In this new blog post, Dr. Jim gives us insights about what recent divorced person should do and if a Christian single should date a recent divorcé. Here’s how to help someone after a divorce and how to build your life again if you went through a divorce recently.
There is a repeated fact that keeps surfacing in emails to me. It relates to those who are currently or who have recently (2 years) gone through a divorce. The fact is that these individuals are not ready to consider a new relationship. They think that they are ready and often set out to develop new relationships. A sincere desire is present to move on from the hurts of the past and apply the lessons in future relationships. Unfortunately there are many things at work within their dynamics that keep them from being able to have an objective perspective.
I am totally for everyone gaining insights from the past and moving forward. God’s forgiveness and grace clearly illustrate that this is in His heart too. However there is a process that each one must go through to gain health and perspective that allows them to fully understand the lessons from the past and how they apply to the future.
Many times a person coming out of a divorce is energized and full of life. They have such a release from past weights and enjoyment of life is at the head of their list. They are fun to be around and the energy behind their verbal desires for the future is compelling. I suspect that for most of these their comments are sincere and the truth – as they understand them. Their appetite for ‘normalcy’ clouds their vision and they quickly latch on to someone that ‘appears’ to look attractive and compatible to them. I see them as an iceberg with about 10% of reality above the surface and 90% below the surface yet to be revealed.
IF YOU ARE RECENTLY (PAST 2 YEARS) DIVORCED:
Relax! Your world will settle down again and fulfillment is in your future IF you take the time to heal from the past and process through all of your body, mind, and spirit.
See a good counsellor. I cannot over emphasize this element. My experience has shown that no one fully understands how much he or she have been traumatized or impacted from the past. The divorce did not develop in a day but was a culmination of events over an extended period of time. Our spirits NEVER forget an experience and these experiences lie within us to surface again in a future choice. Unless one takes the time to uncover these forces and process them in a healthy way, they are feeding future hurts. Almost 70% of second marriages end in a divorce. Intending to not repeat a mistake is not sufficient to keep it from recurring.
Build deep friendships first with those in your own gender. Get your balance before venturing further.
Next, pursue developing friendships with the opposite gender within groups such as a singles group at a church. Test your relationship skills again in this environment. Do not be lured by the first member of the opposite gender that shows you attention into thinking that this is your lost soul mate. Take your time and enjoy the experience.
Purpose that you will not allow yourself to quickly fall into love when you do begin to date. Understanding another person fully takes time. It will be time well spent. Accountability partners of your own gender can be very helpful.
FOR THOSE CONSIDERING DATING A PERSON RECENTLY DIVORCED PERSON:
Don’t! Be their friend but keep them at an arm’s length. Their words and attention will be very attractive but experience shows us that they really do not know ‘fully’ what they are doing. They are most likely trying to fill a void without having a definition of what that is. Do not be a part of their experiment.
Encourage them to grow and to take the time to process through the past to a healthy and bright future.
Pray for them – for their protection, God’s guidance and His blessings.
I realize that what I have shared is very black and white and difficult for many to accept. It is not given out of a desire to make life difficult. Rather it is shared from a heart that wants single adults to experience less pain and more REAL joy. There are so many wonderful marriages that God is able to bless because they took the time to process their relationship fully.
Life is not over! No matter what your age you have a lot of future ahead of you. Make wise choices so that you can realize the most enjoyment and peace possible.