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When going through a divorce there are bound to be days when you have doubts about your decision; whether you can make it on your own, about the children, about living single, about finances. Thoughts of reconciliation may occur as you travel along this path.

Sometimes reconciliation can work; however, without couples therapy and lots of hard work, couples frequently fall back into old habits and patterns.

 Here’s a way to reflect on your doubt; imagine the marriage you would like to have with this person. Visual the changes you would like to see. Now ask yourself… is it possible? Really possible?

 Our visualizations often include assigning values, attitudes and personality traits to your partner that do not exist. You describe the man you would want him to be, rather than the man he is. For example, “If he only stopped drinking”, “If he only wasn’t so controlling”, “If he only would give up his girlfriend” are a few of the caveats I often hear. Now let’s say that anything is possible and he is willing and you go to couples therapy; you work hard and you both change. Now ask yourself this . . . Would it really be enough? If your answer is no, then you are on the right path.

 Many women who have reached this point say that nothing would be enough. The truth is even if their partner changed in every way they want them to, the pain, deception, betrayal, and loss of trust is so great that nothing- even a major personality over haul-could change those feelings. If you are one of those women who struggle with doubts, honor your decision to divorce and realize you are on the right track. You aren’t a failure or a quitter; you have merely learned when to cut your losses and you are honoring your truth.

 The desire to reconcile is often the desire to return to a known entity- to a familiar way of being. It is often the fear of the unknown rather than a true desire to reconcile marriage. Some women change their mind and try again—not because they think it can work out successfully, but because they are afraid. Whether you stay or you go, the reality is that the future is always an unknown. But making decisions that are based on truth rather than fear, you make a healthier choice and that puts you in charge of your life and your destiny.

 Recognizing that you choose not to go backwards, frees you up to embrace the present with conviction and move toward the future with hope and optimism. We cannot fully grieve a loss when we hold onto even a glimmer of hope of reconciliation. Accepting that reconciliation is not a true option but rather a reaction to your fear, can free you to face the future without the complicated “what ifs.”

 

Donna F. Ferber, LPC, LADC is a psychotherapist is Farmington, CT and is the author of the award winning From Ex-Wife to Exceptional Life: A Woman’s Journey through Divorce now available in Kindle format for $9.99 as well as in paperback. To purchase Click here or visit www.donnaferber.com

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2 Comments

  1. CJ Golden on the 14. May, 2012 remarked #

    All too often we turn back to the familiar – even if that brings with it pain and sorrow.
    The unforeseen future is frightening but we need to remember the limitless possibilities it holds for us.

  2. Jane on the 14. May, 2012 remarked #

    Hi Donna,
    My brother, has been forwarding some of these emails to me. I find them very helpful I filed for divorce earlier this year. I am struggling from time to time but these short essays are very validating and informative! Thank you for what you do!

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