Divorce is a mixed bag of tricks and I have never had the luxury of falling out of love before the final parting. It would be so much easier.
After a lengthy separation, it was clear that although my husband and I still felt love for each other, neither of us was willing to compromise on key value differences that had surfaced. The time had come to let go and move on. You would think that the months of living apart could have covered some pre-work in the grieving process. It is the logic that if you know someone you love is dying, you have time to prepare yourself and it won't hurt as bad when it happens. But the psyche appears to have no protection against the final blow.
So I began another dance with Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’s grief cycle of Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance. Not necessarily in that order.
Each change brought another loss and its challenge to either wallow in what was – or what we wished it was – or walk in what is and make a go-forward plan. When I couldn’t pretend it wasn’t happening, I felt angry. When the bargaining didn’t work out the way I had hoped, I became depressed. When neither of us could bridge the gap that threatened us, I blamed God, which took me to an entirely different level of rage.
Here are the things I had to learn about letting go of life’s inevitable losses, no matter who started it:
Kim Halsey is a human resource professional and executive coach who helps people overcome life damaging habits, restore important relationships, and live their dreams without drama.