How to Live After a Divorce
A divorce is generally regarded as one of life’s most difficult and stressful events. Even if a divorce happens on mutual terms, it is a change that comes with its own set of challenges. Each divorce is just as unique as the individuals who were married. Perhaps it was your idea to end the marriage, perhaps it was your ex-spouse’s. Maybe a divorce is happening after decades together. Or in some cases, the marriage was relatively short only lasting a year or two. Maybe you have children together, or pets or valuable marital assets. Regardless of the situation, you are in, getting your life back together can be a struggle. According to Vikki Stark, a Canadian family therapist, it can take up to 2 years before life after divorce begins to feel normal again. Although there is no set timeframe, there are things you can do to help get you mentally and emotionally through the divorce process.
How can I get my life back on track?
Allow yourself to feel sad.
In almost every case, a relationship doesn’t begin with thoughts of it possibly ending. After all, why would you marry someone if you were planning on getting a divorce later? In many ways, a divorce can be emotionally equated to the death of a loved one. This is true even if the split-up was easy to see coming. You may find yourself in a place where your lifestyle and goals have completely changed. It is important to give yourself enough time to work through these emotions because doing so will help you recover over time.
Discover who you used to be.
Not all change is bad and even though you may be heartbroken, you can also rediscover yourself. For example, maybe you can use your newly found free time to explore new hobbies or better yourself in a positive way. Many people find value in living a healthier lifestyle and exercising. Many people find that they changed themselves and the activities they did in order to make the relationship work. Do the things you used to enjoy doing back when you were single. Perhaps you like to go out on the town, but you became a “homebody” when you entered into a long term relationship.
Stay social and express yourself with others
Don’t be ashamed if you feel like you need therapy in order to work through your emotions. Not everyone needs professional help, however. Make sure you allow yourself to rely on family, friends and loved ones to be there for you. Use this change in your life to make new friends or open yourself up to new people. Maybe you have had the same friends for years and they are all in relationships. Rather than feeling like the single third-wheel, perhaps you can find new single friends to do things with. Regardless of what works for you, humans are social creatures and being around people that make you happy is a large key to success.
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