The entire process of divorce can take months or it can take years to get through. It really is up to you and what you’re willing and able to tackle in order to learn from the experience. People ask me all the time, ‘what exactly are the steps?’ Whether you’d like to admit to this or not, your entire process of divorce is a modern-day rite of passage. It’s what many of us do so to grow and change.
Judgment aside, ending something that wasn’t working is a good thing.
We get to grow and change. But like every rite of passage, sometimes it’s not easy. And usually, we don’t grow during the easy times. Often more experienced individuals are required to help guide you on your way. Just like in school, going through a divorce is a commitment that requires real-time, money, energy, and inspiration!
For most people, the legal steps are fairly routine even if they’re stressful and expensive. You file a petition, obtain temporary orders, and serve your soon-to-be ex-spouse. You and your lawyer wait for a response. Then hopefully, negotiations will start and end your legal separation without needing litigation or trial.
In mediation, each party tries to frame their position and negotiate terms. Then the settlement documents go to court for approval. Some states require co-parenting classes which is a great thing for co-parents. Unfortunately, some cases require financial or psychological forensics. Too often for many families, there are domestic violence issues and family court. Each of these legal steps has their own timeline and rhythm.
On a certain level, you imploded your life so you could go through this awesome and life-changing rite of passage.
On the emotional side, things take a less linear route. There are certain factors to consider like the length of time you were married. Or the habits you formed. This is your personal healing work. The entire process of divorce requires you to understand the agreements you tolerated and the practices you honed in order to not repeat the patterns going forward.
A signed divorce decree means true healing can really begin.
A good measure goes like this. Take the AA 12 steps that apply to you and your understanding of a universal spirit. Add the 7 stages of grief, the 4 steps to codependency recovery, and the 5 phases of abandonment recovery. Then mush them all together. Believe it or not, that’s what you have to do to get through the entire process of divorce!
The entire process of divorce is conscious, deliberate, and not to be taken for granted.
As you decouple from the energy that attracted you to your ex in the first place, you get to work through the grief towards acceptance. Then you begin to rebuild your self-esteem, your pocketbook, and your emotionally safe boundaries. The more secure you become, the better your ability to trust again. That will enable you to restart your mojo.
Healing makes us accept our human foibles, emotional crutches, and to take responsibility for our part in the breakup. Then we learn to forgive letting go of shame in the process. As you do, you will develop faith, hope, and confidence.
The amazing thing is you get to start over with only you to decide what kind of life you want to have.
You can continue living a great life while doing your work. Perhaps you may even fall in love again and remarry in the process. Most likely, the healthier and clearer you become, the more money you will earn. And the more opportunities will come your way. However, you must become conscious and self-aware. There are no shortcuts. It’s a process that wakes you up because we take ourselves wherever we go.
The entire process of divorce demands respect.
This is one of my most cherished expressions. Because you can’t just wrap it up and pretend it never happened. Too many people try to replace one lover with another and expect to be healed. You can’t argue and fight for the rest of your future either. Chances are you aren’t sick or incompetent. You’re just scared and hurt and angry wanting to forget about all of it. Find a thinking partner like a divorce coach. You don’t want your new love and new life to reek of the healing work you haven’t done. Find someone to help you understand what’s going on.