Falling out of love is an unfortunate but very real aspect of life that many people go through. Divorce often seems like the only viable solution in these situations, and while a separation can be quite amicable, it also can feel as though your world is being broken apart.
There are ways to have a peaceful divorce, such as divorce mediation, which can allow you and your spouse to separate as painlessly as possible. In fact, over two-thirds of couples who opted for divorce mediation were satisfied with the outcome of the entire process. Yet, what about after the divorce? How do you move on?
There is no one right answer to that question, but below are some ways to help you figure it out.
Process your emotions
Divorces, no matter how civil they are, are emotional experiences. While it’s important to move on, it’s also important to let yourself feel the loss and process your emotions. Reflect on your current situation, and take things away from it. What were the signs that led you down this road? Being able to grieve and process will prevent you from bringing old feelings into new relationships and allow you to live your life.
It can seem like you’re waiving the white flag when you choose to forgive your former partner, but it’s more like taking a step in the right direction for yourself. When you choose to hold grudges, you aren’t hurting the other person, you’re hurting yourself. You’re inhibiting yourself from moving on and making your divorce all the more painful. Choosing to forgive isn’t forgetting everything that went wrong or being okay with it, it’s accepting that it happened and choosing to move on from it.
Focus on you
You went from an “us” to a “you” and it can be hard to switch gears after years of marriage. However, now is the time for you to explore who you are and who you want to be as an individual. When people are married, they often settle into roles that weren’t exactly what they had in mind. You don’t have to become a wild child and live your 20s all over again, but you can and should focus on yourself. If you’re part of the reported 20% of American adults who, in 2015, suffered from anxiety due to the condition of their mouth, then maybe you can take this time to make some physical improvements. If you’re perfect just the way you are (of course you are), then maybe spend some time doing things you’ve always wanted to do. Travel more, join a club, ride a Can Am Spyder (it has three wheels, two in the front and one in the back; it’s pretty sweet). Whatever you decide to do, just remember to take the time to give yourself some attention and do what really makes you happy.
Take a breather
After a divorce, it can feel as though you’re weighed down with twice as many responsibilities. While you shouldn’t shirk these, especially if you’re a parent or the primary caretaker, you should learn to ease up on yourself and take a breather every once and a while. The world won’t stop spinning if you stop moving for a bit, so don’t feel as though everything is out to get you. Lighten up and take things in stride, you’ll stress yourself out if you’re too worried about every little thing.
You aren’t the first person in the world to get divorced, nor are you alone on an uninhabited island (if you are, how in the world did you manage a divorce?). Therefore, you don’t have to deal with everything you’re going through by yourself. You have numerous people that you can reach out to for support and loved ones who are more than willing to lend a listening ear. Make an effort to get in touch with your closest friend, your sibling, parent, or whoever you have that will listen to you and take some of the weight off of your shoulders. You’re not alone in this, and you never will be.
Divorce isn’t pleasant, but you should remember to keep a level head after it’s over. That isn’t to say you can’t have fun and live life to the fullest, but don’t do things out of spite. For instance, just because you can go buy a condo in Manhattan (which averaged around $1.9 million in the third quarter of 2017), doesn’t mean you should — unless that’s what you truly want. These tips, mixed with some introspection, can tell you a lot about yourself, and where you might find what really makes you happy in life after a divorce.