Deciding to end your marriage is far from easy, and it can be extremely stressful dealing with how to move on after divorce.
The number of divorces hit a record high in 2019, with more than one in four marriages ending in separation.
As you make this tough call to end your marriage, it’s normal to be swept up in a roller-coaster of emotions.
Perhaps you’ll be reminded of the dreams and commitments that you once shared with your partner, or feel extremely anxious about the future.
What will life be like from now on? Will I ever find love again? How do I talk to my kids normally?
However, it’s important to keep reminding yourself that it takes time for you to get through this difficult period.
1. Don’t fight your feelings.
Remember: It’s completely okay to feel sad, confused, angry and overwhelmed—all at the same time.
On the other hand, make sure you don’t let yourself fall into a negative downward spiral.
Express your emotions as they come, whether it’s through confiding in a close friend or writing in a journal.
Remind yourself that you are not a failure.
The relationship simply ran its course; trust that you’re moving on to better things.
2. Invest in your own well-being.
This could be as simple as doing some yoga or checking items off your bucket list that you never got down to doing.
Taking the time to re-explore your interests and hobbies will ultimately boost your mood and self-esteem.
3. Be easy on your wallet.
Going through the legal proceedings of a divorce can be tough on the wallet.
There’s also the fact that you can’t depend on your ex to share the burden of future expenses anymore.
Learn to tweak and adjust your lifestyle to become self-reliant when it comes to your finances.
For example, limit your monthly budget, dine out less often or take up a new job if you haven’t been working.
Trust us; you’ll thank yourself in the years to come.
4. Shift your perspective.
While you can’t change the divorce, you can change the way you act and feel about it.
Re-framing the divorce is all about shifting your attitude and perspective on the entire situation.
If you wish to move forward, take this opportunity to learn and grow from the relationship instead of playing the blame game and indulging in self-victimization.
Figure out what went wrong, forgive yourself for any mistakes, be grateful for what you have right now and appreciate the good times you shared with your ex.
Every obstacle in life is an opportunity in disguise—so make full use of it!
5. Surround yourself with a strong support group.
It may be tempting to avoid your close friends and family during this difficult time, but remember that it isn’t healthy to bottle everything up.
Facing all your problems alone may actually cause you more stress and anxiety.
Arrange a catch-up session with your best pals, or, if you’re feeling adventurous, reach out to people you may have lost touch with over the years.
Sharing crazy stories and reminiscing the good ol’ days may prove to be more therapeutic than you’d expect.
6. Don’t be afraid to get professional help.
Having trouble eating or sleeping?
Struggling with a lack of self worth that doesn’t seem to go away no matter how hard you try?
There’s absolutely no shame in seeking guidance from a counselor or family therapist.
In fact, reaching out to an expert shows that you are committed to your mental health and are brave enough to admit that you need help.
Therapy sessions can aid you to better process negative emotions and gain a broader perspective about the divorce to empower you in moving forward.
7. Have an honest talk with your kids.
Children going through their parents’ divorce often have feelings of anger and resentment built up towards both parties, especially when either spouse intentionally involves them in arguments.
They may start to lose their motivation in school or think that it is their fault, and these harmful effects can follow them into adulthood.
As much as you can’t bear to hurt their feelings, letting your children know early on about your divorce and reassuring them that you love them is essential in helping them make sense of the changes.
Make sure that the lines of communication are always open and that they can always count on you to talk about their feelings.
8. Don’t make any hasty big decisions.
Take your time to reassess your needs in life and don’t let your emotions overshadow any major decisions beyond the divorce.
It may be tempting to dive back into old drinking patterns or splurge unnecessarily on luxury items for temporary gratification, but make sure to keep your habits in moderation.
If you think you are not ready for a new relationship, it is best to give yourself the time and space to fully heal from the divorce and focus on yourself before rushing into anything.
9. Create your new normal.
Every little thing might trigger you to miss your ex and pull you back into a whirlpool of dark emotions.
But as much as you wish to confide in your ex when you’ve had a rough day, don’t.
Instead, incorporate a list of activities in your schedule such as joining a fitness class or hanging out with your colleagues after work; make sure you always have something to look forward to.
Exploring uncharted ground may be nerve-wrecking, but learning to get out of your comfort zone can be extremely fulfilling.
Finding a reliable divorce lawyer
The legal process of getting a divorce can be extremely complicated, so engaging an experienced and credible divorce lawyer is crucial.
At the end of the day, learning how to cope with divorce is crucial if you want to experience true healing.
Remind yourself that you’ve come this far, and know that these tough times will not last forever.