DIVORCE RECOVERY and GRIEFTALK

MANY OF THE SAME QUESTIONS ARE ASKED:

What is happening to me?

Effects of Losing a Spouse through Divorce or Death:

1) Emotional instability- “I’m losing my mind”

2) Shame- “I feel judged” (Even in a death, if the survivor doesn’t “grieve correctly’ they may be
shunned……)

3) Low energy- “So tired” (Situational depression)

4) Stress and anxiety- “Wear and tear” (Often the spouse did certain tasks…checkbook,
driving,errands, intimacy…)

5) Confusion- “You can’t function”

a) Why won’t the pain end?

b) How long will I love my them?

c) Why do I feel relief? (The conclusion of a lengthy illness or a sick relationship can bring
closure)

6) Accepting what is happening isn’t easy ( with death you miss them, with divorce they may
drive by in the car with someone else)

a) Don’t deny pain

b) Don’t start a new relationship (too soon….) *unless you are 80

c) Reset expectations (if I am not to be alone, what will it take for me to succeed in “love”?

GOD’s Message to You- “I am …despised by my neighbors- even my friends are afraid to come near me. When they see me in the streets they run the other way. I am ignored as if I were dead, as if I were a broken pot.” (Psalm 31:11-12 NLT)

You may ask “HOW LONG WILL I LIVE WITH THIS PAIN?” (Will I  Ever be Happy Again? I Can’t Stand This!
Where do I Go From Here? I feel literally TORN from my spouse, my dreams, my life…

Grieving Your Marriage

Don’t avoid it
1. Don’t rush yourself
2. Take a personal inventory
3.Take care of your body

Roadblocks to Recovery

Stuck in your past ( you don’t live there anymore)
1. Being unsafe (you don’t have to test the waters)
2. Making widowhood/ divorce your identity IT isn’t your name
3.Numbing pain (drugs, alcohol, sex, work…don’t solve it) **Anybody remember the George Jones
song “He stopped loving her today”?
4. Unnecessary sufferings (pick and choose what works for you)

God’s message to you: “the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the broken hearted…to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion….Isaiah 61:1-3

In unexpected Death or a Divorce, there is a lot to be angry about!

(a feeling of) Betrayal by the one who is closest to you
1. Hurt by lies
2. Loss of dreams, plans and possessions
3. Debt
4. Loss of Reputation

ANGER IS LIKE KUDZU…IT GROWS FAST AND CHOKES OUT EVERYTHING ELSE!

Anger

Sometimes you should be angry (but do not sin)
1. When is it appropriate?
2. What is the cause and how can I respond?
3. It is evaluated by GOD?

Unhealthy Anger

1.Violence (you can’t kill em, even if you want to)
2. Suppressing it (suck it in until you pop)
3. Passive-Aggressive Behavior- (let’s act nice but be mean underneath)
4. Getting Revenge (isn’t that a TV show???)

Healthy Expressions of Anger

1. Release inappropriate control (your spouse didn’t listen to you when you were married and
they won’t listen now)
2. Avoid high conflict situations
3. Exercise (burn that energy)
4. Remember that GOD is our model…remember how kind God has been to you. Remember that you are
not alone.

GOD’s message to you: “In your anger do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the Devil a foothold.” Ephesians

How do you make heads or tails of the confusion and conflicting opinions about how GOD views divorce?

What does the BIBLE say?

What is marriage?
1. God’s idea
2. covenant (contract) relationship
3. permanent relationship
4. a symbol

Unbiblical Grounds for divorce

incompatability- honestly, isn’t every couple incompatable? After all, John Gray said “Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus?

1. “we don’t love each other anymore” – moods and feelings could vary day to day…
2. “it is better for the kids” STATISTICS say…”that is not true”
3. “Somebody told me that since I was married before that this isn’t a legitimate marriage and
I can leave”   Two wrongs don’t make a right!
Biblical Grounds for Divorce
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1. Immorality – specifically sexual intimacy with another with another. I would say that
violence is immoral also….
2. Abandonment by the non- Christian spouse – not difference of opinion * the ways laws are
written, you can't force someone to stay.

How do I know what to do?
1. Prayer…..Meditate….Fasting
2. Bible Study- you must study in context
3. The Holy Spirit….counselor
4. Get wise counsel- involve your church leaders and Christian counselors
5. SEEK reconciliation FIRST. Honestly, there is a lot of history with your spouse. Can you
forgive them or accept forgiveness from them? Are you looking to “find better”?

“The decrees of the LORD are firm and all of them are righteous. They are more precious than gold….in keeping them there is much reward”

IF you worry that your situation is unmanageable, know that GOD can handle it. Put serving HIM first and all these other things will be taken care of…..

Game Plan: Stay married if possible! If your spouse has sinned (sexually or other sins that cannot be lived with) and will not change, you will probably get divorced. If you are the “cause’ of the divorce by sin remember that GOD can forgive you. If you are content to serve GOD and live single (celebate, alone) that is good. If desire overwhelms you and sin is a problem, you may marry to remove this temptation. But be faithful. DON’T make the same mistakes again.

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