Hi, I'm Nicole Myers, Licensed Professional Counselor. In my career, as I've mentioned before, I speak with a lot of people who have dealt with or are dealing with divorce. Whether we chose it, or someone has chosen it in our lives, it affects most people in our generation.
The question for today is: My significant other just told me they wanted a divorce. I did not see this coming. how do I handle the shock, sadness and pain of this betrayal?
Well, if you're thinking of this as a betrayal, this means that you were still planning on being married while your significant is moving on. This is a huge problem for you to adjust to but, rest assured, you can do so. The first step I would take if I was about to be divorced is going through and asking myself, "What do I need at this point?" In other words, focus on your own self-care for a bit to see what you need to do to be okay with yourself. If you have children, make sure that your children are being taken care of and then spend some time getting help for your needs. Getting therapy for this type of an adjustment can be very helpful because you just experienced the shock of betrayal, anger and sadness. These are all very real emotions and, if you choose to bury them rather than deal with them, you will still be hit by this years down the road. However, if you learn to deal with them, you'll be able to move on and accomplish a divorce to the best of your abilities while protecting yourself and your children, also to the best of your abilities.
Rest assured, there's life after divorce because no one can go back and start over but, we can all begin again and continue forward on a new path. This may not be where you thought you would end up but it may be where you need to be in order to be happier because your significant other did not choose divorce for no reason. If they're choosing divorce, something hasn't been working in the marriage whether you realized it or not. You might be surprised to find that you can be happier after divorce, eventually. Don't expect it to happen overnight.
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