No one should ever feel ashamed for grieving the end of a marriage. Even if you know that a divorce is the best option for you and your family, grief, pain, anger and sadness are perfectly normal emotions to feel for a significant amount of time.
But dwelling on those feelings for too long can stunt your ability to cope and move on to a more positive chapter. The very idea of “moving on” may be especially frightening, but it’s essential to focus on building a foundation for fulfillment and happiness.
Tips for making a new start
First of all, everyone is different, and there’s no cookie-cutter approach to recovering from a divorce. But here are some things to consider as you enter the path to a new and better life:
Forgiveness can be divine
For many, forgiving themselves or those who wronged them can be the most positive step to moving on. Letting yourself off the hook is powerful and liberating. We all make mistakes and acknowledging that you’re not perfect helps you to forgive others and turn the page.
Be tactful and civil
If you have children, you already know that divorce does not sever the relationship with your ex. Disputes are likely inevitable going forward over co-parenting decisions. However, both of you love your children, and their happiness should be the priority. Listen to your ex when disagreements arise, apologize if you make mistakes and never put your kids in the middle.
Take the high road
Along with respectfully communicating with your co-parent, never speak poorly of them in front of your kids. Put their feelings ahead of any perceived need to “win” against your ex. Talking kindly and respectfully about the other parent sets a positive tone for your children and greatly helps them adjust to their new reality.
Create some quality “me-time”
While starting a new life can be daunting, it can also be exciting and refreshing. Maybe you now have time to rediscover a passion or hobby you felt you had to give up when you were married. Finding time to exercise, read or enjoy a night out with friends can help you reignite passions you may have thought were long gone.
Yes, divorce is stressful. But it’s not the end. Rather, it’s the beginning of your new life, and your goal should be to focus on your children and self-care. If emotional or legal issues arise that become overwhelming, remember that experienced counselors and lawyers are available to support you and focus on your best interests.