Sometimes there’s no way to put your feelings into words. Divorce can cast a pretty long shadow over your vision for the future and leave you feeling hopeless. That’s when it’s time to turn to the authors, the poets, and the been-there-survived-it veterans of loss for some uplifting life-after-divorce quotes.
While cleverly crafted proverbs can’t wave a magic wand of healing over your pain, they can offer clarity and food for thought.
Here are 7 uplifting life-after-divorce quotes to get you looking at the positive side of your new life.
When the wrong people leave your life, the right things start to happen. (Zig Ziglar)We’ve all heard the adage that “you are who you hang around.” And any time spent diving into self-help books will remind you that the people in your life are simply mirrors of yourself.
In other words, the company you keep has a profound influence on how you think and on the choices you make.
It’s also a reflection of your influence.
Unfortunately, marrying someone doesn’t guarantee the quality or integrity of his or her influence. It also doesn’t guarantee that your relationship will bring out the best in one another.
A person doesn’t have to be a “bad” person to be wrong for your life. If you and your spouse are stuck in patterns you can’t break through, you may notice that you’re “stuck” in other ways, too.
As painful as divorce is, sometimes it opens the door to just the right energy for your life.
If you’re brave enough to say goodbye, life will reward you with a new hello. (Paulo Coehlo)You may be convinced that the end of your marriage spells the end of love for you. But that’s simply not true.
Granted, you may not know how to tell the difference between a rebound relationship and the real thing in the early post-divorce days. But you just may come to the amazing realization that the most important relationship you can have is the one with yourself.
Embracing that self-discovery is a “new hello” that will prepare you to create the life you want. It may or may not involve romance or marriage. But you will be the one making the choice.
Saying goodbye to your marriage is one thing. Saying goodbye to your own ways of thinking and communicating that didn’t serve your relationship is quite another.
It demonstrates a hard-won metamorphosis and a readiness to meet life head-on with confidence and a seasoned self to offer.
Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life. (J.K. Rowling)Ahh, when it comes to uplifting life-after-divorce quotes, what better metaphor is there than springing off rock bottom?
Your divorce may be the lowest point in your life so far. But it’s also a solid starting point for changing direction.
The old house has been torn down and it’s time to rebuild…on your terms…to your vision.
Think you can’t pick yourself up out of the rubble of divorce and rebuild your life? Read J.K. Rowling’s rags-to-riches story of life after divorce.
Sometimes you don’t feel the weight of something you’ve been carrying until you feel the weight of its release. (Unknown)If you’ve ever carried a heavy knapsack of books on your back, you know how light you feel when you take it off.
You may have walked across campus not giving your books another thought. You tightened your muscles and stood up a little straighter, not thinking about your adjustments for the added weight.
But once you slid that heavy pack off your back, you realized the weight you had been lugging around.
Emotional weight has the same effect. And divorce, despite its long healing process, can be the sliding off of that heavy knapsack.
Suddenly you realize all the adjustments you have made in order to carry the emotional weight in your marriage.
Letting go doesn’t mean that you don’t care about someone anymore. It’s just realizing that the only person you really have control over is yourself. (Deborah Reber)Divorce is, above all else, a learning experience. That is, if you choose to learn from it.
You can stay stuck in a crippling sense of failure or harness the lessons life so generously offers in every situation.
You don’t have to spend the rest of your life hating your ex in order to put your marriage behind you.
But, if you’re going to rise above the loss, you will have to own your own contributions to it.
You will also have to own your changes and choices going forward.
After all, you’re the only person you can control. And now you’re in charge of your own life.
I used to hope that you’d bring me flowers. Now I plant my own. (Rachel Wolchin)It’s a wonderful, liberating feeling to know that you don’t have to wait for someone else to do nice things for you.
Something as simple as buying flowers can become an indulgence you give yourself just to make yourself feel good. No waiting, hoping, hinting.
And planting flowers in your own yard? Even better!
Of course, flowers are as much a metaphor as a literal reference.
The beauty of your new singlehood is that you get to write new rules for your own life.
And you get to show up for yourself without waiting or hoping for someone else to show up.
Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together. (Marilyn Monroe)It’s often only in hindsight that we see purpose in life’s darkest moments.
Perhaps that’s because we have plowed through and risen up against the odds to be able to assign purpose. Purpose to the past. Purpose to the future.
As impossible as it may seem to rise from the ashes, trust that Life knows how to transform your pain.
Even when there is regret, Life offers the consolation of wisdom to prepare you for something even better. Something you wouldn’t have even recognized if you hadn’t experienced and endured the pain.
Getting through divorce is, in many ways, a lesson in resilience.
It’s also a lesson in resourcefulness. Where will you turn for answers, support, inspiration?
Taping self-help notes and life-after-divorce quotes to your mirror may seem far-fetched at first.
But remember that you’re writing the rules now. And that means you get to fill your home, your mind, your life with anything and everything that lifts you up.
I’m Dr. Karen Finn, a divorce and life coach. If you’d like additional support rebuilding your life after divorce, you can join my newsletter list for free weekly advice or you can schedule a 30-minute private consultation with me.
Looking for more information about how to start over after divorce? You’ll find what you’re looking for in Life After Divorce.
You may have no idea how you got here. But one day you woke up and realized that you haven’t been happy in your marriage for a long time. And now you have to decide between fixing an unhappy marriage or ending it.
Hopefully you’re not ready to throw in the towel. But your disappointment in where your marriage is warrants a fearless and compassionate examination.
And, if you’re going to restore your relationship to the hope and happiness it once had, you’re going to have to work for it.
Here are 9 keys for fixing an unhappy marriage. All are doable, with promising benefits, if you are committed to bringing your marriage back to life.
Stop doing damage.
Fixing an unhappy marriage is a difficult, forward-aspiring effort. Even with the best intentions, there will be times that feel like dead-ends and lessons in futility.
But one thing’s for sure: There can be no forward momentum when there’s negativity pulling you backward.
If you’re to have any hope of repairing your marriage, you have to stop doing the damage that broke it. No more snide remarks. No more disapproving body language. No more blame. No more playing the victim. No more avoiding one another.
It only makes sense that you can’t heal a wound if you’re constantly reopening it or rubbing salt into it.
Take a personal and joint inventory or your marriage.
The work of fixing an unhappy marriage requires awareness of why you’re unhappy in the first place. This means taking a hard look at the way you and your spouse communicate (or don’t).
What behaviors and comments are triggers for each of you? Where is your marriage lacking in connectedness, enjoyment, and intimacy?
As you do the forensic work of looking at the history of your marriage, look for negative patterns that have emerged.
So often it’s the accumulation of little things that lead to big disappointments and feelings of defeat.
Get help early.
According to marriage expert John Gottman, couples wait an average of six years before getting help for their unhappy marriages. That’s a long time to build up a lot of negativity and unhealthy habits.
Marriage is hard work. And, unfortunately, relationship skills aren’t taught as part of a child’s school curriculum.
There is no shame in seeking the guidance of professionals who have committed their professional lives to helping couples save their marriages. Doing so early on would help with every one of the keys listed here.
Work on self-awareness.
Marriage is the union of two histories as much as it is the union of two people.
Unlike any other relationship, the intimacy of marriage holds the possibility of healing past wounds.
But that intimacy also has the potential to inflict wounds.
We all have unconscious triggers and motivators — influences silently accrued and carried forward from childhood. And, unless we work on learning how to be more self-aware, those unconscious influences will control our perceptions and responses.
Self-awareness is the cornerstone of emotional intelligence. It’s the way you bring your interior, unconscious filters to the level of consciousness.
When you’re able to identify your feelings, you have the information necessary to make wiser choices. You become the one in control, not your feelings and their unconscious history.
With that kind of self-control, you’ll be prepared to work on healthier communication and taking responsibility for your role in your marriage.
Develop healthy communication skills.
So much of what erodes happiness in marriage is rooted in communication. Poor communication. Unspoken communication. Lack of communication.
Chances are you entered marriage with communication skills carried forward from what you learned in childhood. You saw how your parents communicated, and that became your framework going forward.
Couple that with the communication style your spouse brought to the marriage, and it’s no wonder there’s conflict.
Learning to communicate in healthy, self-accountable ways is foundational to overcoming current dissatisfactions and laying the groundwork for happiness going forward.
(Read this to learn more about unhealthy communication in marriage so you can recognize it.)
Take responsibility for your own stuff.
Blame can become almost reflexive when you’re with someone for a long time.
There’s a convenience to having someone else as a depository for your disappointments and unhappiness. You don’t have to spend a lot of time examining your own contributions to your marriage’s failings because this other person is right there.
And surely you wouldn’t be so unhappy if your spouse weren’t doing abc or were doing xyz.
But marriage takes two. Even if there has been a betrayal, there is always mutual responsibility for the dynamics of the marriage itself.
And the sooner you step up and take responsibility for your own behaviors, the sooner you’ll notice a shift in your happiness.
Chances are that your influence will rub off onto your spouse and inspire a confident self-examination on his or her part.
And, no matter what, once you put the brakes on blame, you’ll notice that defensiveness disappears.
Prioritize your marriage.
A big part of fixing an unhappy marriage is prioritizing your spouse and relationship. That may sound logical, but, when you’re “just not feelin’ it,” your natural instinct may be to stay away from your spouse.
Avoiding conversations and physical intimacy may feel self-protective in the moment, but they won’t fix your relationship.
Start with little things. Commit to even ten minutes a day of uninterrupted conversation. Make physical affection a priority, even in small doses. A passing touch, one long kiss, a soothing back rub.
The point is to start viewing your marriage as your priority, not as a dumping ground for your leftover energy.
Commit to forgiveness.
Holding onto grudges means holding onto all that is making you unhappy. And learning how to fix a broken, unhappy marriage is, in large part, a lesson in letting that go.
Forgiveness isn’t an exoneration of unacceptable or hurtful behavior. It’s an unburdening of your heart so you don’t have to continue carrying what doesn’t serve you.
If restoring your marriage to a place of happiness and hope is important to you, then forgiveness — of self and one another — is essential.
Look for the positives.
When you’re unhappy, it seems as if only negativity shows up. You don’t even have to look for it — it’s just there, like a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Now is the time to start intentionally looking for the positives in your spouse and your marriage. There were enough positives to convince you to marry one another, so chances are they’re still there.
Set your radar to “+” and change what you see.
Look for the intention behind small gestures. Contemplate the sacrifices your spouse makes on behalf of your home and family.
Make gratitude your compass and watch how many blessings reveal themselves.
Fixing an unhappy marriage isn’t easy. Depending on the circumstances that led to your dissatisfaction, you may have very little incentive and energy to put into the effort.
But you and your spouse found the good in one another when you were dating. And you knew it was worth taking the leap into a lifetime commitment.
Take the time to figure out how you got here. You may be surprised at all the good that comes out of hiding along the way.
And that good is worth fighting for.
I’m Dr. Karen Finn, a life and divorce coach who helps people, just like you, who are unhappily married. For immediate help, you can download your FREE copy of “Contemplating Divorce? Here’s What You Need To Know”. And if you’re interested in working with me personally, you can book an introductory 30-minute private coaching session with me.