Divorce completely turns your life upside down in the worst way imaginable. You might feel as though your emotions will never recover, but it WILL get better and you’ll come out stronger. While you’re going through it, there are a few things you can do to make the recovery process slightly easier.
1. Give yourself time
Emotions are addictive and can overtake your life, and that’s OK, for a while. Allow yourself time to grieve in the beginning. Wallow, stay in your pyjama all day, eat ice cream out the tub, cry, punch a punching bag, do whatever it is that you do when you’re sad. Make sure to set a time limit as to when that will end, and stick to it.
2. Cut off contact
Unless you have to make arrangements with regards to children, finances etc., don’t contact your ex unless absolutely necessary. You won’t be friends right away, or at all, and that has to be dealt with as part of your healing process.
3. Separate fantasy from reality
Your brain will always remember the good as a defense mechanism to get through the pain. You need to remember why you can no longer be with that person, not so you can stay angry, but to remember the relationship as it truthfully was. Write down the good, the bad, and the ugly and refer to that list when you feel yourself slipping back into despair.
5. Have a person to turn to
Find some you can rely on to tell you the truth, but not be cruel. You can’t simply “get over it” so turn to someone who is firm, but compassionate and has an outsider’s perspective. Whether that’s a family member, friend, someone from a support group, or a therapist.
6. Get back to you
Relationships are about respect, and respect for yourself is the primary focus after a divorce. Go back to being the full you, which includes things you stopped doing, saying or wearing because your ex didn’t like them. Make yourself your number one priority – be selfish if you have to be. Go to gym, get a new hairstyle, take that cooking class, see old friends, do whatever you want to do to look and feel better.
7. Accept and move on
This goes for your ex and for the friends you thought would be there for you and turned out to be yet another in a long line of disappointment and hurt.
It’s easy to play the blame game, but if you play the victim for too long, it’ll consume your life and your chance at happiness post-divorce.
You simply weren’t right for each other. Hold your head high, be the better person, and walk away gracefully. See them as a lesson for you next relationship, because there will come a time when you’re ready for the next step in your life’s emotional journey.
“Everything will be okay in the end. If it's not okay, it's not the end.” – John Lennon
Date Published: 25 October 2017