Divorce Coach's Guide to Getting Back on Your Feet after a Divorce
Author: Pav Lertjitbanjong
Whether your divorce feels like a sudden shock or was something you've been expecting for years, going through one is never easy.
"Even in the most amicable of divorces, there will be pain and struggle as you transition into the next phase in your life."
But no matter how rough the divorce, there are steps you can take to heal and move forward.
1. Take Time to Grieve
As eager as you may be to feel happy again, that is not something you can force. You will need to take your time to grieve the relationship you lost. Even when you feel ready for the divorce, you may be surprised by how much separating will hurt you. Ending a marriage is not unlike dealing with a death in your life. You will need to grieve the death of your relationship. And there will be no timeline on that grief, it will take the time it takes for you to recover from your divorce. Don't rush your sadness and cope with it in healthy ways by relying on your social circle.
2. Go Out
You don't need to go out on a date until you feel you're adequately recovered from your divorce but that doesn't mean you need to be a homebody. Connect with friends and enjoy social outings. If you've been married for a significant amount of time and have neglected some of your old friendships, reach out to people or go to social events where you can make new friends. Do some volunteer work, join a book club, do anything where you will surround yourself with other people. Friendships will be key in healing from a rough divorce.
3. Make New Plans
In a marriage, your goals and plans are centered around your significant other. Your spouse's plans become your plans and when the marriage ends, it can be difficult to envision a new future. Take time to reflect on who you are outside of your marriage. Now that your spouse is no longer with you, what goals do you want to make for yourself? Do you have new hobbies you'd like to try? Are there any career goals you haven't been focusing on? Focus on yourself even if that feels selfish. Becoming reacquainted with yourself is a necessary step in healing from divorce.
4. Try Therapy
Therapy isn't only for those who suffer from mental illness. Almost everyone can benefit from therapy during difficult times in their life and divorce is most certainly a difficult time. A therapist will help you work through your feelings and set goals for your new life. If you have children, it will be especially beneficial to get them into therapy as well. Divorce is a transition that is tough on the whole family, but a mental health professional will help your family move forward.
As difficult as your divorce may be, don't let it stop you from living your life. The pain of divorce can be horrendous, but it is temporary and you will move on quicker if you take proactive steps in your healing.