Although it may sound absurd that you could possibly enjoy your divorce, in our years of counseling, we have seen the productive opportunities and life enhancements that a healthy divorce mindset can offer.
While uncoupling your relationship from someone you have loved and shared life with is never easy, it doesn’t have to be the grueling, painful, full-of-strife and emotional mess it usually turns out to be.
Yes, big changes are happening, but how you react – and what you choose to do about those changes – is entirely up to you.
7 Valuable Lessons About Life That Your Divorce Can Teach You
1. Opening Your Life Up to New Avenues and Possibilities.
It’s exhilarating to have choices. You are able to do different things you couldn’t or wouldn’t do before. If you have been waiting to sleep in late, learn a new dance, or make new friends, you can do it now! No more excuses! You can rearrange the furniture the way you like, eat the foods you prefer, and take the vacation you always wanted. You’re learning that life does get better!
2. Stepping Into a New Level of Autonomy.
Taking charge of your happiness and doing something ongoing and positive for your own good every day feels self-empowering. Your new life, happiness, and freedom come when you learn to love yourself and build a safe, nurturing home inside yourself to live in. You’re learning how to take your own life back into your hands!
3. No Longer Staying Stuck in a Painful Marriage.
Let’s face it: if you were feeling distant from each other long before you actually separated, life felt pretty lonely and sad. Regaining your self-confidence and self-trust after an emotional disconnect is imperative. You’re learning that you are never stuck!
4. Being a Good Example to Your Children.
By being a healthy role model for how to persevere change with grace, your kids can also learn that they can overcome adversity, grow in life, handle change, make new choices and see new results. You’re learning that you can raise healthy children in a single-parent home.
5. Choosing Inner Peace Instead of Conflict.
While the events leading up to divorce and its aftermath tend to bring up derision and disagreement, you are choosing to shun inflammatory reactions and remain calm. You understand that inner peace is your responsibility and are not waiting for others to give it to you. Instead, when feeling stressed, combative or reactive, you are learning how to take a step back to breathe, connect inside and ask yourself:
- “What brings me happiness?”
- “What is the kindest, most loving action I can take right now?”
- “How can I take really good care of myself right now?”
6. Being Committed to Your Own Happiness and Wellbeing.
Self-love is the source of all other love. Being in a good relationship with yourself leads to being in a good relationship with another. You nourish your body, mind, and spirit every day with healthy food, exercise, positivity, and the enrichment you need to thrive. Go and get that massage. Meditate. Listen to beautiful music. Your happiness and wellbeing should be a priority rather than an afterthought. Yes, you have responsibilities, but you are learning how to make time to do what feels good and is good for you.
7. Endings are Opportunities for New Beginnings.
That’s right: you are free to date without guilt, meet sexy, new people and get your groove on again! The more you can emotionally cut the cord from your ex and lovingly attach to yourself, the more peaceful, happy and open to new love you will be. You’re learning that it’s time to live the life you love.
For whatever reasons your relationship has ended and however your ex (or soon to be ex) is acting or has acted, you have the power to choose how you want to unravel the tapestry of your we as you return to your me.
Divorce can teach you how to take better care of yourself, transcend the ancient myths you carry about love and the old “divorce means you’re a failure” idea and lead you down the path to finding greater love inside yourself and with others.
It’s your choice – so why not enjoy the journey?
This article has been co-authored by Dr. Sheri Meyers and Genevieve Q. Coleman.