Dating after Divorce ~ Healing Your Heart Before You Start
In many cases the pain of divorce is something indescribable. Something we planned would last a lifetime ended as an unfulfilled dream. You fell in love, planned a life together, looked into each other’s eyes and vowed, “Until death do us part”......more
Neither one of you died, yet you are no longer married. Many emotions are evoked. Pain, anger, disappointment, grief and sorrow are just a few. Each party blames the other, finding it hard to focus on their part in the demise. How does one reclaim their life after divorce? One minute you have what you thought was your soul mate and the next minute you are living life single, trying to figure out how to start over.
The mistake many of us make is jumping into another relationship without first taking the time to heal. It is very easy to transfer emotions from one person to another when you are wounded. It somehow seems to ease the pain. You have shifted your thoughts, feelings, and emotions to another individual, thus taking your mind off of the egregious amount of pain you are experiencing. However, you are really setting yourself up for more pain. I have heard it said that hurt people, hurt people. I don’t believe it is intentional, but how can you fully give yourself to another when you are still holding on to past issues. Often times the same grieving process needed after you experience the death of a loved one is similar to the process of grieving after divorce. When we first learn our marriage is falling apart, and everything we’d hoped for is in jeopardy, we may first deny it. Whatever the reason, most people don’t readily accept it. They refuse to believe it’s over. Second, we begin to bargain.
We think of all the things we could do or could have done to make it better.
Third, depression may set in. When this happens, you may begin to feel lonely or empty. You might engage in things such as shopping or eating to try and fill the void, and or ease the pain. Fourth, we may experience anger. We may feel helpless when we don’t know how to fix the problem, and become angry or frustrated. The fifth step is acceptance. This may take a while but eventually we must accept the reality so that we can begin the healing process. One of the most important steps in the healing process is forgiveness.
I know this is easier said than done. It seems easier to be angry than to forgive. Mark 11:25-26 says, “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.” In reality, if you choose not to forgive, you are only hurting yourself. Please don’t choose to hold on to anger, it is very unhealthy.
Listen to the voice of God and find it within your heart to forgive. If you choose not to, you will hinder your growth. God cannot use you the way He wants to as long as you are harboring unforgiveness.
Restoration after divorce is a process. You must have patience and faith to overcome. God is the only one who can heal extraordinary pain. There is comfort in His embrace. Psalm 23:3 says, “He restores my soul…” Matthew11:28-29 says, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart and you will find rest for your souls.”
Before you can begin to even think about dating after divorce you must first go through the process of healing. If you avoid this step, you will only set yourself up for failure. You will hinder your chances of having a successful relationship in the future.
Spend an enormous amount of time studying what the word of God has to say about forgiveness, love, relationships, and marriage. Take the time to get to know yourself all over again. You will be amazed what things can be revealed on the other side of trial and tribulation. Take care of yourself, study yourself, find out what makes you tick. When the time finally does come for you to find, or be found by your new mate, you will be healthy and whole.
Healing your heart, before you start the dating process, should definitely improve your chances of having a successful relationship.