Life after a divorce can be painful, mostly because ending a relationship with someone you once cared about feels like a loss, and let’s face it losses hurt. However, life does go on, and eventually the pain of losing your loved one does go away.
For some people moving forward after a divorce might be tough, especially if the relationship ended on bad terms — for example, infidelity. No matter why the relationship ended or who was to “blame,” it is important not to dwell on the pain of losing your loved one for too long, and instead find ways to regain your confidence and move on.
While moving on might be the last thing you’re ready to do after a divorce, there are a few principle that I can give you to make your transition easier. As a divorcee myself, I realize that the struggle after a separation is real. Yet, I also know that with enough time you will regain your confidence, if you take some simple steps at moving forward.
The first thing I recommend you do is to get out of your house and start socializing with new people. Meeting new people is important after a divorce because the stigma of a separation can cause your good friends who once stood by you to suddenly treat you like you have the plague. It is as if they fear that your divorce will some how spill over infect their marriage or relationships. It is completely insane, but a very common phenomena that happens to people after a divorce.
After my divorce I felt like had my husband died (not that I wished that on him!) it in some way would have been easier on me socially. If a spouse dies, people will show up at your doorstep with casseroles and condolences. After a divorce people will treat you like a witch at a Salem Witch Trial. “Burn her at the stake!” The shame that comes with being a divorcee is real, but if you make it a priority to socialize and make new friends you will not have to go through the separation process alone and can get the support of a new social circle.
Getting out into a new social setting can be quite difficult for new divorcees. You might not know where to go, what to do, or how to introduce yourself into new social circles. Not to worry! The key is to join a social group like Meetup.com, and find something you truly enjoy doing. In this day and age you can use technology to do more than just send an email. Now you can connect you with all sorts of people around the world doing all sorts of interesting things. There are many accepting groups that are specifically catered to serve all kinds of interests.
My suggestion is that you begin with something new and something fun such as: painting, cooking, sewing, crocheting, or photography. Perhaps a long repressed dream you put off to keep up with the demands of your previous relationship! If you have never done any of these things before and have an interest, check on the Internet. There are plenty of groups designed for newbies.
If you do not feel like you are able to get out there and do something fun, another thing you might consider is a support group. When I was going through my second divorce I joined a support group for my kids. I wanted to learn how I could help them cope with the divorce. Like me, if my children had lost their father to a tragedy, people would have been more supportive. But, no one thinks of how tragic it is for a child to lose a parent who is still alive, but no longer lives in the home.
The support group really helped me figure out ways to keep my kids happy while we were going through the separation.
The support group really helped me figure out ways to keep my kids happy while we were going through the separation. It also helped me, and gave me some really great tools to get my life back. Support groups are also a great way to connect with others, share your feelings and thoughts in a safe space, and regain your confidence.
While it may feel like there is a long journey before you get back to feeling like yourself, trust that if you want to, you will get there. Take the time you need to heal during this process as you have suffered a great loss. However, use caution in how long you take to wallow in the pain. Things can and will get better, but it will require your participation to do so.
This article was originally published on Huffington Post and is republished here with permission from the author.