Top 5 Ways to Recover from an Abusive Relationship After Divorce

By: Samantha Donaldson
Last Update: March 10, 2017

Divorce is already a hard enough thing to deal with; however, removing yourself from an abusive relationship in the process can make things almost impossible. The best way to do so is by learning to live without them and learning to love yourself in the process.

1. Know the Law

Although this may seem simplistic in nature, knowing the law and your rights before you begin the divorce process can make the situation much more positive and help you to ensure that this individual is not affecting you even after you separate in the process. Furthermore, domestic abuse is not taken lightly in many states and accounts of this abuse can help you to gain full custody of any children you had with your partner and avoid the likelihood of them being put in the care of a clearly aggressive person. In fact, new CDV laws dictate jail time for penalties in many states, including California and South Carolina.

2. Create a Support Group

Creating a support group of friends and family that you know will stand by your side through thick and thin can help you to avoid the costly altercations that all too often ensue after a divorce is decided upon. By doing so, you can also learn to love yourself again and discuss some of the trauma you endured without feeling like these individuals will turn on you or support your ex-partner in the process.

On top of this, support groups can allow you to begin to remove all traces of this individual from your life so you can recover from the pain they have inflicted in a healthy way. However, determining individuals that are healthy for you to surround yourself is a wonderful first step that will be able to help you determine who your true friends are and who is toxic to you and your future.

3. Remove Yourself from Toxic Environments and People

Removing yourself from the toxic environment that you are currently facing can help you to ensure that you are leading a healthy and future-oriented life without being tied down to your past. Toxic individuals and locations include local restaurants you and your spouse may have frequented, friends that choose to side with your ex, and the neighborhood which you both lived in together prior to the divorce.

Although visiting these locations and spending time with these individuals may seem harmless at first, there is a far more psychological aspect to these locations than you realize. In fact, studies suggest that going to the places you once frequented as a couple can lead you back to this individual no matter how abusive they may be and force you to repeat the cycle once again. You must remind yourself that they were physically and mentally attacking you and keep in mind the basic principles of love and Stockholm syndrome that led you to these emotions in the first place.

4. Learn to Live Again

The new you is not something to be depressed or angry about. In fact, removing yourself from this environment means a fresh start for you and your family alike. The best thing to do is to take this opportunity as a way to reinvent yourself and create a stronger, better you. Whether it be going out with friends you haven’t seen in a long time or even simply spending time with your family, you can begin to live again and see what you were missing out on when married to this abusive individual.

Another wonderful way to begin to live again is by learning to let go. Through counseling, you can begin to discuss the stress you have faced and find ways to move on from your past and build a brighter future for you and your children. Furthermore, by counseling children through divorce, you can ensure that your child moves past this time in their lives in a healthy way as well and doesn’t turn to substance abuse later in life.

5. Find Healthy Outlets for Stress and Trauma

When dealing with a rough divorce, outlets such as exercise and hobbies can make all the difference. Although addressing your issues is important to an extent, being able to put those problems to the side and focus on something healthy and fun is a wonderful way to learn how to live without this individual in your life. In fact, by increasing the amount of daily tasks you do, you can significantly decrease the physical effects of stress without much effort in return.

Whether it be an activity such as hiking and meditation or a more focused activity like building a model or fixing something in your home, you can begin to find solace in everyday life and put the past behind you for good. On top of this, you can begin to grow and mature as an individual and learn how to cope in a healthy manner rather than turning to drugs or alcohol abuse as many divorcees all too often do. In fact, studies show that children of divorce are more likely to smoke as adults, meaning that the decisions you make now could greatly influence the decisions your children make later in life.

Although it can be difficult to overcome some of the trauma this person has inflicted upon you, divorce is the ultimate first step. In the end, you and your children will be safer and happier because of it no matter how unsure you may be. The best thing to do is to begin to create a life you hoped to always have without this person and see the amazing results of positivity in turn. Despite the difficulty that lies in this, by showing that you can recover in a positive way, you can teach your children what strength and determination means and help them recover and learn from this in a positive and effective way in the process.

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