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5 Things that Can Distract Us From Healing after Divorce

  • Jen Grice
5 Things that Can Distract Us From Healing after Divorce

I was given 6 months to vacate the marital home after my divorce. The judge signed the papers the first week of December. And within a couple days, a friend of mine was murdered by her estranged husband. In addition to that, we had one of the worst winters that I can recall, losing our power, heat, and water for over a week after an ice storm, including on Christmas Day. With no family close by and very few resources to help, I had plenty to distract me from the task at hand: healing after divorce.

By May of the following year, we were moving out; ready for a fresh new start and to reclaim the healing and peace I had been searching for. It has taken me several years, and probably many more distractions, but I’ve finally come to a place of thriving after divorce.

When we seek the Healer, have faith in His healing power, and focus on the path, we will find healing. But sadly, so many of us get off course with distractions after divorce.

Don’t allow these five distractions to detour your healing after divorce.

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1. Rebuilding without repairing first.

When severe weather hits a home and causes extensive damage, the first thing a good contractor does after tearing out all the visible damage is to find any hidden issues and repair them. For the last 5 years I’ve been walking with women going through a divorce, and many of them want to just start rebuilding their lives before they find any issues deep inside that they may have.

It’s very easy to say:

  • “Well, my husband [or wife] was the adulterer, I don’t have any problems because I didn’t cheat.”
  • “My only problem was marrying an abusive man.”

But the truth is we all have healing to do, problems we need to work on, and emotional baggage that needs our attention. We’re a house that will always need God’s healing and renewal. He is the best Contractor, seek Him for how you should repair and rebuild after divorce.

Sometimes we need to be more like Mary (not Martha) and just sit at Jesus’ feet, while ignoring the distractions of everyday life - just for a little time each day. You’re better able to take care of others after you get in your healing time with the one true Healer.

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2. Dating too soon.

So many women ask me, how soon after their divorce can they start dating? Some follow up with, “just for a companion, not to remarry.” My answer is always the same: Singleness after divorce is not a jail sentence. This is your healing, repairing, and rebuilding time. Dating will only distract you from that focus, as well as the relationship God may be calling you back to with Him.

Also, dating before you’re emotionally ready to remarry can cause all kinds of problems, besides pausing your healing process. You may be getting yourself into the same type of relationship that you just left. You could be asking too much of a new relationship trying to heal and date at the same time. You’ll be carrying all that emotional baggage from your marriage into this new relationship, even if you don’t remarry. And if you do marry, you could risk choosing that spouse out of loneliness, rather than love.

During your singleness, take your time to get to know yourself and what you want or will expect from your next relationship. Find your authentic self and heal your heart after divorce. Singleness is really a gift from God. Enjoy it!

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3. Trying to make everyone happy.

I often hear from ladies who are very frustrated after divorce. They assume, like I’m sure I did, that all conflict and problems would go away after everything is finalized. We assume our abusive husband will stop trying to control us and focus his attention on the new love of his life. We also assume that our family of origin will change too.

But really, we’re still the same person we were. They are still the same people they were, and we still can’t change them. The problem is, how we’ve allowed them to treat us is how they’ll continue to treat us. This is why I say this is an important time to get emotionally healthy. Evaluate all of your relationships. Decide who is safe and who is not. Learn better boundaries and how to be assertive, rather than passive or passive-aggressive. And focus on being healthy, rather than people-pleasing. Work on (and practice) being kind rather than being a “Christian nice girl” (or guy).

This is all part of the healing journey.

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4. Numbing the pain.

During an unwanted divorce you’re going to feel physical and emotional pain. The feeling that someone has died but they are still living. And because no one enjoys this pain, it might feel easier to just numb it. Some try to numb the pain with busyness, shopping, painkillers, alcohol, or other poor choices. Looking to replace the loss with distraction is destructive.

Things that mask or bury the pain never allow us to heal. We can try to skirt around it or pretend it’s not there, but ultimately the pain will come out in one way or another. We must walk, or even crawl at times, through the pain in order to heal. When we seek God for His healing salve and keep our eyes on Him, we find a healthier life after divorce.

Most people don’t understand that God allows pain so that we realize our dependence on Him. He wants our security to only be found in Him. And when we surrender to His leading we find all the things we’ve been looking for in life - that we never had or felt with anyone else.

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5. Not seeing the value of putting God first in your life.

I guess this is not itself a distraction, but it’s the reason why we distract ourselves with many other things in the first place. I shared on my blog and YouTube channel, how I believe God was calling me back to Him during my divorce.

I had been so used to depending on other people for my value and worth, that although I believed in God for more than 15 years, had a relationship with Him, and knew the Bible very well; I didn’t have a real need for Him on a daily basis. My life didn’t revolve around God or His will for my life. It revolved around what my husband wanted and needed. Now I live out my divine purpose while finding my value and worth only in the Savior.

Most Christian women do not want a divorce, or the pain that comes with it, but when we seek God, His healing power, and surrender to His will for our lives, we can and will have a thriving life after divorce.

Jen Grice is a Christian Divorce Mentor and Empowerment Coach, author of the book, You Can Survive Divorce: Hope, Healing, and Encouragement for Your Journey, a speaker, and a single homeschooling mom. She writes full-time at JenGrice.com and empowers women to survive and heal after their unwanted divorce on her YouTube channel as well. Jen believes that through God's healing, grace, and redemption that all Christian women can survive... and even thrive, after divorce. Navigating this foreign territory we call divorce? Feeling alone? Start here!

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