Life During and After Divorce
The end of a marriage represents not only a loss, but also a new beginning. If you’re newly divorced, a lot more than marital status has probably changed. This is a time to take stock and make some plans. This section of the web site will provide you with strategies for moving forward with life after divorce.
As with any loss, you will go through stages of grief, ideally arriving at a state of acceptance. Not only will this afford you peace, it will also position you to make clear and thoughtful decisions regarding your future. Take the time to process your losses; accept the love and support of your family and friends; explore joining a divorce recovery group, doing meditation, and/or developing a yoga practice. If you find yourself unable to break free of an overwhelming sense of grief, seek professional help. A therapist can help you talk through your emotional experience. You need to take good care of yourself as you go through the divorce process.
Divorce frequently brings changes to your social life. Engaging in activities that you enjoy and that bring you into contact with others who have similar interests can be an excellent way to explore new social networks and make new friends. Think about taking a cooking class, joining a cycling group, looking up the local chapter of the Sierra Club, or volunteering for an organization you support.
This is a time to explore and rediscover what brings you joy. If you are feeling peaceful about your divorce, with some understanding of what happened and how to minimize the chances of that history repeating itself, you’ll bring a great foundation to new relationships. If the wound from the end of your relationship does not yet feel fully healed, consider concentrating on new friendships instead of romance. No matter how you and your ex managed finances, once divorced you are responsible for establishing and maintaining a household entirely on your own. This is a good time to establish financial goals or the habits to make the goals you set during the divorce process realities, and to begin working within a budget.
If you are a parent, a lot will have changed for your family as a result of your divorce. The best gift you can give yourself and your children is a working co-parenting relationship with your ex-spouse.
Establishing a life after divorce can be daunting, but it can also give you a sense of accomplishment, and excitement about new beginnings. This IS an opportunity, with lots of changes and – perhaps – some tremendous improvements. It’s a time for exploration; a time to see what feels good to you and fits in your life. You may try some things and say, “Never again!” but the opportunity is there to get in touch with some undiscovered or long-dormant parts of yourself. As much as you can, stay open and be courageous!