divorcing your spouse won't dissolve the issues that were there immediately. – Often it magnifies the internal issues or the character flaws that assisted in the breakdown of the marriage (i.e., the lack of boundaries, co-dependency issues, etc.) it also exposes the scars left behind that may not have been issues before. For instance, insecurities, fear, abandonment issues, and for women… the need to be VALIDATED. Whew!! Listen, that piece of advice right there will preach itself!! It would have saved me from about three unnecessary relationships or situation-ships. The need to be validated is an internal issue that leaves you seeking to fill it with people and situations that would be considered sub-par to a whole and fully healed person. You will look up and be in another bad relationship and often over & over again. You choose mates based on the mental state you are currently in … WAIT & HEAL so you can choose from a healthy place or healthier place than the thirst that validation brings!
Recommendations: Limit social media- you may not think it’s a trigger but it’s actually a trap and a trigger if you are not in a place to be mature about your emotions… and listen the thirst trap pics give it away every time ... so just do yourself a favor and don’t! – (this also would have helped me so much if someone would have told me to put the phone down)
Book Recommendations: Destroying Rejection by John Eckhardt
When good people have affairs by Mira Kirshenbaum
Conquering Co-dependency by Pat Springle
Changes that Heal by Dr. Henry Cloud
- Prepare for the road ahead – Recommendation: Start therapy before you divorce.
The financial support will change ok!!… Start budgeting. Be realistic and understand that there could and most likely will be some lifestyle changes.
- The grief will come… You will grieve! Start making emotional plans for trigger days and moments- I recommend posting cards with helpful scriptures & prayers. Get the WORD of God in you in such a way that you can cast down those thoughts and feelings and put the enemy in a corner based on WORD. You know what they say no word no power.
Have a good friend who can remind you of the great future ahead of you and embrace the feeling, so you don’t cope with bad decisions like sex, alcohol& other things.
To enter into divorce with the mindset that you will not experience days of pain and sadness and anger is crazy. It will catch you! Have the word of God on deck!
Recommendations: Be fully transparent with yourself during this time and practice positive self-talk.
Book Recommendations: Necessary Endings by Henry Cloud
- Are you prepared for someone else to help raise your children? Think about it long and hard because someone else being involved affects communication, family traditions, religion, and morals.
- Are you prepared to see your ex with another person if you are still single? Because it’s all good when someone has your attention but if you end up being single longer than your ex, are you ok with that?Also, you may be single for a while, are you ready to endure that journey?
- Take care of yourself mentally and physically- Life is not going to stop and you still need to be able to show up mentally and physically.
Recommendations: Take walks or go to the gym… Foods have the power to affect your mood so choose healthy options so you can control the lows that sugars and bad carbs bring.
- Have transparent but not inappropriate conversations to prepare your children(Both parents together if that is an option) Find out concerns that the children may have as they begin to wrap their heads around one parent being in another home. Address comments and or frustrations that may come up throughout the process.
STOP & READ!! Often kids are left to deal with checked-out parents and parenting moments are often traded in for the need to want to be out and about fulfilling the need of needing a break to cope… The gaps will show up later… lean into your children as much as possible during this time because your children are the priority and often, they don’t know or feel like they can’t articulate authentic feelings so just be present! Plan activities on weekends when they are not with you. Protect and shield them from any instability even if that means sacrifice. This advice would have helped in so many ways had I known this beforehand. Fight the feeling of being in self-care mode all the time, it’s selfish to your kids. I said all the time not that you shouldn’t have self-care but be strategic about the timing.
If you are experiencing rumors or lies from the other parent being told to children- Recommendations: Create an environment that allows for your children to share and then comfort, pray, and be as appropriately transparent as possible. Be ok with delayed gratification regarding your side being justified. Some things your children will only understand in time. Lead with love!
Book Recommendations: Boundaries by Henry Cloud & Dr. John Townsend
Five love languages for Children by Gary Chapman
- Be reasonable and give grace (especially if you are the one filing) Forgiveness is required for this to work. You are not a mind reader, and you have no idea how the news of divorce is affecting your spouse. Give grace to the entire situation which means releasing the mistakes made by both of you and asking God to give you eyes of compassion. This is a hard thing to do.
Recommendations: Find yourself some resources (i.e., Podcasts or books and don’t be afraid to ask others what they used) that allow you to embrace forgiveness. Therapy is a great way to vent safely because sometimes your circle is not even safe, maybe for you but not for them (emotionally dumping can ruin your friendships)
Book Recommendations: Forgiving what you can’t Forget by Lysa TurKeurst (get the workbook as well)
- Have you exhausted all your options both naturally and spiritually? And maybe the real question is, “Are you in pride? Sometimes it's pride throwing gasoline on the issues at hand. Pray for God to show you are you if you are in pride or better yet. For those that have dabbled in affairs before the decision... are you in a false reality of what is waiting on the other side for you. There is so much that can be said about this, but I will tell you that the enemy will make the pit look and feel like the best thing that has ever happened to you. Do not be fooled! You need a revelation from God and nothing else.
- Are you prepared to do the work that it’s going to take to recover healthily? Icannot tell you what I thought recovery from divorce would be... not sure if I even thought about it. But I will share that this journey isn't for the weak. You will feel the break in the covenant, you will feel the shift from covered to uncovered. Do not allow anyone to tell you any different.
Book Recommendations: It’s not my fault – By Henry Cloud
Bonus: Remember you cannot control how the other person’s family or friends treat you during or after this process. Can you handle that? Are you ready to lose friends and relationships that you valued because of loyalty lines?
I pray that this helps and actually, I pray it encourages you to go back and figure out if divorce is the only option. Even done peacefully it’s still detrimental in so many ways and there will be casualties the scariest thing is you often don’t know what the casualties are until it’s over. If you are in an abusive situation, please use wisdom but I hope this serves as a guide to help you with some context of what the journey can look like so you can make an informed decision and have points to pray about. I do not advocate for divorce however I understand that it happens… It happened to me.
And this is the lost conversation before you file for divorce … I honestly could have went into so much more detail regarding each point because there are so many layers to this both spiritually, and emotionally... If you want more ... LMK!
I love you to life!
For easy access to the books I mentioned here's the link below