There are few things more devastating than a divorce to hear in a marriage. Knowing that your partner wants you to split up is painful, shocking, and can make you feel like nothing will ever be the same again.
And quite honestly, it’s true. Things won’t be the same, but that doesn’t mean they have to be terrible. Divorce is complex and painful, but the end of the road can be filled with new opportunities and a new life that you genuinely enjoy.
Is there a life after divorce?
Getting a divorce is devastating, and it may be hard to imagine a life after divorce but, life goes on. It may be difficult for now and different from what you have always pictured it to be but, you can mold it into something better.
The life after divorce is entirely in your hands, you can work on yourself and turn it into something better, or you can be in denial and keep mourning an already broken relationship.
While people go through a lot, it’s better to start from the beginning. You need to mourn your relationship so that you can have a better life after divorce.
It will help if you understand that everyone feels directionless after divorce, and no one is asking you to immerse right through this.
To rebuild life after divorce, you need to learn how to live without your ex-spouse. As soon as you do that, you will begin to imagine a good life after divorce.
Moving on is important to build a happy life after divorce. You need to understand that until you stop feeling sorry for yourself, starting over after divorce can be upsetting.
You need to understand that the relationship that ended wasn’t your life, and you have a long way ahead of you. You need to rediscover yourself and be independent in all aspects of life to move and be happy.
There will be setbacks but, if you have decided to make a good life after divorce, nothing can stop you.
If you’re facing a divorce or have recently gone through one, take heart. These simple tips will help you get back on your feet and find a healthy way to start over.
1. Let yourself grieve
You can get through a divorce and feel happy again, but you’re not going to feel good straight away. The end of a marriage is one of the most challenging things you can face, and it’s natural to feel the whole gamut of emotions from rage to heartbreak to denial. So let yourself feel them.
It’s okay to take some time out to recover from the pain of divorce. You will feel better – but don’t expect to feel fine by next week. Give yourself time and be patient with yourself.
2. Get some support
A good support network is an absolute must if you’re going through a divorce. Don’t be afraid to reach out to friends or close family members and talk to them about what you’re going through.
One word of caution, though – if you have kids, don’t let them become your support network.
That’s not their role and will only put undue stress on them. Ditto close mutual friends of you and your ex. Would you please not make them feel like they have to choose sides?
3. Rediscover who you are
Chances are you gave up some of your goals or hobbies when you got married. All marriage is a compromise. While that’s absolutely part of a healthy marriage, it’s also true that rediscovering the things you gave up can help you heal after a divorce.
You can also find new things and reinvent yourself as a person. Take a route that leads to your recovery.
4. Let go of your ex
There is one thing you used to love (or perhaps still love) that you should never revisit, though, and that’s your ex. Of course, if you have children, you will need to work on a healthy co-parenting relationship.
However, outside of childcare, try not to get too involved in your ex’s new life. It will only hurt you and make it harder to move on.
It’s also time to accept that things aren’t going to change. Whether you wish they’d change a particular behavior, or you’re wishing you could have one more try, it’s time to let go. It hurts now, but in the long run, you’ll be much happier as a result.
Divorce often heralds a change in your financial life. After all, you’ve probably been pooling your resources and living as a two-income household for a while now. Divorce can be an economic shock, especially if you weren’t very involved in money management.
Taking charge of your finances as soon as you can help you feel in control and plan for your future. Take a seminar or online course, or invest in some books or money management tools.
Simply reading a few financial blogs will help. Do everything you can to keep yourself in the green and plan how to manage your money.
There’s always the temptation to throw yourself into a new relationship after a divorce. Adjusting to who you are without your partner takes time, though, and some time spent enjoying being single first will do you good.
Use this time to get to know yourself and figure out what you want from life. Instead of pouring your energy into a new relationship, pour it into yourself.
You’re your main priority right now, and dating will only complicate the healing process. Look after yourself first so that you’ll know what you want out of it when you do get back into the dating game.
After a divorce, you might want to stay alone and don’t meet people, but eventually, your friends and family will get you through this tragic time. You may not realize it, but you need them the most.
With their help and support, you can rebuild your life after divorce as they will make sure that they are there to pick you up whenever you fall back.
If you keep your loved ones around, they will also keep an eye on you for any addiction you might pick up while grieving. These people will keep anything negative on their radar to prevent you from it.
9. Do what makes you happy
It would be best if you found out what matters in your life and what makes you happy. You have the freedom after divorce, you can do whatever you want, and you can take your life in any direction.
If you have a true sense of who you are, things will be easier to deal with and determine the true purpose of your life. Once you have figured that out, nothing can stop you from becoming a strong, happy person.
Most people living through a divorce don’t like to express their sad feelings to others. It would help if you wrote down your distressing feelings. Keeping track of your healing can help you get over the divorce.
Writing your feelings down is a great way to let all your stress and frustration off, and when you read it back, it helps you remember how strong you are to go through all this and work on your life.
You will find many exciting things that you have let go of because you settled down with your spouse and will feel rejuvenated.
12. Group therapy
Try group therapy. Join a group where you can share your feelings with others who are suffering the same as you. Sometimes it helps to know that you are not alone.
It will give you a purpose, and every time you share your feelings with them or listen to their suffering, it will be relatable.
Sharing your story about how you are building up your life after divorce one step at a time can inspire other people and comfort them.
13. Cut ties with your ex-spouse
The best thing to get over a divorce and move on in life is to cut all communication with your ex-spouse. However, this option looks impossible when the kids are involved, but you can still maintain boundaries.
You can simply decide not to discuss anything other than your child and also ask your spouse to maintain the dignity of your relationship as parents.
14. Learn from your past
Everything in life counts as an experience. Now that you are making a new life after divorce, you should not repeat the same mistakes that led you here.
Sit down and identify where you need to work on yourself, and you might reinvent yourself after divorce. People who tend to follow the same pattern in their life become predictable and obvious.
Maybe you have made mistakes while choosing a partner or getting into a relationship that wasn’t meant for you. You need to break all those bad habits and emerge as a new person who doesn’t make the wrong choices anymore.
You know that relationship is over, and it’s not going to change. There is no good reason to take a walk down memory lane now and then.
Avoid doing the same things and visiting the same places you did when you were married. Take an interest in new things that you like and visit new places, and when the old sites or things don’t bring back the bad memories, you can turn back to them.
16. Think positive
Focus on what kinds of thoughts you have all the time after the divorce. Many people lose hope after divorce and don’t deal with their post-divorce emotions, so they keep focusing on the negative things.
If you want to start a new life after divorce, you need to positively align your thoughts and focus on them. Negative, pessimistic, and depressive thoughts don’t let people move on.
Finding peace after divorce is achievable if you sincerely practice thinking positively and surround yourself with positive people who encourage and uplift you.
It’s a new chapter of life, and you have a second chance at making your life better from the start. If it is possible, relocate. Take a new job in a different city or country, learn a new city/country culture.
This will fasten the process of making a new life after divorce, as there will be nothing around to remind you of your past relationship. Everything will feel fresh, and you can discover the new you.
If anyone you know is going through a similar or another marriage crisis, help them out. Helping someone else is not beneficial for them only. It will also make you feel better.
When you help someone and see them doing better, it also boosts your confidence and gives you a reason to smile.
The best thing you will do while moving on after divorce will be moving regularly and maintaining a healthy body. Regular exercising will not only benefit you physically but also help you emotionally.
It’s not about the sweat, and you have to wake your body every day. You don’t have to do a rigorous workout. Just take a walk or jog; it will make you happy if you do it regularly.
The feeling of accomplishment that follows after the exercise is the reward.
20. Eat healthily
You may think this is absurd, but the truth is what you eat is what you feel and how you look. Food nourishment is directly related to your mood and emotions. You have to be conscious about what you are eating.
The healthier you eat, the healthier you look, and when you look good, you feel good. Most importantly, if you binge on processed food or junk food, you will put on weight and add another reason to be upset about.
To know more about how food affects your mental health watch this video:
Many people face challenges in starting a new life after divorce, and most of it is because they feel guilty about what happened.
Even after accepting that the relationship has ended and making peace with their ex-spouse, they continue to consider themselves at fault.
Forgive yourself, and look forward to life. Forgive yourself for everything you think you did wrong and decide that you will not let the past repeat itself.
Make peace with yourself, and you will realize there is hope after divorce.
22. Be patient
Recovery is not an easy process, and it takes time to get back on track after divorce. If you think that it’s been long and you still can’t get a hold of your feelings after divorce, take deep breaths and relax.
Take small steps towards a positive direction and allow yourself to feel okay. Be patient with your emotions, and let yourself heal.
When you are married and have too many responsibilities to handle, you miss out on great habits such as reading. It’s an incredibly great way to brain the mind.
Over the years, you lose the sense of what’s happening globally, new stories, emotions, thoughts, etc. Read about the things you like or a topic you were following but stopped because you got married.
Just read and get in touch with the literary world. It will give you many things to think about and distract you from thinking about your divorce.
24. Be grateful and appreciate your life
Things could have been worse. You may still have been in that unhappy relationship but you are not. Sure, it hurts right now but once you assess all the good things that came out of that divorce, you will stop regretting it.
Be grateful for everything on a daily basis, it will make you and everything around you better.
Meditation results in the long run. It’s a long process that benefits after some months of consistent practice.
You can start with 5 minutes and then increase the time as you get a hold of it. Just make time to be alone and shut down everything, close your eyes and focus on breathing.
At first, your mind will wander, but you can focus it back by concentrating on your breathing. Meditation will keep your thoughts calm and help you get a clear perspective of life after divorce.
Divorce is a painful process, but it can eventually lead you into a better relationship with yourself and your life. Take care of yourself, be gentle as you go through the mourning process, and when you’re ready, step out and embrace your new life.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Rachael Pace is a noted relationship writer associated with Marriage.com. She provides inspiration, support, and empowerment in the form of motivational articles and essays. Rachael enjoys studying the evolution of loving partnerships and is passionate about writing on them. She believes that everyone should make room for love in their lives and encourages couples to work on overcoming their challenges together.