The decision has been made and the divorce a fact; and then?
You leave or your partner leaves. Table and bed are no longer shared. You are looking for a new home or you try to make your home your own home. You distribute the savings or argue about it. You work out an arrangement for the children. There are the quarrels and blame, the scenes or the murderous silence and mugs. You have lost yourself in part or are legged in your old and leg in your new relationship. You are constantly in doubt, but you know that it has to be that way. You hope that the other person will change his mind. You feel guilty about what your children are going through. Embarrassed too, because we did not succeed. All those others in the same boat do not change that feeling. You pick up the shards and find out how you want to glue the pot again.
Separating: a painful fault line in life
Whoever marries now has more than 50% chance of ever divorcing. An incredible banality speaks out of that number. It happens to most of us and so it seems less bad. Yet I still experience daily as a relationship broker that the grief, the pain, the difficulty of no divorce can and may be underestimated. It remains for everyone who experiences and experiences it, from the partners themselves over the children to the grandparents, a particularly painful fault line in life. No one should minimize that sadness, minimize that pain or put it into perspective.
Get up after the fall: it's harder to start over than to start
Yet a divorce is not only an end, but a shutdown. The break makes you say goodbye to a piece and continues with your own piece, taking a new start. Very often this means today, falling in love, starting a new relationship, often living together or even remarrying. This is not a path that only deals with roses, as many experience.
Starting again is more difficult than starting, is sometimes said and there is of course a source of truth. After all, you are already a bit further in life, know yourself better, your limitations and strengths. Many things have already been filled in: careers that have been made, children born, houses that are there. Establish goals and therefore solidarity often proves to be a big challenge for these new relationships. If you start again and look for tips, you will have to make little effort. Online advice, books of all kinds, friends and girlfriends, they all know how to approach you to become happy again.
The most important thing is to realize that everyone has to go his or her own way. What works for one person does not do that for the other. Also important to know is that certain phases occur at one and not at the other or in a very different order.
From this guideline, I dare to try to describe the process of standing up after the fall, of starting over again and guiding. I do this in 3 parts:
'on the road again'.
So do not consider all this as rules or 'the' truth, but as guidelines, as possible building blocks for your new life .
Build a new relationship if the previous one has been given a place
The most frequently heard advice after a divorce is undoubtedly: make sure you have processed your relationship. In itself this is obviously good advice: build a new relationship if the previous one has been given a place. But what does this mean in practice? How does it feel, 'being ready for a new relationship'?
In the ideal scenario, your previous relationship is a bit behind you in time: you can look at your relationship and ex-partner in a nuanced way. But also: you have insight into your own part in the course of the relationship, you have lived alone for a while. Because you also often hear that: you can only be happy with two if you are alone. Only: this is the definition that applies to a certain group of people. They often follow this method and do not understand how others can start again so quickly. They belong to the group of what one calls within the doctrine of attachment styles avoidant types.
Hilde: 'I have been alone for three years now and I really needed that time to process my divorce. Just after the break, I did not want to go out, let alone get to know a man. Now I am open to it, but I can not. My girlfriend, who was divorced around the same time, did not know another man less than a month later, with whom she started living together. I still know a number of men and women and do not understand how they do it, so quickly after a break in another relationship steps. '
Avoidance of attachment style
Hilde adjusts the flight inward from her avoiding attachment style. People with an avoiding attachment style often need a lot of time when entering into and concluding a relationship. Whoever is in this case has a tendency to withdraw from life, to lick his wounds on his own, to talk about it with few people.
Fleeing activities in all sorts of ways is also a well-known phenomenon: working or doing extreme work, joining many clubs, giving up volunteering ...
They are strategies that ensure that the feeling of powerlessness, of being vulnerable, can be transformed. be in a sense of control. Destructive-avoiding behavior is the flight in alcohol or substance abuse.
A second way of attaching can be described as anxious. If we have a fearful side, we will enter a relationship faster because we do not like to be alone. We also do more 'concessions' when making our choice of a new life partner.
Often, people with an anxious attachment style after a divorce tend to look very spasmodically at the proximity of others. There are many separate contacts, they often go out, not because they like to do it, but as a way to deal with their unrest. Some re-enter parents or seek contact with former partners. Facebook and affiliates are now the ideal means for this. One seeks the proximity of others to maintain the sense of self-worth, to maintain. The 'approval' of others is experienced as much-needed. You can call this flight to the other.
Martin: 'I know from myself that I have difficulty with being alone. It feels very bad for me and I will therefore do everything to not be. If I sit at home like that one night, I'm actually calling all the time, to have the feeling of company. I am usually not alone for a long time, I do a lot to have a new relationship. I sit on different dating sites, make a lot of dates in the hope of finding someone quickly. '
Going against your resistance
Some of those quick decision makers are certainly able to consolidate their choice and build a lasting relationship. In some cases that does not work, just because there is too much baggage from a previous relationship.
'Make sure you have sufficiently processed your previous relationship, take your time', is therefore primarily a recommendation that is useful for the 'fast decision makers' who are only experienced as experiencing something very frightening.
How do you approach this practically? Against your resistance, to enter your fear is the message, however difficult this may seem. After all, running away is usually a guarantee of another bad choice. Try to be really alone one night, weekend. What is the worst thing that can happen to you? Feeling sad? Just sit on the couch? By occasionally being alone, not fleeing from the bad feeling that comes upside down, you also experience that you are best able to get out of such a bad feeling. This gives you a feeling of strength, brings a greater peace with it. Anyone who flees to the other must, again or perhaps for the first time, search for the road to himself.
Processing a divorce is mourning
The avoider, the air fighter inside, will have to overcome his resistance to vulnerability and dependence over time. There the advice goes against the safety mechanism 'I can do it all alone, I do not need anyone'.
Really opening up to a full contact with the other person will be the challenge here. What is the worst thing that can happen to you? That this contact ultimately leads to nothing? That you get hurt? That you survive this you know by now.
Difficult all? Of course. The word 'work' is in process. Processing is a form of mourning work: this requires some perseverance besides time, effort and energy.
Ferry: relationships as intermediary relations
Is a relationship in this phase anyway out of the question?
Of course not. It is part of their processing process for a number of people. It is seldom the case with the avoiders, with the anxious all the time.
Very often you see that relationships are interrelations shortly after a divorce. A partner in an intermediary relationship is sometimes called a ferry: someone who takes you from one relationship to another often compensates for what went wrong in the previous relationship.
Noor: "Immediately after my divorce, I fell in love with the dad of one of the children who is in my class with my son. He had been divorced for a while, was very empathetic, could listen and we often did sports, also with the children. All things that I missed in my marriage. But after a while it did not feel right anymore. His empathy and soft nature went on my nerves and doing things together became a 'must'. I felt trapped and limited and put an end to it, something he had a hard time with. "I had used it," were his words. "
At first glance, the ferry itself does not make much of a relationship like that. After all, who wants to serve only to pick up the shards, glue the pot and then pass it on to someone else? Those who have often been ferries, however, have to dwell on this. This is often also a form of avoidance. Tying you to someone who is essentially not ready for a relationship (do not want to take full advantage of it or just makes excessive use of your caring abilities) also says something about your fear of a full commitment.