Moving On Post-Divorce
When one is caught up in the turmoil of the moment, it is difficult to fathom that situations will get easier down the road. Time really does heal or lessens the divorce trauma now being faced. So many people expressed the same sentiment, “Wish I would have known that things get better.”
“Didn’t Recognize My Ex”
Annette was married for nine years and stated that she could not be herself or reach her full potential. This was compounded by her husband being unfaithful. They mutually decided to part ways and got divorced. Annette dated “many men” and met Sean eight years post-divorce. He seemed to be “the one” but Annette was cautious and married Sean three years later. They have been blissfully wed for ten years and Annette says it is hard to remember what her life was like previously. She claims that she “can just be me now” and is living life to the fullest. One morning they were rushing through the airport for an early morning flight. Annette had the strange sensation that someone was intently staring at her from the other side of security and felt uncomfortable. She then saw a man grinning and waving at her. It was only when he called her name that Annette realized that she had not even recognized her ex.
In another example, someone asked Nina about her ex-husband’s current wife, who had been her long-time former friend. Nina could not remember this woman’s name until a day later. Nina is not going down the path of dementia, but rather she has moved on and this couple is no longer on her radar. In other cases, a former partner is a friend and they happily bump into each other at social events.
How Do You Reach This Point of Moving On?
- Vent your frustrations to friends. If still feeing angry and on edge, then seek out a professional. A divorce coach can give you concrete strategies on how to become unstuck and move on with your life. Join a divorce group for support and learning that you are not alone in your situation.
- Quit running the movie of your ex in your head. The more you think of her, the more fixated you become. Replace this continuous loop of reruns with visualizations of new opportunities, activities and adventures
- Learn Meditation and start practicing it for ten minutes a day. This helps to quiet the brain, calm the body and lower blood pressure. Relaxation CDs lead to tranquility and being able to regroup after stressful proceedings.
- Discover distractions. Joining groups, learning new skills, or exploring exotic locales changes one’s focus. When one’s brain is concentrating on new material, less time is spent dwelling on the divorce situation. Enlarge your social network by meeting new people such as with MeetUp.com.
- If it is in your belief system, surrender to a Higher Power. People interviewed said that their faith helped them get through the divorce and forgive themselves, and their former spouses.
- Get rid of photos, wedding album and mementos of your marriage, or store them off your premises. If you kept the house, then donate or sell objects particularly related to your ex. Many said they got rid of the sheets and bought a few new decorations.
- Remove triggers that remind you of your former partner. Avoid listening to the tunes or frequenting the special spots you did as a duo. Find a tour to a new destination.
- Acknowledge your loss and recognize that you go through the stages of grief to get to the other side. Suppressing grief can lead to depression or anger issues.
Interviews with people post-divorce indicated that it took an average of a year to move on after divorce. Resist the urge to check social media for your former spouse’s posts and instead, reconnect with old friends.
Originally published in The Divorce Magazine thedivorcemagazine.co.uk
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