There’s no set timeframe when it comes to moving on after a divorce. There are days when you’ll wake up feeling happy and energized, ready to face the world, and other times, you won’t feel like getting out of bed at all. Whatever you need to do to recover is valid as long as you do not hurt yourself.
As you enter your new life, you may find it helpful to reinvent yourself and define your new normal as a single person. Starting over may be scary, and it will take time to readjust your life, but it is achievable with determination and the right support system. Here are great tips to start over after divorce:
1. Grieve Your Loss
Thinking about your past after a divorce can be incredibly frustrating. When one makes a lifetime commitment, they rarely foresee a scenario where they permanently break the relationship. It’s normal to experience emotional episodes, but you need to vent it all out in the proper setting.
Look for a therapist to whom you can talk, especially during those days when you feel overwhelmed. A good therapist will best know how to handle you during those breakdown moments, and they’ll give you tips on how to address it to avoid bitterness getting into you.
2. Talk To a Divorce Attorney
A respected divorce mediation attorney acknowledges that many people do not know their rights and obligations after a divorce. Every relationship is unique; thus, the settlements may equally vary. You must be ready to accept the splits awarded to you whether you feel they work in your favor or not.
In most cases, however, the settlements are very fair. For example, if your partner builds the home you both lived in, they will be entitled to finally own it since they made the highest contribution to building it. A good lawyer knows how hard it can be. Therefore, they also offer the necessary advice, support, and facts of the divorce settlement beforehand so that you can plan your life.
3. Have A Strong Support Network
Besides seeing a therapist, being part of a group that has gone through the same thing as you makes it easier to deal with and accept. It can be therapeutic to listen to other people’s different experiences and emotional struggles and uplift each other. Support groups show you that you are not alone in times of hardship. There’s therapy in speaking out your feelings rather than
holding them in. If you live alone after your separation, you may want to temporarily move in with a relative or friend to get the emotional support you need.
4. Get Rid of The Memories
While seeking a fresh start, you’ll probably move to a new place if you have the money to do so. There, you’ll have the freedom to decorate and arrange your home as you please. However, if you’re still living in the home you had made for yourself with your ex-spouse, your redecorating burden will be much bigger since almost everything in that home brings back memories. Make changes that reflect your personality and create an uplifting atmosphere for yourself.
If you have home items that rekindle painful memories from your marriage, then you could sell them off and buy new things. It may be the best option to sell your marital house and move to a new place. Your new home should be a sanctuary of peace, not bearing bad memories.
5. Explore New Hobbies
Almost every one of us has a bucket list of things we’ve wanted to do for a long time. The best time to discover and grow your interests is alone since you don’t have any relationship constraints. It’s easy to drown in dangerous and addictive hobbies during this emotional low point, especially those involving drug abuse, leading to physical and mental deterioration.
A new hobby will help keep your mind away from the past. These hobbies could include sports, cooking, stitching, knitting, reading, gardening, traveling, etc. You can join hobby clubs or ask your close friends to join you in this new quest to keep you consistent and motivated to grow your newfound hobby. You can also invite your family and friends to support you on this. Above all, allow yourself to enjoy life without getting caught up in your past life events.
6. Don’t Rush into A New Relationship
Again, going through a divorce does not mean you will never find love again, especially if you have an active social life. We acknowledge that it can be challenging and lonely, shifting to single life. However, it’s advisable not to jump into a relationship just yet, especially after the marriage has been dissolved.
It might seem like the best way to get over someone is to meet someone new, but this is not always the case. If you are still feeling emotional about your previous relationship, you may end up hurting yourself or your new partner. Take your time and learn to be happy while alone and only engage in casual relationships, and once you feel you’ve healed, you can get into a new relationship.
7. Cultivate New and Healthy Friendships
Divorce affects all facets of your life, and unfortunately, that may include damage to some friendships. As sad as it may be, you will have to accept that it is normal to lose friends along the way after a divorce, especially those friends who took sides with your former partner. Even longtime friends you thought were loyal to you might support your ex.
In short, such events reveal who your true friends are. You can form new friendships from your newly found hobbies, fellow workmates, church, etc. You can get friends from different avenues in life and as long as you feel they’re genuine, don’t shut out positively building friendships.
Starting over after a divorce is easier said than done, but you have to decide to take personal responsibility and find a way to pick yourself up and move on with life. Be patient and focus on your physical and mental health until you regain your happiness.
About the Author
Roni Davis is a writer, blogger, and legal assistant operating out of the greater Philadelphia area