Letting Go And Moving On: Embracing A New Chapter After Divorce
The thought of starting over after you and your spouse decide to go your separate ways can seem impossible. After vowing to spend forever with your former partner and creating a life together, you now have to embrace the future on your own. No matter the reason your marriage ended, the emotional impact can deeply affect your sense of well-being, self-esteem, and outlook on current or future relationships. It’s okay for you to be frightened or overwhelmed by the idea of moving forward, but it’s important to remind yourself that letting go and moving on is one of the positives of post-divorce life.
While you might be intimidated by the journey ahead, there is also tremendous opportunity for growth and new-found happiness that awaits you. Every day, we help people start a new chapter in their lives, and while it can be uncomfortable and challenging, we know better than most that getting to the other side leads to a happier, more fulfilled life.
The Process Of Letting Go
Whether you and your spouse ended things amicably or went through a contentious divorce, acknowledging and accepting that things are really over can be difficult to do. A part of being able to move forward is allowing yourself to feel the emotions that your divorce has brought up. Whether you feel anger, sadness, hopelessness, fear, or something else, at the end of the day, you lost a relationship, and it’s okay to take time to grieve that loss. However, what you do with those emotions is extremely important.
There are a number of ways to process negative or overwhelming emotions. You can put your all into activities you enjoy doing, whether that be reading, walking, enjoying coffee with a friend, taking yourself to a movie, or something else. Another way to process is exercising, which is proven to lower your stress levels, allowing you to better cope with confusing emotions. Journaling is also a great habit to get into to help you practice mindfulness, get a deeper understanding of your feelings, and hopefully get out things you need to get out to feel better.
Obviously, therapy is also going to play a huge part in this as well. To truly move on and let go, you need to understand why you feel the way you do and learn how to address these feelings. Even if you feel positive about your divorce overall, it is still a time with a lot of change. We suggest every client have a professional guide them through this change and help them adjust to their new normal in the healthiest way possible. After all, sometimes, it just feels good to vent to someone about your ex!
Embracing Change and New Beginnings
As we mentioned, with divorce inevitably comes change. From changes in your living situation to changes in your daily routine, this shift can be hard and scary to adjust to, but also incredibly exciting.
You have the chance to give yourself the time and grace to rediscover who you are. If there were things that your spouse held you back from doing, now is your chance to try them. If there are things you and your spouse did together, try them on your own or with a friend. Change doesn’t have to be negative, and it doesn’t have to limit you.
Aside from the emotional changes, you’ll also need to handle the legal changes. Don’t forget to update any names and addresses that’ve changed since your divorce on your license, passport, and social security card. You should also be sure to change beneficiaries on life insurance, 401ks, or pensions if you have them. Wills, Power of Attorneys, and all other legal documents that might have your ex involved also need to be updated.
Practical Steps For Moving On
At this point in time, you might be tired of advice from friends and relatives about how they think you should handle your divorce, but all that really matters is what you think. Now is the time to focus on practical ways for you to move on with your life. Prioritizing self-care is a great way to do that. There are countless ways you can practice self-care, but a few ideas include:
- Clean out or declutter your space to give yourself a fresh environment.
- Write your feelings down in a journal so you might better process your emotions and even gain clarity on why you’re feeling the way you feel.
- Attend therapy where you can talk through the process of your divorce and allow a professional to help you better understand complex emotions.
- Meet with support groups where you can share and learn about others going through similar situations.
- Create a new, balanced routine that includes the things you like to do.
- And more. Do whatever you see fit as a part of your healing journey, whether it’s embracing a new hobby or skill, or simply dedicating more time to yourself. It’s your journey.
Co-parenting and Communication
If you and your former spouse share children together, you might face a unique set of challenges after divorce when it comes to effective co-parenting.
It’s essential to remember that while your divorce may not have been easy, the emotional impact it can have on your children can be much greater. When communicating with your ex spouse, it’s important to consider if and how it will affect your children.
It’s likely that you and your ex want what’s best for your children. Showing them that you and their other parent are able to communicate with one another for their best interest reinforces the overarching theme of letting go and moving on in a healthy way.
If you don’t have a parenting plan in place, a skilled custody lawyer can help you create one to ensure a smooth transition for you and your children.
Building Healthy Relationships
In a survey by Claudia C. Brumbaugh, it was found that about 30% of people in their post-breakup period jumped into a new relationship quickly, and the “rebound relationship” lasted for 2 months on average. The same study showed that most people use a new relationship to either distract themselves, build their self-esteem, or emotionally detach themselves from a former spouse.
It’s crucial that you allow yourself time to heal so that you can reflect on the things that you learned from your marriage and use it to build healthy relationships going forward. The fortunate thing about a relationship ending is you can view it through an outside lens which allows you to understand your wants and needs a little bit better. If you rush into a relationship after your marriage ends, you might find yourself repeating similar patterns. Giving yourself time to process, cope with, and evaluate the end of your marriage might have you reconsidering the expectations, boundaries and priorities you’d like to set for any future relationships.
When you feel like you might be ready to start a new relationship, we highly recommend going through our free “Dating After Divorce” course. We asked different experts in their fields on the best ways to move on and start dating again and put it all in one place for you!
Celebrate The Milestones
On your path to self-discovery, letting go, and moving on, celebrate the small wins no matter how silly it might feel. Whether you tried something new alone, dealt with an uncomfortable emotion, or reached a personal goal, take a second to acknowledge your achievement and remember that each step forward is a step away from the past!
How Triangle Smart Divorce Can Help
If you and your spouse are getting a divorce, or you’re considering your options, the divorce lawyers at Triangle Smart Divorce are ready to help. Call today to request a consultation and learn about your options so that you can start letting go and moving on.