Marriage unites two lives bringing together two people who create daily habits together, they marry into one another’s families, they share time with friends, and possibly even children (together or blended). You identify as a spouse, you share private information and develop hobbies and past times together. It’s beautiful, until it isn’t. And when marriage isn’t beautiful and this union parts ways it leaves you wondering who am I? Who am I apart from all that I have shared with my significant other? Who are my friends and who are their friends? Can I still enjoy the same music, hobbies, and hangouts? Am I still a good parent when I’m solo? Do I need to reinvent myself? Is God disappointed in me?
This is Anxiety. Fear. Depression.
THIS IS AN IDENTITY ISSUE
This is the emotional plunge divorce creates.
This is a spiral that’s common to travel. It’s not dangerous if you are intentional in seeking definitive answers to these questions and concerns that arise. However, when you’re in a fog…the divorce fog… that happens from dis-STRESS it is hard to know which end is up. Recovering from divorce is a grief process. It requires mourning the many losses. It is experiencing what triggers your sadness (a song on a radio, a television show, calendar dates, etc.). Sometimes it is the smallest most unexpected things that will trip you up.
So, I Got Divorced. Who Am I? is a panicky-normal-freakout moment that can open the doors to exponential self-discovery, healing, and growth. WHAT? Yep, I mean all of that.
You were someone before you met the person you married and you’ll be someone after the divorce too. Let’s break this down. There are five main facets that create who you are as a person:
You are an EMOTIONAL being
You are a PHYSICAL being
You are a SOCIAL being
You are an INTELLECTUAL being
You are a SPIRITUAL being
Who was I in these five areas before I married? This is a time of core development of your personality. Perhaps this is a time you were lacking maturity due to lack of age and life experience, but this is not what I’m looking for. I am looking for WHO you were.
Who was I in these five areas while I was married? This was a time of growth or loss for you during the marriage, depending on the health of the marriage. Comparing and contrasting here allows us to notice changes… you know, the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Who do you want to be in these five areas after the marriage? This is the meat of your therapy and counseling. This is where exponential growth and healing takes place. Together we walk the ups and downs of goal-setting and identity solidification.
Divorce Recovery is about:
Focusing on your strengths
Strengthening your weaknesses
Grieving your loss
Releasing your anger
Parenting skills (if applicable)
Boundaries for healthy relationships
Forgiveness (of self, others, God, etc.)
This is your chance. This is your time. This is your life. Don’t wait, your healthy recovery is critical.
Divorced? Here are some RESOURCE ideas for you:
Join a Divorce Recovery Support Group. Check out your church or a local church and see what they offer. It’s relieving to see people struggle with your same struggles…yes, you are normal! It also presents to you HOPE that other people have overcome where you’re at… yes, you will be okay.
Join a Single Parent’s Group. This can be a support group but it can be many things: workout groups, play dates with single parents and their kids, bible studies. There is power in numbers!
Seek counseling. I might be bias here, but it is much much easier to walk this journey with someone who is an outsider looking in, not to mention a counselor is your biggest cheerleader for you to develop and grow into an autonomous and thriving adult as you transition into this next phase of your life.
I want to end with a note connecting you back to your Creator, your Redeemer, your Grace-giver, your Healer… Christ Jesus. Through Him you have the best answer you could find to WHO AM I? You are loved, forgiven, cherished, and the King of all kings says He loves you and has plans for you, despite any circumstance, Christ wants you to PROSPER and LIVE your life fully in His midst. Please enter into a time of prayer and worship with this song and may it bring you some peace during your time of distress.
Casting Crowns “Who Am I”