Heartbreak

What To Do When You're All Done Fighting & Divorce Feels Inevitable

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Pensive woman thinking with partner in background

Changes in relationships — namely, divorce — aren't always easy to accept.

Recently, I met a woman, Mrs. D., who was desolate and struggling to keep going. Her difficulty emanated from fear and loss of hope. We all go through trying times and when we do, we need a solid, practical foundation of truth and logic to pull ourselves through. 

Mrs. D’s problems arose with the breakup of her marriage. It was clear she was carrying a "failure" image that touched every aspect of her life and made it hard to forgive and let go. 

And that made it impossible to create a new life that included a career, family and relationships. She needed a "face" lift meaning she needed to see herself from a new perspective. 

RELATED: Why Change Is Always Inevitable In Your Relationships (And How To Cope With It)

How do you accept new changes in your life?

We've all been taught to evaluate ourselves on the basis of externals — your bank account, state of physical beauty, health, status, where you live, went to school, the number of initials behind your name, and so forth.  

When your worth is established on externals, you and everyone else will eventually come up short.

Having said that, judgmental divorce goes at the top of the failure list because most people live with a cultural, traditional idea that marriage is to last forever (even though statistics prove otherwise) and no matter what, you can make it work. 

I’ve always been intrigued with the idea of "making" something work. That seems to put marriage in the category of forcing it to work, requiring it to work. Like shoving it into a box and closing the lid on it, whether it fits or not. 

Yet, at the same time, marriage is to be established on the value of love and respect. 

Can you put those two qualities together — "forcing" it to work and love and respect? From my experience, nothing works when forced. 

Try to force a jar to open and you have a broken jar. Try to establish respect and love by forcing someone under your domination. It's the same thing — it doesn’t work. 

Often, in a coaching session, I will ask a client if she's still in touch with her best friend in elementary school. She will look quizzically at me and say "No."

Then I follow with, "What happened? Did you get in a fight or decide you didn’t like each other anymore?" Again, "No.” Then, "Why aren’t you still friends?"

Of course, this is a silly question-answer game designed to clarify the truth that people walk the path together in great friendship and at some point, the path ends or forks and each goes his own way

RELATED: 4 Steps To Overcoming Resistance To Change In Your Life

That's true of grade-school friendships and adult relationships as well. 

As you grow and mature, you change — friends, interests, value systems, beliefs, and the way you look at things. As interests, needs, and perspectives alter, so do social involvements. 

You don't consider these changes failures but accept them as part of life and so it's the same with marriage.

For example, you once rode your bike every day and now you rarely ride it. For a time, you were fascinated with historical genealogy and at some point, chose to close the book on it (literally) and went on to study physics. 

The constant is change. When you refocus your interest, it doesn't affect the value of what you used to do — biking or genealogy. It just means that we are now walking a different path. 

Knowing about biking or genealogy might even give us an edge on the new path we are pursuing. Say, for instance, you're now selling bicycles and you have knowledge to impart to a customer as a former bicycler.   

RELATED: You Can Find True Love After Divorce — But There's Something You Need To Do First

As that relates to relationships, it could be that living with Carl and understanding his ways helps you to be more patient and respectful with your next friend, Earl, and his ways. 

People change, whether they're married or single

What once was a wonderfully engaging interaction may not continue as such because personality, needs, interests, and desires have changed. Or maturity sets in. Or you get over your naivete. Or you decide to take an alternate route. 

What has failed then? It could be that when we’ve bought into a cultural idea that relationships are not to end, we refuse to see or accept the signs of withering or oncoming death.

Yet, people really do change without anyone to blame. 

When you accept change without condemning yourself and insinuating failure, you're flowing with life. 

With change as the only constant, you may want to adjust your view of stability. Stability is not remaining the same but trusting yourself as you flow with change.

RELATED: 4 False Ways Single People Think Being In A Relationship Will Make Their Life Better

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Recently, someone asked me if I was still seeing "Joseph". When I said, "No,” she asked, "Why? What happened?"

It seems my friend was looking for a story or drama that would make "breakup" understandable. I said, "It ran its course. It was complete."

How about that! 

What if we decide to let go of right and wrong and just accept that relationships, like all things, end, and when they do new ones crop up? I bet you have a few examples of your own.    

For Mrs. D and others like her, here are 3 ways to adjust to big changes in your relationship.

1. Release your marriage as though it's been completed.

If it wasn’t over after all, it will come back. Remember the good experiences — what you learned, how you grew, and the fun you experienced.    

Remembering that the good helps to establish an image of success. You succeeded in your marriage and now it's time to release it with appreciation. 

2. Look for kindness, love, gentleness and beauty in the world daily. 

This will help to keep your mind open and train it in positivity and possibility. 

3. Focus on caring about others. 

Get involved in "giving" programs. Touch lives with money, service, energy and love. Giving causes you to take attention from yourself and your needs and evokes a new, fresh perspective. 

Giving promotes happiness and self-worth.

Remember, good feelings must be nurtured. The fact is that if your marriage or relationship is done, then you are in a new phase of life. 

What does this new era hold for you? Maybe it's time to explore the possibilities. Follow these suggestions and you will open your way to a new life that fits perfectly with who you are now.

RELATED: 9 Game-Changing Relationship Rules The Happiest Couples Follow

Jean Walters is a best-selling author. You can find her books on Amazon or visit her website.

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