If your marriage ends in divorce, you lose more than the marriage itself. Even if your marriage had problems, or you were the one who wanted out, you still will have grief over the dreams and hopes which have died with the relationship. The overwhelming feeling of loss can be confusing and difficult to understand. The following tips will help you move through these feelings and begin to focus on the future.

1. Get Support.
The people around you will express a lot of conflicting feelings, because they’re experiencing shock and loss, too.This may be a time when you find out who your true friends are. Some of your friends will avoid dealing with you, or choose your ex. You need trusted friends, family, and a church or support group who will care about you, listen to you, and not judge or try to get you to “get over it.”

2. Talk or write it out.
Talk and write until you’ve expressed all of your grief and loss, anger, confusion and disappointment. Assume you have a specific number of tears to shed, and the more you express your feelings, the quicker you will come to the end of the tears. Be aware that expressing all your grief may be more than some of your support system want to hear. A support group, clergy person or therapist will be able to listen without judging until you’ve said everything you need to say.

3. Have a ceremony.
When you feel ready, create a ceremony for letting go of your grief. You may want to include some of your close friends, ritually destroy a memento which symbolizes your grief or the lost relationship, and share your hopes for the future.

Author's Bio: 

Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D. is a licensed psychotherapist in S. California since 1978 with over 30 years experience in counseling individuals and couples and author of 13 books in 17 languages, including It Ends With You: Grow Up and Out of Dysfunction; The Unofficial Guide to Dating Again; Money, Sex and Kids: Stop Fighting About the Three Things That Can Ruin Your Marriage, The Commuter Marriage, and her newest, Love Styles: How to Celebrate Your Differences. She writes the “Dr. Romance” blog, and the “Happiness Tips from Tina” email newsletter.

Dr. Tessina, is CRO (Chief Romance Officer) for LoveForever.com, a website designed to strengthen relationships and guide couples through the various stages of their relationship with personalized tips, courses, and online couples counseling. Online, she’s known as “Dr. Romance” Dr. Tessina appears frequently on radio, and such TV shows as “Oprah”, “Larry King Live” and ABC News.