Whether the divorce was a mutual decision or a one-sided resolution, ending a relationship even non-romantic ones always hurts. Oftentimes it also becomes toxic. The ache in your heart may be severe especially if the reason was deception, and more so if the process of separating lives becomes a constant reminder of the wounds in your heart. No matter what you may be going through, the Bible constantly reminds us:
When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned ; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.
As humans we were made from the love of God. And so, it is only natural for us to give and receive this kind of love, and thus resilience is born. It is still important for us however, to check our boundaries from time to time and make sure we are allowing room for what’s good for our soul and our purpose. More often than not, divorce can become more contentious than we expected it to be. This is often referred to as a “high conflict divorce” by several courts.
Did you realize the moment your divorce became toxic?
One definition of a toxic divorce occurs when you want to end the marriage in a way that is more peaceful, but your soon to be former spouse not only refuses to work together but also consistently sows chaos and resentment. Stalking, harassment, threats against your physical safety or health, concealment of marital assets, defamation of character, property damage, and estrangement of your children are examples of toxic behaviors that you may be experiencing.
Here are 5 signs that points to a toxic divorce in our modern world:
- Spreading lies about you. Toxic exes love drama. Telling anyone who will listen that you are bad, evil, or crazy is a great way to generate some. Gaining support from others is “evidence” that they are the good person in the picture.
- Internet conflicts. Technology has really improved and impacted lives throughout the years. A toxic ex-partner can send out an endless stream of hostile emails and texts with the simple push of a button. They adore electronic communication because it gives them a constant opportunity to irritate you.
- Legal fights. Exes who are toxic frequently select lawyers who are also toxic. Be prepared for a flame-throwing attorney who will create an excessive amount of documentation, support your spouse’s unfounded accusations, and make negotiations nearly impossible.
- Putting your children in the middle. Your toxic ex can attempt to damage your bond with your child by leading him or her to believe you are a poor parent. Your ex might also interfere with your parenting time by calling the children frequently to see how you’re doing.
- You’re at your wits’ end. Living through a toxic divorce can be challenging. Your ability to eat and sleep may be compromised. You could find it difficult to focus at work. You may be more irritable than usual or on high alert, constantly anticipating the next form of harassment.
Here are some tips to help you find peace in the chaos:
- Seek out a couple of friends and/or family members who you trust with your emotions and seek their support and encouragement.
- Make time to take care of yourself. I have friends who hike to get away from the stress while being in God’s nature. Others prefer to go to the park and read a book. While some enjoy the quietness at home, doing things that bring them joy.
- Don’t engage in their behavior. Step away from the situation to a quiet place or say ‘I’m hanging up now because I chose not to engage with your behavior”. Do something along those lines so you don’t get sucked into their toxicity.
- If you have to, let your attorney do all the talking and remove yourself from the toxic conversations.
Going through a toxic divorce can be draining and stressful on all levels. But the Bible reminds us to always ground ourselves in the Lord. The Bible says in Joshua 1:9, “Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.” God is always with you no matter what you go through! He is the ultimate source, trust Him, for you are not alone.
God is with you as you navigate through a toxic divorce, as am I. I’m here to guide you through your healing journey and support you as best I can.
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Yours in healing,