Blue Lady

Digesting a divorce and picking up the pieces by Beverley Marcus (Clinical Psychologist)

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you” Maya Angelou

How does one begin to digest a divorce, to pick up the pieces and bear the unbearable?

Divorce changes the way in which we construct our world. It turns a believed to be solid ground into sinking sand, until you realize that the ground was never solid to begin with. It is a trauma that leaves one with a shattered sense of trust. There is no easy way forward, it’s a painful plodding along and it has devastating effects on ones sense of self-worth, desirability and capacity to engage with the world and others as well as a fear of forming and getting involved in new relationships.

All of the unprocessed emotions that result not only from the divorce itself, but often the events leading up to the divorce sit undigested inside you. There is little space or capacity to engage with life and the emotional pain can be paralyzing. One is left with the choice of remaining stuck in  suffering or facing and being freed from the pain…

Our wounds are often the openings to the best and most beautiful parts of us” David Richo

Therapy provides a safe space to bear all of the unbearable feelings associated with divorce, it is a place to hold a mirror to where you are, where you have been and the ways in which you are coping (or not coping) with divorce. Finding a therapist  that you can really connect with opens up the possibility to not only process the trauma of divorce, but to gently access and understand the often repeated patterns that resulted in you coming face to face with the very thing you feared the most. It isn’t easy to open your eyes to things you chose not to see or perhaps really didn’t see. As a therapy process unfolds, the narrative that was rationalized in order to continue in what felt “safe and known” is slowly deconstructed and a continued spiral of suffering can finally come to an end. It is painful to face our truth, but pain can be dealt with. As the pain is processed and digested, the unbearable becomes bearable and new space is created for healthier and happier experiences. It is not the pain, but the ongoing suffering that leaves us feeling so stuck. Suffering should be feared far more than facing the pain.

When one has been through any trauma, divorce included, the trauma becomes part of one’s life story, but it doesn’t need to be the experience that defines you. The courage and willingness to get deeply in touch with yourself is an incredibly freeing experience. To discover, in a supportive relationship, what unconsciously drove you to choose the partner you chose and endure the agony that comes with divorce is a paradoxical gift that opens a world of new possibilities. Nobody consciously chooses a marriage that will end in divorce, and it is never about blaming yourself, but rather discovering the parts of you that for some reason didn’t believe enough in yourself and finding the you that is worthy of so much more.

In the words of Sigmund Freud My love is something valuable to me which I ought not to throw away without reflection”.

Beverley can be contacted on 0835011086


  1. Sharon Singh

    Hi I am going through a divorce and i am hurting a lot would like to join councilling sessions or a support group that would help me through. Please could u be so kind as to give me information . Thank u.

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