It's difficult to get past the fact that you're getting a divorce and get on with your life. But I've found that several types of therapy help.
The most common type is, of course, meeting with a licensed therapist. I'm not ashamed to admit that I've been meeting with a therapist off and on for the past eight years, even before it became apparent that my spouse and I were splitting up.
A therapist has no say in who is right or who is wrong, and they can tell you when your actions are off base or on target. A good therapist will work to make you a better person and make you realize that you do have some redeeming qualities despite the failure of the marriage.
Seeing a therapist has helped me move on. The separation really lowered my self-esteem, but the therapist has helped rebuild that.
There's other types of therapy, however, that help a person move past the separation and to start a new life, I've found.
One of the most therapeutic things I've done since my spouse and I split up is to take ownership of the house. I remained in the house, but there were still a lot of reminders of her every day.
So, very methodically, I've moved from room to room, replacing items that were hers. In some cases, I've been throwing out stuff. In other cases, I've been collecting things that I think she would want and giving them to her.
The furniture in the bedroom was moved around to make it feel more like mine. The furniture in the living room, where my son and I spend most of our time, was replaced. My spouse and I had picked out the old furniture when we bought our first house.
There's the therapy of cleaning the house. It sounds kind of corny, but I'm much happier after I've washed, dusted and vacuumed.
There's the therapy of writing this blog on a regular basis. It forces me to think about my feelings and where I am in recovering from divorce on a weekly basis. I think that it's good to release those emotions in such a regular, public way.
There's also the therapy of meeting and talking to people who have also gone through divorce. What I've found is that I am not alone. There are others out there with the same feelings and struggles.
If you haven't found a group of people who are also going through divorce, check whether you have a local Divorce Care group. Search for a local group here.
I'm surprised at how well I am doing. I know there are still some bumps ahead. But I feel as if I have a better handle on my life now.
Next Up: Being Yourself Again
Just joining Chris' story? Check out what you've missed here:
Chapter 1: Out of the Blue
Chapter 2: The Fear of Being Lonely
Chapter 3: Telling the Kids
Chapter 4: Did we Make the Right Decision?
Chapter 5: Splitting Things Up
Chapter 6: The Fear of Getting Taken
Chapter 7: Anger from the Kids
Chapter 8: Scheduling Nightmares
Chapter 9: Divorce and Anger