When you receive the judgment of divorce, you close a chapter of your life and begin a new one. Maybe you’ve already begun a new chapter, maybe you haven’t. This new chapter of your life can, and should be, positive. In 2014, HuffPost Divorce readers shared the one-way divorce changed them for the better:
1. “It truly forced me to stop being someone I’m not in order to make someone else happy. Because of divorce, I’m now focused on just being the best version of me I can be.”
2. “I learned that my happiness IS important and that taking care of yourself is not selfish, it’s essential.”
3. “Divorce made me more assertive in my current relationships — not just marital, but with family and friends as well. Once I crossed the line of ‘its my life, and I don’t have to put up with this crap if I don’t want to,’ there was no turning back. It was a complete liberation. Hallelujah!”
4. “Divorce has made me a more confident, wiser, empathetic and empowered person, and a much better communicator.”
5. “Because of my divorce, I know that I’m fully capable of living alone. I’m so much happier and better off without the drama and abuse.”
Going through a divorce can be challenging. You may lose some friends, but you may gain some. You may lose yourself, but then find yourself. Going through a divorce is all about change. Some people hate change and fight it as much as they can. Some people embrace it. The sooner you begin to embrace that change, the sooner the healing process can begin.
It’s important to recognize your feelings. Let yourself feel sad. Let yourself feel happy. Let yourself feel every emotion in between. But don’t let the negative emotions overcome you. As you begin to close a chapter of your life, it’s normal to be upset, to be angry, and it’s important to recognize these emotions. However, it’s also important to ensure that these emotions do not last forever.
You may want to speak with a therapist. Speaking about how you feel and what you’re going through can help to release these emotions. Holding in trauma can have negative, lasting effects. When people speak about the trauma that they’ve experienced, it helps that overcome that trauma, it helps them work through the trauma, and it helps them move on. If you don’t want to speak with a therapist, try speaking with a trusted family member, friend, or colleague.
Try new things. You may not realize that you love rock climbing, or writing, or painting. You may want to travel. You may want to spend a year living in a different state, or different country. You may fall in love with that place. If you can’t travel, try something that’s more within reach. Try out a new book series or join a reading group. Try out a fitness studio. These are quick and easy ways to meet new people who may have similar interests to you.
Spend time alone. The more alone time to give yourself, the more time you can spend getting to know yourself. Figure out all of the things to love and all of the things you hate. You may feel the need to jump into a new relationship, but once to spend quality time with yourself, you may realize that being alone is better than being someone who may not have the same interests as you.
Divorce is called a process because nothing about a divorce happens overnight. You can’t wake up one day and decide you want a divorce and the next day your divorce is finalized. Healing also doesn’t happen overnight. Give yourself time to heal, recover, and reinvent yourself.
1. Wong, Brittany. “17 Ways Divorce Changes You For The Better.” HuffPost, HuffPost, 14 Aug. 2014, www.huffpost.com/entry/divorce-advice_n_5679450.
2. Shaw, Gina. “After Divorce: 8 Tips for Reinventing Yourself.” WebMD, WebMD, 27 Apr. 2012, www.webmd.com/sex-relationships/features/life-after-divorce#1