The Breakup Of A Marriage Is One Of Life’s Most Painful Experiences. Luckily, We Have Some Tips For Making Life Easier After Divorce.
It’s said that time heals all, and while that may be true to a certain extent, there is a lot of in-between that you have to go through in order to get there. If you are unfortunate enough to be going through a divorce, the worst thing you can do is give up on yourself and stop trying to lead a better life. To avoid doing that, follow these 7 tips for making life easier after divorce, and you’ll be ready for the next chapter of life before you know it.
1. Look Inside Yourself
Divorces happen because something is not working in the marriage. While it’s been said that “it takes two” to make a divorce happen, the cold truth of the matter is, you may not have done anything at all to deserve what someone else puts you through. And the same is true if you’re the offending party. While some marriages end because both individuals acted in ways to bring about dissolution, most of the time one party bears the brunt of responsibility. Usually it’s one person who detaches himself, cheats, or gives up. The other person may have faults, but they certainly don’t deserve betrayal if they haven’t resorted to that themselves. Regardless of where you fall in the blame game, it’s healthy to look at your actions from a fresh perspective. Use the breakup as an opportunity to examine the parts of yourself that you like and the parts of yourself you wouldn’t mind changing. The longer it takes to turn your divorce into a fresh start rather than a pity-party, the harder it will be to move on with the rest of your life.
2. Destroy Any Remnant Of Your Past That You Can
By past, we mean “past together.” Also, note the emphasis on the words “that you can.” Obviously, if you have children together, there will likely always be some link between you and an ex-spouse. But that shouldn’t stop you from getting rid of the ties that bind you to a dead relationship. Got some old wedding photos? Burn them. Old mementos? Box them up and take them to the dump or to a goodwill store if they’re useful. The longer you keep yourself tied to the memories of a past marriage, the more difficult it will be when you finally do have to move on, and for any new loves that may come into your life, stumbling upon old pictures of you in love with someone else is incredibly awkward, and can definitely cause problems in the relationship depending on how much it happens and how tied you are to the past. It’s like ripping off a band-aid, but it’s also one of the most incredibly freeing and therapeutic feelings in the world.
3. Learn To Value Solitude
One of the things you’ll miss the most when a marriage goes south is the feeling of not being alone. But there will be days after it’s official that you forget what your own voice sounds like. Rather than curling up into a state of depression, use that newfound space to explore hobbies and interests that you haven’t had a chance to explore in a long, long time (maybe never). Look at it as free time instead of “lonely” time. Watch movies or TV you never got to see. Eat a meal that you loved but your ex-spouse hated. Do some yoga. Sign up for a class at the gym. Play video games. Be alone, but don’t be idle. You’ll just cross the line into depression if you’re not filling that time with worthwhile (to you) endeavors.
4. Be Self-Sufficient As Much As Possible
Another downside to divorce is that you start to realize how much the other person took care of from the partnership standpoint. Like if she paid the bills and you did the laundry, then breaking up the marriage is going to mean you’ve got a little more work to do, and the first time you take on something the other spouse routinely handled, the divorce will hit you all over again like a ton of bricks. That’s normal, and it will pass. Just push through. Instead of fretting about how much has changed, pat yourself on the back and say, “Hey, look at me. I’m doing the dishes. Good job.” To make it more real, reward yourself with some kind of treat.
5. Find Your Soundtrack
A 2009 study published in the International Journal of Mental Health Nursing revealed that musical therapy caused “statistically significant” drops in the level of depression among subjects compared to counterparts, who were not supplied the musical therapy during a one-month period. This is something most of us inherently know without the science to back it up. In my own divorce, I noticed a feeling of self-worth returning to my life the more I listened to music that I enjoyed. Digging up old classics, exploring new acts that were in my wheelhouse of preference, and attending a concert here and there really lifted my spirits. Think of your life like a movie where you’re the star. Even the worst films can leave a positive mark when they’ve got a good soundtrack. And if you take the soundtrack out of a solid film and watch it with just the dialogue, notice how much it detracts from the experience. What your life needs is a soundtrack, culled from your own tastes and experiences. You’ll be surprised at how much of a positive effect it has.
The Wedding Channel (wisely) advises you not to jump in to your next marriage if you’ve been divorced. As far as making life easier after divorce, waiting is one of the best things you can do. And when you finally do date again, it’s best to wait six to eight months before you even consider taking your new relationship to a more serious level. Those of us who have been through the emotional turmoil of a divorce have heard lots of advice in the days since. One therapist told a friend of mine to wait at least the amount of time she was married before remarrying. (The rules change a bit if you were married 25 years or more, but the point is WAIT, WAIT, WAIT!) There isn’t a right length of time, but there are plenty of wrong lengths of time. If you’re gut is telling you the time isn’t right, it isn’t.
7. Embrace online dating
Every new journey begins with a single step, and perhaps this time, yours should begin online. Most people online are looking to find someone they are more compatible with than relationships past. That’s why studying those online profiles are so important before committing to an in-person meet-up. Technology has enabled us to find people who are more in our field of interest, and according to a recent study, unions that begin online are less likely to end in divorce and result in a higher level of marital bliss.
Don’t get down on yourself. Follow these 7 tips for making life easier after divorce, and reclaim your life and happiness.