After staying awake night after night, thinking, contemplating and sometimes even getting panic attacks, you have finally made the decision to file for a divorce. Still, you can’t help but be worried about what your new life after divorce will be like.
However, getting cold feet at the thought of not being able to be with the man or woman you wed, is natural. After all, you committed to a life together and not a relationship with an expiry date. Thinking about a new life after divorce can be terrifying.
Yes, there are reasons you should stay and work on your marriage. But, there are also benefits to pulling the trigger and moving forward with divorce.
- Check out these 6 ways to kickstart your new life after divorce:
- Recovering Your Life After a Divorce
- ‘I never found anyone I loved as much as my ex-husband’
- ‘The hardest part was maintaining contact to raise our son’
- ‘Now I can finally be happy – but I can’t forgive the lies’
- ‘The loss of companionship and intimacy is hard’
- ‘We were simply wrong for each other’
- ‘Don’t underestimate how difficult divorce will be’
- ‘We were still in love when our marriage ended’
- Elizabeth Entenman
- 40 Worst Things You Can Do After Getting Divorced
- 1 Say or do anything to your ex out of spite
- 2 Force your kids to take sides
- 3 Dive into the dating pool right away
- 4 Go on a spending spree
- 5 Wallow too long in sadness
- 6 Share too much about your divorce on social media
- 7 Expect to never see your ex again
- 8 Try to turn your friends and family against your ex
- 9 Refuse to talk about your feelings
- 10 Fight with your ex over things you don’t care about
- 11 Refuse to cry, because crying means they win
- 12 Hide your money
- 13 Avoid social gatherings because your ex will be there
- 14 Eat your feelings
- 15 Stay in contact with her parents
- 16 Demand that your ex be reasonable
- 17 Blame yourself, or your ex, or anybody
- 18 Apologize for being divorced
- 19 Keep tabs on whether your ex is dating
- 20 Flaunt a new girlfriend or boyfriend
- 21 Stop exercising
- 22 Use your kids as pawns to get revenge
- 23 Skip out on social functions
- 24 Forget to laugh
- 25 Compare divorces with others
- 26 Do something wildly rebellious
- 27 Avoid married friends
- 28 Use booze as a stress release
- 29 Let the details of your life unravel
- 30 Refuse to ask for help
- 31 Reinvent yourself
- 32 Stop being optimistic about the future
- 33 Be paralyzed by perfectionism
- 34 Get intimate with your ex
- 35 Cling to resentment
- 36 Lose yourself in work
- 37 Focus on all the terrible things about living alone
- 38 Date your ex’s friends
- 39 Avoid the cynics—and the hopeless romantics
- 40 Refuse to forgive
- 5 milestones you must reach to successfully move on and live your best life after divorce.
- 8 Tips for Living Alone Again After a Separation or Divorce
- Establish a Routine
- Embrace the Silence
- Make Your Bed Every Day
- Don’t Plan for Things That Might Happen
- Learn to Cook
- Invite People Because They Won’t Invite Themselves
- Say “Yes” to More
- Learn About Yourself Again
- Reinventing Your Life After Divorce
- The Reality of Life After Separation If You Wonder
- 1. Bills and debt will take on new meaning
- 2. Your Home Becomes a Turf Battleground
- 3. The possibility of losing a windfall
- 4. After death claims on wealth
- 5. The past is never far behind you
- Check out the tips below to take back your life after divorce.
Check out these 6 ways to kickstart your new life after divorce:
1. Make Yourself a Priority
After having spent time with someone you love and making him or her the center of your world, it is time to change the rules. Start by giving yourself the attention, care and love you deserve. Stop worrying about what their new life after divorce will be like and start re-examining your life.
Start doing the things you once enjoyed doing but couldn’t because of your obligations after marriage. It may be as trivial as binging late night television or as big as getting yourself enrolled in a college course you always wanted to take.
Also, make it a habit to pamper yourself. Go for retail or beauty therapy, a spa treatment or a long drive, whatever makes you happy. Haven’t gone to a movie alone or eaten at a restaurant by yourself? Well, do it now. It’s important to start enjoying your company and start living life your way, with no conditions. Prioritize yourself.
2. Learn to Let Go
“The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward.”
This quote by Steve Maraboli is everything you should do to start your life afresh post a divorce. Hence, it’s time to let go of the past and the grudges. The more you hold on to them, the more you will get into the rigmarole of why’s and how’s of things not working out. But, it’s time to face the reality, and it’s over.
Holding on will only hurt you more. However, it is absolutely fine to give yourself some time to let go. But, keep reminding yourself that your marriage is over and for a reason. Therefore, let this process be natural and if you occasionally remember the good memories you had with your ex, don’t be hard on yourself, it’s normal. Nevertheless, if you feel the need for help letting go getting in touch with Worsley Centre for Psychotherapy and Counselling that provides high quality therapeutic and professional psycho-therapeutic services is someone you should reach out to.
3. Reconnect with Old Friends
It’s normal to have friends in common with your spouse. However, after divorce, like a lot of things, friends get divided too. They tend to choose one of the two and rarely stay in touch with both partners. So, losing friends in a situation like this is normal, and it has nothing to do with you as a person. It is a choice they make so worrying about it will only lead to pain.
But, what you can do is connect with old friends that you lost touch with. It might seem like a task but a simple message or a call can reconnect you with your old buddies. And don’t forget, you need to build your social circle so it is worth the effort.
4. Learn to Manage Your Own Finances
Understanding finances and investments may not be your responsibility when you were married, but, after the split, it is. So, start managing your financial life and make a list of your income, expenditure, expenses and assets and liabilities. This will help you keep tabs on your incoming versus outgoing flow of money and thus plan your monthly budget.
However, if you are not working, then look at going back to your career or find a career that interests you. This will not only give you financial stability but will also keep you engaged. By making slight modifications and being conscious of the expenditure and savings will help you keep your financial life on track.
5. Take A Break and Travel
Going through a separation isn’t easy and getting used to your new life after divorce can be fairly tough. To come out of this emotional mayhem take a short break and travel. It could be to a place you always wished to visit but couldn’t till now or even a nearby resort.
You can plan a trip with close friends or look at tour groups for single people and book yourself for an adventure. A trip by yourself or alone with your children might sound scary but it is a great way to gain retrospection your life and realize that you are stronger than you expected. Always remember you survived a situation you thought you couldn’t and are now even considering traveling with a group of strangers or alone.
6. Give Romance a Second Chance with Online Dating
If you have recently been divorced, then the thought of dating may seem bizarre. But, it there is no harm in using online dating sites to connect with others and possibly find a new relationship.
However, remember two important things about dating after divorce:
- Do compare others to your ex.
- Be cautious and don’t invest to much time and energy into someone until you know them well.
If you thought your new life after divorce would be tough, then try these 6 easy to do things to kickstart it. And don’t forget that it’s all about you, so make some rules and break some rules, but give love the second chance it deserves with open arms.
Ann Heathcote is an experienced psychotherapist and counselor who helps individuals overcome shortcomings in their professional and personal lives, and then build a successful lifestyle they always wanted. Ann spends her professional life running The Worsley Centre for Psychotherapy and Counselling, and as a writer. www.theworsleycentre.com
Recovering Your Life After a Divorce
Like any life process, divorce has a beginning and an end. The end of the divorce process generally involves learning from the past, taking a forward-looking, present-centered stance, adapting to one’s changed circumstances, and doing what one can to reinvent and reconstitute one’s life.
Learn from experience (so as to not repeat mistakes)
Setback that it is, divorce offers people a valuable opportunity to reflect on and learn from the mistakes they have made so as to minimize the chances that they will make those same mistakes again. The divorce rate for second marriages is higher than that for first marriages. Many experts believe this is because a majority of divorcees leap into hasty ill-conceived second marriages out of loneliness rather than carefully planning them for success. It is wise to do one’s homework before getting involved again to maximize one’s chances of success.
People tend to be predictable, and are prone to repeating the same life mistakes again and again. Becoming conscious about the types of mistaken decisions one is likely to make (based on having made them in the past) is the best defense against making similar mistakes in the future. If, for instance, a first spouse was attractive because of his passionate and volatile attitude, but he later turned out to be abusive, it would likely be a mistake to get involved with a similarly passionate and volatile man in the future. If a first wife, chosen in part because of her careful attention to appearance, turned out to be an out of control shopper in part to support her attention to appearance, it would seem to be a mistake to get involved with similarly ‘high maintenance’ women in the future.
Become conscious of past mistakes by laying them out and reviewing them. Either alone (via journaling), or with the assistance of a trusted friend, family member or therapist, talk or write out the history of the marriage, from beginning to end. It may help this task along to construct a detailed time line laying out key events, disagreements and fights that occurred. Work to identify and concisely describe the big points of conflict where compromise proved elusive or impossible. Try to figure out where your personality and values clashed with those of your spouse and where they were in harmony. Knowing this information will help you to figure out what qualities you will want in a future relationship and what qualities you will want to avoid.
With history in hand, make a list of the partner attributes your experience leads you to believe will make for a quality and lasting relationship, and then prioritize that list so as to focus in on those that are most important. If maintaining a balanced household budget is important to you, but wasn’t to your ex-spouse, and this clash was a contributing factor to your divorce, you will probably want to make sure early on that any future partner shares your enthusiasm for budgeting. Use this list as a guide as you re-enter the dating world.
Let Go, Forgive, Embrace Change
Having learned from past experience, the next challenge divorced people face is that of placing their divorce in the past and deciding to move forward with life. Like it or not, life has chapters. Divorce is the end of one important chapter, and potentially the beginning of another. However, the new chapter can only start when divorcees reach a point where they are ready to ‘turn the page’ and explore what their new life can become. Divorce can thus trigger profound personal growth, new experiences and new attachments, or, alternatively, stagnation. It is also possible for both of these outcomes to be present at the same time.
Whether someone flowers or stagnates emotionally post-divorce will depend on many factors, including the resiliency of their personality and mindset, the health of their support systems, and on whether they are successfully able to resolve ties that bind them in unhealthy ways to the now-defunct marriage. Unresolved feelings of guilt and anger can become traps, as can feelings of victimization and resentment towards the ex-spouse. People sometimes feel that they can’t let go of the past until ‘justice’ has been done. The thing is, however, that the world is a messy, often unfair place, and obtaining justice is sometimes more trouble than it is worth. It is sometimes more practical to let go rather than to remain embroiled. Working (via therapy, friends, journaling, etc.) to put the past relationship in perspective, forgiving mistakes and wrongs, accepting the finality of divorce, and just plain deciding to move on can help people to let go. Also, forcing one’s self to participate in events, outings and clubs can help break the grip of the past by forcing attention into the present moment. In the final analysis, “living well” may be good revenge, but an even better outcome is to reach a place where revenge is not desired because one has moved on.
Reinvent your life
Moving on generally begins in fits and starts early in the divorce, in between episodes of grief or other crisis-related emotion and tends to reach full flower only as the divorce process winds down. Its occurrence is a sign that healing and resolution are occurring, and its absence is a sign that grief and related emotions continue. Moving on involves becoming open to new experiences, new relationships, and new ways of thinking about one’s self. The process is inherently proactive, rather than reactive; it involves becoming willing to actively explore options rather than to passively react. While it isn’t necessarily a good idea to attempt to force one’s self to move on (at least in the first year), there are ways to cultivate its occurrence.
- Think positively. Being able to move on with life is easiest to accomplish when one is hopeful, positive, forward-looking and present-centered, rather than stuck ruminating about the past. Negative, depressive or pessimistic attitudes get in the way of moving on because they are closed and do not motivate new approaches to life. Positive thinking comes easier for some people than for others, but anyone can learn to be more positive in outlook if they want to and are willing to practice. Getting treatment for underlying depressive or anxious problems sets the stage for positive thinking. Hanging around positive-thinking people, watching how they do it, and modeling one’s own behavior after theirs is the best way to pick up the habit. Psychotherapy, support groups and supportive friends can help the process along by providing support and encouragement, and opportunities for practice. It’s not necessary to become a perfect positive thinker in order to benefit. What are required are only a sincere desire, and a willingness to practice.
- Put remembrances away. Some people, places and things will cause one to remember the past marriage and keep things focused on the past. To the extent it is possible, it is a good idea to put such things away so that they don’t automatically trigger old memories. When people places and things cannot be avoided, it sometimes is helpful to force one’s self to create new memories around those people places and things so that new more positive memories comes to mind when those people places and things are encountered.
- Try out new things. Moving on with life is also facilitated by getting out and trying new things. Exploring interests, old and new, pulls one’s attention into the here and now, creates opportunities for creativity, meaningful social interaction and new relationships, and can even promote personal growth. The more one does, the more their identity as a single divorced person coalesces, and the more the previous marriage can recede into the past. There are as many possibilities for things to try out, but a short list of things to consider doing might include:
- looking for a new job
- redecorating one’s living space
- returning to school for classes, or even a degree program
- exploring new hobbies and social or service clubs
- changing wardrobes, or getting a makeover
- beginning to date
- finding ways to help others through similar life crises.
Sir Paul Coleridge, a former high court judge, has said that many people wish they hadn’t ended their marriage. This follows a survey by the law firm Seddons that found 22% of those who had divorced wished they hadn’t done so.
We asked our readers about whether they had any regrets and what it really feels like to walk away from a loved one.
‘I never found anyone I loved as much as my ex-husband’
I fell in love with another man, and didn’t want to have an affair, so I left my husband. It didn’t work out with the other man and I have bitterly regretted it ever since (over 10 years ago now). I have never found anyone I loved nearly as much as my ex-husband; it taught me the grass is definitely not greener on the other side.
My ex and I are still in love, but he is unhappily remarried now with a new family and he doesn’t want to leave his kids. We see each other occasionally for lunch, but these meetings don’t go further than us declaring our love for each other. By the time I realised I’d made a terrible mistake (about six months later) my ex-husband had already met the woman who would become his second wife.
Perhaps one day, when his kids are grown up, we might be able to have another shot at happiness. I feel guilty every day for what I did. I realise now we had a brilliant (not perfect, but brilliant) marriage.
‘The hardest part was maintaining contact to raise our son’
When I got divorced from my wife the hardest part was maintaining contact in order to raise our son. Ordinarily I would have washed my hands of her but as it was I had to swallow my prideto preserve my relationship with him. It’s heartbreaking when people going through a divorce use their children to conduct a revenge campaign. We were very lucky in that we could sell one house and buy two smaller ones with the proceeds. Few people are in that position.
‘Now I can finally be happy – but I can’t forgive the lies’
My ex-husband of over 30 years started acting differently. He was behaving as if he didn’t want to be with me, arguing with me and our son all the time. Finally, I left him and then I filed for divorce. Only then did I discover he’d been seeing his first wife.
I will never forgive him for lying to me but it has been three years since the divorce was final and I try to be civil when I see him. Every day I am more content and stable. I feel now that I can be happy every day. My ex was not happy for the last decade, at least, of our marriage. He made our household an awful place while he tried hard to play out his fantasies of “having it all”.
‘The loss of companionship and intimacy is hard’
I was traded in for a younger model, so I had no choice about getting divorced, but I regret what happened every day in every way. I miss the companionship, the financial independence (the joint business went too) and I have to say I also miss the lack of intimacy. Even if I found someone else, age would realistically preclude being able to build that kind of relationship again. Friends and activities can never fill the void left by the loss of a long-term partner.
‘We were simply wrong for each other’
The fact we weren’t right for each other didn’t emerge straight away because we had a long-distance courtship and marriage, but the more time we spent in the same city the less we had to talk about. He was a kind, supportive man but not an observant or reflective one. I knew I would grow impatient with him, so I left. (Yes, I gave another explanation.)
I still feel bad for the hurt I caused, and I have, on occasion, missed his kindness, but I remain convinced that our marriage would have grown biter and miserable.
My ex is in a longstanding relationship with a woman who is much more like him now. Everyone in my family says she’s wonderful and they’re happy, which confirms that I made the right choice.
‘Don’t underestimate how difficult divorce will be’
I felt alone in my marriage. My ex was controlling and I often felt browbeaten into doing things I didn’t want to. He was also very prescriptive of how I should look and dress etc. Eventually, I went to 18 months of couple counselling to try to save my marriage (I had two young kids) but it wasn’t enough.
My friend gave me two bits of good advice when I was trying to decide if I should leave. First, she asked what I would advise my daughter in a similar situation (leave). Second, she asked what model of a marriage I was showing my children if I stayed (answer: a shitty one). I was lucky because I fell into the supportive hands of a friend who turned out to be the love of my life. I have other friends who are divorced and now alone. However, I don’t think they regret it, even so. Don’t underestimate how hard divorce will be, but don’t limit yourself (and your kids if you have them) to a life of misery either. Be brave enough to say this is not good enough. Trust yourself.
‘We were still in love when our marriage ended’
I got divorced because of a communication breakdown (that oversimplifies it, really) but I regret it because we were probably still in love when we ended the marriage, which makes it sadder. Looking back, it would have been good to get counselling to help me cope with the separation. What did I learn from it? Pay attention: the person in your life at any time should be your focus.
Share your stories in the comments – do you regret your marriage ending or did you learn a great deal from it?
Getting divorced isn’t easy. Saying goodbye to a marriage is extremely painful; it’s a major life change that most people don’t arrive at casually. Once your divorce is final, you might feel lonely, stuck, or worried that you’ll be lost without your partner. But even though it won’t be easy at first, there are plenty of good things about life after divorce.
If you’re scared of living the single life again, allow us to share some reasons why life after divorce is actually really great.
1. Getting divorced may give you a new outlook on life.
No matter how civil and mutual your divorce was, it’s still not an easy or fun thing to go through. But you did it. After your divorce, you may realize that you’re a lot stronger and more resilient than you previously thought. You may also realize that you don’t have room for negative emotions like anger and resentment in your new life. Many people learn to let things go more easily after they get divorced, instead choosing to fill their lives with positivity and good people.
2. You have free time again.
Chances are, you’ve spent the last few months—or years—focusing on getting back to the perfect relationship. Striving for perfection is not only disappointing, but also time consuming. Well, congratulations: You have the schedule of a single person again. And you can do whatever you want with it. You’ll quickly realize that it’s the little freedoms that make all the difference.
3. And your free time will actually be yours.
Not your ex’s. Not your divorce lawyer’s. Yours. If you want to start meditating every morning, you can. If you want to watch romantic comedies all evening, you can. If you want to make lasagna for dinner instead of roasted chicken, you can. When you’re married, nearly every decision you make affects your partner, from what you buy at the grocery store to whether you work out in the morning or after work. But when you’re divorced, you no longer have to worry about how small everyday decisions might affect someone else. It’s a huge sigh of relief.
4. You’re under less pressure.
When separation and divorce are looming, you’re under constant pressure to “make it work” and try to save your marriage; the fear that divorce somehow equals failure looms large. But once your divorce is final, that pressure is gone. Though it’s not easy, there is some relief in being able to say, It’s all over. Now, instead of obsessing over having the perfect relationship with someone else, you can focus having a great one with yourself. Trust us: The latter is much easier.
5. If you have kids, you can focus on being a great parent.
Divorce is especially difficult when you have kids. But when you don’t have to get along with your partner every hour of every single day, the time you’ll spend with your kids will be much happier.
6. Your sleep routine gets a LOT better.
Something that many new divorcées worry about is sleeping alone. Once you’ve grown used to sleeping next to the same person for years, it’s only natural to feel lonely falling asleep by yourself, without them there. But think of it this way: You can set your own sleep routine now. You can go to sleep early or watch TV before bed or let your dog sleep up next to you. And best of all, nobody will steal your side of the bed, your pillows, of your covers. We’re getting sleepy just thinking about it.
7. Three words: No. More. In-laws.
Didn’t get along with your ex’s parents or family? Not your problem anymore.
8. You’ll realize that the worst is behind you.
Think of it this way: You’ve already done the hard part. You fought, disagreed, and made a difficult decision to continue through life on your own. Now that the papers are signed, what comes next is nothing compared to what you’ve already been through. You got this.
9. Best of all, you get to focus on yourself again.
Now, life is all about you. Take this time to trust your gut, listen to your heart, and do what pleases you. If you want to start dating again in the future, it’s vital that you start by dating yourself first.
We hope you see the silver linings in life after divorce. Every day may not be easy and your new single life will take some getting used to, but take comfort in knowing that it’s all going to be okay. There are more things to look forward to than you might think.
Elizabeth is a freelance writer, editor, and advertising copywriter in Brooklyn. Right now, she’s probably somewhere Instagramming her dogs.
Saying goodbye to a marriage is tough. When you get a divorce your entire life changes. From finances, to parenting, to even loneliness, there are a lot of hurdles to get over, but in the end, remember this: you are getting a divorce for a reason, and life moving forward, your life after divorce, is going to be better than you imagined it could be.
Remember Why You Are Getting a Divorce
In order to move forward and enjoy your new life as a single woman, it is important to remember why you and your spouse are separating in the first place. Now, we are not talking about dwelling on all the bad stuff and getting stuck in the past, but giving yourself permission to look forward to your future without your mate.
When Janice was newly divorced she concentrated so much on what she was missing (someone to talk her day over with; someone to share her hopes and dreams with; someone to help pay the bills –and take out the trash), that she began to romanticize the marriage she had loved.
“Lucky for me I had a good friend who shook away those “fake memories” and reminded me of the reasons why my husband and I split. Despite my faulty memory, all was not rosy in our relationship and if I was ever going to find the kind of fulfilling marriage I dreamed about, I was going to have to move past that relationship and open myself up to another, hopefully better, one.”
Until you acknowledge what went wrong in your marriage, not only will you thwart your efforts at new happiness, but you will set the stage for a repeat performance and doom your next relationship to failure too.
Life After Divorce Does Offer Some Benefits
Being alone for a while (even a long while) isn’t a bad thing. Many women discover life after divorce to be a freeing experience. Even when money is tight, and the struggles of single parenting are exhausting, the benefits of being alone can be more than worth the downsides you experience. Here are just a few things single, liberated women have reported after their divorce:
- Peace. Life pre-divorce can be chaotic and stressful. While separating may be hard on both of you, staying together is often worse. If your marriage has dissolved into fits of anger and frustration, going your separate ways can often restore peace to your home – and your soul. Leaving a marriage may add some temporary chaos to your days, but once the split is final, your life can resume at a more peaceful level.
- Living Life for Themselves. For many women, divorce offers them the chance to concentrate on themselves for a change. Tending to be caregivers and “fixers” in a relationship, women often shortchange themselves when stuck in a bad relationship. Once they break free of the marriage, they allow themselves the opportunity to seek a job change; new hobby; lifestyle change; etc.
- Income. “While my income was half what it has been when I was married, I soon discovered that without my spouse’s spending, my income was enough to give me what I really wanted – peace of mind,” says Diane. Always a thrifty person, she discovered that living in a smaller apartment and driving an older car didn’t bother her at all. “I suddenly had the freedom to use my money the way I saw fit and that was exhilarating!”
- Less Mess. For Pam, life after divorce meant finally having a clean house. “My ex was a real slob. Once he was gone I soon discovered that my house remained clean and I loved it. Not that a messy home isn’t worth the right partner, but having to constantly clean up after someone you don’t like much anymore sure wasn’t worth it.”
- More Time. Married women (especially those with kids) are expected to do it all: work; raise a family; keep a tidy home; volunteer; do all the errands; and more. For some, leaving a marriage actually offers them more free time. Listen to what Renee had to say. “I was terrified of being on my own with the kids. How was I going to get it all done when I was struggling before my divorce to manage my life? But once my husband moved out, I began to see how much I had done for him (and how little he did for me). My schedule didn’t change all that much, and then the weekend came and the kids went to spend it with their dad. I had not had a weekend free to do whatever I wanted in years! I know I am lucky because my ex-husband is a great dad and takes our kids virtually every weekend. This gives me the chance to catch up on things around the house; take a nap; or even go out with friends. The best thing about my divorce: I have more free time to myself.
- Becoming Friends Again. In some cases, living apart can help couples become friends again. Just because you aren’t married does not mean you have to be enemies. This can be especially important for those with children.
Getting a divorce isn’t meant as a way to ditch your responsibilities and start a whole new life. But, it can take a chaotic life and make it easier to manage. For some women, moving beyond their marriage offers them the chance to pursue their dreams; travel the world; or simply relax again. Life isn’t meant to be spent in constant chaos. When it is time for a divorce, don’t consider it a failure, but rather a learning experience. Take what lessons you can from your marriage and your divorce and move forward towards a new beginning. Don’t wallow in defeat, but rather race toward victory. After all, in your life after divorce you are free to pursue any future you want. So get out there and enjoy yourself! You deserve it.
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We promise — whether you join us for Paloma or not — you’ll walk away from your complimentary coaching-session discovering a next step in your unique After Divorce journey.
“We choose not to do it alone.” ~ SAS for Women
40 Worst Things You Can Do After Getting Divorced
No two ways about it: life after divorce can be tough, but it doesn’t have to be the worst. A lot depends on your perspective, and how you adapt to your new situation. You can make it a life transition that’s difficult but ultimately rewarding, or it can be the most miserable period of your life, resulting in your making everyone you love uncomfortable and leaving emotional scars that never heal. It might sound flippant to say that the choice is up to you, but that really is the case. There are so few things in this world that you can control, but your behavior is one of them.
Yes, we know you feel hurt and abandoned. There’s a chip on your shoulder that might not be going away anytime soon. But you can be the bigger person. Here are 40 things you absolutely shouldn’t do after a divorce, even though every atom in your body might be screaming out to do them anyway. You can get through this, and with these guidelines, you’ll come out the other side stronger and happier.
1 Say or do anything to your ex out of spite
Your emotions may still be raw, but that’s no reason to let your anger dictate your behavior. Leave the snarky comments in your head, and, if you’re planning to do anything that serves no purpose other than reminding your ex that you’re still bitter about the way things ended, let a little more time pass before you make any hasty decisions.
2 Force your kids to take sides
Nothing makes a divorce more painful than putting your kids in the middle. Not that you need to shield them from what’s happening—a little honesty is always a good idea—but it’s unfair to make them choose between parents. Let them know that you both love them equally, and your divorce doesn’t mean they need to pick an allegiance.
3 Dive into the dating pool right away
Even if you feel emotionally ready to get back into the dating pool, take it slowly. This isn’t a race to see which ex-spouse can find another partner first. Give yourself some time to be okay with being single. Another relationship, no matter how healthy, is not the quick fix that will make you feel whole again.
4 Go on a spending spree
Don’t be fooled into thinking buying a fancy sports car or expensive new clothes is all it takes to drive away the post-divorce blues. You still have to contend with those feelings, and now you have to do it while deeper in debt. New toys are fun, but remember: the endorphin rush it gives you is fleeting.
5 Wallow too long in sadness
You have every right to be melancholy, but don’t let those feelings consume you completely. Sadness can either weigh you down or act as a motivator. You can spend the rest of your life feeling sorry for yourself, or you can let that heartbreak be your fuel to get out there and start your second act.
Especially if the divorce was acrimonious, you might be tempted to air your dirty laundry for all to see, on, say, Facebook, Twitter, of Instagram. This is not a good plan. Full stop.
Even if your intentions are good—you just want to let off some steam and maybe get a little sympathy—it’s only going to come across as bitter. There’s no reason to share any details of your divorce so publicly, especially if your social media following includes old high school friends, casual acquaintances who barely know either of you, and, heaven forbid, your children’s teachers.
7 Expect to never see your ex again
As much as you may want a clean break, it’s never going to be that easy. Even if you have no children together and limited friends in common, cutting somebody out of your life entirely who used to be so central to it is all but impossible. Learn to be okay with their existence and even civil if you run into them again. It’s a mark of maturity, and it’ll make both of your lives easier.
8 Try to turn your friends and family against your ex
Even if it wasn’t a monumental waste of time—what exactly makes you think you have the power to change anyone’s feelings about another person?—it accomplishes nothing in the long run. It won’t save your marriage or make you feel any better about how it ended. It won’t make your children love you more, or make your friends more sympathetic. It just reinforces the silly, incorrect idea that there is a “winner” and “loser” in any divorce.
9 Refuse to talk about your feelings
Whether it’s with friends or a therapist, it couldn’t be more vital to have conversations now about all the complicated emotions swirling through your head. Just having someone you trust to listen and understand without judgement will go farther to improving your mood and sense of self-worth than you could ever imagine.
10 Fight with your ex over things you don’t care about
If it’s a pet that you both care about deeply, that’s one thing. But don’t fight with an ex over possessions that mean nothing to you—stuff you only want for the petty reason that they walk away empty-handed. Before you tell them, “No way are you getting that,” think long and hard about what value you’re actually assigning to it. Do you have a real sentimental attachment, or is it just another chance to hit your ex where it hurts?
11 Refuse to cry, because crying means they win
No it doesn’t. Nothing could be further from the truth. Crying means you’re human, and denying yourself that release is like going on an emotional hunger strike. Those tears are coming out one way or another, and you’ll feel better when you finally let them flow.
12 Hide your money
Even after your divorce has been finalized, some people feel compelled to hide their money in secret accounts, just in case their ex-spouse comes back looking for more. No good can come from this, especially if your stash gets uncovered. Just because the two of you can’t live together romantically anymore doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be mutual trust going forward. Be honest in everything, and you’ll both be happy in the end.
Are you really going to blow off a holiday party because your ex might be be invited, too? You can avoid every birthday and Sunday barbecue and Thanksgiving meal for the rest of your life, or you can be okay with the fact that you and your ex can be in the same room at the same time and the universe won’t collapse onto itself. Believe it or not, your friends actually want to see both of you.
14 Eat your feelings
Binge-eating might soothe you temporarily, but all that comfort food is just going to pack on the pounds and give you another reason to doubt your self-worth. The only way to truly move on is to learn how to love yourself again, and you’re not going to find that love at the bottom of a sponge cake.
15 Stay in contact with her parents
If you felt a close attachment to your former father and mother-in-law, disconnecting from their lives could be just as painful as the divorce itself. But keeping that relationship alive is doing no good for you or anybody else. Moving on is not going to be possible for either you or your ex if you’re constantly calling and making plans with their parents.
16 Demand that your ex be reasonable
Even the best divorces are by nature messy. That’s because 100 percent of divorces happen to human beings, and no human being is capable of being completely rational and level-headed at all times. If you feel like your ex is being unreasonable, that’s probably because they are. And it’s a good bet that you’ve been unreasonable with them at some point. Give them the freedom to be vulnerably human now and again and they just might do the same for you.
17 Blame yourself, or your ex, or anybody
Some divorces are black-and-white, where one partner did something so egregious (infidelity comes to mind) that they’re clearly responsible for the marriage’s downfall. But this is the exception rather than the rule. Most marriages fall apart for reasons that are too complicated to explain with finger-pointing. If you’ve really reflected on the reasons for your divorce, you’re likely aware that’s saying any one thing or person is “to blame” for what happened is far too simplistic.
18 Apologize for being divorced
The only reason to say you’re sorry is if you’ve done something wrong. Being divorced is not a Scarlet Letter or proof that you’ve somehow failed at living up to others expectations. A divorce is a course correction in life, not a mistake that you need to justify to anyone. Look at it this way: you were brave enough to realize that your marriage wasn’t working. That’s not something to apologize for, it’s something worth feeling proud about.
19 Keep tabs on whether your ex is dating
Do you think finding out that they’ve moved on will give you closure or permission for you to start dating again, too? No, snooping on an ex to see if they’ve become intimate with somebody else will always lead to hurt feelings (yours) and, worse case, could result in you saying or doing something you’ll almost immediately regret.
20 Flaunt a new girlfriend or boyfriend
The key word here is “flaunt.” If you’ve found love again, that’s terrific! But if you’re just dating someone because you know it would upset your ex, and you go out of your way to parade him or her around in front of your former spouse, just to rub their noses in it, then you are doing the polar opposite of moving on. You are being petty and passive aggressive. Even if your ex never finds out that you’re just doing it to hurt them, you know and now that’s something you have to live with.
21 Stop exercising
Getting back to the gym isn’t just important because you want to avoid a post-divorce potbelly. A good workout will actually chase away the mental funk of a bad breakup. Exercise raises the serotonin levels in your brain, which helps fight the symptoms of depression. If you don’t feel more optimistic after an hour or two of pulse-quickening exercise, you’re not paying attention.
22 Use your kids as pawns to get revenge
There are so many ways this can play out, and every one of them is inappropriate and hostile. From conveniently being “too busy” on days when she needs you to take custody, to bringing the kids back much later than promised, forcing her to cancel plans or rearrange her schedule. Even when it’s subtle, your ex knows exactly what you’re doing, and it fosters a cycle of disrespect and disregard that can go on indefinitely, or at least until your kids grow up and decide they’re done being manipulated in your divorce chess game.
The dark clouds can feel heavy over your head some nights and you’ll want to stay home and watch TV in pajamas. That’s fine, but don’t let it become a habit. When one night turns into several weeks and you haven’t left the house, it’s time to force yourself to put on some pants and face the outside world. You just might be surprised at how enjoyable it is to be surrounded by friends and sharing stories that have nothing to do with your divorce. You’ll feel like a normal person again, not just a walking open wound, and having adult conversations with other grown-ups who don’t care about your marital state will be exactly the breath of fresh air you need.
24 Forget to laugh
Laughter isn’t just good for you, it just might cure a broken heart. Okay, so maybe not technically a broken heart, but according to the American Heart Association, a laugh a day can decrease stress and anxiety and reduce artery inflammation—all things that lead to better heart health and, coincidentally, faster divorce recovery. Not laughing, or putting yourself in situations where you’re less likely to laugh, is like saying to the universe, “I’d like to stay miserable for a little longer please!”
25 Compare divorces with others
All divorces are unique, with vastly different circumstances and emotions and backstories. It can be cathartic to talk to somebody who’s also gone through a divorce, but only in the abstract. Don’t compare your experiences, whether it’s legal battles or financial settlements. The last thing you need is some well-meaning friend to fill your head with paranoid thoughts that you didn’t push back hard enough, or you’ve somehow got the short end of the stick.
26 Do something wildly rebellious
A tattoo or a body piercing might sound like a great way to celebrate your new-found independence. It’s announcing to the world, “No one can tell me what to do anymore!” While we appreciate the spirit of your gesture, you may feel differently about this in just a few months, when the anger has subsided and a tattoo of a skeleton riding a motorcycle with the words “Born To Be Single” emblazoned over it don’t feel quite so relevant anymore.
27 Avoid married friends
If being around happily married people makes you uncomfortable, you’re thinking about divorce the wrong way. You’re now disavowing the whole concept of marriage, just marriage with one particular person. Trust us on this, none of your married friends are thinking, “We shouldn’t invite . I heard he hates married people.”
28 Use booze as a stress release
“All this wine and beer not only made me less sad about my divorce but also gave me the strength to believe in myself again and know that I’m capable of making smarter choices in the future,” said no one ever.
29 Let the details of your life unravel
Even after a divorce, there are bills to pay and dishes to be washed and laundry to be folded. It might be hard on some mornings to feel motivated to do any of it, especially if some of those chores were handled by your ex. But just because they’re not around to check the tire pressure and get the oil changed on your car anymore, that doesn’t mean you can let it slide. Life goes on, and you have to move along with it.
30 Refuse to ask for help
Because why? Does asking for help feel like you’re admitting defeat? The moment you need someone to lighten your load just a little, you’re practically making a confession that you’re not strong enough to survive in this world alone and what were you even thinking, agreeing to a divorce in the first place, you obviously need a partner to hold you up and keep you from drowning, and, oh my god, you’re doomed and now everybody knows it? Breathe. Just breathe. It’s going to be okay. Nobody thinks that. We don’t even know your friends, and we can safely say, none of them thinks that. Needing help when you’re divorced is like needing help when you’re literally anybody else on the planet. It just means that you’re human.
31 Reinvent yourself
Don’t get us wrong, we’re not suggesting you don’t try new things or explore new interests as you try to make sense of your life as a divorced person. We’re just saying, maybe don’t go for the complete personality makeover. Don’t become the person who suddenly speaks with a faux British accent and only listens to vinyl records (“It just sounds better, y’know?”). If you think it’s a good idea to change your name to Daedalus and start wearing ascots, you may be trying a little too hard to carve out a different identity.
32 Stop being optimistic about the future
If the front door mat at your house that once read “Welcome to our happy home” could be replaced with a mat that reads “Abandon hope all ye who enter here,” then you have an optimism problem. You may not be openly fatalistic, but you’re probably not looking to the future with anything like hopeful excitement. It might not seem like a big deal, but feelings of optimism have been linked not just to happiness but a longer and healthier life, according to some studies. You need to find a reason to be curious and enthusiastic about where you’re headed in life. If it doesn’t feel like you have anything to look forward to, giving yourself a reason should become your priority number one.
33 Be paralyzed by perfectionism
So it’s your first holiday as a single person and, maybe, a single parent. You’ve always loved decorating, but this may be the year when you take things too far, covering every spare inch with tinsel and white lights and over-the-top flourishes, so that your home looks like a Christmas cabaret show in Las Vegas, because it’s not enough just to show some holiday spirit, you’ve got to be THE MOST CHRISTMASY PERSON WHO EVER LIVED. This need to overcompensate is fairly typical among the recently divorced. Because they fear the failure of their marriage is sticking out like a sore thumb, they must make every other aspect of their life appear better than ever, more happy and flawless and perfect in every way. You’re not fooling anyone. Cut it out.
34 Get intimate with your ex
Emotions are tricky things and they have ways of resurfacing when we least expect them. It’s okay to be wistful and remember why you and your ex used to seem like such a good idea. But that’s where that thought should stay, in your head. If you act on it, and end up between the sheets with the person formerly known as your spouse, it’s only going to overly-complicate both of your lives. Nobody wakes up, realizes that they’re in bed with an ex, and thinks, “Oh, great, now the fact that our relationship is over doesn’t sting as much.”
35 Cling to resentment
If you’ve got a mental list of all the ways you’ve been wronged since the divorce, by your ex, your ex’s friends, the divorce lawyer, your former in-laws, the people who said they had your back but it seemed like they had your ex’s back more than yours, and the dry cleaner who doesn’t give you the family discount anymore, you need to stop. That list is worthless, and it’s only weighing you down. Crumble it up and throw it away and never think of it again.
36 Lose yourself in work
After a divorce, your job may feel like a life raft. It’s the thing that keeps you afloat, that saves you from drowning in an ocean of self-pity and lawyer bills. But don’t let it become your everything. If you’re answering work emails 24/7 and you can’t remember the last weekend you took a break, you’re letting your career define you. Carve out some time just for you, and for your friends and family, and for the people you haven’t met yet, who could become the next reason you can’t wait to leave work and come home.
37 Focus on all the terrible things about living alone
Living alone can be lonely, there’s no doubt about it. But that’s not the only emotion that comes with living alone. That’d be like summing up the experience of being an astronaut with, “It gets kinda cold in the spacesuit.” There’s so much more to it than that. Living alone can really challenge your ability to see the bright side, to find a better answer to that eternal question, “Is your glass half full, or half empty?” If living alone is your only option (for now), you need to discover what’s fun about it, what’s fulfilling and joyful and silly. Not what makes you sad.
38 Date your ex’s friends
No. Don’t even let the thought enter your mind. Just stop it. No. Absolutely not. Are you a glutton for punishment? Dating an ex’s friends is like treating a scraped knee by hitting yourself repeatedly in the face with a shovel. It makes exactly as much sense.
39 Avoid the cynics—and the hopeless romantics
In the crowd of people clamoring to give you advice on how to be happily divorced, don’t pay too much attention to the obvious cynics, who’ll try to fill your brain with paranoid delusions about the futility of marriage and how you should’ve done this long ago, and blah blah blah. Their cynicism is a defense mechanism and they really don’t have any clue what they’re talking about. Similarly, stay away from the other end of the spectrum, the hopeless romantics who want to remind you that your true love is waiting for you around the corner, and don’t give up hope in the bliss of coupledom, and blah blah blah. The place you need to live right now is somewhere in the middle: Just cynical enough to protect your heart, and just hopeful enough that you notice the glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.
40 Refuse to forgive
Divorce sometimes brings out the worst in everybody, including yourself. But it can also teach you about the power of humility, and how much can be gained from recognizing that we all make mistakes and we’re all worthy of forgiveness. A good place to start is by forgiving yourself. We’re all too eager to rationalize and make excuses for our behavior rather than just admit when we’ve been wrong. Once you’re able to recognize your flaws and forgive yourself for them, you’ll be more open to doing the same for others.
Whether you wanted the divorce or not one thing is for sure – it has happened. You know you have to move on. Over and over again you hear the same thing: “you can move on”; “you have to move on”; “get over it”; “let it go”; etc. etc. etc. How can you live your best life after divorce if you can’t move on after divorce?
The thing is, what exactly does it mean to move on after divorce? For each person, there are unique situations to face and overcome. However, in general, there are some common themes; we are going to highlight them below to help you live your best life after divorce.
5 milestones you must reach to successfully move on and live your best life after divorce.
Milestone 1: Accept Where You Are
Acceptance does not mean resignation or giving up! Acceptance means:
- acknowledging the reality of what has happened, the change that has taken place in your whole being and your family, then
- being proactive in choosing to engage with life, right now, right where you are.
It also means finding something positive to focus on. As you accept where you are, you release yourself from the tension of the “why?,” “I don’t want to be here!,” “it’s not fair!,” “I want to hit back at the ex!”. Don’t get me wrong, those feelings are natural but you do not have to stay where you are. You can move on but, firstly, you need to accept where you are today. Believe you me, life can get so much better.
Milestone 2: Know How To Look After You!
In the midst of the overwhelm of dealing with emotions, possibly having to uproot home and also supporting children, you still need to look after you. This is the time to be very specific and intentional. I can understand if you don’t feel like it. If you do comfort eating, end up not eating, spend money you don’t have, lower your hygiene levels. Nothing seems worth it anymore. However, this is your life and no-one else can live it for you, no matter how much they are on your side.
You deserve to feel good but waiting for it from someone else at this time is not the best way. Yes, you need support, but having an understanding of how to intentionally generate those good feelings in a positive way is crucial in order to live your best life after divorce.
Milestone 3: Grieve to heal, not only to rehearse the hurt
Divorce truly is the death of so much – dreams for your future, the hope of being with someone at this time of your life; the family set-up you had; the financial flow you had; the teamwork – as a couple, possibly in ministry or business. When a marriage dies, you have as much right and need to grieve just as much as the physical death of a person.
The important factor here is that you need to be intentional about grieving – it’s purpose and benefit for you. It’s only natural that people replay their divorce in their heads. I did – the time when my ex-husband said he wanted to leave. I remember where and how I was sitting; where he was standing; what I felt; the thoughts that rushed in as a storm whilst listening to his words. It is how we choose to remember and what we will do with those words, feelings, and memories. You can use these things to focus yourself on being healed. Those feelings do not have to go to waste!
Milestone 4: Release Yourself From Your Ex-Spouse
Even if your marriage was not a happy one, you were linked and joined in different ways – spirit, soul, and body.
You or your spouse have affected each other on all levels and you will see this more and more in divorce. The way you cooked, parked the car, the schedules you had – these all show up in a magnified way.
The reason it is crucial to release yourself from your ex is that until you do so, it is almost as if you are tied to a spot with an elastic band. You can go so far then you are brought back with a jolt because your ex still has a hold over your soul (will, mind, emotions). Your outlook on the world is still from the point of view of being the spouse of your ex. You then exist in a state of limbo, in a confused place because you are no longer married and yet you struggle to live freely as a single person. Once you release yourself from your ex you see the world in a different way. You see your spouse in a different way. You see yourself in a different way. This leads us to the next milestone…
Milestone 5: Re-establish Your Identity and Belief System
As a spouse, your life and focus are to a large degree centered on that role. For many women, there is often the factor of now bearing someone’s name who possibly walked out on you or you determined it was necessary to leave. For many men, there is often the factor that they really threw themselves into the role of husband, father, provider for the family. That family is now segmented and there is the question of “what do I do now?”
So, each person needs to re-establish who they are. The truth is that whether you ever got married in the first place, had children or not, had a job or not, there is a “you” that exists regardless of these things. Do you know who you are? The “you” that exists and remains in spite of life situations or status? You need to find the real you again because you need to be nurtured and encouraged to shine in spite of what has happened.
Once you cover these milestones, it becomes clearer who you are now – a new person, ready to live your best life after divorce. It benefits you in making choices about your life and future. It also gives you a good grounding if you are looking to get into another relationship as you will have released yourself from an array of negative emotional hindrances.
Relationship and Life Coach Marjorielyn Gray has experienced separation, divorce, single parenthood, and a successful remarriage. Her goal is simple: to share the key strategies that helped her overcome the trauma of divorce so that you too can live your best life after divorce.
8 Tips for Living Alone Again After a Separation or Divorce
Life after divorce or separation requires many adjustments. One big one? Living alone. After my separation, I texted my older cousin for words of advice. He survived a divorce, lived on his own for a while, and is now happily remarried. While discussing my pending move to a new place and the fact that, now, I live alone, he made one particular comment that stuck in my brain until moving day: “Living alone seems exciting at first, but you won’t know how you’ll handle it until that first night alone after you move in, lock the door for the night, and get into bed. That’s when it will all hit you.”
He was almost right. My first night alone after my separation didn’t involve lying awake in bed because I didn’t go to bed. Living alone after an extended period of cohabitation is an exciting but scary life adjustment. A man will learn a lot about himself in just a short period of time. For some newly separated or divorced men, the transition will be an easy one; for others, it might take months before a new place actually feels like home. It took me some time to adjust, but I eventually got there. Here are some tips for living alone after a divorce or separation to make the sudden life change a little less uncomfortable.
Establish a Routine
Some people hear the word “routine” and automatically shut down. Living life by a schedule sounds like torture to many, but it’s an essential component to living alone.
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Being on your own again does involve freedom, but that freedom often leads to neglecting everything from your house to your responsibilities, and even your body. Putting things off until tomorrow means more tasks pile up and that mountain of projects, errands, and duties won’t just clutter up your new place, they’ll put a strain on your mental health.
Sit down and write down all the critical chores you’ll need to complete each week like food shopping, cleaning up the house, or paying bills and designate a time and day to do each. A stricter routine leads to more freedom.
Embrace the Silence
Living alone will involve long bouts of silence. Even with the TV on or music blasting, the quiet of no other voices in the house find a way to drown out the rest of the noise.
I’m here to preach that the silence is okay. I’m not alone. Research has proven that silence is incredibly vital to the brain and mental health. Just an hour of silence replenishes our cognitive resources, relieves stress, helps us work through internal issues and might even regenerate brain cells.
You shouldn’t be afraid of your suddenly quiet existence. These long lulls between conversations make the time around people, especially your kids, even more enjoyable.
Make Your Bed Every Day
In a 2014 commencement speech to the University of Texas, Austin, Admiral William McRaven spoke to the graduating class about his training as a Navy SEAL. McRaven shared the 10 most significant things he learned while training that would help the graduates as they moved on to the next chapter in life. McRaven’s first tip — make your bed every morning.
Making your bed is an essential first step in your new daily routine. McRaven was correct, it does sound ridiculous at first, and similar to the advice of an overbearing mother, but I can’t stress the importance of this one painless ritual.
Making your bed starts the day with an accomplishment. Sometimes that’s all that’s needed to get things moving in a positive direction.
Don’t Plan for Things That Might Happen
A farmhouse table handmade from reclaimed wood was one of my big-ticket purchases before moving into the new place. I envisioned the kids and I eating dinner at the table, hosting friends and family for weekend meals, and getting plenty of use out of the $400 room-filler.
Fast forward to present day and the kids prefer eating meals on the ottoman in front of the TV, I haven’t hosted one dinner party, and the table became a makeshift office.
When living alone, don’t plan for the things that might happen. You end up spending a substantial amount of time and money on fantasy. Focus first on necessities like having all the right tools and utensils around the house. Get a read on how life alone will actually go and adjust accordingly.
Learn to Cook
For the first few months, the cabinets and fridge were as empty as my checking account. I was eating out often, getting takeout frequently, invited over for dinner by parents and friends, and I just didn’t have the need or time to stock the fridge and pantry with food. Only on the Fridays before the kids spent the weekend would I food shop and bring rations into the house.
After getting sick of every takeout place within five miles, I decided to put my hours of binge-watching cooking shows and food documentaries to good use. I cracked open the cookbooks of my favorite chefs, collected favorite recipes from my mom, and taught myself to be a not-too-awful amateur sous chef.
Invite People Because They Won’t Invite Themselves
Some of my closest friends have yet to set foot in my apartment. I asked every one of those friends why and each gave a similar response: “You never asked us to come over.”
Don’t live under the assumption that people will just drop by or offer to see the new place. You need to explicitly ask people to stop by and check out the new digs. Make your home the default living room for watching wrestling PPVs or for monthly poker nights or for meeting up before jaunts with the running club. People won’t want to intrude on your new life unless you ask.
Say “Yes” to More
I like saying no. Saying no feels really good. Normally, I’m preaching the benefits of a day filled with “no, thank you,” but this only applies to requests for your time and agreeing to do things you really don’t want to do.
When it comes to living alone, I’m urging men to say yes to more, but only to events that get a guy out of the house. Meet up more with friends and family, volunteer, get a side job, exercise more, and put yourself in situations that require talking to other people.
Say yes to being more social but still say no to doing stuff you hate.
Learn About Yourself Again
Besides cooking, find other acts of self-improvement to fill time. Don’t be afraid to try new hobbies you’ve been putting off because there “wasn’t enough time.” Start with simple and cheap things like reading, drawing, DIY hobbies, or even learning an instrument. Try to stay clear of hobbies that require a lot of money, time, and space.
Living alone doesn’t have to feel like punishment. It will take time to get accustomed to the added responsibilities, the silence, and the sudden absence of your family. But, just like everything in life, the occasional solitude will get easier over time.
Chris Illuminati is the author of five books, including The New Dad Dictionary, hundreds of articles, and far too many Post-it notes about parenting.
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If anyone asks “What’s the closest you’ve come to death?” I answer with the medical emergency I had long ago: the blue light, the ambulance … but the real answer is the night my husband told me he didn’t love me any more. That felt like a death, at least. I had assumed that we were happy. It was a physical shock – I was reduced to gibbering and panic – and the striking, persuasive thing was that he didn’t care; he had stopped caring what I felt about anything: that was the point. He went off overseas the next morning on business, as planned, and I made arrangements to move out.
There would be crying for a long time, on and off, but for the first week there was weeping more or less without stopping. I did it while crossing the park with the dog and walking along the beach. I wailed my way about town and sobbed in checkout queues. I lost all social embarrassment.
Three and a half years later, I live in a rented flat 200 miles away and we are divorced. The last time we met was almost two years ago, at a family event. We asked each other how we were, like acquaintances with no conversation. He was wearing a jacket I’d bought him once, from the Boden sale, and looked smaller than I remembered. For some reason, I told him this, and he said: “Yes, I appear to be shrinking.”
He didn’t look too unhappy about it. I realised that I wasn’t going to say any of the one-liners that had queued up in my head ready for this moment, and which dealt saltily with the pain and chaos his decision had caused. Something about the day was too banal, and there was too much. I knew I wasn’t going to say anything personal to him ever again.
Besides, technically, I had already moved on by then, following the directive that, at some point, you have to get back out there. I wasn’t much interested in other men, but I made myself be interested; the one thing that seemed obvious, from my vantage point in the slough of despond was that only the distraction of another relationship was going to help me get out of it. The memory of being tracked at night across the sheet by someone intent on spooning in his sleep wasn’t fading: quite the opposite. It had become powerful and undermining. It wasn’t the prospect of being alone that was the problem. If I had been able to eradicate the sense of loss, if I had been able to reboot my brain and start afresh, I might have been happy to be alone. But I was constantly haunted.
If you work at home and don’t talk to strangers in pubs or do sport or belong to associations, and don’t have school-age children, it is very hard to meet new people. After a while it seemed obvious that online dating was the only way forward, though I wasn’t prepared for how much effort that would take. The process of being “on offer” was not only humiliating, but time-intensive. Soon, a significant chunk of every evening was taken up patrolling half-a-dozen dating websites, pruning my advertising copy and getting into conversation with people. Often they proved to be the wrong people, though the realisation could take a lot of effort and a lot of Skyping, trying to establish a friendship so as to minimise the sense of risk.
People on dating sites fall into two camps: the instant meeters, who say hello and want to have a drink on Friday and those who have been badly burned and need a long run-up (I fell into the second category). There are different rules there, inside the digital flirtation pool, and people behave in ways they never would otherwise. The discarding of people becomes commonplace because it can be seen as a throwaway culture of endlessly refreshing offers.
One high-achieving, emotionally literate, sane-seeming man sent two emails a day for a month, growing ever more sure I was the woman for him, before deciding he didn’t want to meet after all. Not meeting became the norm. Sometimes just before the date the confession emerged: his unusual fetish, his being a decade older than the profile suggested or the existence of a wife watching television in the next room, entirely oblivious. At other times it was simpler: he got off on the attention and was lonely, but not actually interested.
Somewhat dented, I gave up for a while but all attempts to meet someone in other ways failed. Partly this was to do with being middle-aged and out of shape. If I dropped a glove in winter in the street, there was never a man rushing to retrieve it, smitten and intent on taking me ice-skating.
Back in the online swamp, I began to give myself pep talks about the good-enough match. I began to operate in a kind of optimistic denial. It is easy to get into a situation in which he is keen and you are not very, or vice versa: a pragmatic clinging together of incompatibles, for just a little while, until too sad or bored to cling on any more. There are times in life when the sea is more attractive than the lifeboat.
‘There’s a lot of crap talked about the spark’. Photograph by Graham Turner fr the Guardian/posed by model
Unrequitedness was a big issue. Men who reminded me of my husband, the interesting, handsome ones to whom I wrote long, witty letters, naively expectant of my worth being obvious, were out of my reach, talking to younger women with smaller bottoms. Rows and rows of contestants, even of age 50-plus, specified that they would meet only females under 30 who were a maximum size 12. A man of 56 told me: “Plain fact is, you’re the wrong side of 40 and Rubenesque, which means you’ve got very little prestige.” He told me to go to the gym and give up carbs. A frequenter of the manosphere, an online subworld of male bloggers and commenters, used the manosphere acronym SMV (sexual market value) so as to inform me that I didn’t have much of it. It was all very disheartening and the end result was that I became grateful for crumbs of hope. In that situation, if someone nice crosses your path, genuinely single, not alarming-looking, someone you like on first sight, and the date goes well, and he’s keen to have a second: the day this happens is a magnificently lucky day.
It seemed less and less likely that it would happen. But then, a year ago, reading new listings on a website from which I was about to delete myself, I met a man called Eric, a very tall man (good), who lived alone (good) and who worked in IT (maybe not so good). I wasn’t sure, after the first date – nervously, he talked a lot about fibre optics – and that’s when lots of people give up, thinking that if there is no instant “spark”, there’s no point.
There’s a lot of crap talked about the spark. I can tell you from my own experience that sometimes it doesn’t emerge for quite a while. Sometimes, people are just slow to get to know.
Some of the most endearing things about Eric have only emerged over time. Besides knowing a lot about the stars and about science, he has a secret passion for romcoms, is a buyer of surprise flowers and tickets, is up for budget flights on winter weekends, and is the uncrowned prince of DIY.
It also turns out that he is the kindest man I have ever met. If I were to lock myself in the bathroom and howl like a wounded fox, as I did the night my ex made his announcement, Eric would be distraught. He would sit on the floor and talk to me through the door, and beg to be let in to comfort me. Kindness is too often under-rated.
What is also noticeable is the constant physical proximity when we are together: the snuggling, the wanting to have a point of contact when sitting – a shoulder, a knee – and the frequent glancing touches when we are cooking together; the fact that even when it’s cold, he’ll take one glove off in the street so that we can hold hands skin to skin.
Not that things are simple. He has his baggage and I have mine, the actual and metaphorical, though I’m learning to live with the shadow, the one cast by grief. At the start I spent a lot of time fighting it, convinced I couldn’t see anyone else until the shadow was gone. The truth is that it probably won’t disappear altogether. It wears slowly away, like other griefs, and the trick is to accept that and be happy. Sometimes, even now, the ex pops up in dreams. Sometimes we have a frank exchange and he finally sees things from my point of view: a search for closure, I suppose. Once, when he visited me in my sleep, he told me he had broken up with the other woman, and I was horrified to find myself begging him to come home. It isn’t something I’d do when awake, not now, but sometimes the subconscious hangs on to things the conscious mind has put to rest.
Now when I hear that people are to divorce I feel an acute pity. Separating is hard. When I was young and everything was black and white, I would see those articles about great life stressors and wonder about divorce being in the list next to bereavements and tumours. Even when you are happily married, the idea of separation is sometimes quite tempting. Your own flat and your own things; shopping and eating and travelling at will; a single’s social life again and blessed independence.
At ordinary low points in a relationship you might think: “Well, it will be sad and there will be tricky negotiations over property and books, but it will be OK.” The reality is somewhat different. What I hadn’t expected was how much divorce would undermine the past. The doubts can begin to breed and multiply. Did he really mean it when he said “I do”? When did his heart begin to sink in response to my affection? Were they really happy, those holidays marked by smiling photographs? I can drive myself mad trying to identify the turning point.
But most of the time I don’t obsess over these things. Most of the time I live my life forwards and can stop myself from looking back. Admittedly there are still bad, self-destructive days when everywhere I go, all I see is everything I’ve lost. Sometimes they are quite concrete things: I lost my house, for instance, and may never be able to afford one again. Other less tangible kinds of loss strike deeper, and quantifying them is a seductively bad habit. There are times, even now, when I beat myself up because suddenly it’s obvious that it must have been my fault. Superficially, we were happy: it wasn’t a bickering, obviously bad sort of a marriage and the end of it shocked everyone we knew, but the fact has to be faced that he was so miserable that he was driven into a corner, and turned his own life upside down in his desperation to be free. That’s the shadow that’s difficult to shift. But you have to live your life as forward-facing as you can. And you learn as you go; you learn so much.
I live my life differently now. I don’t know if I could live with someone again. I don’t assume that love will last, or look forward beyond the summer. Fundamentally, no matter what promises we make, the truth is that today is all we have.
Reinventing Your Life After Divorce
Think About Who You Want To Be. Reinventing your life after divorce doesn’t mean that you have to become a person that is unrecognisable to your old self, but it does give you a chance to seriously consider the kind of person you are now and where you want to be. In a relationship, a part of your identity is taken up by titles like wife or partner. Once your relationship has ended, those parts of your identity also end. This gives you a chance to fill those parts of your identity however you wish. Be open to new experiences that can show you something that you may not have known about yourself. Start with small steps to reinvent yourself like a new haircut or taking up a new creative hobby. You should be considerate to take on new experiences that fit within the constraints of your life that you can’t readily change such as your budget or having to care for your kids. Nevertheless, you can still find new things to try that fit within the rest of your life. Don’t be afraid to see where your experiences take you. You might even surprise yourself.
Don’t Rush Things. Reinventing your life after divorce will be difficult at first because you may still be lamenting the loss of your past. Once you get the ball rolling, you’ll probably start to have some fun with it. It’s good to dive into your new life after divorce head first and ready for new experiences, but you must be careful not to take certain things too fast. This is particularly important if you start seeing someone new. Dating after divorce is a healthy way of moving forward and reinvent your life, yet when it is done without caution, it might simply lead you right back down a similar path to the one you were just on. Don’t rush these kinds of experiences. Taking things slowly will help you to be more aware of what it is you truly want.
Trust Yourself. Getting used to life after divorce can feel scary at times. You might not be sure if the decisions you’re making are the right ones. While you probably won’t always be able to know if you’re making the right choice, you should be confident in everything you do. Trust yourself and the actions you take. Keep your chin up and your eyes always looking towards the future. Self-assurance and boldness can give you the spark you need to reinvent your life after divorce.
Moving forward and reinventing your life after divorce should be a positive experience that makes you feel excited for what lies ahead for you. While you can do a lot to reinvent your life, there are something things that will remain the same. This is true in the case of co-parents who will share the responsibility of raising kids together. To make doing so across two homes easier on your whole family, use the tools offered by the OurFamilyWizard website to communicate, coordinate schedules, track expenses, and so much more. and keep your family connected while you reinvent your life after divorce.
The Reality of Life After Separation If You Wonder
Nobody plans for his or her marriage to fail, but the upside of splitting up – if there is one – is that you can definitely plan for your separation to succeed. Whether you have taken up arms or just fallen out of love and are now trying to salvage a friendship out of what’s left, there are potential financial and real estate related risks you are both exposed to that should be addressed.
We get it – divorce is expensive and often logistically difficult, especially if there’s animosity between the two of you. It’s also important to be mindful that, for some couples, staying married can be an appropriate arrangement as they may be seeking more time and space to work through their issues. However, the choice to avoid what you think might be a horror in the short term, could become much more challenging over the years, or even decades as an alternative. If you’ve separated on good terms this could still be the case – separating as friends is ok in theory, but people change and once new partners and new children come into your lives, things can get more complicated and expensive. There are numerous risks you may be exposed to by staying married, so think about what applies to you and decide if divorce may in fact be worth the hassle after all.
1. Bills and debt will take on new meaning
Shared responsibility for expenses was the case during your marriage and will continue to be the case as long as you stay married. Rebuilding your life after separation takes time, but the process begins immediately. On the practical end of the scale, think about things like paying the utility bills, school fees, insurance premiums, car payments and the mortgage. All of these expenses still need to be taken care of and if you lived on one income as a couple, things can get very tricky, especially if some of them are duplicated now across two households.
In addition to working out the logistics of how these common expenses (as well as the everyday ones like groceries and petrol) will be paid, there is also the complication of communication completely breaking down. If one partner moves out (or is forced to leave) they could refuse to continue to pay their share of the mortgage on a home they no longer live in. However, they remain legally obliged to service the mortgage while legal avenues are pursued, which could take months. If you are now without the supportive income of your partner, you not only have to find money to pay the mortgage and a lawyer’s bills, you may end up losing the house and destroying your credit rating in the process.
When reading the below hypothetical examples, it is important to note that the examples should be read as possibilities and not certainties.
Hypothetical Example 1: Joe and Lisa*
Marriages fall apart for a number of reasons but the discovery of a previously unknown habit is a common one. Take the example of Joe and Lisa. Joe had been a self-employed tradesman for a number of years and when they had their first baby, they both decided it was a better financial decision for Lisa, who had an academic career, to go back to work. Joe stayed home to take care of the baby and the running of the household, but over the next couple of years become increasingly depressed and disillusioned. Lisa worked long hours and travelled a lot and they became increasingly distant from each other. Joe started to occupy himself with online gambling to fill the hours he spent alone. Because he was taking care of their finances, Lisa had no sense of their dire financial situation, until the power got cut off and they argued about why Joe hadn’t paid the bill.
Joe’s months of stress trying to hide the truth were finally released and he revealed to Lisa that he had a gambling addiction and had racked up $27,000 worth of credit card debt. The dishonesty was too much for Lisa to bear and she left. Lisa depends on Joe for child care, Joe depends on Lisa for financial support. Together they are now almost $30k in debt and because Lisa had taken on the role of primary breadwinner, she is not in a position to state that she doesn’t have to pay this debt. Oh, and they are still separated but unfortunately not divorced , so Lisa gets to share Joe’s gambling debt whether she likes it or not. Of course, this example would highly depend on whether Lisa is an account holder to the credit card. Being married does not automatically link finances and responsibilities.
2. Your Home Becomes a Turf Battleground
If the decision to separate was amicable, sometimes couples will choose to keep living together until they sort out future plans. In the cases where it was less than friendly, one person may choose to leave, or the other may refuse to go. Battle lines are drawn, the house paperwork is dug out regarding co-ownership and the dispute begins. The fact is, you both still own the house, so until you change that fact, nobody wins and both of you are potentially allowed to be there. While one spouse stays on, the other can theoretically come and go as they please. Plus, in some places you may not be entitled to change the locks, so you may not even be able do that to stake your claim (and we do not suggest this as a positive course of action either).
There are any number of possible dynamics that could be at play, and if the person paying the bills is the one who had to move out, you can bet they will not let you forget it in a hurry. If there are children involved, sometimes that can work out better for the partner left behind as the house is then seen as a family home – the mortgage gets paid and they get to stay by default because the kids are there. But if that’s not the case and someone else is paying a mortgage on the home you once shared, that they no longer live in, things may get more difficult.
Hypothetical Example 2: David and Peter*
David and Peter were married ten years ago in the Netherlands and have 2 children together. They separated 18 months ago and (until recently) have not been able to be granted a divorce in Australia because they were not married according to Australian law. After the separation, Peter stayed on in the house with the children and David moved in with his new partner. Peter made it difficult for David to see the children as regularly as he would have liked to, so David would drop into the house when convenient to make sure the kids knew he was still around. From David’s perspective, this was a good solution as the kids could see him every day for breakfast, or after school, or at bath time, as he could manage. But for Peter the situation became intolerable. He didn’t want to see David at all and he resented the imposition into his privacy every day.
Peter rented a 2-bedroom apartment and moved out with the children and told David he wanted to sell the house. On realising they had moved out, David and his partner moved into the house and David now refuses to go ahead with the sale. Peter won’t let the children go back to what was once their family home and David is having difficulties seeing his children because he no longer has access to the house they live in. It’s complicated and with neither of them backing down, the ones that suffer the most will possibly be the children.
3. The possibility of losing a windfall
For some couples, getting divorced is something they accept they’ll eventually do but then they never quite get around to the doing bit. This is all well and good until something happens and in these kinds of cases, a surprise windfall of cash could be your greatest regret. There have been examples regarding post separation wealth – people winning the lottery or gaining an inheritance, only to see their long-lost spouse pop up, with their hand out for their share. If you are currently providing financial support to a child in your spouse’s care, they can apply for the payments to increase, commensurate with your financial situation. Or they could possibly make a claim, because you were married and that’s how it goes. Their success is not assured, but it can’t be ruled out either.
It’s not just lotto wins either. Separation can give you a new motivation to create a whole new version of your life and with that can come success and great fortune. Your increased income can give your ex grand ideas for restructuring your current shared financial contributions. Or you may have just lost the battle for that thing you have been fighting against due to lack of funds. Possibly the most distressing example of this risk applies to those who are separated so long, you forget you never got divorced – until someone gets an inheritance. Thirty years later your ex appears and despite modern logic and rational thought, is possibly within their rights to try and claim a share of your beloved parent’s life savings.
Hypothetical Example 3: Lotto winner
A man and his wife had separated but never divorced and their child was under 18 and in the mother’s full-time care. At the time of separation, the couple had few assets and an arrangement was made regarding child support. A few years after separating, the husband was lucky enough to win a considerable amount of money in a lottery. Because they were still married, the wife was able to make an application for property orders – the court awarded the property to her without hesitation because his financial circumstances had changed.
4. After death claims on wealth
Modern marriage comes in all shape and sizes and it’s far more common to have been married more than once these days than it used to be. Many couples who married too young, realised quickly that they had made a mistake and moved onto find a richer more fulfilling relationship with someone else. It’s easy to see, in these instances, how the philosophical choice not to marry again contributes to neglecting to divorce your first spouse from all those years ago. However, realising your young spouse was not the person you thought they were, can prove you right after you die and they step forward to make a claim on your estate.
Unless you clearly stated your intentions in your will regarding their entitlements, your ex may make a claim on the estate. Despite having built a family, shared many happy decades with your defacto partner and maybe even benefited from them nursing you to your death, their chance for financial relief after you’ve gone could be in jeopardy, if you are not divorced. Your beloved family could be left with very little, because divorcing that person you were married to – for a year or two back in your 20s – never seemed important enough.
Hypothetical Example 4: Priscilla, Adam and Louisa*
Priscilla and Adam were married in their early 20s after a whirlwind summer romance, backpacking along the east coast. Things turned bad very quickly once they returned to normal life, moved in together and faced the realities of the daily grind. They agreed the marriage wasn’t working and went their separate ways. Priscilla went on to join the police force and soon after, met Louisa and the two started a relationship. They went on to build a house together, have 3 children and had just welcomed their first grandchild when Priscilla was killed while on the job on a high-profile case. Her estate was awarded compensation and the incident was reported on the news.
Adam had followed a different path, struggled to find a career and was in financial difficulty, when he heard the news of Priscilla’s death from a mutual friend. He got some advice from a friend and, on the off chance that he might have some entitlements, started to pursue a claim on the estate. Just when Priscilla’s family thought things couldn’t get any worse, they did. Regardless of the outcome of Adam’s claim, at a time when they wanted to grieve in peace, the family were dragged into an unpleasant situation with a nearly complete stranger and the overlooking of an important detail like divorce had the potential to change theirs and Adam’s lives.
5. The past is never far behind you
As has been outlined, there are plenty of financial and reasons why you should consider getting divorced, but possibly the most important is for your own mental and emotional wellbeing. In the early days of separation, emotions rule decisions. Spouses are either so filled with emotion that they’re unable to act rationally, or so defeated by the failure of the marriage that they are left with nothing but emptiness. Sometimes these behaviours are the motivating factor in making sure the divorce happens and in other instances, refusing to divorce becomes strategic so a spouse can maintain control and try to dictate outcomes that may never come to be.
Marriage has the potential to bind two people and their financial choices together, while divorce undoes the ties that bind in clean and appropriate ways. Separated couples often have no say in how their shared assets are being managed by their spouse, how the money in the shared bank account is being spent, or what kind of purchases can go on the joint credit card. Your ex can take their new lover out for lavish dinners at your expense, or decide to remodel the holiday house out of spite, because you refused to for so many years. The best choice for both parties is to make a clean break, divide the assets and get a divorce. Putting the past in the past gives you the opportunity for a fresh start, to pursue other paths and to build up both your personal and financial capital and set yourself some brand new and exciting goals for the future.
Hypothetical Example 5: Jack and Natalie*
Jack and Natalie had been married for 14 years and during this time Natalie struggled with mental illness. Despite numerous attempts at treatment her health continued to deteriorate and she told Jack she wanted him to move out of the family home. It was unclear to Jack whether this was something that Natalie truly wanted, or a symptom of her ill health so he agreed to the separation in principal. He moved out and Natalie stayed in the family home with the children. Jack moved in with his brother and over the next 12 months, continued to support Natalie and the children emotionally and financially.
Because he was not in the house to monitor Natalie’s behaviour he often learnt about things after it was too late, such as utilities being disconnected because he hadn’t received the bill, or Natalie spontaneously booking flights for her and the children on their joint credit card. She started to spend much more money that she previously had, on items that neither her or the children needed, yet wouldn’t buy essential such as food, or fill the car with petrol. She called him on at least 3 occasions to go and rescue them from the side of the road, because the car had run out of fuel. Jack started to become anxious and frustrated at the situation.
Jack’s brother and his partner had a baby and Jack knew, by this stage, that he and Natalie would not reconcile so he needed to find a place to live. He couldn’t financially afford to run two households and Natalie’s spending was getting worse. He discussed selling the family home and moving her and the children to something cheaper, but she refused. The only possible way for Jack to improve this situation for him, his children and for Natalie was to bring the situation to an end, so he was left with no choice but to pursue divorce proceedings .
It’s important to recognise that the examples quoted in this article are risks, not absolutes, and that the purpose of this article is not to provide legal advice or encourage divorce. Everybody’s circumstances are individual and must be considered with the utmost caution. Most people enter into marriage because of traditions and love and of course the big fancy weddings, but at the end of the day it should really be taken seriously for the binding business arrangement that it is. The fight for same sex marriages across the globe is not just so ‘gay people can have weddings too’. It’s to enable individuals to have the same privileges their friends and family have, to put structures around their financial decisions and to be able to offer the same sense of support and security to their partners and children that everybody else has. There is something to be said for short-term sacrifice for long-term gain after all. It’s true, divorce is costly and stressful, but once it’s over, so is everything else and a new chapter of your life can begin.
DISCLAIMER * Examples given are hypothetical and the stories detailed are not intentionally based on any real-life situations. Any similarities are purely coincidental.
Dealing with divorce is like a scary and emotional roller coaster ride. It takes time to get out of the ‘habit’ of being married and lead your life as a single woman again.
Nobody is ever prepared for what it feels like to be divorced. It feels like you are close to losing everything that you held to be dear. If you are battling through a divorce, this post will help you to steer your life in the right direction.
I was reduced to panic and gibbering when my husband confessed that he didn’t love me anymore. ‘I want a divorce’- these four words were enough to turn my life upside down. Initially, I felt like I would probably never get through this rough phase of my life.
After the divorce, I became a woman who was sad, lonely and financially strapped. In short, I became the real-life Miss Havisham. There was a lot of crying during that phase. Whether I walked my dog or watched a movie, it was hard for me to accept the divorce.
As per Vikki Stark, the author of Runaway Husbands, it takes almost two years to feel normal again after the divorce. You can heal yourself in multiple ways in those 24 months.
Check out the tips below to take back your life after divorce.
Take your time to grieve. There is no shame in that
The falling apart of a marriage will surely take a toll. You need to mourn the lifestyle and life that you have lost. Grieving will make you feel better (even if it was you who wanted the split).
I tried to stay strong after my divorce. The ‘If Jennifer Anniston could move on, so could you’ type of feelings just made things worse. It took me a while to realize that you need to let go bit by bit. It is okay to mourn the loss. It is only through grieving that you will accept the divorce. The sooner you accept that the marriage is over, the better it will be for your mental peace.
Just take your time and things will fall into place. Meanwhile, you can lie in your bed and have your favorite ice cream.
Talk to your friends. Close ones, only
My brain switched on to the 24/7 divorce network channel after the first few days. My friends helped me change that channel in my head.
Almost everyone I ran into after the fallout of my marriage asked how things are after the divorce. My best friends and support system tried their best to steer the conversations away from it.
Most of the people will want to know your ‘divorce story’ only to brew up gossip. On the other hand, your friends will listen to you without judgement.
They will support you and remind you how special and strong you are as a human being. Trust me; this support will help you cope with things after the divorce.
Most importantly, your friends will make sure you don’t do anything rash or stupid. No matter how drunk or angry you are, your friends will find a way for you to vent those feelings out. They are the ones who will prevent you from falling off the edge.
Seek professional assistance. It’s important for you and your kids
Friends help a lot when it comes to moving on after a divorce. But, you may need a therapist to figure out how to jump-start your new life.
Sometimes, it becomes difficult to feel motivated even with friends and family around you. In that case, it helps to have a professional by your side.
You can find a therapist near you on Psychology Today. Just share your thoughts with the therapist and try to implement his/her suggestions.
According to The Conversation, a small number of children are highly affected by the divorce of their parents. Studies show that almost 50,000 to 60,000 kids in Australia experience their parents getting a divorce each year.
Your divorce can have an adverse impact on your children. Their academics may get worse, or some may even have behavioral problems. Let a professional therapist help you and your kids to deal with this matter. You don’t want the divorce to affect your kids, do you?
Stop feeling sorry for yourself
As per Unified Lawyers, the global divorce rate is constantly rising with time. The rate has increased almost 251.8% since 1960. With a population of approximately 500,000, Luxembourg encounters 87% of divorces every year. Similarly, the United States has 46% of divorces per year.
What do we learn from these statistics?
You are not alone.
There are hundreds like you out there, fighting the odds to give themselves and their kids a better life. I spent the first year of divorce grieving and venting to my family and friends. But, let’s be real. You can’t depend on them forever.
I realized it was time to stop considering myself a victim. Smart women do not make the pain of divorce their identity card.
Buckle up. Start following women who can be role models with their optimism and strength. I followed One Mom’s Battle, which was founded by a single parent to battle the divorce.
You will be sad or feel despair at unexpected times. But, you won’t give up. This step is especially important if you have a daughter who looks up to you. You need make yourself worth her admiration.
Become financially independent
I am of the opinion that economic dependence degrades the self-esteem of women. Financial independence is one of the most important factors required to lead a better life after the divorce. Economic dependence on your husband is like a double-edged sword.
Get a job or follow your passion to increase your earnings. I started by providing writing service to students in my local area. Gradually, I got a job at a reputed middle school as an English teacher.
This job is not my only source of income. It is my pride, my get away from the chaos of life. Take the example of Teri McCowan. She too had a hard time getting through the divorce after 26 years of marriage. But, she didn’t give up. At present, she has a walking club of her own that is doing pretty good.
When you feel low, try to look at the bright side of things. You can do whatever you want. There is no one to intervene or stop you from living your dreams. Learn to play the guitar and be a musician or go ahead and become a painter. Once you make the decision, there is no stopping you.
Make new friends and start dating
After my divorce, I felt a little odd among my married girlfriends. The truth is, they might not like to spend all their time with you. This is why you will need new single friends.
Check out online dating sites to come across a sea of single men who would suit your taste. When you hang out with new people, you get less time to focus on painful feelings and memories. You can learn about new friends, their lives and other experiences. However, stay away from people who tend to bring in negativity in your life. You might be vulnerable at this point in time. Don’t end up getting hurt by choosing the wrong friends.
Start dating when you start feeling good about yourself. Do not rush with the process. Just keep it light and have loads of fun. You are not looking for a soul mate out there, are you? Find someone pleasant and go out on a dinner date. Good luck, ladies!
When things fall back into place, take a short trip with your girlfriends or kids. Nature can do wonders to your soul. I took a solo trip to Rome and it felt heavenly. The above-mentioned tips helped me live through the divorce darkness and celebrate being single. Here’s hoping that this blog will help you to move forward.
Gracie Anderson is a high school teacher in the United States. She is a single mother who dotes on her kids. She also provides CPM homework help to students via MyAssignmenthelp. www.myassignmenthelp.com