Moving On With Life After a Divorce
Very few people who have weathered a divorce, or dissolution of marriage as it is now termed, would say it was easy to move on after the final judgment is handed down. Of course, a lot depends of how many years the couple have been married, if there are children to consider, if there will be a drastic change in lifestyle, whether there is someone waiting “in the wings” to love and cherish, to name a few. However, no matter what the circumstances, a person must move on. Here are some suggestions to help with moving on:
- Immediately take stock of the positive aspects of your life.
- Smile often, even if you don’t feel like it. Keeping a humorous book or pictures handy can often put a smile on your face. Enjoying a pet or watching young children at play will usually bring a smile as will a lighthearted movie or TV show.
- Find ways to help others. There are numerous volunteer opportunities.
- If you are spiritual, find new ways to embrace and strengthen your faith.
- Join a group of others much like yourself to not only enjoy the fellowship but to make new friends. Some groups have a purpose such as sharing a book or gardening tips.
- Keep the things you like about yourself but create a “new you” where you feel discouraged such as a new hairstyle, weight loss, wardrobe change, or exercise routine.
- Take a class to learn something new or to improve your skills. This can even lead to a better job and friendships.
- Re-do your living spaces using bright colors and cheerful furnishings. If you can afford to, buy something new, and here second hand stores are great, to give the old a new face.
- Set goals, both long and short term. Reward yourself as you complete each step.
- If your former spouse already has moved on to another relationship and that is very hurtful, make a point to be with friends who you know care about you. Seek social gatherings of people who enjoy what you do and look for those who are also alone and seeking new relationships. However, be careful not to rush into a serious relationship too soon. Rebound relationships rarely work.
When you are still raising children it is often much more difficult to move on as their needs must be met before your own. They will be hurting too and needing encouragement that what happened wasn’t their fault and especially that both parents still love them. The tips above all still hold meaning but it may be harder to accomplish moving on when time and often money are in short supply. Sometimes a family counselor can help all concerned to sort out priorities and assist in the situation.
A final word of caution: Try to put the past behind in hurtful areas. Let the positive memories live on but not to the point they interfere with making new memories. Try to start fresh with each new day and build a different and maybe even better life as you move on after a divorce.