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Global Guide to Divorce

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Moving On

Grief May Surprise You After Divorce Or A Break Up

One may think they are over their relationship or got past divorce and later feel the loss. Grief can sneak up on you and catch you by surprise. It is like swimming in calm waters and a big wave comes up and slaps you hard. It takes time to mourn a marriage or love interest. One day you are fine and the next in tears. It can be lonely at first.  Grief comes in stages and one can move back and forth between them.

Denial

This is avoiding the situation. Pretending that things are not happening. Not dealing with reality, such as thinking if you do not hire an attorney, then the divorce will not happen. Or he/she will come to their senses and stay with you. It is delusional thinking. Denial may be manifested as carrying on as usual with the same routines as if nothing is happening.

Anger

This is when a person realizes denial is not stopping the divorce or a break up. The other person is firm, “It is over.” They have collected any personal belongings at your place and have dropped off yours.  In a divorce situation, it is no longer possible to deny the divorce is happening.   Papers are served. The other party’s attorney has contacted you or perhaps a court date has been set. One is furious that their life is in such an upheaval. Anger can have one reacting instead of responding. Reacting is impulsive and not thinking with a clear head.

Anger can lead to revenge – such as using the children as weapons. Too often in the news, a parent kills the children in a divorce situation to get back at the other one. It can be trashing a spouse’s reputation on social media.

Bargaining

It is hoping that if you change your behavior then the divorce or break up will be stopped. One may try and make a deal with the other person.  “I can change.  I won’t do (whatever annoyed them) anymore.” Or with a marriage, “I will agree to a divorce if we go to a weekend retreat to try and patch up our relationship.”

Being in the bargaining stage is acknowledging the situation which is not done in the denial stage. It is moving along in the grief process. It is wishing for a miracle to happen.

Depression

Depression in grief is not the same as the chronic clinical one. Rather, it is numbness. Feeling as if stumbling around in slow motion. There may be brain fog or lethargy. The body is worn out from having the strong surge of emotions from earlier in the divorce process. These ranged from shock, panic to despair. It can be a time to take a pause and nurture yourself. The stress hormones, such as cortisol, have flooded one’s body. This quieter time can be a way to chill out and regroup.

Acceptance

This last stage might come during the proceedings or a bit later. One has come to terms with what happened – no longer being married. When it is a break up, finally realizing that person is no longer in your life.  One acknowledges the loss and begins to look ahead to the future. A new chapter is opening in life which can include changing careers or relocation. Taking up new challenges and hobbies. It is a time of exploration – whether it is a self-assessment or travel to enticing destinations. Time to start a new chapter in your life. Many of us change careers.

This is based on my article published in the Divorce Magazine out of Toronto.

Divorced? Here Is What To Do With Your Diamond Ring

A diamond wedding ring’s value and meaning to you will obviously change after divorce. However, that doesn’t mean its value goes away entirely. Although the marriage may be over, the ring is still worth something to someone. 

Selling a diamond is certainly an option; however,  a smart way to take advantage of this is to redesign your post-divorce diamond jewelry. Since you likely won’t want to keep the metal setting, removing the diamond and using it in a new way ensures it isn’t wasted. 

Are you interested in redesigning your divorce jewelry? If so, consider the following project ideas. 

A Necklace  

Setting a diamond into a necklace or making it a pendant is a simple but incredibly effective way to elevate a piece of jewelry.   

When planning your design, consider how every detail will impact the look of the necklace. The diamond may be the most noticeable feature, but it is by no means the only feature worth paying attention to.  

You also want to look into chain options. You want to decide whether adding pearls to the necklace will complement the diamond’s beauty, or distract from it. If you choose to add them, you want to make sure you pick the ideal size pearls. 

Luckily, this can be a fun experience, giving you the opportunity to explore and express your own personal creativity!

Earrings  

Earrings prove just how gorgeous a diamond can be. Despite being very small, diamond stud earrings can nevertheless transform any look.  

Thus, you might want to use the diamond from your old wedding ring to create half of one pair. Work with a jeweler to find a similar diamond for the other half, or if you prefer, simply wear one earring; some people find this unique twist to be very stylish.  

A New Ring  

It’s worth noting that redesigning your diamond jewelry after a divorce doesn’t need to involve completely changing the nature of it. If you like the look of a diamond ring, you can still remove the diamond from its original setting (it’s best to hire a professional to do this for you if you lack the proper experience) and insert it into a new setting. 

This is another instance when you should take the time to consider your preferences and tastes. Research different setting styles to find one that appeals to you.  

This is the most important point to keep in mind. For understandable reasons, you might assume the process of redesigning post-divorce jewelry will be upsetting.  

It certainly doesn’t have to be. Instead, it can be a joyful experience, giving you the chance to learn about yourself as you embark on the next stage in your life.

Author of this article  Rae Steinbach   is a graduate of Tufts University with a combined International Relations and Chinese degree. After spending time living and working abroad in China, she returned to NYC to pursue her career and continue curating quality content. Rae is passionate about travel, food, and writing.”

Letting Go Of The Past After Divorce Or Break Up

It can be hard to let go of the past when married life is over. Focusing on what was instead of what is, hinders an individual from moving on post-divorce. Divorce may come as a shock and fixating on what used to be, gets in the way of taking action now. Some people interviewed, kept dreaming about the past, as the present was too painful. Yet others felt if they denied what was happening (a spouse leaving), things would go back to what they were.

One sign that a person is hanging on to an ex-spouse and not letting go, is by talking endlessly about them. An acquaintance went on and on about her former husband until somebody else changed the subject. She did not date, but instead wallowed in that relationship which she failed to leave behind post-divorce. There were no children and it was a clean break.

I occasionally run into her former husband who has never brought up his ex and was able to move on in life. He is happily remarried and is a proud step-father. It is a choice whether to stay mentally attached to a former partner or face the cold truth of reality that the other person is not coming back.

Part of getting beyond reliving the past is that the void has to be filled. When an old life and marital relationship ends – something has to fill this gaping hole. This was the problem with my acquaintance. She did not try to meet people, take a class or pursue new endeavours. The void remained.

A first step to moving on, is replacing the loss of people and things with new adventures, activities, and friends. Expand your social circle by joining a special interest group or renewing friendships that may have fallen by the wayside when married. I joined travel and book clubs. Other divorced pals are in film and hiking ones. There are many studies globally that show the health benefits of being connected to others.

A new job during the early phase of my divorce proceedings, was mentally stimulating. There was less time to think about my losses. Others have taken courses or changed career paths after a divorce. Take up a sport for a physical challenge. The goal is to keep mentally and physically active to fill the void and find life more fulfilling. When one’s agenda is crammed full of events, and pleasurable pursuits, looking ahead instead of behind is easier.

Please read more   www.divorcemag.com/blog/how-to-let-go-of-the-past-after-divorce/

The Way to Let Go Is Through Forgiveness

As human beings, we instinctively do everything we can to avoid harm. We look before we cross the road, we’re careful when chopping vegetables, wear protective equipment when we’re engaging in potentially dangerous tasks and so on. Indeed, our desire not to damage ourselves is so ingrained that there are too many examples to name – but there’s one exception.

Whilst we actively do our utmost to prevent ourselves from suffering emotional pain, an awful lot of us seem to make an exception when we believe someone else is to blame for our suffering – something which is particularly true of disgruntled divorcees.

It’s strange how when one spouse wants a divorce and the other doesn’t the reluctant party usually relents, recognising that there’s little point in remaining married to someone who no longer loves them, but continues to harbour resentment towards their former spouse. It’s completely understandable that the rejected party feels hurt, of course, but without a concerted effort on their part, it’s all too easy for hurt to become hatred which, in turn, becomes prolonged pain and suffering. Worst of all, afflicted spouses that find themselves in this position are reluctant to let go of their anger. Some even feel that these horrific feelings – and the pain they cause – are necessary; a reminder of why they should never trust the person that brought them such anguish.

Forgive for your own good

I myself know how difficult it can be to forgive and forget. I suffered from severe bullying throughout my time at school and I spent a significant portion of my life hating the perpetrators. People that cared about me recognised this was causing me pain and encouraged me to forget things and move on. Their suggestions fell on deaf ears – I was even offended by them, as if they were taking the side of the bullies and dismissing my feelings. They weren’t, they were trying to help me help myself.

As much as a part of me felt like I would have been letting my tormentors off the hook if I forgave them, it was actually myself who benefited when I bit the bullet and sought the help I needed to deal with my painful memories. My quality of life improved immeasurably as a result and I can assure you that, however hard or even impossible forgiving your former spouse may seem, it is possible and, more importantly, it’s in your best interests to do so.

Seek help if you need it

If you find that you can’t forgive your former spouse, you’re far from alone. Many people need professional help to let go of painful memories – I did, and I can assure you that it’s the best decision I’ve ever made. The anxiety I previously felt is all but gone, my self-esteem has improved and I’m a significantly happier person.

If you’re able to forgive and forget without assistance, great. If you aren’t, there’s no shame in seeking the help of a professional like a counsellor or psychiatrist and I’d strongly recommend you do. It’ll benefit those around you and, most importantly of all, you too.

Author Bio: Jay Williams works for Quickie Divorce, one of the UK’s largest providers of quick online divorce solutions and divorce papers. He lives in Cardiff with his wife and two-year-old daughter Eirys.

 

Tips On How To Recover After Divorce

Ways to start recovering post-divorce:

Divorce shakes up the foundation of one’s existence. Just as a house is not rebuilt overnight after an earthquake – neither is one’s life after parting ways. Putting the pieces back together or starting totally anew, takes some time. One can feel immobilized and not know what step to take next. Some have described themselves as floating along during proceedings as if on automatic pilot. Get grounded. Qigong and Tai Chi (forms of martial arts) increased my energy and being able to focus on tasks. Meditation and yoga help quiet the mind when thoughts are scattered and concentration is needed.

Part of recovering – whether from an illness or trauma – is taking care of oneself. Get adequate sleep, intake of protein, nutritious food, such as green vegetables. Check with your healthcare provider for adding supplements. B -Vitamins are depleted by stress, so I took them regularly. I also included supplements to decrease inflammation, such as curcumin and Omega-3. Increase exercise to burn off anxiety and elevate endorphins (the feel-good hormones). Think about what gives you pleasure and add more of that into your life. Chocolate and pampering spa products made that list for me. Treat yourself with kindness as would for someone else in your circumstance.

Reach out to others to form a support system. Having lattes with friends during and after divorce kept me sane and lowered my stress. Keeping emotions bottled up inside can lead to an explosion down the road. Prevent this by venting to pals. If they are getting weary listening to you, consider booking a session with a life coach. This person can do wonders putting your life into perspective and helping to point out options that may not be obvious. Step away from needy people and those that drain you. Having time and energy for your children and for your recovery are much higher priorities. Being with my sons was more important than having relationships with acquaintances out of pity or habit.

Part of recovering from divorce can be dealing with loneliness. Consider joining a divorce support group. I am in one in London, The Divorce Club, through MeetUp.com. Being in various groups takes the focus off one’s divorce situation and on to social interactions or worthwhile causes. Volunteering is a way to help others and feel appreciated.   Please read more    www.divorcemag.com/blog/tips-on-recovering-from-divorce

Taking Positive Action In Life

No matter what has come before in your life, whether its divorce, loss or other trauma, the first thing to keep in mind is that you and only you are responsible for your own life. Only you are responsible for your own happiness. It is within your control, a decision almost. You are the deciding factor in initiating change in your life.

Support is important, even necessary, but accepting responsibility yourself gives you back control, it gives your life meaning and can be quite empowering. Never underestimate the power and significance of having purpose in your life. A reason to get up in the morning, a goal or objective to aim towards and pursuing a passion are vital for your mental wellbeing. Quite often the pursuit of an aim is more worthwhile than the achievement of it. The chase outweighs the success so to speak.

Mindfulness, meditation, exercise and most essentially a good night’s sleep all help maintain productivity and an open, positive outlook on life. 7-9 hours’ sleep a night has been proven to be crucial. 6 or less hours (like the majority of the population actually has regularly) leads to increased risk of memory problems, depression and anxiety and even an increased chance of cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. So try and change your routine, don’t rely on sleeping medication, try eye covers and ear plugs and most of all put those phones and tablets away well before it’s time to sleep. The benefits of a good night’s sleep have been thoroughly researched and documented so drop the stigma, it’s not lazy, get yourself well rested!

Meaning and responsibility can come from anywhere. That focus can be on a career, your family, a lover, a project or hobby. The list is endless. Just concentrate on you, not your peers or contemporaries. Envy can drive you wild and it’s counter-productive. Don’t compare yourself to someone else, someone else’s life, family or success. Instead compare yourself today to who you were yesterday, small incremental improvements lead to big development, this will give you motivation and a feeling of real progress. If nothing else it helps you identify for certain what you need and want to change about your life and routine.

Make your goals achievable but don’t limit yourself. Set realistic but significant milestones and objectives. Again this will do a world of good to your motivational outlook. Everyone’s a victim of procrastination, just remember, action is positive. Action creates change and gives you a real sense of accomplishment.

This article was authored by Krishan Smith: senior editor and content specialist at Custody X Change, a custody software solution. Custody X Change provides software for developing and managing custody agreements, parenting plans and custody schedules.

 

 

How To Find Happiness During Divorce

When one is going through divorce it is easy to wonder “Will I ever be happy again?” The answer is YES. Happiness is a fleeting feeling which requires frequent boosters. Happiness fluctuates in intensity as do other emotions. One can choose to be happy or not during the turbulent time of divorce. My divorced mother decided to be bitter for years afterwards, which resulted in having a barrier between her and the world. I went down a different path and found ways to insert moments of happiness amongst the chaos. My trick was to look for the positives and have a laugh at the absurdity in life.

Think about what brings joy or when you were truly happy. Schedule these into your agenda on a regular basis. Weekly lattes with pals contributed to my happiness. Talking about my spouse’s outrageous antics brought on the giggles. It is hard to be in a negative place when laughing with friends. Others get their happiness boost by a vacation. I went to Hawaii with my mother and sons during the nastiest part of my proceedings. I became ecstatically happy walking among the palm trees and talking to the wise Polynesian people. I brought this relaxed attitude back with me into the rest of the divorce. Some friends escaped to the spa or gym. Remove yourself temporarily to pleasant surroundings.

The secret to being happy is to find one’s meaning and purpose in life. Viennese psychologist Viktor Frankl wrote about his ordeal in a concentration camp in his book Man’s Search for Meaning. While imprisoned, he found that those who discovered their meaning in life were more apt to survive. Two men in particular had given up and were waiting to die. Frankl found out what was important to them, one needed to finish his book and the other had a child abroad waiting for him. Frankl helped these fellows to realize the meaning of their existence and they made it out alive from the Nazi death camp.

What gives purpose to your life or ignites your passion? Consider having experiences over accumulating more stuff. When you look back at your childhood, it is the great times that brought you happiness. You can increase your happiness and your children’s by doing enjoyable activities. The youngsters will remember fun adventures more than another toy. Giving back to others or being productive in one’s work can also give meaning to life.

There are various studies which indicate happiness can be achieved by connecting to others. Psychologist Dan Gilbert from Harvard said “The quality of connections with people is the biggest predictor of happiness.” Several studies were done by Gillian Sandstorm and Elizabeth Dunn which also found that happiness increases with the more interactions people have with each other. Interactions both with people the subjects had strong ties to and acquaintances, led to a sense of belonging to the community.

Explore ways to engage with others, whether it is professional networking or on a personal level. This means face-to-face encounters, not the kind on social media. Strengthen ties to those individuals you already know. Enlarge your social circle with new acquaintances. I joined some groups and took classes post-divorce and enjoyed meeting people. Attending travel talks and going to local events helps me to feel connected to others in my community. Make a point of speaking to those around you – the barista, cashier, neighbors and so forth. Going into isolation hinders happiness. One long-term friend told us that she wants to be left alone and will call us when her divorce is over. That is her prerogative, however she is miserable. Reach out to others and include pleasurable pursuits to boost your happiness.

My article was originally printed in DivorceForce   www.divorceforce.com/   Affected by Divorce? Join DivorceForce, the online community committed to empowering those affected by divorce. Many helpful articles for those facing divorce.   @divorceforce (Twitter)

 

How To Prevent Fear From Holding You Back

Fear of the unknown can hold one back during and post-divorce. It can keep a person stuck and prevent movement. An individual may feel that they are in the freeze part of the flight or fight response to a perceived danger (the divorce drama). Not taking action can seem like the safer bet, when someone feels paralyzed with uncertainty. This indecisiveness can come back to haunt you later, as it did a few people who were not happy about how assets had been split. If feeling clueless and overwhelmed, consider having your attorney or paralegal clarify the information being given. Asking for specific options or advice is helpful.

Fear creates a stress response which releases a cascade of hormones, such as cortisol. The University of Minnesota found that fear “impacts thinking and decision making in negative ways.” It leads to “impulsive reactions” instead of taking a better course of action. One reacts in a rash manner instead of having clear thinking, which is needed to get through divorce proceedings. Reducing stress is way to get out of the panic mode. Do what works for you – mediation, prayer, retreats, exercise, being in nature and so forth.

Fear can keep an individual rooted in one spot – not comfortable taking a step in any direction. This happened to me during divorce. Rather than making a mistake, I decided to take no action about the marital home and just stay there. It was the easy way out. Luckily, I got out of the fear mode, found a small house and then applied at a few companies for a mortgage. It was work moving, but worth it.

There are other causes besides fear which can cause people to feel stuck. It can be challenging to step out of one’s comfort zone, such as deciding whether or not to take a different career path post-divorce. One may feel it is easier to stay in an unfulfilling job, than to pursue various possibilities. Divorce can bring a new opportunity to start over. I got a job as a school nurse after my divorce which became stressful when too much work was crammed in to only a day or so. I stayed out of fear that I would not find other part-time work with some flexibility. After talking over my job situation with a Life Coach, I realized my folly and resigned. Being in a stressful situation, as in divorce, makes it harder to calmly go over options. Get help. More and more middle-aged adults are seeking the guidance from a Career Coach. Others get vocational testing or training at a community college to open the door to other career directions.

Are you stuck, unable to move on because you have too many commitments which includes helping others? We can be afraid to tell people or organizations “no” or worry about being judged if we do.   Please read more   www.divorcemag.com/blog/fear-and-divorce

Overcoming Loneliness Post-Divorce

It can be a shock going from having a companion (spouse) to being on one’ s own. When a divorce was unexpected and unwanted, it is especially unsettling going out into the world alone. Jumping into a new relationship to ward off loneliness has backfired for some. These individuals brought emotional baggage into it, before working through their feelings. If you are dating to avoid being alone in your house, then consider getting a pet. Adopting an animal is therapeutic and lowers anxiety. The furry friend makes a great confidant for the children.

Adjust your routine so that you are not following the same pattern that you did when married. This helps to alleviate the void in your life. Instead of going to the cinema at night, as you did with your partner, join the other solos at a matinee. If you miss your cappuccino, then go to a coffee house with a community table. One can socialize or read a newspaper, but still be among others. Cafes are following this trend of making it friendlier for single diners, with the option of eating at a large table. It is nice having the opportunity to strike up a conversation with other patrons.

This is the time to join others in activities. Guys I know, participate in sports through the community or with buddies from work. They regularly play racquetball, baseball or rugby with co-workers, post break-up. Delve into new tasks on the job. Several have become involved with the charity sponsored by their company. These individuals met employees from different departments as well as new faces from the non-profit organization.

Evenings and weekends can be challenging to get through when newly single. See if you can change your work schedule to coincide with your lonelier hours. I started an exercise class two evening a week after my divorce. Some divorced folks choose to work on holidays to avoid being alone. Job sites often have a potluck or some type of celebration on these days.

The big part of loneliness post-divorce was losing mutual friends or not knowing how to go about making new ones. What helped me was joining MeetUp.com which is world-wide. We go out to movies, lunch and other venues. Attend your local events. Twice a month our travel bookstore/café hosts travel talks. These are interesting and gives me a chance to connect with other travel enthusiasts. A divorced friend enjoys her dining club and met a nice fellow. Several others are in book clubs.

Please read more:  www.divorcemag.com/blog/conquering-loneliness-post-divorce

Surviving Stress: The Women’s Guide to Getting Through the Day-to-Day

Every woman knows the feeling: After countless days of work, eat, sleep, and little else, energy drops to an all-time low and sanity starts to waver. You question why you’re working so hard at all, and if any of it even matters. It’s all too easy to let the stresses of daily life get you down, but giving up isn’t the answer. What you need is to regain balance in your life so you can bring your best to each and every day. Here’s how.

Manage Stress at Work

Even if you love your job, spending 40-plus hours a week at work can wear on you. Whether it’s an overly-demanding boss, inefficient coworkers, or just the mundanity of the same thing day in and day out, a full-time job is bound to get to you. When it does, you’ll need strategies to cope.

When it comes to stress management, the best offense is a good defense, so make sure you’re practicing good sleep and diet habits and working exercise into your schedule. A healthy lifestyle is one of the best defenses against stress and its cousins, depression and anxiety.

To ensure enough time to take care of your personal needs, set professional boundaries with an eye on work-life balance. Don’t make a habit of working overtime. If your boss gives you a project with an unrealistic deadline, negotiate the timeline rather than scrambling to get it done. Colleagues constantly interrupting your lunch break with work requests? Start leaving the building during lunch so you can use that hour to relax.

When you walk out of the office at the end of the day, turn work off. No matter how strong the temptation, don’t check your email or squeeze in “just one more hour” of work. Avoid venting about work as much as possible, and when you just have to, stick to a hard limit of 20 minutes. The last thing you want is for your workplace stresses to seep into your home life.

Practice Self-Care

Women today are expected to do it all — have a successful career, a loving relationship, happy children, and a Pinterest-worthy home — but living up to those unrealistic standards can leave little time for actually being happy. Try to focus less on outward appearances and more on taking care of your own needs.

What does that look like? For starters, make sure you’re getting plenty of sleep each night and eating healthy meals. Eating well both preserves your health long-term and keeps you happier and more energetic now. In fact, good nutrition has been linked to better health outcomes in everything from cardiovascular health to mental health.

But self-care is about more than meeting your basic needs. It’s about building a rich personal life that brings you joy and fulfillment. That means making time for hobbies, cultivating new interests, spending time with the people you care about, and practicing gratitude every day.

Bond with Your Pet

Pets take care of us in more ways than we give them credit for. In fact, the simple act of being in the presence of a furry friend has emotional benefits. Spending quality time with your pet can be an instant mood-booster and can help stabilize your stress over the long-term.

If you don’t currently share your home with a critter, consider adopting one from your local shelter. Saving the life of an animal in need will instantly lift your spirits every time you see your new family member. If adopting isn’t an option, you can enjoy the emotional perks of spending time with animals by offering to help with friends’ pets, such as by dog boarding in your home or even dog walking.

Nurture Your Relationships

When everything is going wrong at work and life is a mess, it’s friends and loved ones that can lift you up and get you back on your feet. That’s why no matter how busy life gets, it’s critical to always nurture your personal relationships.

Social relationships are so important that they actually help us stay happier and live longer. To make sure you sustain this pillar of wellness, carve out time every week to connect with your friends, family, and romantic partners. Whether it’s a Saturday barbecue or a quick phone call, making time for relationships helps them grow stronger.

Of course, personal relationships aren’t without their own stresses. Whether it’s a boyfriend or a best friend, work through your relationship issues respectfully and lovingly. Arguments come and go, but when you treat them right, good people stay by your side for a lifetime.

Life can be overwhelming at times, but when you take care of yourself and prioritize your needs, you can get through whatever the day throws at you. Try implementing these tips in your daily life as part of your journey to a less stressful, more centered life.

Author is Paige Johnson      Paige is a self-described fitness “nerd.” She possesses a love for strength training. In addition to weight-lifting, she is a yoga enthusiast and avid cyclist.  website learnfit.org/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is It Possible To Be Happy Again After A Divorce?

After a separation it’s quite common to wonder if you’ll ever bounce back and be happy again?   Peter recalled “I felt so low I could hardly get out of bed, and all the things I used to enjoy, felt pointless.  I asked myself if after this exhausting period I could ever be happy again?” 

Peter in fact found contentment some time after his divorce, although it wasn’t immediate, “It was really gradual.  One big moment was noticing that I laughed and then I thought, “Hey, I can still find things funny!” and these moments just got more frequent”.  

But it’s not necessarily a linear process – there are ups and downs: “Some days I felt worse again, like when I found out that my ex was dating someone new, but overall things got better.” 

So what’s the secret to finding happiness after divorce? 

There is a lot of research about grieving and recovering from break-ups.  Perhaps one of the best studies found from Stanford University  .  They found that how quickly you recovered depended on how many additional stressors you had in your life, and what coping strategies you had. 

It is hard to avoid some stressors but you can work on your coping strategies. 

What this study found about coping strategies was actually quite suprising.  They found that talking about your problems could actually make things worse!  Talking too much and repeatedly about how low you feel can lead to you focusing too much on this horrible time. 

Talking to people who you think do not understand what you are going through can also increase stress.  It is important for people to know that the way they feel is normal but without focusing on their own expereince the whole time. This is why you should come to one of our Divorce Club Events which you can find here! 

Doing things with friends is a helpful coping strategy  

So what are the adaptive coping strategies that can help us be happy after divorce? 

According to bereavement expert Nolen-Hoeksema,  adaptive coping involves “doing things that renew your sense of control and take your mind away from your worries for a short time. People typically use things like sports or hobbies or going somewhere with a friend, such as to a movie or shopping,” she said. “A little bit of distraction leads to more motivation to do more pleasant activities. You can start small and build.” 

Ineffective coping strategies, include distracting behavior that is reckless:drinking alcohol, casual sex and other risky behaviours.  Another unhelpful strategy, (which is also the one we are most likely to do), is sitting home and thinking, “I just don’t have the strength to do anything,”.  All that happens if you stay at home, alone and without distraction is that you go back over the same distressing thoughts without actually doing anything to relieve your low mood.  This is known as passive rumination and unsuprisingly, those who engage in passive rumination will remain depressed for longer. 

So is talking bad for you? 

No! It is important to talk about what is going on.  People who just try and shut it out, end up ruminating more.  Men have typically been the ones prone to finding happiness more slowly as they are less likely to talk about what has happened to them, particularly if their wife was the only ones they used to talk to about their problems. 

The important point is that you must balance talking, with also doing other activities which can give you a break from thinking about how bad you feel.  And when you do talk, pick people who will understand you, and even a therapist who can stop the talk becoming passive rumination, and instead be a helpful perspective that can set you on the path to feeling happy again. 

Authors of this article, Lucy Davis and Isabelle Hung, run  The Divorce Club  www.divorceclub.com     an online support network for people going through divorce and separation.     Wendi’s Note: The Divorce Club in London is a great way to meet others who are going through similar experiences. Wisdom and laughter are shared at Lucy’s get-togethers through this MeetUp.com group.

 

 

 

Moving On After A Divorce Or Break Up

Moving on Mentally After A Divorce

In the United States of America, a couple divorces every 13 seconds. Divorce has become a norm in our world today but this does not mean the process is any less painful or stressful. By the age of 50, more than 90 percent of Americans get married but almost half of them do not find their happily ever after. For some, it has been a long hard decision taken over months or years spent trying to make their relationship work. For others, it is swift and sometimes unexpected. So how do you move on from a divorce? Here are just a few tips to get you started.

Accept & Let Go

The first step to moving on from a divorce can be one of the hardest. It is facing the situation and acknowledging the end of your marriage. The period immediately after can be emotional and unpredictable; ranging from sadness over lost dreams to regrets and denial over your decision.

It is completely okay to mourn the loss of your marriage. No one enters a marriage thinking they would like to get divorced. In fact, it is important that you let yourself feel the loss and come to terms with it. Grief is a natural reaction to loss.

Reconnect with Yourself

Whether it is through self-reflection, venting to a close friend or counselling, reconnect with your spiritual side. Begin by focusing on yourself. Banish any negative unwanted thoughts and look to defining your self-worth. Your marriage may be over but there are many positive things you may have to offer. Realize that your failed marriage does not define you.

As you begin to find your true self again, a clear understanding of what you want and what makes you truly happy will help you move forward. Finally, self-reflection and acceptance mean addressing your responsibility in the breakdown of your marriage. It is vital that you not only recognize your part but make peace with it and learn from your mistakes for your future relationships. Understand that you cannot change the past events and you cannot change your ex-partner. What you can change, however, is yourself.

Make the Shift

Finally, one of the most important steps is making the change in mindset. This can easily be judged as one of the most difficult parts of moving on and requires the commitment to moving on.  In the beginning, it is normal to grieve over what occurred but now it is time to commit to being happy again. This does not mean that all the feelings of sadness or loss automatically disappear. Instead, spend time focusing on the future and exercise the strength to put a time limit on the self-pitying mindset that may still pop up from time to time. It is the perfect time to pursue those unfulfilled dreams of yours that got lost in the translation of your marriage.

In reality, life is not written as the fairy tales are and we do not always end up having that happily ever after. While incredibly painful, divorce can also serve as a catalyst for growth and self-evolution. This does not happen overnight; there is no time limit. However, with these tips, you can slowly begin the process. After all, why shouldn’t you find happiness again?

Author of this article, Lucy Wyndham, is a freelance writer and former Financial Advisor. After a decade in industry, she took a step backward to spend more time with her family and to follow her love of writing.