Divorce triggers so many uncomfortable feelings – anger, bitterness, resentment, confusion, feelings of being betrayed. These feelings are the ones that make it so difficult for many people to move on after a divorce. In order to continue your life in a meaningful, productive way, you have to put the focus on yourself. Not on your ex. Not on everything you experienced because of them but on your goals and desires in life. While this can be very difficult and uncomfortable, it’s the biggest essential for continuing to live. Moving on after divorce is a complex process that consists of multiple steps.
Here are the most important tips for moving on after divorce.
Find a Way to Deal with the Anger
The biggest, most pressing task is to let go of the anger. Holding on to bitter feelings will prevent you from taking a look around you and finding the beautiful things in life.
You don’t need to feel angry at yourself and you don’t need to be angry at your partner. Whatever happened in the past cannot be undone. Relax. Spend quality time with people you love. If you need to, seek a bit of professional assistance. A therapist can give you an overview of your feelings, their origin and the way to master the emotions.
Take Your Time
There’s no timeframe for feeling better and moving on after divorce.
Grieving is an important part of letting go and finding your strength again. Thus, you should take enough time to process the emotions and to eventually start healing.
Be kind to yourself and don’t push it too hard. Some people may find a new love and move on immediately after a divorce. Some may need one year. Some will need five. Don’t compare yourself to others. Your journey is unique and it belongs to you alone. It’s ok to need more time to get where you want to be. What matters is making steps forward (even small ones).
Set Clear Boundaries with Your Ex
Even if you start healing, you can be set back by your ex.
Thus, you have to set clear communication and interaction boundaries immediately after the divorce is finalized (and even before that).
If you need some time with no interaction whatsoever, you should make that clear. If you have unanswered questions, you may need to sit down and talk honestly. Even if the divorce isn’t the most amicable one, the two of you still have needs that should be communicated clearly.
When your ex is being difficult, keep the communication focused and short. Let them know your boundaries, don’t engage in topics that will lead to conflict and make clear requests that will be easy to honor.
Build a Support Group
Moving forward after a divorce on your own is going to be difficult when you carry a lot of baggage.
In such instances, you should enlist the help of people you lost and trust.
Surround yourself with positive people. Find those you can share with. Getting understanding and support from your closest circle of friends and relatives will keep you from feeling completely alone in the world.
If you have kids, you should be thinking about their needs, as well. Be honest in communication with your children – even little ones can help you find healing. Hold on to each other, be gentle and open to communicating about everything that’s going on.
Focus on Your Personality and Who You Want to Be
Difficult marriages and divorces can make you lose your sense of self.
It’s time to rediscover your individuality, the unique characteristics that make you the person you are today.
Even a separation can teach you a lot and help you discover your strengths.
Work on your confidence. It may be shattered at the time being but there’s definitely a lot to be proud of.
What is it that you like, what is it that you want to accomplish in the future? What makes you a good, strong and exciting person? These are the questions you will have to discover when embarking on a self-discovery journey.
Keep Yourself Busy
Sometimes, you’ll have to silence your thoughts. Overthinking isn’t a good thing, especially if you don’t want to feel stuck in the past. Self-reflection is a good thing but there should be a limit. Find a hobby, something that will keep you busy and give you a sense of purpose.
Join a photography class. Start cooking. Exercise. Hike. Go for a bike ride with the kids. Listen to favorite music. Paint a picture. There are so many productive things you could be doing in your spare time. While enjoying such a hobby, you could actually discover something that you’d like to take up seriously in the future.
Learn How to Be Comfortable on Your Own
Being on your own after being a part of a couple for a certain period of time will challenge you. Chances are that you’ll feel isolated and lonely. You will miss the good times; you may even miss some of the bad times.
Surrounding yourself with good people is an essential coping mechanism but to move forward, you should also rediscover the joy of being on your own.
You are a wonderful person that’s complete without a partner. When you accept the thought and you really feel the inner peace, you’ll be ready to start looking for love again.
Moving on after divorce will be a trial and error process. Don’t be harsh on yourself. It’s ok to make mistakes. It’s ok to move back after you’ve moved forward. Life will continue after the divorce and it will become enjoyable once again. Start the journey, be positive and you will eventually become thrilled with your life once again.
James Branston is a professional sociologist and an exceptional lifestyle writer with skills and knowledge. You can find his works on DoULikeBlog. He enjoys sharing what he knows with those around him and is always up for a challenge. Also, James likes animals and cannot imagine his life without his two huskies, Rocky and Lola. www.doulike.com