Divorce Recovery (Part Two)

New Grip on Life

  • To begin moving forward, the following steps are necessary:
  1. Forgiveness – Forgiveness is the process of letting go of the past to live fully the present and look forward to the future (Matthew 18:21-22)
  2. Fill Your Bucket – Fill up your bucket with Good Things (e.g. Good Friends, Good Job, Good Support System)
  3. Acceptance – Divorce has happened … finished and klaar!
  4. Find What’s Right – Positive Things you can remember about your marriage
  5. Changing Attitude – Memory is recorded on tapes.  Stop playing old tapes … make new ones!
  6. Remove Reminders – e.g. Ex Spouse’s clothes, cosmetics etc.
  7. Learn From The Past – Recognise weaknesses in order to build strengths


  • Flashbacks are memories from the subconscious.  They can interfere with other relationships.
  • Flashbacks must be seen for what they are … a normal part of the grieving process, no more and no less.

Seeking Forgiveness

  • Forgiveness is a decision, not a feeling.  It is a decision that changes your feelings.
  • Forgiveness frees a person from hate.  Hate destroys the Hater, not the Hatee.
  • If you hold on to a painful past, bitterness becomes your future.
  • We can be able to accomplish the transition from wrongs to forgiveness, just like David (Psalm 51:1-4).


  • In the divorcing process, you cannot keep sitting at the Postmortem … you have to get on with the funeral and burial.
  • Moving on to the Post-burial stage requires making changes.
  • Change (i.e. changing Scars to Stars) takes time.  There is no “Microwave Recovery” in divorce.
  • To take responsibility for the change, a person needs a “Turning Point” to a new life:
  1. Turning to God
  2. Turning to a New Identity
  3. Turning to New Friends
  4. Turning to Self Improvement
  5. Turning to a New Social Structure
  6. Turning to Help

Coping With Your Former Spouse

  • There are five steps a person goes through in a relationship with his/her former spouse:
  1. Vindictive – e.g. One spouse might feel and say inside “I’ll burn you back for this”.
  2. Hostility – Both spouses are usually extremely angry.
  3. Apathy – You get tired of worrying about your Ex … you just don’t really care anymore.
  4. Relief – A person feels relieved to be out of that “mess”.
  5. Okay – The time finally comes when life is okay … you don’t love and you don’t hate your Ex.


  • Here are some guidelines for regaining mastery of your life:
  1. Make a clean break – when the war is lost, get out of it.
  2. Do not make sarcastic remarks – keep the cute and cutting remarks to yourself (e.g. “I see you have gained some weight”).
  3. Give up responsibility for your former spouse – e.g. There is no need to remind your Ex to renew a driver’s licence.
  4. Don’t play games through your children.
  5. Don’t play games yourself – e.g. Driving by your Ex Spouse’s house or following him/her around.
  6. Respect your former Spouse’s independence – you and your spouse have the right to make independent decisions.
  7. Keep the relationship with your former Spouse “businesslike”.

Coping With The Kids

  • Divorce is a family affair.  It affects the whole family.
  • Kids go through many of the same reactions to divorce as adults do.
  • Kids must be allowed to express their anger first.  A child’s moment of anger usually passes quickly.
  • Despite the divorce, the children’s needs are still the same (e.g. love, discipline, friends, consistency, food, shelter, clothes, God).

Rebuilding Self-Esteem

  • Lack of Self Esteem is at the bottom of all problems people have.  It often precedes the divorce.
  • Low Self Esteem nearly always follows the divorce.
  • Self Esteem is essential for receiving abundant life.  You have to feel good about God in order to feel good about yourself, and then reap the Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22).
  • Strong Self esteem can be developed in the following ways:
  1. Realise you are special (Psalms 139:14)
  2. Accumulate Successes
  3. Set Goals
  4. Give Sincere Compliments
  5. Stay in Control of your life (make major decisions)
  6. Being of Service (do something you don’t get paid for)
  7. Have a Sense of Responsibility
  8. Establish Self Discipline

 Presented by: A. Ndlebe                                                                                    Date: 19 February 2011