Birmingham AL Collaborative Divorce Law Blog

Monday, September 11, 2017

Starting Over: What Do You Really Need?

When you experience the loss of a loved one, it often feels that your life will never feel normal again. Divorce often feels like this, too. There is no set amount of time to get over the feelings of hurt, anger, sadness or resentment that often come along with the end of a marriage. But there are ways you can make the transition seem like less of a “time out” punishment and more of an opportunity to explore new opportunities and to focus on yourself.


“I liken the undoing of a marriage to trying to disentangle two trees that have grown next to each other for years.” says Susan Pease Gadoua, LCSW and author of Contemplating Divorce. “The more intertwined the root systems are, the longer it will take for the trees to go their separate ways.”


That disentanglement can leave the newly separated or divorced person feeling emotionally empty and lost, especially if she or he was overly involved with trying to meet their spouse’s needs. Taking time to understand your own needs may feel uncomfortable, or even selfish. Knowing what those needs are can be an even bigger challenge.


Fortunately, best-selling author, speaker, and relationship guru, Dr. Gary Chapman created “The Five Love Languages” to help people discover what they really need to feel loved, appreciated, and fulfilled.


Since 1992, Chapman’s book, The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts, has sold more than more than 11 million copies worldwide. His premise is simple: There are five basic ways we express love to one another: Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time, and Physical Touch. Everyone has a preferred way to receive that appreciation and love. When we understand exactly what we need, we can be more effective in communicating those needs — and getting those needs met.


Chapman’s free Love Language test can become an empowering first step into greater self-awareness. Then, when the time comes, you’ll be on the right path to experiencing happier, healthier relationships in the future. 

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