Back to square one. That’s what you might be thinking after your divorce. Getting through the divorce was tough. What’s it going to be like now? To be sure, there are going to be some unknowns, some surprises. Post-divorce is a re-learning and a discovery process.
1. A Quiet House
You’re probably not prepared for how quiet a house can be when it’s just you living in it. Does it feel creepy or make you feel lonely? Turn on music that makes you feel good. Having something going on in the background cuts the dead silence. It can energize you or soothe you. Watch a morning talk or TV show, stream a movie, listen to an audio book with headphones on as you go about your daily tasks. Tired of that? Use the silence as an opportunity to reflect, assess, discover new routines, meditate.
2. Friends Old and New
Some of the mutual friends you had while married may not carry over into post-divorce. But close friends are often there for the long haul. Rely on them for emotional support and for keeping you sane and connected to the outside world. After a marital breakup people have a tendency to turn inward from the stresses and trauma that accumulated. You might feel gun shy about interactions with others. Now is a good time to reach out and make new friends … people who also lead a single life and have similar interests. Hanging out with others gets your mind off you, painful memories, and negative feelings. Reignite yourself and your friendships. Plan lunches, coffee breaks, a vacation or weekend get-away with friends.
3. The Search for Companionship
You need time and space to figure out what you want in a relationship. Companionship, someone to share activities with, someone who can relate to what you went through and are still going through, or maybe you want to start the search for the love of your life? You’re wiser now. You can step out of the pattern that led to your failed marriage. You can better identify who and what feels right to you.
4. Living Single
You’re learning to break the habit of having a mate in everyday life. If you have children, you may feel overwhelmed about taking on your new role as a single parent. Try to keep yourself from invested in what you don’t have. If you think too much about what you’re missing out on not being in a relationship you’re robbing yourself of the opportunity to make changes, move forward, prepare for your new life.
5. Who am I?
Are you confused about your identity? Do you suffer from low self-esteem? While married, your identity may have gotten lost, overshadowed by that of your spouse. Loss of that role can make you question who you are and what you want out of life. Become reacquainted with you, examine your limitations – but try not to dwell on them. Identify your strengths and build on them. Keep a journal. Register for a self-discovery seminar or a divorce support group. Go to counseling.
Getting A “Do-Over”
How well will you recover from the failed marriage and divorce? How long will recovery take? That depends on how you respond to the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.
One thing is for sure: you won’t be dealing with the same issues as you were during and before the divorce. You’re not surviving a married life and a divorce, you’re getting a chance for a “do-over.” You’re coming out the other side a wiser, stronger, happier person who makes better decisions and experiences meaningful, successful relationships.