I’m in so much pain but he seems not to care that our marriage is over. It’s like I don’t even know him. How can he be so callused?”
“Out of the blue she just left. I’m hurting so much but she seems perfectly fine. I hate her for being so okay when I still love her.”
Like so many others I hear from these two people have been left by their spouses. Maybe they knew the marriage wasn’t perfect but having the divorce-wish bomb dropped by their mates came as a total surprise. No wonder they are confused and in pain.
How can the person you married seem so okay that your marriage is ending when you are so devastated?
It’s totally confusing at first but there is an explanation.
It has to do with each person’s emotional divorce.
People who want a divorce start to let go of their marriage when they first realize that, for whatever reason, the relationship isn’t working for them. Over time they emotionally disengage until they finally have emotionally removed themselves enough to announce they want a divorce. On the other hand, their spouses don’t start their emotional divorce until after they get over the shock of learning their marriages will be ending.
I want a divorce,” comes toward the end of one person’s emotional divorce and at the beginning of the other person’s emotional divorce.
In short, a leaving spouse is finally feeling relief just at the time he or she punches the unsuspecting spouse in the stomach with the word divorce. This creates bewilderment and confusion for the person who is being left.
It’s at least part of why the leaving spouse seems relieved or unemotional at the very time the spouse who is being left is in the greatest turmoil.
Does that make sense?
Does it help you understand why your spouse seems to be at such a different place than you? I know it doesn’t take away the pain but it can help to understand why you are worlds apart in your emotions.
Getting through the Pain
Moving to your own emotional divorce takes time and intent. Allow yourself to feel the emotions and to work through all the thoughts that come with them. It’s a process that I can’t begin to fully cover in this post but it is a process you can get through.
Don’t trust healing to chance. Find a support group, see a counselor, and seek out resources that support your healing. I’ve walked the path of healing from divorce. It’s why I wrote the book, Peace after Divorce.*
You can heal from divorce! You can find peace, joy, and a new life.
*Peace after Divorce has been recognized as an exemplary Christian book by the 2013 Illumination Book Awards. You can read reviews on Amazon at the above link.
Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me. Psalm 50:15 NKJV
About the Author…
Renee Smith Ettline is author of the award-winning book, Peace after Divorce, and founder of After Divorce Ministries, LLC. Her Christian divorce recovery blog posts every Friday morning. Church-based divorce recovery workshops based on her work are offered around the country.
Find out how to offer a Peace after Divorce support group at your church or click to see group locations.
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