Getting Back on Your Feet After Divorce

Getting back on your feet after divorce can be one of the most difficult tasks you will face. It is no joke to suddenly be alone after years of living your life with someone else. Your life will change, your habits will have to change, and your whole routine will need a makeover. All of that is easier said than done. To have the best life you can have after divorce, you’d have to work on yourself first. Here are some tips to be your best self after divorce.

Hang in there: Have faith that life has a lot of good things in store for you, especially if you’re not the one who initiated the divorce. Think that divorce is just the closing of a chapter of your life and it is now time for a new beginning. It certainly is not the end of the world.

This is Not the End: A lot of people treat their marriage as their entire world and often see the end of the marriage as a huge fail. That’s a normal feeling especially when the pain is still raw and throbbing or if you’ve been a victim of a cheating spouse. But you know what? Feelings change. You can control what to feel and how your life will be if you start seeing divorce as an opportunity for new adventures.

Get Busy: One of the worse things that come after divorce is feeling bad when reminiscing about the good times because you suddenly have so much free time on your hands. Get yourself busy with new interests and projects. Socialize, have fun, and start doing the things you love but never had time for before. In time, you’ll be able to reminisce without feeling any pain at all.

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Let Go: Don’t torture yourself by seeking revenge, acting crazy, or stalking your ex. You deserve more than that! The best thing you can do is take this time to give yourself some tender loving care. Work on things that bring you joy and let the ex live his or her life. Let happiness enter your life again by welcoming opportunities for happiness.

Love Yourself: Enjoy being single. Enjoy your own company so others can enjoy it too. If you can’t stand being alone, then why would someone want to be with you? Self-love is at its peak when you lavish some time and care on you!

Remember Who You Were: There was a reason why your ex fell for you, and that is because you’re awesome! Perhaps you’ve lost a bit of awesomeness along the way but you can bring it back. Give those qualities a rebirth and make them even better.

Be Your Best Self: Your best self is just around the corner! Take care of yourself emotionally and physically and you’ll soon uncover your best self. Do what makes you happy. Savor every moment. Have fun. Breathe. In time, you’ll have more love to give to whoever deserves it.

Finally Accepting Divorce

Give Yourself Time to Grieve

A divorce is a major loss. It’s a loss of a partner and a future you had planned. It’s normal and healthy to grieve that loss. The grieving process is not a one-time event, as with all losses, it will hit you like waves in the ocean. Some days the waves will be huge and knock you over, but they will recede. Some days the waves will be barely noticeable. Be gentle with yourself when you are in this place, acknowledge the reality of your situation even as you are grieving.

Get Professional Support

Divorce is complicated emotionally, legally, and financially. You should make sure you have the support you need when accepting divorce. Lawyers, financial professionals, and divorce coaches (mental health professionals with a specialty in divorce) can help you get the information you need to make good decisions about the future. While it may be appealing to think about burying your head in the sand to avoid the divorce, this type of approach will erode your control. In order to ensure the best outcomes for you and your family, you need to actively participate in the decisions being made about your children and finances. Getting solid professional support is the first step.

Get Personal Support

Find resources to help you get through this difficult time. Family, friends and if needed, a therapist are invaluable to provide you with the strength you need. Choose your support system carefully and assess if they will be a positive influence on you. It is easy to find an angry neighbor or relative who had a terrible divorce and wants to spend a lot of time commiserating with you, but you will feel better if you surround yourself with people who want to help you move through the divorce in a healthy way and create a positive future for yourself.

Have Empathy For Yourself

It will be helpful to understand how you contributed to the breakdown of your marriage so that you can do things differently in future relationships. However, it will not be helpful to beat yourself up over past mistakes. Have empathy for yourself and how you got to this place. Understanding the past helps you move forward, but dwelling on it keeps you stuck. You will move forward only after you move beyond regret and blame.

Imagine a Bright Future

Your life will be different, but different doesn’t inherently mean better or worse, it just means different. You have an opportunity to create the life you want. Spend some thinking what you want for yourself – personally, relationally and professionally. Begin to set some goals.

It is painful when you realize your marriage is over especially when you were hoping to salvage it. Accepting divorce is the first step to coping more productively and developing the life you want for yourself moving forward.

Developing Trusted Friendships During and After Divorce

At the beginning, your friends will all rally around you. “I apprehend this is often therefore exhausting,” they’re going to say. “You apprehend I’ll be there for you,” you will hear. “Whenever you wish a shoulder, I’ll be there,” they promise. They mean it, you buy it, and you feel secure.

Then your divorce drags on for months. Months may turn into years. It gets harder to solicit an ear to listen, a moment of sympathy. Friends don’t ask how you’re doing and you feel uncomfortable talking about it. It feels messy and intrusive.

But wait – your pain is just as great as it always was. Do they think you’ve gotten used to it? Yes, in fact, your friends think what we all think,”She or he’s been doing this long enough, she knows how to deal with it.” Not true, of course, but your divorce is old news for them. Are they tired of hearing about it? Maybe, but that’s not the point.

Where Did Your Friendships Go?

As an example, I have horrible knee problems. I get painful injections under my knee-cap once every six weeks. The first time I got the treatment, my friends brought food, helped me ice my knees and binged on Netflix with me. Last week, I had my fourth treatment. No friends called, no one brought food, and one buddy even asked, “You’re still doing that?” As if I had any management over it.

This happens to clients going through divorce as well. As time rolls by, friends assume you’ve “adjusted” to getting divorced. What’s the lesson, the divorce advice, here?

First, understand that other people’s lives are always going to be more important to them than yours. A blinding flash of the obvious? Perhaps. Don’t take it personally. They still love you. They simply love their own problems more.

Identify Three “Titanium” Friends

First, reach out to the resource you know is always available: yourself. Get to be BFFs with yourself. Keep resources around you to comfort you: books you love to read, and gourmet goodies you savor whether it’s ice cream, chocolate, olives, or popcorn. Make a playlist of music you love and have it ready for those times when you need a boost.

Second, develop a “Titanium Rolodex” of friends. Note, this is not platinum, as platinum is glamorous and demands attention. Titanium is dark-gray, very hard, malleable, light, corrosion-resistant metallic element. It’s a work horse, not a show horse.

Get yourself a circle of friends who are not particularly elegant, but who are strong, can be flexible with you during your continuing emotional rollercoaster, have a sense of humor, and won’t desert you with better offers of friendship. There won’t be many of these friendships during divorce, but you don’t need more than a few.

Go ahead and identify your titanium friendships in your mind right now. Give yourself the names of three friends, because that’s all you need at this point. As time goes on, you may want to add a few more names to this list since even titanium friends will experience their own crises, which might temporarily prevent them from being with you when you need them.

Ask for Help When You Need It

Practice the phrase, “I want some facilitate, ar you available?” That’s emotional honesty and your titanium Rolodex will respond. Don’t assume that your friends know you need help. You have to reach out, it’s not easy. We’d like them to come to us. But life gets messy and they’ve got their own issues. Call and ask for help when you need it. If your first friend says no, call someone else. If no one can help, see two paragraphs above. Access yourself.

Life – especially divorce – gets messy. Your friendships lose the luster of fun and adventure as you divorce drags on, and some friends may drift away. Your most important insurance policy is to be on great terms with yourself; then invest in a backup policy of a few good friends who can listen and be there for you.

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