If you’ve been reading about The Road Through Recovery after divorce, it is an easy, sensible way to pinpoint exactly where we are “stuck” or “in pain.” There are five phases within it. It is a cycle of feelings we experience in the divorce recovery process. This post is about the last phase, Reality.
Here’s an infographic of the Road.
If you missed any of the previous posts on the phases. Here is a little about them:
You may be stuck in the Rejection phase if you don’t accept the reality of your life as it is now. Refusing to accept the “here and now” means not allowing the feelings you need to cope with in order to begin the healing process.
The second phase, Resentment, simply means that although you let the conflicting feelings come in and you experience them, you have trouble handling them in a responsive manner. It is easy to fall into the trap of victimhood.
Renegotiation is the third phase whereby you want to replay the past so that there is a different outcome. Although, the past is gone and you can’t change it, you may be stuck in the “What if” or “If only” mindset.
Focusing on what you could have done in the past takes away the potential for the future. You can’t change the past, but you are the creator of choices and decisions you make for the future.
Remorse is the fourth phase. You may be stuck here if you find yourself less outgoing and withdraw into yourself. The good news is that you are beginning to accept “what is.” You find yourself taking some time for personal reflection and soul searching. This is healthy. It only becomes unhealthy if you spend more time than is necessary in this space of emotions. It is the precursor to the last phase, Reality.
The Reality phase is the last phase on the Road Through Recovery. During this phase, you acknowledge and accept the reality of your situation. You may still feel pain and loss, but you can live with it now. You may still visit the other phases, but the episodes are less in frequent and intense. No longer do those feelings totally consume you so that there is no space for moving forward.
In this phase, you are ready to extend your arms out and embrace the readiness to move on. Regret and remorse may still be lingering, but you can now see the light at the end of the tunnel with hopeful eyes. It’s not that you are fully recovered and healed from the past, but there is enough space within to change your reality without.
You are ready and have made the decision to embrace a new beginning. There may still be some fear of the unknown but you accept your life as it is now, and you want to begin to create a new, purposeful life going forward.
Barbara was a widow for five years and fell head over heels in love with Troy, in spite of all the “red flags” that were waving before her eyes. He was 52 years old and had never been married. They got married and lived together for 12 years.
Deep down, Barbara was not surprised as the marriage started to unravel. She tried her hardest to make the marriage work, but Troy was nowhere near as enthusiastic as she was. He was not able to adjust to married life after being on his own for all those years. Finally, he filed for divorce.
Troy decided that since he had many good years left, he wanted to either spend them with someone else or enjoy the freedom of being single as he had for so many years before marrying Barbara.
Although Barbara visited a few of the earlier phases, she finally steps in the REALITY phase. She has already seen the reality of the situation as it is and accepts it rather quickly. As I wrote in an earlier article, some may not go through all the phases, and Barbara is one example.
Being financially secure, she also has an edge up on many other women who need to make a lifestyle change after divorce. The burden of finances is obviously not an issue for her as it is for so many others.
As a result of this major change in her life, many things have changed for Barbara. Life is not what it was, but she is ready to make the transition out of staying “stuck“ in the past. She is looking forward to an awesome future of her own design.
Just as Barbara did, once we accept the reality of our situation, we are ready for the next step in divorce recovery, Reconnecting with Self. Some of our roles and identity have changed as a result of our divorce. It is a time of self-care and self-examination in getting reacquainted with who we are now. Barbara begins that work as she passes through The Road Through Recovery.
If this phase on the Road Through Recovery resonates with you, I encourage you to take the REALITY SURVEY. If some of the statements ring true for you, the pages after the survey offer ideas and suggestions you can implement right now.
Learning to change your thinking and focusing on the positive aspects of your situation will help you to move forward. Creating the right action steps to take right now will empower you to take back control over your life.
If you want to discover how to create a more purposeful life after divorce, please watch thisfree webinarand learn three strategies that will help you to create a more purposeful life you would love living.
Does the Reality phase in divorce recovery resonate with you at this time? Are you ready to make a bold move? What action step can you take right now with what you have?