Whether you wanted the divorce or not one thing is for sure – it has happened. You know you have to move on. Over and over again you hear the same thing: “you can move on”; “you have to move on”; “get over it”; “let it go”; etc. etc. etc. How can you live your best life after divorce if you can’t move on after divorce?
The thing is, what exactly does it mean to move on after divorce? For each person, there are unique situations to face and overcome. However, in general, there are some common themes; we are going to highlight them below to help you live your best life after divorce.
5 milestones you must reach to successfully move on and live your best life after divorce.
Milestone 1: Accept Where You Are
Acceptance does not mean resignation or giving up! Acceptance means:
- acknowledging the reality of what has happened, the change that has taken place in your whole being and your family, then
- being proactive in choosing to engage with life, right now, right where you are.
It also means finding something positive to focus on. As you accept where you are, you release yourself from the tension of the “why?,” “I don’t want to be here!,” “it’s not fair!,” “I want to hit back at the ex!”. Don’t get me wrong, those feelings are natural but you do not have to stay where you are. You can move on but, firstly, you need to accept where you are today. Believe you me, life can get so much better.
Milestone 2: Know How To Look After You!
In the midst of the overwhelm of dealing with emotions, possibly having to uproot home and also supporting children, you still need to look after you. This is the time to be very specific and intentional. I can understand if you don’t feel like it. If you do comfort eating, end up not eating, spend money you don’t have, lower your hygiene levels. Nothing seems worth it anymore. However, this is your life and no-one else can live it for you, no matter how much they are on your side.
You deserve to feel good but waiting for it from someone else at this time is not the best way. Yes, you need support, but having an understanding of how to intentionally generate those good feelings in a positive way is crucial in order to live your best life after divorce.
Milestone 3: Grieve to heal, not only to rehearse the hurt
Divorce truly is the death of so much – dreams for your future, the hope of being with someone at this time of your life; the family set-up you had; the financial flow you had; the teamwork – as a couple, possibly in ministry or business. When a marriage dies, you have as much right and need to grieve just as much as the physical death of a person.
The important factor here is that you need to be intentional about grieving – it’s purpose and benefit for you. It’s only natural that people replay their divorce in their heads. I did – the time when my ex-husband said he wanted to leave. I remember where and how I was sitting; where he was standing; what I felt; the thoughts that rushed in as a storm whilst listening to his words. It is how we choose to remember and what we will do with those words, feelings, and memories. You can use these things to focus yourself on being healed. Those feelings do not have to go to waste!
Milestone 4: Release Yourself From Your Ex-Spouse
Even if your marriage was not a happy one, you were linked and joined in different ways – spirit, soul, and body.
You or your spouse have affected each other on all levels and you will see this more and more in divorce. The way you cooked, parked the car, the schedules you had – these all show up in a magnified way.
The reason it is crucial to release yourself from your ex is that until you do so, it is almost as if you are tied to a spot with an elastic band. You can go so far then you are brought back with a jolt because your ex still has a hold over your soul (will, mind, emotions). Your outlook on the world is still from the point of view of being the spouse of your ex. You then exist in a state of limbo, in a confused place because you are no longer married and yet you struggle to live freely as a single person. Once you release yourself from your ex you see the world in a different way. You see your spouse in a different way. You see yourself in a different way. This leads us to the next milestone…
Milestone 5: Re-establish Your Identity and Belief System
As a spouse, your life and focus are to a large degree centered on that role. For many women, there is often the factor of now bearing someone’s name who possibly walked out on you or you determined it was necessary to leave. For many men, there is often the factor that they really threw themselves into the role of husband, father, provider for the family. That family is now segmented and there is the question of “what do I do now?”
So, each person needs to re-establish who they are. The truth is that whether you ever got married in the first place, had children or not, had a job or not, there is a “you” that exists regardless of these things. Do you know who you are? The “you” that exists and remains in spite of life situations or status? You need to find the real you again because you need to be nurtured and encouraged to shine in spite of what has happened.
Once you cover these milestones, it becomes clearer who you are now – a new person, ready to live your best life after divorce. It benefits you in making choices about your life and future. It also gives you a good grounding if you are looking to get into another relationship as you will have released yourself from an array of negative emotional hindrances.
Relationship and Life Coach Marjorielyn Gray has experienced separation, divorce, single parenthood, and a successful remarriage. Her goal is simple: to share the key strategies that helped her overcome the trauma of divorce so that you too can live your best life after divorce.