Going through divorce can, at times, seem like you are navigating murky waters in a leaky boat. Also, it’s dark, you lost your paddle, and you aren’t even sure where you’re going. In just a few words divorce is frustrating, confusing, and heart-breaking. No matter how your divorce came about, the separation from your spouse will be hard. You’ve lived together and been through some things together. Hopefully you’ve had some good times together, though those may make you start to doubt whether this life change was actually a good idea. The hardest part is that you are in this boat by yourself, and you alone have to decide where you must go. How can you navigate your way through?
Here are some divorce tips that you must remember.
Let the Past Go
You’ll be tempted to replay every fight, every sign, every little detail in your mind. You’ll analyze and take everything apart bit by bit. You’ll ask why until you are blue in the face. The thing is—dwelling on the past doesn’t get you anywhere. Can you change the past? No. Will the past ever make sense? Probably not.
At some point—maybe not right away, and that’s ok—you need to let the past go. This may be one of the most difficult things you will do after the divorce, but it’s one of the most crucial if you want to be able to move on. Remind yourself everyday that the past is in the past, and the present is all you have control over.
Take Advice with a Grain of Salt
You may find yourself wanting to talk things out in order to sort through your emotions and make sense of what happened. That’s fine, and it can be pretty cathartic if you have a friend with a good listening ear. But there will be plenty of family and friends who will give you advice. Just remember that they are doing it out of love, so try not to take anything personally if they say something a little off. They are trying their best to be supportive and help you feel better.
Also realize that while they may have gone through divorce personally, your situation is completely different. Some parts of it you will both be on the same page, but other parts of it will be drastically different. Especially if kids are involved or not, and a myriad of other details. So perhaps their advice could help some, it may not be useful in your situation. Simply listen and say thank you, but don’t feel obligated to follow their advice.
Talk to a Professional
Obviously, you need a lawyer to help you get through the legalities of the divorce. But what about your personal life? Talk to a therapist. You may feel like you can do it all on your own, until one day you have a break down. Avoid that by taking the proactive approach. Talk to a professional counselor who has experience helping people get through a major life change such as divorce. They can help you process your feelings in a healthy way and come out stronger.
Rebuild Your Confidence
After divorce, many people’s confidence is shattered. It’s understandable—before you were so sure you had met the love of your life, but now you begin to question your life choices and your judge of character. Or perhaps you realize the role you played in the demise of your marriage, and you are starting to doubt if you are capable of ever being in a committed relationship.
It’s only natural to have doubts when it feels like your world has crumbled. So your job now is to rebuild your life, and especially rebuild your confidence. Go do something you love and feel better about yourself. Exercise and eat right so you will be in a good state of mind that helps confidence grow. Start meditating and adopt mantras that will help you gain confidence, such as, “I am worth fighting for. I am capable. I can do this.”
Forgive Your Ex (and Yourself)
There’s nothing like carrying around a grudge that can completely weigh you down. It’s like a backpack full of rocks, only you don’t even realize just how heavy it is. Forgiving your ex (and yourself) can relieve the burden you feel everyday. When you forgive, you aren’t saying that what they or you did was ok, you are just choosing to not let it bother you anymore. You are allowing the other person—and yourself—the chance to move on.
Forgiveness is hard. It requires a lot of internal change. So don’t feel bad if forgiveness doesn’t come right away or naturally. Give it time. Forgiveness is a process and something you must choose over and over. Until one day, you are able to say with all honesty, “I forgive you,” and mean it. When that day comes, you will feel a hundred times lighter.