When people marry, they often compromise their faith to please their spouses. In many cases, one spouse either changes religions or rejects religion entirely because of the other spouse’s beliefs. However, after a marriage has ended, there is no reason to continue down a religious path you did not choose for yourself. For this reason, divorcing spouses often return to their previous religion after a marriage ends.
Why Switch Back?
Divorce is one of life’s most traumatic events. Many people come out of the courtroom feeling tired, sad and vulnerable. Returning to your former religion not only reminds you of happier times, but it can also help you to heal from the pain you have just experienced. In addition, the transformation potentially builds self-esteem and promotes independence. (At the same time, be mindful that you do not have to stop or alter your current spiritual or religious practices at all. Your goal should be to do what’s most resonant with your needs and most healing to you.)
What to Expect
You may expect several changes when you return to a former religion, including:
- Returning to your old religion can feel invigorating, helping you to remember the person you used to be before you got married and to tap into previous self-confidence.
- Reemergence of old relationships. Returning to your former religion may rekindle relationships with old friends and even family members, especially if you rejoin an old church. These people could provide key support and camaraderie as you move forward with your life.
- In the first weeks or months after you change religions, you may feel regretful of your decision to leave the religion in the first place, or you may even feel a sense of loss for the religion you practiced during your marriage.
- Guilt. If you made choices during your marriage that are not consistent with the teachings of your religion, guilt is natural. Focus on forgiving yourself for these decisions, learning key lessons from what happened and moving forward.
- An adjustment period. Even though you are returning to a religion that was once familiar to you, appreciate that it will still likely take time to readjust. However, as time passes, you will likely become comfortable and confident in your chosen religion once again.
If you plan to return to a former religion during or following divorce, seek support to make the process smooth. Consider joining a faith-based divorce support group online, participating in faith-based counseling sessions or reaching out to friends who practice the same religion for guidance.
Religion can help you deal with the emotional aftermath of a separation, but be sure to seek appropriate legal counsel to handle the financial, logistical and custody related issues that come with divorce. Please contact the DiPietro Family Law Group at (888) 530-4374 to learn more about our legal services or to schedule a free case evaluation with a member of our team.