The great untold story of divorce is how much it hurts – and not just the spouse who’s left behind but also even the spouse who’s doing the leaving. Many people who have gone through divorce remember that it feels — it feels like having a piece of yourself ripped away. Ellen put it this way, a year after separation: “This year it’s just a dull ache. Last year it hurt to breathe.”
People who haven’t been through divorce usually can’t understand how deep, how searing, and how debilitating the pain is. Try if you want to explain it to them; they probably just won’t get it.
At some point in the past, sometimes the very recent past, you felt the sensual, ecstatic thrill of total trust and intimacy with this person. Now this same person is your adversary. You feel betrayed. Of course it’s going to hurt.
Another reason it hurts so much is that most people who are going through divorce are having to deal with so many losses all at the same time. You’re hurting for a broken relationship, of course. And often at the same time, you’re hurting because of that feeling of being betrayed by your spouse. Or maybe you feel betrayed by somebody in your spouse’s family.
And often at the same time, you’re also hurting over the changes in your life. And there are so many changes connected with divorce. Sometimes you have to change where you live, how you spend your day, what you can afford to do, how much time you spend with your children and on what schedule, and how you can plan for the future, all while you’re trying to deal with a whole new world of lawyers, judges, pleadings, and court dates.
And whether we like to admit it or not, there’s still a sense of shame connected with divorce. People who are going through divorce feel like failures.
DivorceInfo is focused on helping people who are going through a divorce. I do the best I can (and frankly, I’m good at it). But there’s no way to keep it from hurting. We’re stuck with it. It just hurts.