Whether the process was amicable or riddled with conflict, ending a marriage is rarely easy for any spouse. After spending years or even decades with the same partner, the idea of starting life over again solo can be incredibly daunting.
Divorce is a loss, and as with any loss, it’s normal to go through difficult periods of adjustment and grief. Taking care of yourself and your well-being is essential as you start the next chapter of your life. Divorce doesn’t have to be seen as the end but an opportunity for a new beginning. Here are four tips for getting started on starting over:
1. Practice acceptance
It’s natural to have regrets when the dust of divorce settles. You may wonder if you could have done something differently or tried harder to save your marriage. While these thoughts are perfectly normal, dwelling on the past for too long can get in the way of healing and moving towards the future. Allow yourself to accept that these feelings are a part of the process, and practice letting go of past events you can no longer change.
2. Focus on the children
If you share children with your ex, your roles in each other’s lives are likely far from over. A cooperative and respectful co-parenting relationship can help children thrive after divorce and minimize its harmful effects. Prioritizing the well-being of the kids can help parents sidestep unnecessary conflict and work together to move their family into the next chapter. However, do not turn your child into your confidant. Let him or her be a kid and rely on your adult friends or a professional for the emotional support you might need.
3. Get financially savvy
Whether you and your spouse both had careers, or this is your first time being the sole breadwinner, it’s wise to take some time to get your finances in order. Creating a new post-divorce budget or taking an adult education class in personal finance management can help you feel back in control of your life and financial future.
4. Take it slow
It can be common for people going through divorce to jump too quickly into a new relationship. However, dating isn’t something that should be done simply to avoid feeling alone. Before entering a new relationship, take the necessary time to heal and rediscover your passions and interests. Leaning on friends and seeking professional support are good coping strategies for navigating these tumultuous times.
Divorce is challenging for most, but it doesn’t mean life is over. Taking care of your physical and mental health and allowing yourself time to heal can help you move forward with your life to a better tomorrow.