Guest post by Vince Frese. Visit his blog at vincefrese.com for more articles and insights.
A feeling of relief washed over me as my cellphone began to ring. I could tell from the Caller-ID that it was an international number. My brother was working over in Italy, and I had been anxiously waiting for his call all day.
Anxious is probably too mild a word to describe my emotional state — desperate is much more accurate. It had been a few weeks since my divorce was filed and the full reality was setting in. As the day wore on, my anxiety kept building to the point that I could not sit still. I resorted to pacing to try and reduce my stress.
After answering my brother’s call, I spent the next hour venting like an uncorked bottle of champagne. The more I talked, the more I could feel the stress and anxiety ebb away.
I am so blessed to have my brother. He is my twin and he is my best friend. He knows me better than anyone. Having him to walk with me down the dark and uncertain road of divorce was such a gift. My brother is proof that God accompanies us in our pain and sorrow through other people.
These phone calls were at least a weekly routine during my divorce. Typically, I would spend the first part of the call venting about the latest turn of events with my soon-to-be former spouse and my personal struggles. My brother would just patiently listen.
Once I had finished venting, I would usually launch into the grand schemes I had concocted since the last time he and I spoke. This is when my brother would give me his thoughts and feedback. Often times, he would discourage me from moving forward with my plans because he thought they were ill-advised, vindictive, or just plain stupid. Thank God he did!
As I look back on these desperate times, I am so grateful that I had my brother. He loved me by listening to my endless rants. He helped me carry my cross when the pain was too unbearable. And he was a light of reason in my darkness of divorce.
Best Ways to Recover Using Communication
To help recover from your divorce, it is essential to communicate your thoughts and feelings. To keep them all bottled in is not helpful. It will increase your stress and can lead to poor decisions that you will ultimately regret.
Here are some best ways to ensure helpful communication during your divorce.
Get a Trusted Advisor
It is very important to find that one person that you can completely trust to be your confidant and advisor. This should be a family member or close friend that knows you well, has a solid moral compass, and has your best interests at heart. It should also be someone who will not be afraid to speak the truth, even if it is difficult for you to hear. A parent, a sibling, or other close family member is ideal.
Stick with One Person
Avoid soliciting more than one person to fill this role. It is difficult to keep multiple people equally apprised of the details surrounding your particular situation. Further, getting multiple people involved can create confusion for you when trying to sort through the myriad of challenges that divorces presents. Having one lucid voice during this time is much better than having a chorus of opinions.
Advisors are not Counselors
It is also important to remember that your trusted advisor does not replace a counselor. Counselors are specially trained to help your work through your life’s difficulties, your family member or friend is not.
It is also true that counselors don’t replace the need for a trusted advisor. Counselors are not typically available at all hours for you to vent or brainstorm. When in crisis, you will need someone who you can reach out to frequently and know they will be available.
Don’t Go It Alone
It is best not to go through something as difficult as a divorce alone. To help ensure and ease your recovery, reach out to a trusted family member or friend who can accompany you down this difficult road with their love, care, and counsel.
Question: Do you have a trusted advisor? How have they been able to help you the most?