You spent more time and effort on your marriage and your relationship during your divorce than you did throughout the entire marriage. The emotional toll, the stress and the trauma that you experienced throughout that time was about "us", "we" and even "him".
Now, "us", "we" and "him" are gone.
It's just "you".
And, it's time for "you" to become the strongest, healthiest, most beautiful "you" that you can be. That's why I've asked divorce experts to share their tips for making most of this post-divorce era in your life by filling it with YOU-time. They've shared some great ideas in the following tips:
Tip #1: Opportunities for growth don't often come in pretty packages!
Divorce is yet another opportunity to learn. Taking an attitude of courage and curiosity helps you wring as much wisdom out of your experience as possible. So, after the tears have dried and the support is received, take time to reflect so you can learn whatever there is to be learned from the situation.
An excellent method of reflection is to identify the issues you may have neglected to consider earlier in the relationship. Clarify the questions that, if asked, may have helped to prevent a divorce. Maybe you didn't ask about the other person's honesty, integrity, or kindheartedness. Maybe you didn't ask about your own readiness for commitment or your willingness to accept your partner as they are. What did you forget to check-in with yourself about? Learn this, write this down, so you won't neglect this issue when you are ready to try love again.
Tip #2: An invitation to go within
When going through a transition whether by choice or life circumstance, you need to know who you are and who you aren't and from that awareness , pull up new inner resources. All transitions are an invitation to go within. Stay curious and self-compassionate.
Tip #3: Seeking Causes and Comfort in Divorce
We're often so excited at the prospects of a new life or a new love, that we don't do an honest self-evaluation of what caused the demise of our marriage in the first place. If we feel it was all his fault, the question must be: why did we allow bad behavior and why didn't we act sooner? If we had a part, what was it and does it need attention before we duplicate it in the next relationship?
During and after divorce is also a time when we might turn to other things for comfort at night – spending, eating, prescription medications. As long as it's situational and temporary – fine. Sometimes we find that our 'coper' is broken and we begin to rely on things outside of ourselves to sustain us and get us through another day. My advice is to take some time after the dust settles and really evaluate where you are, where you want to be, and what is standing in your way. Then make an action plan to move forward.
Tip #4: Letting Go, Envisioning and Loving
I believe the healthiest way to move through a divorce is through:
1) Letting go of the past and accepting the situation. As Eckhart Tolle says "The pain that you create now is always some form of non-acceptance, some form of unconscious resistance to what is." We create our own suffering, so when you catch yourself doing this, ask yourself how does this serve me and how can I find happiness now?
2) Creating a vision of your preferred future, including your ideal mate. If you don't have a vision, how can you attract or fulfill it?
3) Practice self-love. As Marianne Williamson states "First step to real deep lasting love with another, is to learn to love ourselves unconditionally".
Tip #5: Look on the Bright Side!
It can be difficult to ignore the doom and gloom cast by society over divorce to see the opportunities and rewards. However, replacing negative thoughts with positive ones can go a long way toward greater emotional and physical health as well as increasing your ability to cope and think clearly under stress. The good news is that chances are, you are already more likely to look on the bright side of divorce than male divorcees. Research suggests that while women do experience loses; they are also able to identify more gains from divorce than men.
Studies show women, more than men, achieve a fuller sense of themselves post-divorce, particularly as women may benefit more from the resulting shift in gender roles. What's more, long term studies observe increases in earnings over the lifespan and higher average Social Security benefits for divorced women. So go ahead and look on the bright side. It may be easier than you think.
A big thanks to these divorce experts for the tips they've shared!
If you're considering or proceeding through a divorce, information is key. Please take some time to educate yourself using the free information here at AlwaysNewYou.com:
- The Divorce and Remarriage Section: Great advice to guide you through your divorce, recovery and on to your next relationship (IF you want one!).
- Jeanie Rule's Divorce Advice for Moms: Our resident expert, Jeanie Rule, helps moms make great decisions about handling their divorce and raising wonderful children.