Julie Turner, Life Coach, our guest this week on THE Amicable Divorce Expert podcast gave us a great idea to ponder: Emotionally divorce the person you became in the marriage that just ended so that you can grow into the person that is more authentically you.
I hadn’t heard this before, and it makes so much sense. When we get married we retain much of our individual personality but we also morph into this married personality that either enhances us or creates an unhappy version of ourselves. If divorce takes places, chances are one or both spouses lost their individual selves and became a different and unhappy married person. So when we divorce, we have to go through a process of discerning self-awareness so that we can use divorce as a growth experience. We have to know how we changed while we were married, and how these changes affected us adversely.
I speak a lot about the two sides of divorce: The emotional and the legal sides. There is the Emotional Divorce in which we prepare ourselves to legally uncouple by going through the seven grief stages of divorce (two more than the grief stages for death because the person we’re divorcing is still living and possibly co-parenting with us). In those seven stages of grief we accept reality of this huge life change; we blame ourselves and then our spouse; we apologize and forgive; and then we have to look at who we became and who we now want to be.
Resetting is part of the emotional growth process. Looking at what marriage taught you, how marriage shaped you, and who marriage defined you as, is significant to knowing what parts of your married self you want to keep, what parts need to go. You will only be happy if you live authentically and honestly in the way you express yourself.