How to Deal With Strong Feelings During Your Divorce
Feelings can overwhelm us and also teach us something.
Posted May 22, 2020
Through tears, my client said, “I don’t want to be mean, but I also don’t want to be a doormat.”
They were struggling through their divorce proceedings and their ex-partner had just forgotten to follow through on a stipulation of their custody agreement—to inform them when they would be out of town for more than a week.
I could hear and feel their fury and then came their quick attempt to push it down and say, “Maybe it is not so bad and I am overreacting.”
I am here to say to you that no matter how you feel during your divorce, you are not overreacting.
Your feelings are valid and it is really hard to balance being agreeable and setting limits.
It is like walking on a tightrope balancing an egg.
Sometimes you get across to the other side with ease and sometimes you fall on your butt with egg on your face.
There is no right way to do divorce.
You will have days when you are totally clear on your boundaries and express them beautifully.
You will also have days when you scream and lose it.
Both are fine because they are real.
The more you push your feelings away, the more power they get.
It's like when you add just a little too much water to a water balloon and it goes from being a fun toy to a mess all over your kitchen.
Please, allow yourself to feel all your feelings and know that there is simply no perfect way to divorce.
Allowing is the antidote to shame.
Shame keeps you from advocating for yourself and asking for what you need.
Shame is what overtook my client when they wondered if they were over-reacting.
How do we kick shame out of your divorce story?
Accept all your feelings as little messengers.
So, the next time you feel any feelings, say, “Thanks for coming to teach me something. I am open to what you are trying to show me.”
Then, take a few minutes to jot down your feelings and what it is like to consider looking for a lesson in a feeling.
You might hate this practice or simply love it.
Either response is great, just notice it.
When I did this exercise with my client, they were able to make the next right move for them and call their lawyer.
Allowing your feelings and learning from them will help you settle into your body so you can see clearly the next move you want to make.