Divorce: The Only Time We Die, Yet Live To Talk About It

Divorce is one of the only times in life a human will die, go through the stages of grief, and live to talk about it. The process is accompanied by a level of pain comparable to a death, or what one might experience with a serious illness.

There are several stages to the grieving process that can last for any amount of time. It all depends on how big the loss was. But to most, a broken marriage is a huge loss. Even more so if children are involved.

Shock & Denial is where the grieving process begins when a relationship ends. The shock is much worse if your spouse has already moved on with someone else. You may find yourself saying “This is not happening” “We were suppose to ____!” “I didn’t see this coming!” “None of this is my fault!” “Well maybe if I would have___.” You may even find yourself not taking him or her seriously about the divorce. You may be avoiding the issue in hopes that they change their mind.

Anger & Hatred  are by far the worst phases; aside from depression. We begin to get mad at ourselves, and the other person. Often times, we are mad at the world. Everyone is out to get us!

The anger phases comes and goes throughout the process. I have found that people often bounce back and forth between stages one, two, and three. At times we might think we have entered the next phase of grief, then a previous stage surfaces unexpectedly. Sometimes it can surface just by looking at the other person.

Anger can last for many years. Perhaps forever once it takes root. It truly varies from person to person. 

Bargaining is something we do to try and hold on to the relationship and it often occurs at the same time as phase one, denial. It goes hand in hand with denial. “I will do ___ if you take me back”, “I will buy you ___” “We can go on a trip” “Look, I finally got you that ____ that you wanted”. We sometimes even begin to bargain with God. “Lord if you fix this I will never ______ again!” “God if you ____ I will ____.

Depression can be a scary stage of grief. It is important to keep activities scheduled to keep from slipping into a deep depression. Surround yourself with loved ones and positive people. With depression one loses interest in normal activities, they oversleep or don’t get enough sleep, and the eating habits are comparable to the sleeping. They are either eating a lot, or very little at all. They may have suicidal thoughts, and struggle just to get out of bed. They are remembering only good things about the relationship. And they have very little interest in their life. They feel hopeless.

Acceptance  is when we begin to pick up the pieces. We can take the positive things we learned by having the relationship, and simply chalk up the loss. We see that there is hope. Yes, there is some light at the end of that dark tunnel. 

Once one reaches the stage of acceptance, they have regained more control of their new life. It gives them more control of their destiny. They realize that they can do it! It is when they begin to dream again, discover themselves, and begin to truly live.

I once read somewhere that it takes approximately 3-6 months for every year you were married to complete all 5 phases of grieving. From what I have seen, that number is fairly accurate. There is life after divorce. It just doesn’t truly begin until we have grieved the loss, learned our lesson that was intended for us to learn in that relationship, and move on. In doing that we have discovered who we are again, and may even get down the road and be thankful for that loss.

Healing, takes time. And time, heals. Most of the time it heals anyway.

© Angela Bininger and The Empowerer, 2009-2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this websites author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.  

Single Moms vs. Wannabe’s


I hear the term single mom often; it is  my life. There is a sense of pride with the title, along with a sense if shame. Most of us intended to raise our children with a partner.  However, for various reasons it didn’t work out. So here we are, truly single and raising children.

When I was married I often said “I’m a single mom with a marriage license.”  I felt very alone and single when it came to rearing the children. He would often come home from work late and the kids were already bathed and in bed. The norm was for the kids to see their dad on Sundays.

When it came to their schooling, doctor’s visit’s, sports activities etc.; it was all me. I did everything but pay the bills and felt I had a right to call myself a single mom. Now I realize, I did not have that right. Nor do other married people who say such a thing. We each played a valuable role, but by falling into traditional gender roles we in time lost respect for one another.

The truth is; A single mom lives alone. She works as many jobs as she needs. She refuses to fail. She refuses to live under someone’s thumb.  She has respect for herself. She will not allow to fear to dictate her life. She is the nurturer, the protector, and the provider. She is an inspiration to those that are miserable and to those who are waiting to take the leap.

She is often judged by catty pampered women, and not respected as much as she should be. She is discriminated against often, but each day she rises again. And each day she succeeds one more time because he is determined. She finds herself doing things she has never done before. She has a strength that can not be explained, and a strength she didn’t know she had.

At least this single mom does anyway….

© Angela Bininger and The Empowerer, 2009-2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this websites author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Angela Bininger and The Empowerer with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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How To Reconcile After Your Divorce

The level of damage caused by both parties must be taken into account when reconciliation is being considered. Each party has experienced pain, loss, and a multitude of other emotions. Some wounds can heal quickly. However, it will take much needed time regardless of the size of the injury.

Steps To Reconciliation:

1. Respect one another when it comes to personal space! You will both need time to heal, however, do not put too much distance. Distance when a relationship is already struggling can make the reconciliation process even more complicated.

2. Communicate about everything, and withhold nothing. If you truly want to make it work you must lay all of the cards on the table. Refraining from being honest will only do more damage.

3. Figure out what it was that attracted them to you in the first place, and zoom in on it!

4. Attend a marriage seminar or couples retreat. There are plenty across the country, and likely one in your area.

5. Assess exactly it went wrong as well as what changes either of you have made; in order to prevent another breakup.

6. If you were the one that treated your spouse poorly you should be eating, sleeping, and breathing the words I’m sorry. However, words aren’t everything. Your actions will speak much louder. Be genuine!

7.  Let them see you at your best. Don’t mope around allowing yourself to slip into depression. Reinvent yourself. Become interesting again. Make them wonder what they are missing.

8. If you have children, do not use them to bargain. Do not even let them know that reconciliation is something you are considering. They can see you interacting in a civil manner as adults, however, until reconciliation is guaranteed you must leave them out of it.

9. In every interaction you should be positive, and appear happy. You are on top of the world!

10. Send a random text when you are driving past that place that is special to the two of you.

11. Don’t be afraid to show that your vulnerable side. Tell him/her exactly how you feel. Doing this in doses seems to work best. Sometimes if you lay it on thick all the time, it will have the opposite affect and push them the other way. Tell them how you feel, then back off if they aren’t ready to hear your feelings. Be patient. You may have to do this for months or possibly years, reminding them occasionally that you are still there, and do indeed still love him/her. Sometimes one will remain in “victim” mode for a very long time. When they are in victim mode, they can’t grasp much of what you say. You are that nagging ex! So tread lightly during this step.

12. Fix yourself! When a marriage ends it is because 2 people are broken. Now is a good time for personal counseling if couples counseling is not an option. Dig deep, read a lot of self-help books, and learn everything you have forgotten or have never known about you.

13. Don’t lose hope! Couples reunite every day.  Although there is no secret formula, once hope is lost you can guarantee that reconciliation will never happen.

14. Re-establish your friendship with one another. Get back to the roots from which that mighty tree came from!

© Angela Bininger and The Empowerers, 2009-2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this websites author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Angela Bininger and The Empowerer with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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