No two ways about it–for couples going through divorce, the holidays create an even more difficult layer. Nothing highlights broken dreams quite like a season focused on family harmony. But. . .gratitude brings hope.
Give thanks for past blessings.
Only the rarest couples have been miserable since the day they married. For the rest, something good has happened. Often–many something goods.
When sadness threatens to overwhelm–turn the tide by reviewing these past blessings. Find a quiet spot and pull out a notepad. Record every moment that completes the thought, “My life has been better because we _______________.”
Whether the children you had, the trips you took, the businesses you began, or the hobbies you pursued together–as the number of entries grows, gratitude softens sadness. We can’t change our past. So, the next best option is to grab the best of the past and celebrate it.
Give thanks for present blessings.
As people move through divorce, they learn a lot. Often you learn the most about yourself. What have you learned about how you engage in relationships? About what you want from a spouse? About what you want from yourself? The lessons from this relationship will help make other relationships stronger.
Other present blessings often include supportive family and friends, ongoing job, and even health. When we stop to consider our most basic abilities–and to imagine how much harder life could be without them–we become more grateful. And gratitude lifts the heart.
Give thanks for future blessings.
Even if you don’t yet know what they might include, give thanks for all the blessings life still holds for you. Life is changing. But, with loss comes the opportunity for gain.
What dreams, activities, or relationships have you foregone for the sake of your marriage? Which of these might you now pursue?
In marriage, we often suppress aspects of ourselves to blend with the other person. Are there now opportunities for you to bring out elements of you? At the same time, have marital patterns pressed you into behaviors you would like to change? Take this new phase as an opportunity to grow into the person you long to be.
The greatest opportunity for gain might come in learning to walk more closely with and to depend more deeply on those who nurture you. When marriages struggle, often people become isolated–afraid to let others know the hardship and pain. The finality of divorce offers the opportunity to openly rely on trusted supports–be they family, friends, or God. Deeper relationships may be one of the greatest fruits you gain.
Echart Tolle notes, “Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.” For all those dreading the added grief, the holidays may bring, a little encouragement. Try acknowledging the good you already have. May this become a foundation for future abundance.
If you would like help processing through marital difficulties or divorce, please call 317-344-9740 or email info@TheResolutionCenterIndy.com. We look forward to serving you.