After getting divorced, people wonder how to move on after a divorce. It isn’t easy – but divorce doesn’t have to wreak emotional havoc or tear you to shreds! These tips for healing after getting divorced are inspired by Susan Pease Gadoua, an expert in divorce care.
“Divorce, perhaps the greatest loss a persona will ever experience besides the death of a loved one, has its own unique set of grief triggers,” writes Gadoua in Stronger Day By Day: Reflections for Healing and Rebuilding After Divorce. “This is primarily due to the fact that the person from whom you are parting does not go away completely.”
Stronger Day By Day: Reflections for Healing and Rebuilding After Divorce is a thorough, helpful, practical guide to moving on after getting a divorce. The following five tips are based on information from Gadoua’s book – which contains 61 reflections for rebuilding after divorce.
Moving On After Getting Divorced
1. Remember that getting divorced isn’t easy, but you will survive. For most people, getting a divorce is extremely stressful and heartbreaking. You may have little control over your life financially, practically, spatially, or socially. You may have to hire and trust various professionals – divorce lawyers, mediators, accountants, counselors. The more positive and optimistic you are that you’ll survive and even thrive after the storm is over, the more bearable the process will be.
2. Accept that “it is what it is.” Getting divorced sometimes brings feelings of regret, fear, and despair for future relationships. You may wonder if you made a mistake, and worry you let go of your marriage too soon. “Certainly, the connection you shared with your spouse can never be matched in exactly the same way, but if the trait you loved was in your spouse, it probably exists in someone else as well,” writes Gadoua in Stronger Day By Day. Part of moving on after a divorce is accepting your life as it is.
3. Take one step at a time. The divorce process is full of frustrations and disappointments, as well as anger and tears. You may not know how the divorce arrangements (eg, custody arrangements, child support, alimony) will turn out, and you may have no idea how to move on after your divorce. To make getting divorce easier, try focusing on one day and one step at a time. Avoid worrying about the future or regretting the past. When you’re moving on after a divorce, focus on what you need to do today.
4. Join a divorce support group, or take a relevant course. Do you need help with financial planning and supporting yourself after getting divorced? Are you emotionally exhausted? Do you feel isolated and alone? Try to identify your main sources of stress. Then, find ways to cope with that stress. For instance, a divorce support group can help you feel less alone. Meeting with a financial planner or taking a financial planning course may help you move on after divorce. Taking action to deal with your main source of stress can energize and liberate you.
5. Restrain yourself. “Trying to hurt someone, especially your ex-spouse, in retaliation for hurts doesn’t work,” writes Gadoua in Stronger Day By Day: Reflections for Healing and Rebuilding After Divorce. “It may feel good in the moment, but that good feeling won’t last long.” This divorce expert says you’re entitled to your feelings of anger – but remember that lashing out or reacting badly isn’t the answer. When you need to respond to something hurtful, try to sleep on it first. Express your negative feelings in ways that don’t involve your ex.
If you’re in a custody battle, read A Child Custody Argument: Equal Parenting Presumption After Divorce.
If you have any thoughts or questions on getting divorced or moving on after a divorce, please comment below…