You and your husband have been together for years. You were there for each other through the best and worst of times. You know things are not the way they used to be, but you love your husband. He knows you.
Then, one day, seemingly out of the blue, he declares, “I want a divorce.” He wants out, and there is nothing you can say or do to change his mind.
How do you mend your broken heart?
You are hurt your husband left, but you still love him. Or so you think. After all, you have known him for a long time, and you have been through a lot together. Now take a step back and ask yourself, “Do I truly love him?”
If you stayed in your marriage for as long as you did because you intertwined your life with your husband’s so much you cannot remember who you are by yourself, you could be attached yet no longer in love. If you did everything together, and he was your support system during periods of emotional turmoil, you could be attached yet no longer in love. If you knew him since you were young, and you believe you know him better than anyone else ever could, you could be attached yet no longer in love. Love is a feeling you have for someone because of who they are, not what they do for you.
Thinking about whether you love your husband or are attached to him will help you cope with your heartbreak. Losing someone you are in love with is not the same as losing someone you care for deeply or need.
If you conclude that you do love your husband romantically, determine whether you and your husband are meant to be together for the long haul. People change over time, and so do their priorities. Life has a way of pulling people in different directions. Has yours? Has your husband’s?
Switching gears, if your personalities clash and you make each other miserable despite the love between you, you may be incompatible. Are you and your husband genuinely happy in each other’s company? Love isn’t always enough.
Whether you are attached or in love with your husband, you have suffered a loss and need to mourn. Suppressing your emotions is unhealthy, and during a stressful event such as a divorce, you must do whatever you can to maximize your mental and physical health, which go hand in hand. Addressing your sadness and anger and whatever else you are feeling is a necessary step in the healing process. Being happy sometimes takes work.
Don’t let your divorce get in the way of the rest of your life. While it is OK to be sad, after you get your feelings out, go outside. Work, meet up with friends, drive your children to school, and take them to their activities. Live. Recognize the signs of depression and visit a mental health professional if you are depressed.
When you are married, you and your spouse become two halves of one unit. You blend into each other. So it might be difficult for you to adjust to life without your other half. But if you expect to find peace after your divorce and get over your heartbreak, self-discovery is what you need. Do not jump into a new relationship quite yet; it might feel good in the short run, but you are putting off dealing with your pain, which can manifest itself in other ways later on.
Explore new interests, and on a more reflective level, examine your strengths and weaknesses. Once you have an idea of what you can improve on, implement those improvements so that you evolve into an enhanced version of yourself who is ready to get back out there, better and, most importantly, stronger than you were before.
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