Dare to dream again: 3 keys to imaging your life after divorce

On Behalf of | May 20, 2016 | Divorce

You need to make rational decisions now, even if you seem overwhelmed by emotion.

Scientists who study the brain now say that emotions are the overlay in which our rational brain tries to function. Integrating emotion is vital to our overall mental health.

In other words, the rational brain is not primary. It is deeply intertwined with the emotional side of our nature.

If you are going through a divorce, this means that you’ve got to acknowledge your emotions. You can’t try to make rational decisions about property division, coparenting plans and other important matters unless you try to integrate your emotions into those decisions.

Grieving your loss can open up the rest of your life to new growth.

Some couples drift apart over years of marriage. Others break up after terrible conflict – the kinds of stresses produced by what marriage therapist John Gottman calls the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

Sometimes divorce is a mutual decision. Other times one spouse wants it and forces the issue with the other. Research shows that women are more likely to initiate divorce than men.

No matter how your marriage ended, however, moving forward involves releasing your anger and dealing with your grief. Only then can you fully open yourself up to the chapters of your life that remain to be written.

This is true whether you wanted the divorce or not.

Dare to dream again.

And so the journey continues. As the poet Theodore Roethke said in “The Waking,” you “learn by going where you have to go.”

You commit to working your way through grief. You get capable legal counsel to guide you through the decisions to be made in the divorce process.

And in doing these things, you open yourself to a new life. After what may have seemed like a nightmare, you can dare to dream again.