If we relied upon our cheater’s income, we loose financial security. We all loose money and material things both to obtain a divorce plus to divide up the marriage “goods.”
Next come some less tangible losses. If we have children, some of us loose time with them. Many of us lose “friends” and family.
We might loose status in the “Christian” community now that we are no longer the traditional “intact” family. All of us loose dreams with the divorce.
The future is no longer what we thought it would be.
Some of us struggle to figure out our identity apart from being married to the cheater. Our routines are disrupted. Others of us mourn the loss of shared history.
Grief is unique to each individual. So, each of us will weigh the associated losses differently. One loss might matter more than another.
For example, I struggled mightily with the losses of shared history and dreams.
It still stings in a bittersweet way when I hear stories of people married for seventy plus years. This was my dream for my first marriage. It was taken with the adultery and divorce.
The shared history loss was about not marrying someone who had known me as a collegiate athlete. I had to make peace with this loss.
The important thing about associated losses is to see and acknowledge them without judgment.
If I cannot see them, I cannot acknowledge them. If I cannot acknowledge them, I cannot accept them, which means I will remain stuck in the grief.
Be kind to yourself during this journey of grief. The key to making it through grief is to treat yourself like you would a dear friend.
A good friend does not condemn you for your feelings. They do not call it “silly” or “stupid” when you feel sad about a loss. Instead, a good friend validates your feelings and gives you a safe space to be honest about how you feel.
*A version ran previously.
Republished with permission from www.divorceminister.com.