Getting divorced can be difficult. In many cases, you may feel like part of your identity is connected to this other person. You likely spent more time married to your spouse than you did single. However, as you work to reestablish your post-divorce life, it is important that you do these five things.
Make New Friends
There’s a good chance that many of your friends were also couples. Many of these couples may feel the need to take sides. Even if they aren’t taking sides, it may feel awkward, at least at first, to spend time with them now that you are single. Establish friendships with those who are in a similar relationship. These are people who can understand what you are going through and who can support you.
Of course, it is important to not forget about those friends and family members who supported you while you were going through your divorce. Make sure that they understand how much you appreciate their support, and allow them to continue to help you when you need it.
After being married, you may have found that many of your opinions started to become more of your spouse’s opinion than your own. If you’ve found that your political views and even some of the activities you do regularly are more aligned with your ex-spouse’s views and interests, discover what you really enjoy.
This may involve reading more or paying closer attention to national politics. It may even involve going back to college to take a class or two or even to finally get your degree. It might involve taking up a new hobby. Don’t be afraid to try something new that you always wanted to do but that you never ended up doing while you were married.
Don’t Jump Right Into Another Relationship
While some people can jump right into another relationship right away after a divorce, it’s often not a good idea. You may find yourself drawn to the same sort of person that you just divorced, and there was a reason that your former relationship did not work out. Instead, focus on building friendships. If one of those develops into a romantic relationship, great. If not, be patient, and allow a new romantic relationship to happen when you are ready.
Seek Help, If Needed
For some people, talking to their family and friends is enough to successfully navigate their path after a divorce. Others need to see a counselor or otherwise seek professional help. There is no shame in needing to see a counselor after your long-term marriage has ended.
Don’t Make Your Children Feel Like They Have to Take Sides
Many couples getting divorced after being married, have adult children. You may find yourself using your children as confidants. Don’t do that. Although they may be old enough to make their own decisions about their relationships with their parents, they should never feel like they have to take sides and like they are betraying one parent if they choose to still have a relationship with the other parent. Being forced to take sides may cause bitter or angry feelings.
While not every person divorcing after marriage is going to have the same experience, these five things will help you to navigate your post-divorce life. The key is really taking care of yourself and your family. Divorce is hard and realizing that you’ve invested significant time into a relationship that didn’t last can be emotionally difficult. Don’t be afraid to do whatever is needed to successfully navigate your new life path.