Q & A: Divorce and Separation: Dealing with Disillusionment

Q. “I’m struggling with trying to understand how my husband was not the man I thought he was. His family is also really disillusioned with him. How can this happen to someone? How did I miss so much?”

A. Divorce can really warp your sense of reality. One day you’re madly in love with someone, planning your future, starting a family and deciding what you’ll do together in your golden years. Then there’s the day where you might be standing in your lawyer’s office, signing legal documents about asset division and child custody, wondering “Who the heck is this person I was married to?”

The disillusionment and disbelief you’re feeling is something many people who are separated or divorced is quite common. Sometimes you see the relationship failing, or you might be the person who initiated the divorce. But coming to grips with no longer being in an intimate, lifelong relationship with your spouse brings up all kinds of questions. How can someone I thought I loved turn out to be like this? How can it be that I missed all these signs, or had poor judgment to begin with? How do I make sure I don’t get blindsided and disappointed like this again?

The first tip I recommend to you is that love, life and relationships will always have many twists and turns. Your logical mind can easily get stuck into a repetitive loop trying to understand your ex-husband and have his actions and choices “make sense.” The truth is that sometimes things don’t make sense. People can be duplicitous, deceptive or even irrational. It can happen in the workplace just as easily in your matrimonial home. But pouring your time and energy into trying to figure out the emotional wiring of someone else is not going to get you any clarity that will make a difference for you in the long run.

The second tip is to lovingly and with a lot of compassion for yourself start to harvest the wisdom of your marriage breakup. It is so important to take the time to reflect on what we’ve learned from our past challenges so we can grow and make more aligned and empowering choices in the future. There are a lot of resources to help you choose the thrive after divorce and harvest your wisdom in my award-winning Divorce Resource Kit.

Here are a few questions to help you reflect on the soul curriculum lessons that are here for you to learn. Were there signs of incompatibility that you missed or tried to deny? Where did you stay silent, disconnect or simply tolerate any feelings that your marriage was under some stress? Knowing what you know now, what would you do differently in future relationships? Be patient and very gentle as you do these pieces of what I call “emotional homework” and you’ll start to feel more clear and grounded as you dig into it.

I wish you all the best!

One thought on “Q & A: Divorce and Separation: Dealing with Disillusionment

  1. Hi there,

    Great advice, thanks. I just wanted to add here that we all have instincts that are innate; most of us choose to ignore the little signs that we should be paying attention to. I personally don’t believe that people change out of the blue; if you really pay attention to that niggling feeling you have whenever your spouse does something, you’ll realize that people have undesirable qualities that may be well-hidden up until some point when they decide to unleash them. Just my two cents.