In the US, according to a study there is one divorce every 42 seconds. That equates to 2,400 divorces per day and an estimated 14,364 divorces per week. In fact, there are over 813,000 divorces in the US each year.
That’s a lot of love lost. Plus, an overflow of disappointments, frustrations, and feelings of betrayal for a week!
Now I’m not saying that it’s for everyone, but it is a bit comforting to know that other people have been where you’ve been or are – and if they can pull themselves through it then so can you! With all of those numbers on one side and the pain we feel from our situation on another, how do we deal with divorce? and start over after divorce?
How to start over after divorce
Divorces are brutal. It doesn’t matter they make you the richest woman in the world. The hurt, disappointment, and feelings of disillusion that come with divorce can leave you completely shattered. Understandably so. However, divorce is one of the ups and downs of this life. Our closest family friend fondly talks about divorce affects a family. “You now belong to two homes,” she mentions recounting a time when her family broke down at a young age. Surprisingly, the incident helped her build a successful family into her adulthood. Her family is a model on this side. Long may it last!
With the highest divorce rates happening among couples beyond age 50 in the US, one might wonder whether they’ll ever be happy again with retirement and old age setting in, but there are many ways to be happy and to start over life after divorce. As I’ve mentioned before in these pages, happiness is largely a personal decision. Yes, we cannot dictate how the world works but we can sure as hell dictate our responses. When the world gives you lemons, make lemonade. No one enters into a marriage wishing that it ends at some point. We all want the forever after but in life’s mysteries, things happen. I hear kids nowadays talk of ‘it is what it is’ and you’ve got to continue living.
First, if you’ve experienced or currently experiencing divorce, my heart goes out to you. Some people convince themselves of a happy divorce yet nothing could be further from the truth. Mutuality doesn’t compensate for the time lost, emotions and resources invested, and the scars from a broken relationship. We can part on mutual terms but a part of my life is forever scarred from the process. Those happy to file for divorce, even for their partner’s spite, can attest it’s not an easy thing. Find courage if life happens to you. The future is yours to gather.
These are some practical tips to rebuild your life after a divorce.
1. Develop Emotional Intelligence
Acknowledge how you feel. There will be days when tears simply roll down your cheeks, and there’s nothing much you can do about it. Then there will be days when you’ll question your role in the aftermath. One of the most reported feelings among divorced people is inadequacy. People wonder whether they did enough. Being aware of these feelings opens doors to healing. Research shows an overflow of negative feelings after divorces paves way for more positive feelings.
I think it is important not only to recognize but also [to] acknowledge how you feel. We don’t want people just suppressing things or criticizing themselves constantly because then there’s a lot less [of a] chance that we can grow from those experiences.MARK BANSCHICK, MD
2. Join a Support Group
Until you’re comfortable being alone; don’t be alone. Make friends with people with similar experiences. There’s always safety in numbers, except during the apocalypse. It doesn’t have to be a large group. You can confide in a circle of friends or family members and let them become your support system. Probably, most share in your pain and wish to see you prosper. It’s okay to require strength at some point. Find it wherever you can!
3. Discover Yourself
Falling in love is beautiful. In most instances, we’re forced to compromise for the sake of peaceful co-existence. Over time, authenticity becomes problematic. “I don’t what to do without John Doe” or any other person is a common phrase after divorce hits home. Sharing is obligatory in any marriage. Set a few goals on how you want to figure yourself out and to be happy again after divorce.
Take a hobby you lost interest in since your partner never liked it, or never had time to. Also, find new things to enjoy. Overlook the places and activities you undertook with your ex-partner and focus on making a better version of yourself. Develop a growth mindset and roar; loud as the king of the jungle. Travel to new places, take a class, go hiking, buy a new book or master new recipes. In short, discover yourself in ways unknown. You’ll be better for it!
4.Take your time
A common mistake divorced people make is rushing into new relationships. This opens you to more injury and heartache if things do not work. Chances are, things won’t work because you’ve not dealt with the baggage from the previous relationship. Patience is not giving up. Love is a process, not an event. Take a deep breath and enjoy some time alone. A word of caution is that negative people prey on vulnerable individuals. Fragility defines most people in the divorce aftermath. When a good person comes along, he/she will understand why you need to take some time to heal.
5. Be Accountable for your own Happiness
Divorce doesn’t offer you to start drinking like a fish. Sure, a glass or two is fine. Moderation is a virtue. Happiness is an everyday choice. Make sure to choose it with each sunrise. Practice mindfulness, meditate and plan for the future. Don’t let divorce sink you into a bottomless hole of melancholy and self-pity.
6. Remember why you got divorced
This may sound insensitive but history remains one of the best teachers. ouples that stay together beyond their expiration dates do so to avoid hurting the other party.
They make massive life decisions based on others’ feelings, without considering what they want.
In most cases, these relationships are toxic and abusive. If you experienced this kind of relationship with your ex-partner, it is critical to remember why you got divorced in the first place. Doing so can help you focus your efforts on finding a more fulfilling and healthy partnership in the future.
7. Make self-care a priority
Another important step in navigating post-divorce happiness is taking care of yourself both physically and mentally. This might mean carving out time for exercise or meditation each day, getting enough sleep each night. Caring for yourself is not only important for your mental health and wellbeing, but it can also help you feel more confident and empowered in your new life.
8. Be financially secure
One of the biggest risks to your happiness post-divorce is financial instability. This can come from a number of sources, such as an ongoing divorce battle or a lack of resources in getting back on your feet. Whatever the cause, it’s important that you prioritize becoming financially secure and independent after divorce so that you have less reason to worry about basic needs and more energy to devote towards self-care and finding happiness.
9. Set some goals
Another important step in finding post-divorce happiness is setting some goals for yourself. These might be personal goals, such as learning a new skill or going on a trip to a new place. Alternatively, they could be professional goals, such as starting your own business or returning back to school. Whatever the case may be, having something to work towards after divorce can help you find meaning and purpose in life once again.
10. Trust yourself and honor your feelings
Finally, one of the most important steps in navigating post-divorce happiness is trusting yourself and honoring your feelings. It’s critical that you take time to reflect on your experience and acknowledge any emotions that come up along the way. This can help you process and move forward in a healthy way, while also allowing you to build deeper trust and connection with yourself moving forward. By trusting your own intuition and honoring your feelings, you can pave the way towards true happiness after divorce.
Can I be happy after divorce?
Cultivating happiness after divorce is possible, but it takes effort and commitment. One key element to this process is learning to take responsibility for your own happiness. This means recognizing that while external factors such as your ex-partner or the end of your marriage may have contributed to a feeling of sadness or despair, ultimately it is up to you to choose how you respond to these challenges and setbacks.
How to lead a peaceful life after divorce
Creating a peaceful life after divorce often involves making some important changes to your lifestyle and mindset. Some key steps in this process may include prioritizing self-care, setting goals for yourself, and developing healthy coping strategies for dealing with the challenges that may arise along the way. Additionally, it is important to maintain open communication with close friends and family members who can support you throughout this process. Ultimately, if you are able to trust yourself and honor your feelings, you can find ways to lead a happy and peaceful life after divorce.
We end where we started. Divorce is brutal but it can also be a push to better things and relationships. It all depends on how you perceive and act. Believe you will be happy again and watch the universe align to make this a reality. Never forget happiness is always there, waiting for you to reach out.
Wishing you the best of luck!