Divorce has been called a battlefield - that may be true. But it's also a very long walk.
If you find yourself experiencing something more like a pilgrimage, then my advice to you is this: Be sure to surround yourself with real, loving support.
Now you may say, "Of course my family is here for me. My mom went through the same thing!" or "My girlfriends really know what they're talking about. You should've seen what they had to go through!"
While I am very glad that you have people who can understand your experience right now, I want to suggest the addition of loving support in a different way. I'm talking about someone who totally cares about you and your feelings, and not whether your experience validates what they went through.
I want you to find someone who knows who you are and what you truly want in life, and is not attached to how it looks as you are going through all this. Kindly said, sometimes our friends who like "the misery of our company" while we are going through this experience, secretly or sometimes openly, are pleased to have you validating the pain that they went through themselves. They want to share this with someone else. Therefore, inwardly they "love the misery that you're going through," even while they love you outwardly.
Sometimes, unconsciously, even our parents are celebrating the fact that "they were right" when they told you you shouldn't have married that person. And they are only too happy to come down hard with criticism on your Ex because it validates their intelligence and great advice to you, which "of course, you should've listen to!" I'm sure they love you and are well meaning. However, I believe it is important to also have a friend or two who are there just for you and your emotional support.
The loss, the grieving process, the confusion at times, the normal anger… All of these things are going to be part of your healing process. It's good to appreciate that you will get through it a lot faster without being stuck in the muck for too long with others who are enjoying your misery just a little too much!
It certainly is something to be aware of now.
You can tell who this new friend is by the way they support your happiness and talk in a positive, uplifting manner. Sure you will share your pain with them, but notice that they try to suggest things that will improve your future instead of keeping you stuck in the anger and regurgitating painful memories without any actual helpful advice.
It is possible for someone to just be loving and supportive as they understand what you're going through. It is not necessary for you to be constantly in a state of emotional wreckage until your divorce is "all finished." Who says that is necessary? Stop punishing yourself. And when is the pain over completely? That, of course, is up to you. It may take a while - it may be a long walk.
My desire is for you to feel OK along the way. Here are some good ideas for easing your emotions:
Ask some friends to join you at a "Blueprinting Party." This is where you take fun magazines and cut out pictures of your future desires along with phrases that are positive and uplifting. Glue these all to a big piece of white poster board. This will be a blueprint into your future as you look at it 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the evening. This puts positive dreams, desires and phrases in front of your mind more often. You will be surprised at how well this works! And the men and women that come to play with you will be those that are interested in a happy, positive future for you as well as themselves.
Now these are the people you want to keep around in your life, too!
Next, plan a "funny movie night"! Do this at least once a week with people who are enjoyable company. By laughing and seeing heroes succeed in a story, this will help you realize the future gets better.
Finally, go to a comedy improv night. There are classes and schools that put on free shows, or very cheap, which will uplift you in a moment. Just seeing people handle a situation by thinking on their feet is inspiring. You and your friends will get a renewed sense of possibilities in life!
So begin surrounding yourself with real, loving friends today. The pain of divorce is eased with laughter, loving support, inspiring new ideas, and people who are there to truly see you through this with a smile.