Divorce Is a Liminal Space in Life
A liminal space is an in-between space. You don’t know where you are or where you’re going. Imagine a college in between semesters. It’s like a ghost town; there are no students. When you were married, you had a life with somebody, and you knew what to expect on a daily basis. But when you decide you’re not going to be with that person anymore, that life changes. You don’t know what it’s going to look like, and that’s OK. You’re not sure how to be divorced. It feels like an in-between space or a purgatory. You’re not quite sure where you were, and you’re not yet sure where you’re going. It’s like getting stuck in an elevator in a building you’re visiting for the first time. You’re waiting to move so you can reach your destination.
It’s OK not to know
It’s OK, but it can feel scary. Not knowing is frightening, but does it have to be? One of the things about getting divorced that’s frightening to people is not knowing what your life is going to be life afterward. That’s why it feels like a liminal space. Liminal spaces are physical spaces that feel like in-between locations, like hallways or run-down buildings, or they can be a non-literal space. Divorce can feel like an in-between part of your life. Just because you don’t know what it’s going to be like to be divorced doesn’t mean it has to be frightening. It can be exciting. People talk about how stressful getting divorced is, but there’s also an element of freedom that they often neglect to touch on. When you leave your marriage, you’re free to do what you want, and that’s exciting. What are you going to do now?
How divorce can be exciting
If you’re married to someone and it’s a toxic relationship, you might feel trapped. Maybe you feel like you have to stay in the marriage, and there are children involved that make it even more complicated. If you can’t see it, there’s a way mental-illness-after-trauma-and-divorce/”>out, and it’s divorce. It might be a sudden decision, or it might be something that you thought about over time, but when you take that leap, and you start going through the process you might feel out of sorts, and like you’re in a liminal space. You’re not married anymore, but you’re not on your own either. Be patient with yourself as you go through this in-between phase. You might start to daydream about what your life will be like after you’re free! There’s a life on the other side of getting divorced, and on that other end, you’re going to figure out who you are. Don’t expect to know right away.
Who are you?
You don’t know who you are after a divorce. You need to develop your new identity. You’ve been married for a while, possibly years, and you might be afraid to figure out who that person is. When you’re not sure who you are or what you’re doing in life, taking a leap and seeing a therapist can help. Online therapy can support you find out who you are after you end your marriage. An online counselor is there to help you talk out your identity issues and find out what you want to do with your life. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help when you’re transitioning from marriage to divorce; you deserve to get the help you need to work through a challenging life transition. Online therapy is an excellent place to talk out what you’d like to leave behind, and who you’re becoming in the process. You might be surprised at who you become after you embrace the change that’s in front of you.
Getty photo by Zbynek Pospisil