Divorce can trigger all sort of unhealthy thoughts and emotions including grief, loneliness, depression, frustration, anger, devastation, to name a few. It is possible to thrive after divorce though it is hard to adjust living out of the idea of being once married.
Sometimes, there can be fear of living single again, and having to cope with changed financial, living and social circumstances, family trouble, how to confront children( if there are) and many other reasons to fear.
There can be anger at a partners stubbornness or outright betrayal. There can be guilt over failure to have made the relationship work out. There can be depression at the thought of impossibility of being able to cope with all the changes that are required.
All these emotions are enough to make a man or a woman going through a divorce wake up at 2 am just to cry.
One way to cope with these emotions is to grief. First allow yourself to grief over it, then move on with your life. Grief is a natural reaction to loss.
Therefore, fighting grief is counterproductive. Allow yourself to grieve in the best way you feel suits you. People grieve differently in both the duration of time it takes and the manner in which they grieve.
The period it takes for people to grieve depends on their personality and the nature of the divorce.
Someone whose marriage was betrayed would take a longer time to grieve even become vocal about it than someone who decided on his/her own accord to leave the marriage.
Someone who suddenly found out of their spouse’s affair would grieve differently from someone who has watched the marriage deteriorate for years. But it’s important to take time to grieve your loss.
Life is too short to spend too much time grieving the either expected or unexpected termination of your marriage. Like I earlier stated, first, grief, then, move on with life.
There are tips for adjusting to divorce, living your life again, making your living worthwhile, enjoying your children again. If these tips are consciously followed, you might wish you had never married.
Life goes on. Plus the bills won’t pay themselves. You will realise you need a new apartment, change of name, change of address, things you will need to do.
Creating a list of these things according to priority will help save stress. Starting from the most important, each chore is worked on and ticked off on the list as it is completed.
A simple act of prioritising and checking off list items would keep your life going and stress-free.
2. Put things away
As early as you can, put things away. Start living your life as a single again, put pictures, momentous away, start paying your bills. Do things that will make you look forward and not backward at your divorce. By all means, reduce your contact with your spouse.
3. Talk about it
This is a very hard but helpful step in adjusting after divorce. They say a problem shared is half solved.
Sometimes, your suffering is somewhat lessened when you can share your hurt feelings with a sympathetic audience. Talk to your family about it, talk to friends, you could even seek help from a therapist, still by talking about it.
Finding someone who can and will listen and allow one to vent their hurting emotions and fears and offer soothing relief( advice) often proves very helpful.
4. Support yourself
There are some effective ways you can support yourself, help yourself cope with divorce.
Maintaining or starting healthy routine– divorce is a lot of stress, and it is easy to quit some habit you nurtured before the separation. It’s better to maintain some habit or start some good habit. You can exercise, eat good food, sleep well so as to reduce stress. If you were attending a religious gathering or eating together as a family before the divorce, it’s advisable; you continue them. It helps heal fast.
Have Fun– Yes, life is different for you as a single now, but it doesn’t mean it cant be fun and fulfilling. A lot of singles will list advantages of their singlehood, how they don’t get to ask someone how they spend their money, eating whenever they feel like, not having to share a bathroom and the likes. Think of how exciting being single is. Take time to have fun and laugh. Laughter is good for the soul.
Make new friends– It’s possible that most of your friends are married and might be friends with your ex-spouse. It’s natural that people like to keep people with same interest around them. Don’t think it weird to make new single friends, can help you have fun to the fullest.
Self-soothing– People who undergo divorce are wounded people and wounded people need to be gentle and compassionate with themselves while they heal. Stress will not allow you to adjust to a new comforting and healing experience. Activities like massage, relaxation routines, calmness and a sense of being cared for, all can be a balm for a bruised soul. Vacations, excursions, yoga, religious retreat can have a similar effect. This can help smoothen and fasten the healing process.
Distractions– it is necessary that you don’t keep yourself idle during your healing process. Watch movies, TV, do exercises, arrange the house, keep a list of what you will do, by all means, get busy.
5. Avoid dangerous and self-defeating coping behaviour
Because divorce people are wounded, sometimes the hurt they feel clouds their judgment. They are willing to do anything so long it removes the pain.
The problem with those decisions is that they may be helpful at the initial stage but in the long run, would cause more harm than the divorce itself.
With a conscious effort;
- Avoid using drugs or alcohol as a means of coping with the pain.
- Avoid gambling or promiscuous activity to suppress hurt.
- Avoid stalking your ex-spouse.
- Avoid entering into a new relationship because you feel lonely.
- Avoid planning revenge strategies to your ex-spouse.
- Avoid acting on anger you feel toward your spouse.
Adjusting to singlehood after divorce is a tasking but helping the process, enables you to find yourself if you’ve lost track and many more of that. Follow these tips and have an enjoyable and fulfilling life after divorce.
I hope you enjoyed reading this? Remember, this article isn’t promoting divorce. Feel free to share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below. Watch out for our next exciting articles. Thank you.