The decision to get a divorce may be painful and difficult, but that doesn’t mean it’s the wrong thing to do.
Sometimes, getting out of a troubled marriage is the best way to find yourself. However, emotional healing after divorce requires much more than just waiting for a deep cut to scab over and fall off. Getting over a life-altering breakup involves deep personal reflection, honesty, and observation. It’s hard and hurtful but ultimately redeeming, so here are some tips for healing and rebuilding after divorce.
8 Tips on Healing After Divorce
1. Reflect on Why Your Marriage Failed
Part of healing from the pain of your marriage ending is identifying and understanding the reasons why it failed. Perhaps the union was troubled from the start, or maybe it suffered unresolved cracks along the way that led to irreversible damage. Learning how to acknowledge and accept the circumstances can help you forgive both yourself and your former spouse and move on to new experiences with the ability to avoid making similar mistakes.
2. Take Ownership of Your Role
While the catalyst for the split may not be your fault, you probably made some mistakes along the way that led to the breakdown of your marriage. Taking responsibility for your part will help you reclaim your power and self-esteem. It will also help you learn how to not repeat the same errors in future relationships. You have no ownership over the things you could not control in your marriage, but you can work on yourself to change the thoughts and behaviors that contributed to the breakup.
3. Let Go of Your Anger
Maybe you did everything right in your union, but you were a victim of cheating, lying, or other marriage deal-breakers. The angry feelings inside you can consume you if you let them. If you don’t learn to let go of anger and resentment, it will fester inside you and change who you are at your core. You may never be able to have a loving, trusting relationship again unless you make the conscious decision to leave it all behind.
4. Discover Your Broken Parts
Chances are, you weren’t a perfect spouse and neither was your ex. You each brought baggage into the marriage and you both let past trauma or toxic ideas about family fester inside your home. You probably didn’t know any better because you thought your childhood was normal, and the way your parents ran their household was the right way. When you brought those same values and strategies to your marital home, there was conflict.
A good therapist can help you discover how your past is impacting your present, as well as whether any lingering anxiety or depression is waiting to seep in and destroy your current and future connections.
5. Discover Who You Are
Getting over your divorce requires a lot of difficult self-reflection and hard work, but it’s also an opportunity for self-discovery or rediscovery. It’s not too late to find out who you are and what you’re passionate about. It’s time to write out your goals and make plans for the next five or ten years. Go back to school or find a new job in your area of interest. Start a new hobby or dive into volunteer work for a worthy cause. Do the things that give your life meaning and make you feel valuable to yourself.
6. Treat Yourself with Kindness and Care
Being divorced doesn’t make you obsolete. You are deserving of love, compassion, and care, not just from other people, but also from yourself. Choose to make the person in the mirror a priority, and show yourself kindness every day. Treat yourself to a spa weekend or a Mediterranean cruise. Eat healthy, sleep well, and block toxic people from your social media pages. You won’t regret your self-care journey and when you realize how much you deserve to be loved by yourself, you’ll carry that expectation with you into future relationships.
7. Connect or Reconnect with People
You may lose friends after your divorce, but that’s not your fault. Sometimes, people don’t know how to react to changing relationships, but those who treat you differently now aren’t your true friends. Retreating from society is one of the worst ways to cope with your loneliness. Reach out to your support network and ask for help when you need it. Be a good friend to others and let your loved ones care for you.
8. Learn How to Be Happy Alone
If you’ve never learned how to be alone, the thought of trying to make it on your own can be daunting. However, once you do the work and take responsibility for your happiness, you’ll feel incredibly empowered. Regardless of what your family, friends, or culture has told you in the past, you are not incomplete without a partner. You are a whole person and you can do anything you set your mind to – all by yourself.
Use these essential tools and let your divorce make you better, not bitter, and let healing after divorce begin.