What You MUST Do If You’re Co Parenting With A Toxic Ex

Child whose parents are each struggling with co parenting with a toxic ex.

These 6 tips will help you become a better co parent despite how poisonous your ex is.

People call their ex toxic for a lot of different reasons – from anger about the divorce, fear about their ex’s parenting abilities, abuse, narcissism, alienating the children, and addiction. This wide range of descriptions makes it really difficult to find reliable information about co parenting with a toxic ex.

This confusion, on top of the already unwanted and tumultuous emotions of divorce, is the last thing you need.

Although the tips below will help you co parent regardless of the poisonous nature of your ex, they will be most helpful if your toxic ex behaves poorly toward you (and, at times, your children). If your ex’s toxicity is due to something more severe, you may want to have more specific help. (Here are some resources to help you get more pertinent information about co parenting with an abuser, an addict and a narcissist.)

  1. Get clear about what’s most important to you as a parent. The most important thing to any parent is taking care of their children. Putting your kids and their needs front and center will help you focus and more easily navigate the poor behavior of your ex.
  2. Know what triggers negative reactions in your ex. You probably hoped that once the divorce was final that you wouldn’t have to continue tip toeing around your ex’s moods. But as long as you’re co parenting with a toxic ex you’ve got to be aware of what sets them off so you can have more control over how they will respond to you.
  3. Only engage in communication about what’s important for raising your children. It’s way too easy to get into conversations (or shouting matches) about unfinished issues from your marriage. Despite how painful and frustrating these issues are, they have nothing to do with parenting your children today – except making it harder.
  4. Never speak negatively about your ex when your children are around. Your kids love both their parents. If they hear you speaking poorly of your ex, they’ll start to feel that they can’t be honest about their feelings for their other parent when they’re with you. And that’s an unfair position to put them in.
  5. Encourage your children’s relationship with their other parent. Kids need both of their parents. And because your ex isn’t an addict or abuser there’s really no reason not to foster their relationship with their other parent.
  6. Maintain appropriate boundaries around your personal life. One of the most difficult parts of co parenting is knowing what is and isn’t appropriate to share with your ex. The reason for this is because co parenting requires a lot of communication to work. If you remember that what gets communicated is all about the kids, then it’s a bit easier to know where to draw the lines.

Starting a co parenting relationship is really tough. You’re still struggling with the emotional upheaval of the divorce and yet you’re supposed to be able to keep all of those emotions out of parenting and build a new relationship with your ex. It’s natural for it to feel like you’re co parenting with a toxic ex.

That’s why it’s important to know what kind of toxicity you’re dealing with. If you’re lucky enough to only have to deal with your ex’s (and your) very normal yet very unsettling emotional turmoil of divorce, then these tips will be just what you need to start taking the poison out of parenting with your kids’ other parent.

I’m Dr. Karen Finn, a divorce coach and advisor helping people just like you who are struggling with coparenting after divorce. You can join my anonymous newsletter list for free weekly advice. If you’re interested in taking the first step toward working with me, you can schedule an introductory private coaching session.

Looking for more support and ideas for co parenting with a toxic ex? You’ll find what you’re looking for in Coparenting.

5 Ways To Boost Your Self-Confidence Post-Divorce

Doing these simple things can make a BIG difference in how you feel about yourself.

When I got divorced I thought it was painfully obvious to everyone who saw me – like there was a capital “D” tattooed on my forehead to announce my personal shame and failure without my ever saying a word.

Obviously, there was no tattoo. But everyone who saw me could tell there was something just not quite right.

What they were picking up on was my lack of confidence.

I was floundering. I wasn’t sure who I was anymore if I wasn’t a wife. I wasn’t sure what I wanted from my life now that I was on my own. I wasn’t even able to confidently make my own decisions about my personal life.

Simply put, I lacked confidence in my value as a human being outside of what I could (and did) do for others.

Now I hope your divorce hasn’t knocked you down as low as mine knocked me. And even if it hasn’t, chances are that your self-confidence has taken a hit.

To help you regain and maybe even boost your self-confidence, here are 5 simple tips for you to start using today:

  1. Look others in the eye and smile. When you consider yourself equal to those you meet (i.e., just another human being) you’ll easily be able to look them in the eye. Smiling is the icing on the cake because it lets people know that you like you – even if sometimes you have to convince yourself that you really do.
  2. Take care of your mind, body and spirit. Take the time to get good nutrition, exercise and sleep. Read and watch positive things. And of course prayer and meditation are great places to start building your spirit back up.
  3. Talk positively to yourself. We all have a virtually non-stop dialog in our minds and the surprising thing is that it’s usually a critical dialog about ourselves. But by choosing to talk positively to yourself periodically throughout the day you’ll naturally begin to feel more confident.
  4. Don’t confuse memory with fact. Everyone’s memory of the past is fallible. That’s because we all remember things in ways that support our beliefs. The longer you persist in thinking about the past, the longer you’ll sap your confidence which makes it really hard to move forward with your life.
  5. Choose to see the end of your marriage as an opportunity to learn. Most people see divorce as a personal failure. If that’s your viewpoint, you’re choosing to label yourself negatively. It’s pretty hard to think well of yourself when you’re doing that. Instead, realize that the failure of your marriage has a lot to teach you and start looking for those lessons

As you put each of these tips into practice don’t expect to all of a sudden have the self-confidence of Lady Gaga. What you’ll have instead is the beginnings of the new, confident you who is emerging from the ashes of the end of your marriage.

I’m Dr. Karen Finn, a divorce and personal life coach helping people just like you who are struggling with getting through their divorce. You can join my newsletter list for free weekly advice. And, if you’re ready, you can take the first step toward working with me as your personal coach by scheduling a private consultation.

Looking for more tips for navigating your marriage challenges? You’ll find what you’re looking for in Healing After Divorce.

This article originally appeared at DivorceForce.

Moving On After Divorce Without Losing Your Kids


You can have a great life after divorce AND still be a great parent too.

Divorce forces loss after loss after loss – loss of your marriage, loss of your home, loss of your lifestyle, loss of your future together, and loss of your kids. Well, maybe you don’t really lose your kids, but it sure feels that way when you don’t get to see them every day.

When you’re used to being there for your kids and knowing everything that’s going on in their lives being without them is devastating. So, you do whatever you can to make the time you do have with them count more than ever. But when they’re with their other parent, you’re lost.

You know that it’s time to get on with your life, but the simple thought of moving on after divorce brings up fears of moving on from your kids and leaving them behind so their other parent can raise them. These terrifying thoughts are so crushing and abhorrent that you struggle to function.

So, you don’t move on. You continue to cling to your children and only really come alive when you’re with them.

The problem is that living only for your kids isn’t fair to your them. They notice that you’re not really living your life and they can tell that you’re becoming more and more insecure.

This is not the parent you want to be and it’s not the parent your children deserve.

You don’t have to choose between having a great life after divorce and being a great parent.

Moving on after divorce doesn’t mean that your new life doesn’t allow you to continue being a great parent.

The first step to moving on after divorce is to do your divorce recovery work. That means that you dig into the emotions you’ve locked away and grieve the losses. You accept that you had a part in the demise of your marriage and figure out what you can or should do differently in your next relationship. And you plan for and create a life that you love.

(Admittedly, healing after divorce is much easier to read about than to do. Most people benefit from working with a helping professional – therapist, divorce coach, clergy member – to fully heal.)

The second step to moving on after divorce is to figure out new ways to connect with your kids. This requires that you ask yourself, “How can I be just as involved with them as I was before the divorce?”

You might make more time to go to their games or recitals. You might have lunch with them at school. You might teach them about the new hobby you’ve found as part of your healing process. You might take them and their best friends out on some adventure. The possibilities really are endless (and much easier to see when you’re over your divorce).

What you choose to do now to connect with your kids will differ from how you connect with them in the future because they’re growing up. So, your job as a parent will continue to change and you’ll be challenged to discover new ways to build your relationship with them just like you were before the end of your marriage.

Your divorce has already forced you to make a bunch of really tough adjustments and the thought of making even more changes is probably a bit discouraging.

But this is the home stretch of the adjustments you’ll need to make because of divorce and these changes are for your kids. Knowing that should be great motivation for you to build a life after divorce that works not only for your kids, but for you too.

And the best part is that when you’re living a happier life that includes focusing on building your relationships with your children, you’ll realize that your fears of losing your kids once you moved on from your divorce were just a sign that you had an opportunity to become an even better parent than you already are.

I’m Dr. Karen Finn, a divorce and life coach helping people just like you who are struggling with the loss of their marriage. You can join my newsletter list for free weekly advice. And, if you’re ready, you can take the first step toward working with me as your personal coach by scheduling a private consultation.

Looking for more tips on getting over your divorce? You’ll find what you’re looking for in Healing After Divorce.

This article originally appeared on The Goodmen Project.

5 Tips For A Happier Life After Divorce

Joyful woman with her arms lifted in celebration as she considers the 5 tips for a happier life after divorce

When you’re over your grief, these tips will help you find happiness again.

Regardless of whether you chose to end your marriage or your spouse did, divorce hurts. The pain is the result of all the losses – lost love, lost dreams for the future together, lost family, lost identity, and a myriad of others.

Each of these losses bury you deeper and deeper into pain and sadness. You sink lower and lower wondering if you can ever truly be happy again.

Although it may not quite seem possible now, you can have a happier life after divorce than you can imagine.

The happiness won’t just happen automagically though. You’ve got to help it along by changing your mindset from one that expects more hurt and misery to one that begins to expect that you will have a happier life after divorce than the one you’re living right now.

Changing your mindset may sound like a daunting task given everything else you’ve got going on, but it’s actually pretty simple if you’re willing to make a small commitment to doing so and following some straight-forward advice.

5 tips for creating a happier life after divorce:

  1. Be thankful for what you have.Divorce forces you to take stock of what you don’t have any longer. It’s normal to grieve the losses and feel sadness. And you need to experience the grief.However, sometimes the grief and sadness of divorce can become a habit. You continue focusing on all that you don’t have instead of being thankful for what you still do have.When you start making a shift of focus from what you lost to what you’ve got or even gained, you start emerging from the depths of divorce despair and prime yourself for a better life after divorce. The best part is that the more time you spend time contemplating what you do have the more and more momentum you’re gaining toward making your happiness a reality.
  2. Look at the past with appreciation – not blame or regret.
    Powerful emotions tend to tie us to whatever creates them. If you are still angry with and/or blame your ex for what happened in your marriage, you’re still tied to your ex. Being connected to him/her by these strong emotions will keep you connected to your ex which isn’t the best situation for you to move on and create a happier life after divorce.

    Similarly if you’re looking at the past and blaming yourself or feeling unexpressed regret, you’re stuck. You’re beating yourself up and staying trapped. You must do what you need to do to clear your conscience.

    Once you clear the powerful negative feelings that are keeping you mired in the past, you’ll be able to shift your emotions to more appreciative ones. Then you’ll realize that the only way you’ve become the person you are today (and who you will become in the future) is because of what you’ve experienced in the past. And this will help you to thankfully leave the past in the past.

  3. Create a plan for your future.
    Divorce changes everything – including all the plans you had for the future with ex.

    It’s time to start dreaming again about what you want from your life now that you’re getting a fresh start. As you begin imagining what you want, it’s OK to start small. What you’ll discover is that as you continue to dream that you’ll be able to fill in more of the details until your plan is incredibly vibrant and compelling.

  4. Look forward with anticipation instead of fear.
    Once you start imagining how you will create a happier life after divorce, you’ll start doing what you need to do to make it a reality. And any time you start doing new things it’s natural to feel a bit of fear creep in.

    However, if you can wake up every day, anticipating great things to happen – no matter how small, you’ll find that your fear will begin to melt away. Identify at least one great thing that happens every day and you’ll have a difficult time continuing to feel sad and hurt about your divorce.

  5. Choose happiness.
    As cliché as it sounds, happiness is a choice. You can choose to remain miserable by continuing to think the same thoughts day in and day out. Or you can choose to start thinking and doing things differently. Making this second choice again and again and again will put you squarely on the path of creating a happier life after divorce.

These five pieces of advice will seem trite and too simplistic if you’re still in the depths of divorce despair. If that’s how they seem to you, you’re not quite done grieving the end of your marriage yet. And that’s 100% OK. Everyone grieves at their own pace.

When you’re ready, you’ll begin seeing these tips as the keys to creating a happier life after divorce than you can begin to imagine right now. That doesn’t mean that they’ll be easy to implement or that you’ll do them perfectly every day, it just means that you’ll recognize them as the way you’ll push through all of the pain and sadness of your divorce, rise up and create an incredible life for yourself regardless of how your marriage ended.

I’m Dr. Karen Finn, a divorce coach and advisor helping people just like you who want support in dealing with the pain divorce and creating a post-divorce life you’re happy with. You can join my newsletter list for free weekly advice. If you’re interested in taking the first step toward working with me as your personal coach, you can schedule an introductory private coaching session. 

Looking for more ideas about thriving after divorce? You’ll find what you’re looking for in Life After Divorce.

7 Tips For Getting Through Your Divorce In One Piece

Even if your divorce is tearing you apart, you can come out of it in one piece.

When you’re going through a divorce, it feels like you’re running a marathon or two every single day. You’re spent. You’re running on fumes. And there’s no finish line in sight.

At times you wonder if you’ll survive because the grueling pace of making sense of your new life (not to mention all the legal aspects you’re dealing with) is killing you.

But, you can catch your breath. The pace seems relentless and it is – mostly because everything is new. Yet, just like the athletes who train to run marathons, there are things you can do to help you get through your divorce in one piece.

These 7 tips will help you get started taking care of you in the midst of your marathons.

  1. Read some fiction. Reading fiction is a great escape from your current confusing and frustrating reality, but it has other amazing benefits. It will help you improve your ability to focus on everything you’re juggling right now. It amplifies your creativity which is critical to solving all the problems you’re facing. And it can help you to both find and calm yourself. (Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for zoning out in front of the television.)
  2. Talk with people who have successfully made it through divorce. Doing this will tap into your belief in yourself. After all, if they can make it through divorce, then you can too.
  3. Don’t blindly trust the experts. Divorce is tough. You’re faced with a legal system you know very little about. So you hire an attorney and maybe a financial expert and maybe a therapist or divorce coach to help Sherpa your butt through this whole thing. It’s really easy to just let them handle it. But you can’t do that because nobody cares about you and what happens to you more than you do. You’ve got to become familiar with the basics and remember that these people all work for you.
  4. Journal and/or blog. Catharsis. That’s what getting all the thoughts and emotions out of your head feels like. You’ll come away from putting pen to paper or pixels to screen feeling so much lighter and more focused than when you started.
  5. Identify both your end goal and your daily priorities for getting there. This isn’t a suggestion that you have to know what the next 10 years of your life is going to be like, so don’t worry. It’s just that it’s time to start figuring out what you want. Heck, your daily priority for the next month (or more) may just be to spend 10 minutes thinking about what you want.
  6. Restore yourself physically. This means getting enough sleep (or figuring out how you can get more), drinking enough water every day, eating healthful meals (and if all you can manage right now is to just eat something, then that’s enough), and exercising to feel refreshed and clear your mind.
  7. Keep calm. This may seem impossible, but you can find pockets of time where you can focus on finding calm. And you know, if you can find even little bitty pockets of time for calm every day you’ll be amazed at what a difference that can make in how you get through your divorce.

These 7 tips are really just the jumping off point. They are meant to get you started with shifting your attention – just a tiny bit – to yourself and what you need to recuperate from the chaos swirling around you. If you can take the time to support yourself every day, you’ll be well on your way to making it through the grueling grind of divorce in one piece.

I’m Dr. Karen Finn, a divorce coach and life coach helping people just like you who are struggling with getting through their divorce. You can join my newsletter list for free weekly advice. And, if you’re ready, you can take the first step toward working with me as your personal coach by scheduling a private consultation.

Looking for more help getting through your divorce? Read more advice in Healing After Divorce.

This article originally appeared on DivorceForce.

How To Make An Unhappy Marriage Happy Again

If you know how to make an unhappy marriage happy again, your marriage can last forever.

These four tips will help you make your marriage much, much happier!

Living in an unhappy marriage impacts your entire life. The sadness that pervade your home life isn’t something you leave behind when you go off to work in the morning. It’s something you carry with you 24/7/365.

The weight of your misery saps your energy. It decreases your creativity and sucks the joy right out of your life. It can cause you to start wondering, “Is my marriage over?” And your unhappiness can even make you more vulnerable to having an affair.

Allowing yourself to continue just existing in an unhappy marriage is heartbreaking. It’s not what you truly want, much less deserve. You deserve to have an incredible marriage – one that brings you tremendous joy just like yours did in the beginning.

All marriages have rough spots. Rough spots don’t have to mean you’re doomed to spending a miserable lifetime together or that you’re headed for a divorce. The rough spots are just warnings that the two of you don’t pull together as much as necessary to more easily manage them. And because you don’t turn strongly enough toward each other to resolve the challenges you face; the result is that you’re unhappily married.

The path forward to learning how to make an unhappy marriage happy again isn’t necessarily a short one.

It will require that you and your spouse make a daily commitment to changing things – for the rest of your lives. But isn’t that why you got married in the first place – to live together happily ever after?

Changing your despondent marriage into a more joyful one will require that you each embrace and practice these 4 tips:

1. Practice compassion.

Compassion may not be the first emotion you’re able to adopt when you’ve been so unhappy, but it’s a critical one.

Being compassionate for yourself and your spouse means that you’re able to accept that you’ve both been doing your absolute best given your knowledge and the circumstances at the time. This doesn’t mean that either of you have been perfect. It just means that you’re now willing to start increasing your knowledge and becoming more conscious of the circumstances.

Practicing compassion also makes it easier to forgive past hurts. Forgiveness doesn’t mean that you have to approve of the past hurts or that it was OK that it happened. Forgiveness means that you’re not going to continue stewing on the pain and perpetuating the misery that’s contributing to your unhappy marriage.

Once you’re regularly able to feel compassion for your spouse (and yourself), you’ll find that it’s much easier to pull together to resolve the rough spots. And when the rough spots aren’t quite so bad, your marriage will start feeling a whole lot happier.

2. Take care of yourself.

Feeling a bit depressed is a pretty natural response to an unhappy marriage. The depression can create an inertia that’s difficult to overcome and that prevents you from putting in the effort to care for yourself. But it’s time to change that now.

Beyond the obvious of taking care of your health and appearance, taking care of yourself also means doing things that make you happy. It’s much, much easier to have the energy and drive to work on making your marriage more satisfying if you’re feeling better in general.

3. Invest in honest conversations with your spouse.

Regularly spend time together to honestly, compassionately and responsibly talk about how you’re each feeling. Ask each other what you would like to have more of in your relationship and then work together to make it easy to achieve. Also, spend time talking about what isn’t working so well and be committed to fixing those things.

Having these conversations might be difficult at times. If you can amp up the compassion during the difficulties, then you’ll have an easier time with them. But sometimes things are a bit too difficult to do on your own…

4. Ask for help.

Talk about your situation with people you trust.

You probably know a happily married couple who seems to weather the storms in their marriage easily. Ask them how they do it. Be a sponge and soak up all the wisdom you can. Then, use their best suggestions in your marriage.

If your marriage needs a little more support, you might consider talking with a helping professional – either on your own or with your spouse. The helping professional can assist you in gaining insight into what’s at the root of the unhappiness you’re experiencing together. And once you understand the source of the discontent and discomfort, you’ll be able to focus more intently on what you can each do to fix it.

These 4 tips are pretty straight-forward, but that doesn’t mean that they’re easy to follow or that your spouse will immediately agree to start working on them. But all that’s OK.

If you have difficulty with actually implementing any of these tips, it’s just because they’re new to you. Be compassionate with yourself (yes, that is the first tip) as you learn how to make your unhappy marriage happier. The more calm and easy you are about the process, the more quickly you’ll be able to shift your marriage to a happier place.

And if your spouse isn’t immediately on board with these suggestions for how to make an unhappy marriage happy again, don’t worry. There’s plenty of evidence to show that people who have started to repair their marriage on their own are successful because as they put in the effort and change, their spouse naturally did too.

Choosing to make a daily commitment to make your marriage happier will change your entire life. As your marriage becomes happier, you’ll find that you’ve got more energy, creativity, and joy which will spill over into all areas of your life. After all, joy is a whole lot easier to carry around with you than sadness is when you leave the house in the morning.

I’m Dr. Karen Finn, a divorce and personal life coach. I help people just like you who want support in making an unhappy marriage happy again. You can join my newsletter list for free weekly advice. And, if you’re ready, you can take the first step toward working with me as your personal coach by scheduling a private consultation.

Looking for more tips for navigating your marriage challenges? You’ll find what you’re looking for in Unhappy Marriage.

How To End A Miserable Marriage (Without Feeling Guilty At All)

It’s time to stop bullying yourself into staying…

One of the reasons making the decision to divorce is so painful – even when you know that leaving your marriage is absolutely the right thing to do – is that you believe doing so is wrong or bad.

So instead of sitting down with your spouse and having an honest discussion about ending your marriage, you remain stuck in your head (and your unhappy marriage) wondering how to divorce without feeling guilty.

Guilt is an emotional anchor and can prevent you from taking the actions you need to take care of yourself.

It’s tremendously difficult to shed because it’s based on the expectations you have of yourself. Expectations like being an amazing parent to your kids, being true to your spiritual and religious beliefs, keeping the promises you make to your spouse and yourself, and the family and friends who love and respect you.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with these expectations – until you use them against yourself as a reason to feel guilty about even considering getting divorced, despite knowing the only way for you to feel true happiness is to leave your marriage.

So here you are stuck between a rock and a hard place. Paralyzed and unable to move. Out of guilt.

But you can move forward, work through your guilt and gain the clarity and peace of mind you yearn for.

The first step is to work on your thoughts.

As you continue to adjust your thoughts by allowing yourself to gather and consider more information, your emotions will shift away from the guilt. You can then begin your divorce journey from a place of respect for your spouse – and for yourself – rather than from a place of guilt, shame and blame.

Here are five tips for how to divorce without feeling guilty – for anything.

1. Feeling guilty about what divorce would do to your kids?

  1. First, it is extremely important to understand that the commonly accepted “fact” that divorce destroys children is a lie.

What makes divorce so hard for kids is how their parents react to and deal with it. If you and their other parent treat your children as messengers or spies, stop spending quality time with them because you’re too wrapped up in your life, stop showing them the love they deserve, cease giving them the structure and security they need, or talk poorly about their other parent when they are within earshot, your kids will certainly suffer.

That doesn’t mean they aren’t suffering because of your divorce. It means they are suffering because of your poor behavior and role modeling.

If you commit to being the best parent you can be and get the support you need to move past your divorce as completely as possible, you have nothing to feel guilty about.

2. Feeling guilty about betraying your spiritual and/or religious beliefs?

This type of guilt is usually based on fear of reprisal from On High. And this was something I really struggled with when I got divorced.

In virtually all religious traditions The Deity is forgiving and teaches love. If this is true of your religious/spiritual view, then you know that others can be and are forgiven for their mistakes.

And you’re no different from any other person, you make mistakes and you can be forgiven without the requirement to continue to feel guilty once you’ve asked for forgiveness. Even better, you take the time to learn the lessons from your experiences so you can move forward with enriching your spiritual and religious life.

And, seriously, if God can forgive you, who are you to not forgive yourself?

3. Feeling guilty about breaking your promise to your spouse?

The fact is that people grow and change over time. You and your spouse are both different from the people who promised to live together for the rest of your lives.

And chances are you’ve both neglected your marriage over the years.

The best thing you can do now is acknowledge to yourself and to your spouse your own part in the demise of your marriage and apologize for it. And since this is the best you can do, there’s no reason to continue to beat yourself up for it, since castigating yourself won’t change anything.

This is another opportunity for you to learn and change how you’ll do things in the future.

4. Feeling guilty about breaking your promise to yourself?

Again, you’ve changed over the years and so has your spouse.

The truth is that you’ve always done your best given the circumstances you were in and the knowledge you had at that time. That doesn’t mean you were perfect or the ideal mate for your spouse, and that’s OK.

The promises we make to ourselves are the best we know how to make at the time to provide us with as much joy, as little pain, and as solid a sense of integrity as possible. As we mature, what makes us feel good about our lives changes – sometimes dramatically.

Sometimes the only way to maintain personal integrity is to break a promise you made to yourself when you were a different person and to then let the guilt of having to break the promise dissipate.

5. Feeling guilty because of how your family and friends might react (or are reacting)?

You’ve probably heard the adage “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”

This sentiment is an important one to remember as you continue your divorce journey.

The people who truly love you want the best for you and sometimes their expectations and biases can get in the way. And when that happens they begin their efforts to induce guilt in you.

When family or friends attempt to send you off on a guilt trip, their words and behavior say much more about them than about you.

And that sometimes they turn out to be people who don’t matter in your life (at least in the moment).

These tips regarding how to divorce without feeling guilty all focus on how YOU think about and interpret things.

That’s because you need to change your thoughts and perspectives before you can start releasing the emotional anchor of guilt.

As you continue to remind yourself of these ideas, you’ll start feeling more compassionate toward yourself and your soon-to-be-ex.

As your compassion grows, your guilt will diminish and you’ll be able to move forward and end your marriage with respect and love for everyone concerned – including yourself.

I’m Dr. Karen Finn, a divorce and personal life coach. I help people just like you who are looking for support advice about dealing with an unhappy marriage. You can join my newsletter list for free weekly advice. And, if you’re ready, you can take the first step toward working with me as your personal coach by scheduling a private consultation.

Looking for more tips on dealing with a miserable marriage? You’ll find what you’re looking for in Unhappy Marriage.

This article first appeared on YourTango.

3 Steps For How To Start Healing After A Divorce

Woman moving on after learning how to start healing after a divorce.

It won’t be easy, but these 3 steps will give you the best start for getting over your divorce.

The fact that you’re searching for help on how to start healing after a divorce sucks. It means that your marriage is over and that you’re feeling miserable, lost, alone and afraid.

You know that attorneys and mediators are there to help you get through all the legalities of the divorce, but they don’t begin to help you deal with the misery, the hurt and pain of divorce. So here you are reading article after article on the web hoping that you’ll find the answer you’re looking for.

There are 3 steps you need to take to learn how to start healing after a divorce.

These are the answers you’re looking for:

  1. Be kind and compassionate with yourself. Getting divorced isn’t anything that you planned on happening. Realizing that your marriage is over is a horrible shock to absorb. This shock will naturally cause your thoughts and emotions to go into a spin as you try to make sense of the new reality you’re facing.Becoming impatient with yourself is the worst thing you can do right now. You’re experiencing one of life’s most difficult challenges and you must take care of you in order to make it through your divorce as easily as possible.So remember that you’re doing the best you can. Some days will be better than others. Heck, some minutes will be better than others. Getting divorced is hard and it’s OK to not feel 100% like yourself as you start (and continue) your healing process.
  2. Build your self-esteem. Feeling that you’re a failure or even that you must not be lovable because you’re getting divorced? As horrible as it is to feel this way, it’s also really normal.One of the casualties of divorce is your self-esteem. So the sooner you can start doing things to help you feel good about you again, the more energy and drive you’ll have to figure out how to start healing.
  3. Ask for help. Healing from divorce is incredibly difficult. You deserve to have support as you navigate this painful time in your life.Asking for the help you want and deserve is one of the smartest things you can do. It’s so much easier to get through your divorce as quickly and thoroughly as possible when you’ve got someone on your side who genuinely cares about you and isn’t impacted by your divorce.Seek out help from someone who really knows what getting divorced is like – they’ve been through it themselves and have successfully put their own divorce behind them. It’s these people who will be best able to empathize with you and offer real suggestions to you for how to start healing after a divorce.

Learning how to start getting over the end of a marriage is vitally important. But, it’s just the beginning of your healing process.

Getting over a divorce is a long and uncertain road. But by taking care of you, you will be starting off on the right foot. And the good news is that by learning to take care of your now you’ll have this vital skill in place to help you truly get over your divorce so things will stop sucking as much as they do right now. You will start moving out of feeling so miserable, lost, alone and afraid and into feeling really good about you and your life again.

I’m Dr. Karen Finn, a divorce coach and life coach helping people just like you who want support in learning how to start healing after a divorce. You can join my newsletter list for free weekly advice. And, if you’re ready, you can take the first step toward working with me as your personal coach by scheduling a private consultation.

Looking for more tips about getting over your divorce? You’ll find what you’re looking for in Healing After Divorce.