I think you’ll agree with me when I say that getting over a divorce is one very tough challenge. While this can be pretty easy and liberating in a few cases, it’s usually a very tough experience.
From experience, I’ve discovered that there’s always a way back to regaining yourself. You can even grow into a better person. A few months ago, I experienced a breakup. My inner need to find peace necessitated the recovery moves I made.
I read page after page of various books on psychology and brain research in relation to a breakup. I listened to many couples counseling sessions that turned out really enlightening.
I was able to compile some compelling techniques for getting back to yourself after divorce or a breakup and several psychological methods. These are laid bare in this article on ‘getting over a divorce’. Let’s see!
7 Steps to Get Back to Yourself After Divorce
Step 1: Redefining Yourself
How much of yourself did you give up in your marriage? This will determine how difficult it will be for you to start life again as a single. The chart below says it all.
But wait, what do I mean by giving up yourself in a relationship?
Well, I’m talking about how you define yourself. Take a moment to look at how you saw yourself before the relationship and then while in the relationship.
Perhaps you’ve felt unworthy or not enough before the relationship. If this is the case, you’ve probably defined yourself as worthy while in the relationship. The lonely and unworthy single ‘you’ became a worthy and happy ‘we’.
Why you need to redefine yourself
Getting over a divorce is more difficult if your definition of yourself is only as part of a relationship. After a breakup, you’ll lose this definition of yourself. You should know that this is not healthy.
As it turns out, the problem here usually starts way before the relationship.
To best avoid this, you need to have a positive definition of your own life and not only as part of a relationship. You have to be happy with yourself to have a healthy relationship and a less stressful breakup. You have to rethink and rewrite your definition of yourself as an individual.
Step 2: Redefining Your Personal Boundaries After a Breakup
Getting over a divorce or breakup presents an opportunity to redefine your boundaries. But then, you may have to visualize your ideal relationship and write down the details of what this means to you.
You’ll need to ask yourself certain questions;
How much time do I want to spend with my partner? How much time will I spend alone without my partner? What about time with family and friends? What do I want out of my ideal relationship? What do I want in my life? These questions can center on a wide range of issues. They could be about your career or where you want to live. It could be about whether you want to marry or have kids. It may be about your social life, hobbies, cultural life, among others.
Why you need to redefine personal boundaries.
You need to have an ideal picture of what you want to be. This should also be communicated clearly if you’ll be going into a new relationship.
Look, you don’t have to be too committed to being adaptive. You also need to focus on your personal needs and what’s important to you.
Step 3: Fixing Your Heart after Being Broken
Getting over a divorce after a long marriage can be particularly challenging.
The mind usually goes back to all of the happy moments and beautiful memories after a breakup. This is similar to how drug addiction operates. This won’t help you get the quick fix you badly need. They will continue to feed your addiction, creating deeper emotional wounds.
We tend to reject the real reasons why things did not work out. The mind makes up stories about its own reasons and can even go to the extent of keeping up some hope.
As it turns out, all of these are destructive if you’ll be getting over a divorce. The most important thing you need at this point is to pick up the broken pieces and get yourself together.
Healing your heart after a breakup
Guy Winch advises that rather than finding explanations to a breakup, it’s always better to find the reason why it didn’t work.
You have to resist the addiction and give that chapter closure. You may have to write down a list of the negative traits in your ex. You can then put this where you can see it daily to avoid focusing too much on their positives. You have to identify all the voids in your life and take steps to fill these with more positive activities. Doing sports and spending time on social networks can also be very helpful.
Step 4: Evaluate Your Own Responsibility
You’re the one getting over a divorce so it’s important that you’re honest with yourself.
Ask yourself some questions;
How have I contributed to the breakup? Why didn’t I change these before the breakup? How can I do things better the next time? Getting a clear insight of where everything went wrong will help you see where you got it wrong. This should help you learn and grow into a better person so your next relationship can be much better.
Step 5: Analyze Your Personal Trigger Points
That chapter of your life should be closed. But then, you may have to cast another look into the past, this time into your fights. You have to focus on the triggers from both sides but more on yours.
You need to examine what often triggers the feelings of hatred or anger in you. You can also check if this pattern has been there since childhood.
Could this be an old pattern?
Knowing this will help you do better in your next relationship. Oftentimes, the triggers may not have been what the ex-partner said or did. It may have been just an old pattern triggered by the ex’s words or behaviors.
Consider communicating clearly when going into your next relationship if this is the case. It will be a good thing if both partners open up about their difficult patterns, early on. This will help solidify the foundation of the relationship.
Step 6: Stop Pleasing Too Much, If You Once Did
The Disease to Please, written by Harriet B. Braiker is one book I often recommend to people. This is because it will make you realize the dangers of being too committed to pleasing a partner while in a relationship. This makes getting over a divorce even more challenging. To begin with, it can even damage how others feel about you.
Maybe you don’t know, but people can also be attracted to you even when you have your own life and opinion about other issues. Knowing this will help in getting over a breakup and redefining yourself for a better phase.
Step 7: Look At Your Sex Life
Whether we choose to agree or not, the truth remains that sex is a good trouble indicator. How? Most relationships before breakup usually experience a period of reduced or no sex. This is usually one of the first signs of lingering issues in a relationship.
How a partner feels often influences their sex life.
But then, this is one very complex field that there may be a lot of other reasons why some relationships might not be getting enough of it.
With sex, you have to find a healthy balance between pleasing your partner and staying connected to your own pleasure. This is the route to having a healthy sex life. Again, I’m saying you should not be too focused on pleasing the other person. Many people love it when you’re able to connect to your own pleasure.
Over the course of this article, I’ve discussed seven distinct steps to help you pick up yourself so that getting over a breakup won’t be too challenging for you to deal with.
From not giving up yourself and having your own life while in a relationship to redefining who you are as well as your personal borders; I touched on how to heal your broken heart as well as how to maintain open communication and avoid repeating mistakes from the previous relationship.
You remember how I talked about resisting the urge to please the other person too badly and how I advised you about connecting to your own pleasures and sexuality.
So, what’s the essence?
While some of these may come across as a guide for those currently in a relationship. Knowledge of these will actually help position you on the right path for your next relationship. Additionally, getting over a divorce or breakup will also become less challenging.
There is no one-size-fits-all guide on how to get through a divorce emotionally. But this guide can help you find the confidence you need to pick up the broken pieces. You need to get yourself together after a breakup. This will help you find happiness and make your next relationship really awesome!
Bijan Kholghi is a life coach with a special psychological education in hypno-systemic coaching. His teacher Dr. Gunther Schmidt is the founder of Milton Erickson Institute in Heidelberg (Germany), a direct student of Milton H. Erickson, and a leading figure in psychotherapy education in Europe. His highly effective coaching and therapy method helps people getting aware of their unconscious pattern and gaining control over them. This leads to a more fulfilled and happier life. www.coaching-online.org/life-coach