Divorce can be extremely stressful and challenging, so it is important to think about how you will work on coping with the fallout. Here are ten smart things that that you should consider doing after your divorce.
1. Think about boundaries
It is a good idea to reflect on the level of contact you will have with your former spouse once you are divorced. Even if you have managed to maintain a friendship, putting healthy boundaries in place will help you to move on from the marriage. In addition, it is important to prevent your ex-partner from draining your resources by constantly asking for favors or emotional support.
2. Take a break before dating again
You might well be longing to fall in love again, but if you start dating immediately after a divorce then you will be taking too much baggage into a new partnership. Take some time to evaluate the ways in which your needs were not met in the marriage and consider how you can ensure they are met in subsequent relationships.
3. Evaluate your friendships
Most married couples have a shared social circle, so a divorce can unfortunately add unwanted complications to some friendships. Think about whether there are any toxic people in your life who might report private details to your former spouse, and make it clear to any true friends that you will not be forcing them to take sides.
4. Avoid blame
When a divorce is messy, it is easy to view your ex-partner as the villain who destroyed your life. Instead of wallowing in anger or resentment, try to draw useful lessons from your divorce. Why did not the relationship work? How did you contribute to its downfall? Truthfully answering these questions can set you on the path to a more authentic life.
5. Resist the temptation to obsess
While it is important to fully understand and process your divorce, it is equally vital that you not let the end of your marriage define and control your life.
Make time to pursue your hobbies, spend quality time with those you love, and treat yourself gently while you recover.
6. Consider therapy
People going through complex divorces involving bereavements, affairs or abuse may require the help of a therapist to move on from the traumatic events in the marriage. Seeking assistance is nothing to be ashamed of and can provide you with a very valuable, safe space in which to explore your feelings.
7. Put any children first
If you have children with your ex-partner, you have a special obligation to prioritize the needs of those children. You may struggle to maintain an amicable relationship with a former spouse at first, but it is important to note that time and effort often leads divorced parents to develop effective new ways of caring for their children.
8. Adjust to your new financial situation
If divorce has left with you less financial flexibility than you previously enjoyed, you will need to learn how to budget more effectively. Give some thought to what you are able to give up, and consider inventive new ways to make some extra money.
9. Do not be tempted to get back together
When you used to be happy, a bit of distance from your ex-partner can leave you fantasizing about the old days and thinking that you might be able to salvage your love after all. However, do not be tempted to restart the relationship unless there are very clear indications of significant, lasting change on both sides.
10. Work on self-development
Finally, being divorced gives you the freedom to reflect on how you want to grow as a person. Now might well be the ideal time to take up a new hobby, consider moving to a new place, or finally pursue the career you have always wanted. If your marriage was holding you back, a whole new world of possibilities may open up for you.
Although divorce is difficult on a number of fronts, these ten tips will help you to minimize the emotional anguish associated with the end of a marriage. As indicated above, divorce can be a rich opportunity for learning, and it is likely to lead to a happier life in the long run.