When I discovered his infidelity, I threw it into high gear, kicked him out of the house, hired a lawyer, and filed for divorce. Within six months, the divorce was wrapped up. I got a favorable settlement, both money-wise and custody-wise.
I always heard that going through the divorce was the worst part – and once that was over, things would get better. But things haven’t gotten better. In fact, they’ve gotten worse.
There’s nothing technically stopping me from starting a new chapter of my life, but for some reason I can’t seem to move forward.
What am I doing wrong?
Stuck in Limbo
You’re not doing anything wrong. Most people realize their marriage isn’t going well long before someone files for a divorce. At some level, they are working on coming to terms with things before the legal work even begins. That work continues while they slog through the legal process. You didn’t get a chance to do any of that because you were blindsided.
Discovering that your husband was cheating was a huge shock. And because of your (completely understandable) position on infidelity, the situation was
Now that the paperwork side of your divorce is over, there’s nothing to shield you from your emotions. Even though the cause of the divorce was black and white, there’s still a lot to sort out. You were blindsided. You were betrayed. Your marriage has ended. Your life today looks very different from what it looked like a year ago, and from the one you imagined for yourself. That’s a lot to process.
Rather than avoiding this work, accept that it must be done in order to get past your divorce. It’s every bit as important as the legal work. Allow yourself to process these emotions. Give yourself permission to grieve. Lean on friends and family. And if you need more help, hire a therapist.
Given that the paperwork is done, but emotional work is still ahead, I’d say you’re about halfway to the finish line. Once you process the emotional aspects of your divorce, you will be able to close the book on the experience and begin a new story.