Easing the Pain of Divorce
Going through a divorce is not simple or easy for anyone involved. You may be dealing with the backlash from the people around you as they react to the news, and you will certainly have a lot to work through with your soon-to-be ex-spouse, or at least with their attorney. Though it may not be possible to experience a pain-free divorce, there are some things you can do to make the process easier on yourself, and on your children, if you have any.
It’s important that you remain positive. Children take their emotional cues from adults, especially on topics they don’t understand. If you spend the days and months during your divorce weeping and wailing and acting like a victim, your children will copy your mindset. If you spend your time constantly rehashing the reasons you are getting divorced, and spewing bile and negativity about your spouse, your children will become confused; they love both their parents, and they won’t understand your reasoning. You may not want to be married to your spouse anymore, but that doesn’t make it right to destroy your child’s view of their parent. Instead, try to focus on the new opportunities the split will allow for you and your family. Attend therapy sessions together, if possible, and talk frequently about feelings and emotions in a loving way. Monitor yourself most closely of all. When you find yourself stuck in negative thought patterns, break free with some positive self-talk. It will also benefit you to have a supportive friend or relative on speed dial who you can call when times get tough.
Take Time for You
Now is a time of reinvention. You are breaking away from your old life and becoming something new. Now is the time to try new things that you’ve always wanted to, but never did. Take a Pilates class. Get a daring haircut. Take a night class and learn Mandarin. This is not the time to wallow in self-pity. Instead, take the view that you no longer have a relationship to work on, and divert that time to working on just you. Also, realize that dating too soon is a common mistake of the recently divorced. You need time to reconnect with yourself and rediscover who you are outside of a partner. Take a year, or maybe even two, before you start looking for another partner. Your children will also need this time to normalize and learn that life does go on, even when their paradigm has shifted.
One of the most important guiding principles of your divorce should be the avoidance of “I wish I had…” There is no point in looking back with regret. Instead, let your mantra be, “Next time, I will…” This takes you from a place of weakness to a place of power and allows you to focus your energy on a positive change that can make a lasting difference in your life.