Facing a divorce is not something you may have imagined you’d deal with. However, know that you’re not alone. Almost 800,000 people file for a divorce every year in the US.
A separation is not the easiest thing to encounter, but there are ways you can heal from this. This article explores the different divorce advice to help you move on after separating.
1. Find Others Who Go Through the Same Thing
Joining a support group or reaching out to people who have gone through a divorce goes a long way in helping the healing process.
When you talk to people who understand what it’s like, they can provide you with solid divorce advice on how they themselves got through this period.
2. Take the Time to Grieve
Separating from someone you thought you’d spend the rest of your life with is not going to be easy. It’s a huge shift in your life, and in order to fully move on, you have to give yourself a space to grieve.
Instead of shoving down your feelings, acknowledge that they come from a reasonable place, and that you have to deal with them in order to heal.
Take the time you need to realize that things have changed, but that there is still room for hope.
3. Focus on the Future
While you do need to provide a space to grieve constructively, don’t let that be the endpoint and let the past pull you down. Instead, start focusing on the future, and how you’ll have to adapt to the differences.
If you used to be a stay-at-home mother, perhaps finances will need to become a new focus in this season.
The type of divorce you went through (whether it was contested or uncontested) will also impact your next priorities. Do you need to go through child custody negotiations? How will you divide your assets?
Don’t forget to look at the bright side, too. What can you do now that you are single again?
4. Don’t Blame Yourself
Often, you may get tempted to examine what went wrong in your marriage and turn the blame to yourself. If you feel the desire to do this, don’t. Especially if you just came out of an abusive relationship, pointing the finger at yourself is destructive and will not help you move on.
While a divorce may have resulted based on some of your actions, it’s important to note that it takes two to make a relationship work, and it takes two to make a relationship fail. Learning that people make mistakes and that you can’t keep focusing on the past will help you take the next steps towards healing.
5. Protect Your Children From the Divorce
Divorces can get messy, and they can become very traumatic for children. It can increase development difficulties, a drop in academic performance, and higher rates of depression.
It’s so important, therefore, to try to protect your children from the full brunt of the separation. Where possible, try to maintain a civil attitude towards your ex, and make sure you each allocate time to spend with the kids. Don’t drag your children into the mess and teach them to take sides, or attempt to make them support you over your ex.
6. Spend Some Time Rediscovering Yourself
Stepping away from such a serious relationship can leave you questioning who you really are, apart from your marriage. Now’s the time when you get to discover the answer. Take the time to get in touch with your own interests and passions, and see what type of person you’d be if you’re going through life independently.
This is also a great time to take on some new hobbies. Have you always wanted to paint but didn’t because your spouse thought you’d mess up the living room? That’s one thing you don’t have to worry about anymore!
7. Don’t Let Fear Overwhelm You
What if you never get married again? What if you never get a second chance at love?
These fears are natural among newly divorced individuals, but that doesn’t mean you should listen to them. Don’t let the fear make you yearn to re-enter that relationship. Recognize that there was a reason why you did what you did, and that your former relationship is no longer sustainable.
8. Understand That Your Friendship Circle Will Look Different
Especially if most of your friends have a strong relationship with you and your ex, prepare yourself for the possibility that some of them will take sides. It may be awkward for everyone involved to still hang around with both of you, so there may be some tightening of your friendship circle.
If this happens, don’t despair. Understand that it’s a natural part of the process and that your friends are also in a difficult situation and may not know what to do.
9. Get Yourself Out There Again
For some of you, the best way to prevent yourself from falling into a destructive loop is to look for another relationship. It doesn’t have to be something serious and make sure to acknowledge that you may not be in the best position to deal with the heartbreak involved in another relationship going south.
By all means, be cautious about it, but don’t let the fear and the guilt bring you down to a level where you don’t think you’re worthy of another relationship. Take the time to test the waters, then flirt with a few people.
10. Embrace the New Lifestyle
Yes, life will look very different once you get out of a marriage. No, that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. You can have more time for yourself, more finances to spend on you, and more freedom to do what you’ve always wanted to do.
While there are, of course, drawbacks, embrace this new season of your life and let it teach you something about who you are.
Choose the Divorce Advice That Works for You
Not all of the above advice will work for everyone. Make sure to try them out, but keep in mind that each person’s journey will look different. Don’t get discouraged when you’ve tried a lot of them and nothing seems to be working! Keep trying, and keep believing that there is more to life than your failed marriage.
If you found this article helpful, check out the rest of our blog for more relationship advice.