You’ll need to be proactive, but living a great life post-divorce is totally worth it.
You might not believe it now, but that doesn’t make it any less true. You can have a better life after divorce than you had when you were married. It probably won’t happen for you right away, but it will happen – if that’s what you truly want.
You’ll have to really want it because you’ll have to work for it. A great life post-divorce won’t be handed to you on a silver platter no matter how much you wish it would be.
A few of the things you’ll need to be proactive about to have a better life after divorce include:
- Grieve what was and what will never be.When you divorce, you say goodbye to a lot – your marriage, your lifestyle, seeing your children every day, and your dreams of happily ever after with your spouse to name just a few. You need to mourn all of it before you can fully move on.
- Let go of feelings of failure, blame, regret and guilt through compassion and forgiveness.Letting go of the painful feelings means that you work through them – not ignore them or stuff them down. It’s only by coming to terms with your emotions and the thoughts behind them that you’ll find the emotional freedom you’re looking for.
- Feel grateful for what you do have and can do by releasing resentment for what you can no longer do or don’t have.When you focus on what you don’t have or can no longer do, you’re living in the past and ignoring the present. Your life is happening in the present, so when you ignore it you’re not really living and can’t be happy.
- Gently remind yourself of why you divorced and learn what you can from it.Divorce is heartbreaking and it’s natural to feel sad about the end of your marriage. However, there was a reason you divorced, and that reason had to do with the fact that you and your ex weren’t both happy in your marriage.And that’s OK because you both deserve to be happy now. The way to find happiness now is to learn from what didn’t work in your marriage and use that knowledge to make your life better now.
- Rediscover who you are before you find another partner.In marriage, it’s not uncommon that you compromised away bits and pieces of yourself to keep the peace and make your relationship less volatile. However, now that you’re divorced, it’s time to reacquaint yourself with yourself before entering another relationship.This doesn’t mean that you don’t have any relationships until you feel like yourself again. It just means that you don’t get into another “permanent” one yet.
“The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.”
- Create a plan for your future that excites you.When you’re excited about where you’re headed in your life and you’re consistently and persistently working toward it every day you’ll feel happy. And when you take the time to celebrate each of your victories and learnings along the way, you’ll know the meaning of the saying, “It’s not the destination, it’s the journey that matters.”
- Look at the challenges you face as opportunities.
Just because you’ve chosen to have a better life after divorce than you had during your marriage, expecting that you’ll never face another challenge is unrealistic.
However, if you can look at each challenge you face as an opportunity to either course correct or learn something, you’ll be much more likely to continue having a great life instead of getting derailed by the inevitable problems of living.
- Ask for help when you need it.
There’s absolutely no reason why you should even consider living your life without the support of others. So, ask for assistance when you need it and be willing to give it in return when someone asks for your help.You’ll find that when you interact with people in meaningful ways that you’ll develop deeper and more satisfying relationships which will definitely make your life even more rich and wonderful.
As you can see from this list none of the items on it are impossible to achieve. But they will take effort on your part.
And even if doing this work is difficult or takes longer than you thought it would, having a better life after divorce is worth every single ounce of proactive effort it takes.
I’m Dr. Karen Finn, a divorce and life coach. I help people figure out how to have a better life after divorce. You can join my 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.