My divorce was final three years ago this summer. I have gone through DivorceCare. I have gone through counseling. I have led a couple small groups on divorce. I have created a retreat for divorced women. I have written a book about getting through a divorce. I have healed, a ton. And I am now happily remarried.
But nothing, and I mean nothing, can unmoor me like having to talk with my ex.
Something came up – a dispute, shall we say? – that landed us in mediation. For the week leading up to the meeting, I was sick to my stomach every time I thought about it. I spent a couple hours writing out what I was going to say, and rewriting, and rewriting. I took a Calm’s Forte. I drank chamomile tea. My husband and my girls were hearing all the details of how I was feeling. I asked two thousand Facebook fans to pray for me. I had an extra-long quiet time.
And I walked into that meeting not feeling an ounce of the peace that passes understanding (sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t), as nauseous as I could be. And it was a nightmare. I was instantly the meek, walk-all-over-me woman I sometimes used to be in my first marriage. We fell right back in. For about ten minutes.
Because the mediator saw what was going on and separated us and told me he would never put me in a room with him again.
Thank you, thank you, thank you, kind sir.
So, why am I telling you this?
For one reason, really. (For the reason I share most of what I share here, and it’s this.)
I want you to know that you’re not alone. I want to remind you that divorce is so very hard, like one of the hardest and worst things EVER. (As in, it is considered to be the second most stressful life event – after the death of a spouse – by psychologists.) I want you to know that it’s okay if you still get freaked out when you have to see or talk to your ex-husband. I want you to know that it’s normal and you’re so not crazy.
I texted my mentor a few hours before the meeting: “Part of my struggle is that I can feel so much healthier and more whole and more even-keeled as time goes by. But each time I see him, I feel like the old Beth. I feel un-healed. And I beat myself up that the provoked version of me must in fact be the real version of me. Blech.”
(I bet some of you feel that way too.)
But she replied: “The real you is safely hidden in Christ…holy and beloved forever without condemnation. I totes get it.”
So sweet one, if this is you right now…if you’re in a situation where you have to interact with your ex-husband a bit more or you see him around town all the time or what-have-you and it’s unnerving, it’s okay. You are not un-healed. You have not lost ground. You are simply being triggered by someone you were once one with who you now have, for the most part, more painful than good memories shared between you.
Repeat after me:
I am hidden in Christ.
I am precious and honored in God’s sight.
I have not been given a spirit of timidity or fear, but of love and of a sound mind.
I am my Beloved’s and he is mine.
And repeat again. Over and over. As many times as you need to.
You’ll get through this. You are still on track. God is still for you and is still healing you and will not just up and stop your transformation until it’s complete. Fact.
If this post resonated with you, Unraveling: Hanging onto Faith through the End of a Christian Marriage may help you in your healing process.