When breakups leave your heart aching, you must grieve and find a way to go on.
Divorce is a painful, messy matter that can leave both partners feeling like they have just experienced a death. And, in a way, they have experienced that kind of loss — the death of their marriage and their “happily ever after” future, which they believed in and worked toward for so many years. Saying good-bye to that dream and embracing a new, single lifestyle isn’t as easy as simply dividing up your assets and arranging joint custody. There is much more to the story, which is why rebuilding after divorce takes bravery, strength, and a positive attitude. Consider the following steps to help you lay the foundation to restore, rebuild, and rewrite your future:
1 Seek therapy.
Some people wrongly believe that therapy is a sign of failure or mental illness, but the truth is that we all need extra support sometimes. Therapy will give you a safe, secure place to work through your issues and tackle your new life with aplomb and grace. Additionally, it can be useful to seek therapy for your children, as divorce can be confusing and scary, particularly for younger children who don’t understand the process.
2 Let go of the guilt.
When it comes to divorce, we often hear the term “failed marriage,” and some people refer to individuals with multiple divorces as “two-time losers.” What shaming and hurtful terminology! You aren’t a loser or a failure just because you are going through a divorce. Let go of the guilt, and leave those shaming terms in the dust. Rejoice in the fact that you are a brave, strong, independent individual. You are rebuilding your life and doing something that some people are too scared to undergo.
3 Look inward.
Therapy can help you to look inward, but even without counseling, you can take a look at your own role in the divorce. It’s hard to admit wrongdoing or accept blame, but doing so can actually be quite empowering and keep you from making those same mistakes in your next relationship. Where did you go wrong? Did you shut down during arguments or name-call? Did you hold on to petty hurts or spend too much time in the office? Accept your responsibility in the marriage and the divorce, and then move forward with a clear, free heart.
A wise man once said, “Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for it to kill your enemy.” Truer words were never spoken when it comes to healing a broken heart. If you are bogged down in anger, rage, and resentment, you will never be able to let go of your pain and find happiness again. So, if you are having a hard time forgiving your partner, remind yourself that you are doing it for you and not for him.
5 Rediscover yourself.
There is a silver lining when it comes to divorce. It offers you the opportunity to rewrite your future and rediscover yourself. You can go back to school and get that culinary degree you always dreamed of, you can take up rock-climbing, you can go on speed dates, or you can flirt with that cute guy in your office. You are free to reach out for your every dream and explore your heart’s desires. Who knows what the next chapter might bring?