As you launch into the recovery process, consider the feelings and the tasks you should handle during each stage. By dealing with the feelings for that one stage only, and by keeping your focus limited to your primary task, your recovery will be accelerated--and accompanied by less guilt.
Following is a simplified list of what your feelings and your tasks should be in each stage. Remember that you will not be able to perfectly follow this chart--your emotions will bounce around among the stages. That’s okay--you’re normal.
Feelings: Anger, loneliness, depression, indignation, sadness, rage, failure, plus many more related to being abandoned.
Tasks: Feel your feelings. Write them out. Share them with a few close friends, a counselor and God. Allow no self-blame at this stage.
Feelings: Let your heart feel the painful questions, "What part did I have in the breakup? Can I honestly give up on this marriage without trying my very best to restore it? What steps should I take now?"
Tasks: Take responsibility only for yourself. Don’t accept blame for your mate’s part in the marriage failure. Focus on controlling and stabilizing yourself. You can’t control your mate, but you can control yourself. Blaming your mate, focusing on the past and beating up on yourself will be counter-productive.
Feelings: Affirm yourself for doing your best.
Tasks: Release your past marriage and your former mate to God. Redirect your thoughts away from past pain to your future. Trust God to work to heal the past and give you a future of hope.
Again, remember that you are unique. You probably will not feel and do things exactly as this outline says. Its purpose is to reduce guilt and to help you know what is common to many people in your situation. Treat yourself with tenderness--don’t put unrealistic expectations on yourself.
Conway / Farrel Articles ~ Reprint by permission only, ©2011
Midlife Dimensions ~ www.Midlife.com
The Conways and Farrels are international speakers and popular authors.
Midlife Dimensions is a ministry founded by the Conways and continued by the Farrels.