This room is for supportive and informative discussion about divorce and/or the annulment process. All posters must have been previously divorced or annulled.
Saint Eugene De Mazenod is patron of dysfunctional families & Saint Fabiola obtained a divorce from her first husband prior to devoting her life to charitable works.
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I am wondering if there comes a point when life begins to feel normal again and why does it seem to take soooo long to recover from a divorce? It seems as if everyone thinks you should be "over it" as soon as the ink dries on the divorce papers and that dating should soon follow. I would love feedback because I'm feeling overwhelmed and very confused at the moment. I feel very "un-normal" right now.
Oh, Dana, my heart breaks for you as I remember back 15 years ago to those first days/weeks/months of my separation and subsequent divorce. It was (as I'm sure you know) such an excruciating emotional AND physical pain. Aside from my precious daughter, who was 6 yrs old at the time, the greatest blessing to come out of my divorce was the profound deepening of my Catholic faith. I truly believe that if my former husband had not left us, I would not have been where I am now with my faith.
Let Our Lord comfort you with his amazing love (especially felt in Adoration) and let Our Blessed Mother wrap her gentle cloak of protection around you.
It took me 8 (!!!) years to complete my annulment papers. I would work on a question or part of a question and would become overwhelmed with a whole gammit of emotions, so I'd put it away for weeks, months....and even years. Then I would pull it out again, take it with me to Adoration and repeat that whole process again. I finally summitted my paperwork in Nov. 2011 and received my decree of nullity this past December. I didn't date at all during those 15 years, trusting that God would direct the whole annulment process and if it's His will, He will put a potential spouse into my life.
God bless you, Dana
Hi Dana, I was married for 32 years, with the intention of being married until death do us part. Even after the divorce I considered myself still married until after the anullment. I was divorced 5 years before I received the anullment 2 years ago. Attending Divorce Care really helped me to discover my new normal. No one seemed to understand why I just didn't move on and get over it al. At Divorce Care they told me that it normally takes 1 year to heal from every 4 years you were married (32 years divided by 4 equals 8 years). It was like giving me permission to accept my heartache and to go through the grieving process (because the loss is very much like a death- and yet it is compounded by rejection). Healing has truly taken place and I have God to thank for it! He has healed me through the divorce care group, the anullment process, my spiritual director, daily Mass, prayer, and adoration.
God is good and will help you with your journey. It will take time for your new normal. Remember that our time is not always God's time.
Hi Dana, For me it took time to put my life back together again. The first year is the hardest but I found that over time and with much prayer life begins to resettle to "the new normal" to use Donna's phrase. It took me fully 5 years to feel myself again. I don't tell you that to make it seem like an eternity, I tell you that so you don't go too hard on yourself. I was married 13 years and had 2 daughters - lots of my time went into making sure they were okay first....then I got around to taking care of myself.
Just remember, it's a learning process and there is no one right way to handle things. Family and friends will be more than happy to share their opinions - just be gracious and thank them for caring (because they do!) but find your own way through.
May God Bless you on your journey!
Heather - I could not have said this better myself. I agree with all you've said and this was exactly my experience, and would be my advice. I never thought I would get through it. But, 5 years later, it's ok now.
I agree with much of what has been said previously. I'm coming up on 10 years since my divorce (I also dealt with the pain of having been cheated on as well), and I can't really pinpoint a week, month, or even a year when I "turned the corner", but I do recall about 5 years ago, looking back and realizing that I had indeed made it through. I could go to the grocery store and not be affected if the wrong song came over the p.a., thoughts about what could have been no longer plagued me and I had settled into my new life and was not only comfortable with it, I was enjoying it. I can't say how long it should take for someone to recover because it'll be different for everyone based on years married, support system (including God), filling free time with enjoyable activities that have a social aspect to them, and several other factors I'm not thinking of. I can also tell you it isn't a smooth incrimental process so don't get discouraged if you have days, weeks, or even months where you feel like you've taken emotional steps backward. As someone else said, there were times in that first five years, when I thought I had moved on, but looking back realize that I didn't even know what the new normal was supposed to feel like. Have patience with yourself and try to keep your focus on the positives in your life. Thoughts about the negative in your life will inevitably find their own way in, and when they do remind yourself about the positives. Btw, I keep a copy of Footprints in the Sand on display in my family room and I turned to it countless times during the healing process. Try to remember that God is with you even when it feels like your the most alone, and just like a parent, He hurts to see you in pain.