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The Journey of Becoming a Stranger After Divorce

Moving on After Divorce (piotr mamnaimie)I read an article recently which talked about a woman and her journey of healing after divorce….
“My former husband, the father of my child, the person that was once the man of my dreams and the deliverer of my most profound pain became simply someone I used to know.”

It made me think back to my own past relationships; those that were close and those that changed. When looking back I can recall that same moment for myself when I realized that my pain was gone and that the person in front of me was no more than an old acquaintance. It’s a turning point for everyone after a divorce or breakup and truly signals that you’ve moved on and that the other person has as well. It’s freeing once you realize that change has occurred and that the intimacy that lived in your familiarity is gone. There is no remaining reason to hold onto anything; the anger, guilt, resentment or regret washes away. Those people, that situation, is gone and you are free to walk forward without chains to your past.

The journey to this place isn’t the same for everyone. It may take a few months or a few years, but you will get there as long as you keep moving forward. As they say, ‘time heals all wounds’. While I don’t believe that statement to be true in all circumstances, I do believe it to be true in the case of heartache. When your life situation and focus changes, your heart will as well.

At the end of each chapter in your life, you have the choice of a new path. You have the opportunity to reinvent yourself in many ways and to use the momentum of change to reform your desires. Your heart will continue to grow in new areas and make room for new experiences, people and dreams. While in the moment of relationship despair you may only see darkness, if you step back you can gain an better understanding of the opportunity you are presented with. You can better understand the truth that in time you will again live in joy and peace. You will soon look at this person, no matter how much they have hurt you, and you will smile at the faint memories that remain and appreciate the journey you’ve been on. You too will have a moment in which you realize that, while “Once upon a time his characteristics reminded me of someone I once loved…now they simply remind me of somebody I used to know”.

The Journey of Becoming a Stranger After Divorce

Amy Bellows, PhD

Amy Bellows holds a PhD in Psychology and has had the opportunity to work in various settings including leading adolescent group therapy sessions, working with victims of sexual assault, helping woman inmates adjust to post-prison life, conducting parenting education classes and assisting with drug and alcohol dependency treatment plans. The unique challenges and opportunities that come along with being a part of a step-family is a special interest of hers. Amy is currently working in the corporate environment with a interest in group dynamics and change management. You can find her on her website, or on Twitter @AmyBellowsPhD.

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APA Reference
Bellows, A. (2016). The Journey of Becoming a Stranger After Divorce. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 30, 2020, from


Last updated: 14 Jul 2016
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