Letting Go In Your Divorce

Letting go in your divorce is harder than you might imagine. How are you doing with ‘just’ letting go? Letting go of being a wife. Letting go of being part of a couple? Even when you know it’s the ‘right’ thing it’s still hard. 
This week has been a hard week for me personally. I had to let go of my cat Potter. I’ve had her since she was 6 weeks old, and she was 15 when I had to make the decision to put her to sleep.
She had been ill for 3 weeks and I’d done everything I could to save her, but it was clear at the end that, although I didn’t want to let go, it was the most kind thing I could do because we were both beginning to suffer. There was only going to be one outcome whether it was that day, today or sometime next week. I could have kept her alive on drugs for a few more weeks, it would have been the sticking plaster I desperately wanted, but it would eventually have come unstuck and I knew this. 
Letting go isn’t easy. It takes courage to steal yourself to do it. You know that it’s going to hurt and you’re not sure what will happen in the coming days and weeks. When it’s your marriage you are letting go of, you wonder why you couldn’t ‘make’ it work or why ‘he’ wasn’t willing to ‘try’ harder. The art of letting go is recognising that the answers to these questions are irrelevant. Irrelevant because letting go involves letting go of the need to have an answer, as much as letting go of the thing itself.
What I’ve focused on is the pleasure that my cat brought me. The comfort and the joy over the years. Nothing will replace that. What aspects of your marriage brought you pleasure, comfort and joy? You can still honour them even though they may no longer exist. Taking time to reflect on the positive times in your marriage is a useful part of the process of letting go in your divorce. It allows you to feel grateful for what once was. It supports you to keep away from any negative self- talk about having ‘failed’. Sometimes good things come to an end. There doesn’t need to be a reason or blame (though there might be those things), sometimes you just grow apart. 
If for you, there weren’t any positive times, or none that you remember, are you willing to let go of the frustration, disappointment and anger that there might be around that? Holding on to these negative emotions will prevent you from truly letting go and moving forward with your life. 

How do I Know That I’ve Finally Let Go?

It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to put a date in your diary or circle your calendar as the date you will finally have let go. Letting go is a process. You may not feel ‘grief’ in its most raw form and you might. It’s entirely normal to grieve for the loss of your marriage even if its your idea, like you would the death of a family member, friend or pet.

Little by little, the pain will get less. You’ll stop feeling the emotional mood swings with such intensity. Feelings of anger, disappointment and frustration will subside. You’ll be able to recall and enjoy the happier memories of your marriage with fondness but they won’t be all consuming. One day you may just recognise that you have actual ‘let go’. Bizarrely, that may in itself feel a little weird and sad. Particularly when you can remember believing that the day would never come. 

What Happens Next?

That’s up to you lovely! When you’ve finally let go, you’ll be able to make those decisions for yourself because this period of emotional turmoil that you are in right now, will be resolved. You’ll feel more certain about who you are, AND who you’re not. You will be clearer about what you’d like the next phase of your life to be like. You might even start dating again and being open to the possibility of meeting someone new. 

For me, when I’ve truly let go of my beloved cat Potter, it’s likely I’ll get a kitten. Not to replace her, because she’s irreplaceable, just like my other cats Harry and Watson, but because I’m ready to move on and love another pet as much as I loved her. There’s no rush. It’ll happen when I’m ready.

Are You Ready To Let Go?

So, are you ready to let go? You’ll know immediately whether its yes or no. You might hear it in your self-talk or feel it in your body. If the answer is no, what’s holding you back? What would help you let go? If you aren’t sure, what do you think you’d say if you did know? If the answer is yes, what small step can you take today to begin that process?

I’m Emma, The Divorce Alchemist, I support ladies who leave make smart emotional and financial decisions on divorce. Sometimes my clients have already made the decision to leave, and sometimes my job is to assist them in making that decision – to support them to look at what’s stopping them. It might be because it’s not the right decision. It might be because they’re scared and fearful. Sometimes they struggle with letting go even when they want to. 

Does that resonate with you? If so, you are not alone. The first step is to decide whether you want to stay or go. I wrote about this in my blog Should I Stay or Should I Go. I go into more detail in this free webinar that you can watch by filling in your details in the box below.