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How to Let Go of Your Spouse When You Did Not Want the Divorce

by Karen Kleinschmidt, studioD

Although the divorce rate is high and many have gone through it before you, that doesn't make it any easier. During a divorce, you leave a big part of your life behind. It compounds the pain if you weren't ready to let go. Perhaps you wanted to work on your marriage, but your spouse served you divorce papers. Acknowledging your grief and pain can help you to move forward.

Looking Back

While painful, it will help to analyze what happened. Marriages end for a variety of reasons -- chronic fighting, unresolved painful events, loss of respect for each other, growing apart or a change in one or both partners in regards to moral, ethical and lifestyle values, according to the Family Education website. Remembering one or more traits in you or your partner will help you better understand the dissolution of your marriage.

Give Yourself Time

Allow yourself to grieve, but realize that you may need to stop, change directions and start down a new path, according to Mark Tyrrell, therapist and author of "Getting Over Divorce," published on the Uncommon Help website. Accept the fact that your spouse has moved on. Accept the feelings of betrayal, rejection, anger, sadness and fear. If you are repeatedly telling yourself, "I can't handle this," or "I'll never find someone like him," you are allowing negative energy to overwhelm you. Professional counseling may be needed to help you gain control of your negative thoughts and move forward.

Alter Your Surroundings

You may not be able to physically move but you can paint the walls, change the decor and take down pictures and mementos that remind you of your spouse. Avoid using money as an excuse. There is no need to hire someone to paint. Enlist the help of family and friends. Get your mind focused on something other than divorce. When you are finished, you'll likely feel a sense of accomplishment and independence.

Move Forward

At some point in the process, you will begin to feel a shift occurring. You have absorbed the shock and accepted that despite your best intentions, the marriage is over. Dr. Phil McGraw, clinical psychologist and daytime talk show host, recommends acknowledging this as a new beginning. Recognize the control you have over your life. Work on being a positive example for your children. Share your feelings and be there for them. Spend time by yourself engaging in a hobby you enjoy. Reach out to family, friends or join a divorce group for emotional support.

About the Author

Karen Kleinschmidt has been writing since 2007. Her short stories and articles have appeared in "Grandma's Choice," "Treasure Box" and "Simple Joy." She has worked with children with ADHD, sensory issues and behavioral problems, as well as adults with chronic mental illness. Kleinschmidt holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Montclair State University.

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