Creating a New Life Post Divorce: A 3 Step Guide to a Better You
As humans we are creatures of habit. We cope with life in an uncertain world by creating as many routines as possible. But after a divorce, routines completely change. This has the potential to be extremely unsettling for a time, but it doesn’t have to stay that way. Shona Dee breaks down 3 important strategies for taking control of your new life below.
When you are married, life is pretty straightforward for the most part.
That is not to say that it is always happy or lovely or peaceful, but there is, for most, a general feeling of security and routine when you are the wife of somebody. There are the meals that you regularly cook, the TV shows you always watch and the specially allocated days for washing, ironing, and shopping. You and your husband generally socialize with the same group of folk and vacation at the same spot or spots you have been frequenting for almost as long as you’ve known each other.
There is routine and routines make life easier to deal with.
Then one day, you find yourself DIVORCED. No longer a Missus and that feels daunting, overwhelming and frightening! But here is the thing. No matter the circumstances of your divorce, whatever it was that brought you to this crossroads, there IS light at the end of that long dark tunnel you currently find yourself staring down.
This is your chance to find out who you REALLY are, without the shackles and the ring and the routines. Remember, you were someone before you were a wife. That girl is still in there somewhere and it is your job now to go find her again.
Here are three strategies you can start using, right now, to help you create a new life after divorce.
1. Mourn your old life
The end of a marriage is a death, of sorts. It is the end of the life you shared with your significant other, the conclusion of shared hopes and dreams, and of any and all visions of your future life together as a concrete couple. This is no small thing!
And, in order for you to create a beautiful new life for yourself … the end of this life needs to be grieved, just as any death is grieved. This grieving process cannot and must not be skipped. It can be painful, it can be uncomfortable, it can be a downright agonizing nuisance at times.
Make no mistake here – the temptation to simply block and numb the pain will strike. But for your own good, ignore this temptation. Grieve, and do it well. You will be doing yourself, and your future mental and emotional health, a HUGE favor if you allow yourself the time and the energy to mourn your loss now, by feeling and processing the emotions as they come along.
Grieving is a very individual process and there is no specific timetable or timeline to adhere to. The important thing is to not deny or block whatever feeling arises or to try and numb the pain associated with the feeling with alcohol or drugs or sex or all night partying (examples only!). When the feeling comes … sit with it, feel it, process it. Then let it go.
Don’t skip the mourning phase – do it and do it well. It is the only way to ensure that you are starting your new life with no (or at least not much) baggage from your past.