Chapter 21

Divorce

Divorce represents the failure of our most cherished hopes and dreams. It carries with it an enormous sense of loss and disappointment. Even more destructive is the anger that is inevitable as a marriage dissolves. Yet in spite of its unavoidable hurt, divorce also represents a new beginning, an opportunity to move out of a situation which demanded change and to create a better life.

Memories of the hopes and dreams and love with which we began married life remain with us no matter how the relationship develops as time goes by. Looking back on our experience, we often recall and embellish the good side of events, forgetting what we perceive as failure. At other times, we call to mind only the hurts, only the faults of our partner. Such one-sided views aggravate the sense of disappointment and loss and especially, the anger we feel.

The truth is that divorce is seldom a sudden and unwarranted dissolution of a beautiful relationship, rarely a match doomed to failure. The seeds of a divorce have been present throughout the marriage as has been the potential for growth and problem solving. Day-to-day living, one decision laid upon another, has culminated in a situation that one or both parties no longer finds tenable.

It is also natural to believe that divorce was the other person’s fault. In some cases, one party’s behavior was so destructive that little could have been done to save the relationship. Even in this type situation, there is a tremendous sense of loss and disappointment. It is the anger, though, that creates the greatest difficulty. Why did we give so much of the love and trust most precious to us to someone who could betray that giving? Why were we so foolish? Why did we accept this treatment for so long? Is this what we deserved?

We have to acknowledge that this failed relationship did not happen to some stranger. We attracted this person. We participated in the development of the relationship. We are partially responsible. Then we must forgive ourselves, accepting that we did the best we knew how to do and remembering that mistakes are the inevitable consequence of being human.

We can soften the anger, loss and disappointment of divorce by dealing realistically with what has hurt us. Once we accept responsibility for our actions and forgive ourselves for our share of the problem, we become open to a better life with a more solid and constructive foundation.

ONE SECOND of SUNSHINE

One second of sunshine
reaches
tentatively
to touch the face
of pain

holding it
in fleeting caress

lifting its gaze
to new life

drawing from strife
what is good.

AFFIRMATION

There is a world of love in and around me that dissolves past hurts and gives me the courage to live a full life.

I believe in my essential loving nature and in my longing to share love with others. I accept the loss of cherished dreams and the disappointment and anger I have felt, knowing that the right use of love will never harm me.

The strength of the universe fills my soul, healing my hurts and showing the way to a beautiful and loving tomorrow.

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“Divorce”
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