Friday, November 2, 2012




The grief process must be pursued within the heart and cannot be
hurried. It takes a great deal of time; even a year or more. Here is
where a great many get caught on the rebound. They look for someone or something to silence that pain. This always ends up in disaster.

Jumping into another relationship only hides the grief for a little
while. It will surface again and must be dealt with, sooner or later.
Second marriages are destroyed by this process. One or both
parties have not permitted the grieving process to run its course.

This may be the worse pain you have ever had to endure. The death of a relationship (divorce) has been found to be the most stressful and painful experience known. It is not an actual death, where one can finalize the grieving process and they never see the person again. The death of a relationship is as painful as loosing a loved one except
they are still around as a reminder, and fuel negative emotions like
bitterness, Unforgiveness, fear, hate and so on. Naturally this
knowledge will not lessen the pain, or minimize your grief. What it
does do is assist you in giving yourself up to it, giving you courage
in knowing it will one day be over with. Giving yourself up to it
is the only way to start the healing and obtaining a complete healing.

This is where Jesus comes in.
God will walk you through this extremely painful and trying ordeal in
grace and love. He gives a peace that goes beyond anything you can
imagine. Going through this process is a given; you need to complete
it, in order to save your sanity. Responding favorably will cause you
to grow stronger than ever. Either way you will be a new person.
Positive or negative is up to you.

I. Shock
Some never go through a prolonged stage of shock and are able to
express their emotions immediately. Others will say, "I feel numb"
without any real emotional expression. This could be a type of denial
and is very destructive. Eventually it comes out one way or another,
positive or negative. Children will bury their shock, because they do
not want to believe the two people they love and trust the most, hate
one another. It can come out in the form of bedwetting; silence;
diminished appetite; withdrawal; or sleeplessness.

II. Emotional Release
This is where a person begins to feel and hurt. Many people start
here. Grieving in tears is good; possibly the greatest relief, because
tears wash the heart. If a person, particularly a child, isn’t able to
express these emotions, they will manifest in another way, either
physically or emotionally. Unfortunately, many partners blame the
emotional pain children feel on the other partner, which only builds
more unhealthy feelings in the children. The children know better and
it will backfire one day.

Some need to be induced to cry or express themselves. This is
particularly true with men and male children. If this is not expressed
in a controlled way, later on in life it might be expressed in an
uncontrolled way, causing everyone around them to experience their
grief inappropriately. Generally the parent they’re with is blamed for
the pain, because they are viewed as the one that would not allow them to grieve. Here we can see how years later another relationship is destroyed.

In our culture men are not allowed to cry, but it should be
encouraged! Harboring Unforgiveness magnifies everything and delays the recovery process. It numbs the guilt and makes sinning easier, and it fosters bitterness.

III. Preoccupation With The Ex-Partner
Try as you might, you may find yourself preoccupied with thoughts of
the other person; unable to shift your thoughts. This will get better
as time goes on. Thinking negatively through resentment could be very damaging and can cause deep wounds that take forever to heal. It can even destroy future relationships.

Forgiveness is the key. What you do with those feelings will determine the kind of person you become. It will contribute in determining what kind of people your children will become.

Some people feel married for long periods of time after the divorce,
which is normal, because they have bonded. Most even feel an elevated love for the ex-spouse.

IV. Some Symptoms of Physical and Emotional Distress
These symptoms or distresses may come in many forms; in waves, lasting anywhere from several minutes to even an hour or so.

The most common are:
Tightness in the throat.
Choking, with shortness of breath.
A need for sighing
Empty hollow feeling in the stomach.
Lack of muscle control (bedwetting)
Digestive disorders
Lack of appetite
Uncontrolled eating.

Note: Watch for these symptoms in children and see if they last longer than a few hours.

Associated with the physical distress may be certain emotional

The most common are:

Slight sense of unreality.
Feelings of emotional distance from people (no one cares)
Feeling “shadowy” or very “small”
Self Destruction
A desire to run away

Feelings like this can cause you to think you’re losing your sanity,
or approaching insanity, but they are all normal. Its how you deal
with them that counts. Children experience the same feelings that
adults do; watch them, especially teenagers. It isn’t uncommon for
children to attempt suicide. Be very careful not to contribute to
their justification for such a thing.

V. Hostility
These feelings can be surprising and inexplicable. They can make you
feel like you’re going insane. Anger may be directed towards the other partner; their lover; the children; family; even God, but this is very normal. It is what you do with the anger that counts.
Understand that the other partner is going to go through this, as well
as the children. Children can “lock up” emotionally and it will come
out in other areas of their lives later on; possibly in their own
marriages. It must be expressed.

VI. Guilt
There is always some sense of guilt in this process; thoughts of,
“could I have done something different?”, or, “its all ‘their’ fault.”
Its tempting to relieve the guilt by converting it to blame, but
remember; two people cannot live together without some hurt being
done. Feeling guilty is normal, but converting it to “blame” is
disastrous. It halts the healing process; stops it dead in its tracks.

VII Depression
Many feel total despair; unbearable loneliness; hopelessness;
detachment. Nothing seems worthwhile. These feelings are far more
intense for those who live alone or have very little family support. A
good support system is extremely important (support groups, church,
clubs, etc.). This type of depression seems awful, but is actually a
part of the healing, and will do a wondrous work within you.

VIII. Withdrawal
Some withdraw from social activities and relationships. Daily routines
are severely disrupted. This is normal but not healthy. It becomes a
place to hide; a fortress of solitude. Once the walls are up they’re
very difficult to penetrate. Most need a lot of encouragement to leave
their solitude.

IX. The Light At the End of the Tunnel
Time and the Holy Spirit will finally produce a better situation.
Suddenly there is light. The dark cloud of gloom dissipates; life
comes back into focus, and you begin to move forward. This only
happens if you have been honest with yourself; only if you’ve resisted
the temptation to take a big mental, emotional, or spiritual step

X. Times of Readjustment
There will be moments and seasons where you will feel a touch of the
grief again. I call this a wave. This is very normal and will diminish
as time passes. It is important to express your feelings.

To get to the last two stages, you must experience the first eight,
but people try to avoid the extreme pain of the grieving process and
inflict permanent deep wounds that may never heal. They come out later in the form of bitterness; Unforgiveness, and hate for the ex-partner.

These very same effects manifest in the children. In turn, bitterness;
Unforgiveness and hate become a part of their character. This is very
unfortunate. They learn to hate and run instead of to love and

In walking through this process, you will emerge a better person.
Allow it to complete its work and you and your children will grow in
leaps and bounds.

Jesus will be there with you, if you allow Him.
His love and grace will cover you like a warm blanket.

By Greg Ewert / Copyright 1996/All Rights Reserved