Going through a divorce is one of the most stressful events you can experience in life. Even if you have come to a decision together, it is still hard.
It is hard because there is grief. Your dream of a lifelong relationship together has ended. Your expectation that your partner would be there for you for the rest of your life has come to an end.
If you have children, you are now a single parent. How are they going to thrive in this new, unfamiliar environment? Where are they going to live? How will they get to see both parents if it is safe?
Unless you can find a way to share the home you have been living in, you will have increased expenses as you and your partner will each need a place to live.
You have been saving up for some new clothes, a new car or a trip that you now must put on hold because of all the extra expenses.
Your friendships are going to change. Some of the couples you used to enjoy company with may disappear from your life. Friends that you once new together may choose to only stay friends with your ex-partner.
Your favourite pet may go to live with your ex-partner. You will have to divide up all the contents of your home. It won’t be easy.
Here are seven ways to inner peace after a divorce:
The first step is to accept that your relationship has ended. Finding the courage to accept reality takes time because our psyche is not ready to receive this devastating news.
At first, you may not want to admit to your friends and family that your marriage has ended.
Your friends and family will start to notice that something is wrong. Eventually, you are going to have to tell them the truth.
Being honest with yourself, friends and family is painful, but it can be so liberating helping you to accept that you are beginning a new time in your life.
When you can accept what has just happened, you can begin the long journey towards healing and new life.
2. Reach out for Help:
Life after a divorce can feel lonely even when you were escaping from physical or emotional abuse.
After your ex has left, it is time to reach out for help and support. The people you reach out to could be family members, friends or professionals.
Immediately after your divorce, it is not the time to rebound into a new relationship. You will not have had enough time to heal. You are likely to go back into a relationship with the same issues that ended the marriage you just left.
You might need a team of people to walk with you through this time of chaos. There is no shame in asking for help. It is a sign of courage and strength when you can ask for support and encouragement.
3. Self Care:
Caring for yourself is crucial to your healing.
You may catch yourself being hard on yourself, blaming yourself for ruining your marriage, or you may entirely blame your partner. Blaming is of no use.
It is time to love yourself. It is time to accept yourself with all your hang-ups and peculiarities that make you the amazing person you are.
Loving yourself is taking the time to heal. It includes
· getting enough sleep
· eating healthy food
· hanging out with friends
· being kind to yourself every day
· reading an enjoyable book
· watching your favourite movie
· listening to your favourite music
· getting proper exercise
· take a holiday
· take one hundred percent responsibility for yourself.
Self-care calls upon you to learn from the relationship that just ended. It is time to acknowledge what worked and did not work in your relationship.
You can care for yourself by naming the areas of your life that need to be healthier. Then figure out what you need in your life to be your best self.
4. Grief Work:
At the end of your relationship, you grieve for what might have been. You might be grieving for:
· the loss of your dream for a happy marriage
· the loss of your partner whom you thought would be with you until death
· the vision of a happy, loving family that never was
· the loss of friends and family, you knew through your spouse.
· the loss of financial security, which came from two full incomes.
The only way to deal with grief is to face the pain and sadness. There is no easy way around the discomfort.
Find friends, family and professionals to provide you with a safe space to get in touch with your sadness, anger, disappointments and self-doubt.
You need to be able to experience the sensations in your body, the emotions in your heart and the thoughts in your head to get beyond the pain.
After intentional work, the memories that used to trigger you will no longer affect your daily life.
If after some months of grieving and you do not feel like you are making any headway, this is probably a sign that you need professional help.
Click Here to learn more about how to bring your body, mind and spirit together
5. Live by Core Values:
Right after your divorce, your emotions will feel raw. You may feel a lot of anger towards your ex and yourself. You may still be in shock and can’t feel anything.
Especially during this rough time, it is essential to stick with your core values. Following your core values will help you to stay emotionally healthy and not say or do things that you will later regret.
You might have core values like these:
· I will honour my physical, emotional, mental and spiritual needs
· I will love my neighbour as myself
· I will treat myself and others with kindness
· I will practice radical gratitude every day.
What are your core values?
Forgiveness is a lifelong process. There are times to forgive ourselves, family, friends, colleagues and strangers.
Forgiveness takes time. It does not necessarily mean you are going to be great friends with the person who has offended you.
It does mean that you will eventually get to the point where the destructive behaviour of the person who hurt you will no longer trigger you.
Abuse by a parent, family member, friend or colleague may require a lifelong process toward forgiveness.
Hopefully, with time, the injury will no longer impact your ability to have loving, mutual and just relationships with others.
7. Find your passion:
With dedication, time and self-love, you will eventually move through the pain created by the ending of your relationship and problems that caused the demise of the marriage in the first place.
You will get to the point when you are ready to live again fully. Now it is time to renew your passions in life. It may be something that brought you joy and meaning before or could be something new.
If you do not know what your passions are, try different things available to you in your community. In the beginning, finding areas of interest you can share with others in person can help you to find hope in life.
It is through your new or renewed interests you will find people of like mind who can become your new friends.
Click Here to learn about the signs that you are ready to move on after your divorce
Going through a divorce may be one of the toughest times in your life. But do not despair; there is light at the end of the tunnel.
But the only way through the divorce is to move through it. Feel your pain, sadness and anger in your body. Notice the conversations that are going on in your head. Get in touch with your heart. Don’t be afraid to feel the pain.
The good news is that you do not have to do this alone. You have family, friends, colleagues and professionals to support you on your journey.
Moving through this process of healing and renewal provides opportunities for restoration and healing.
You have the opportunity to start a new chapter in your life with increased self-awareness, increased inner wisdom, insights from previous relationships and the courage to move ahead in life.
I am Roland Legge, an Identity Coach here to help you to find a new life after your divorce. You can join my private newsletter list for Free Monthly Advice and/or sign up to access your Free Online Enneagram test.