Divorce: The end or the beginning?

Most people may have had the experience of those early morning dreams that so vividly make us experience a second life where rules are reversed, the gains have become losses and losses have become everyday presences. We then wake up and for a moment we look around to reassign things their rightful place in our real life, until we are ready, reassured by this order, to start our day.

Surviving divorce can be like waking up from the early morning dream to find that reality is no better or different than that other virtual space, and to confront the fact that something has been re-arranged, if not all, and we cannot get our bearings or the meaning of what we find around us.

When this happens, it is hard to get up and go about the ephemera of our daily routine. This experience is disconcerting enough as it is, so what if, on top of our dismay, we also reflect upon the fact that we may be past our prime years, and the grey in our hair signals that the end of the road is getting near. Times of major change are hard; losing one’s partner, stability, home, financial security, reputation – these are all elements that temporarily endanger the ability to survive as a fully functioning human being. Like all bereavements, loss demands time in order to heal and to transform itself into something else. The cure in these situations is patience and an act of faith – the belief that life goes on.

When divorce hits us at midlife, the loss comes at a time of big readjustments. Midlife, like adolescence, is the moment for fundamental questions and for reorganising one’s existence accordingly to their answers. There is opportunity in loss, for greater gain. Loss of youth as loss of marriage can open the path towards new possibilities. This is a fertile season for new beginnings fed by one’s own experience, for bringing back all those dreams and passions that had to give way to duties and commitments. Psychotherapy can offer support during the hardship of a divorce and a Life Review Therapy has often proven to generate a deeper evaluation and understanding of one’s potentials and the will to create a new beginning.