The “Big Girl’s” Guide to Overcoming Divorce
Relationships are seldom easy. And there are few things comparable to the pain of moving on from a broken relationship, especially after marriage. If you find yourself having to pick up the pieces from divorce, begin to minimize the emotional turbulence immediately. The following are a few suggestions to make the transition.
1) Think of the divorce as a beginning rather than an end. Chances are that your situation didn’t happen overnight. Your partner may have just shocked you with the big “I want a divorce,” announcement, but that wasn’t really the beginning. If you do a little soul searching and review of your dynamics throughout the marriage, you may uncover where little things weren’t addressed but continually tolerated. Those little things kept growing and growing and growing until they became “the problem.” That problem was continually ignored or yelled at or nagged or argued with until it became “the divorce.” You can then understand how you got to where you are now. Grieving the divorce can mimic the grieving process as applies to death and dying. But it doesn’t have to. Sure you’ll cry. There’ll definitely be some heartache. However, if you take charge of your thinking as soon as possible, you can shave months from the rebounding phase and begin rebuilding asap. Think more of the divorce as the beginning of a brand new chapter in your life. Take some time to remember all that you have learned about yourself and how you respond in relationships. Focus on your positive attributes and begin to bury the negative with the dissolution of the marriage.
2) Gather support from friends and family. Remember that divorcee that you once gossiped about with your other married friends? Now you’re that person. And chances are that your married friends may respond similarly to you. After all, the marriage was also an intertwining social circle. Expect friends to begin to “choose sides.” But immediately gravitate towards those “tried and true” friends whom you’ve known before the marriage. Talk with family members who have been through divorce and get tips from them on what would be helpful.
3) Consider becoming a part of other social networks. Focus on rebuilding you and becoming a better person from this process. If there are hobbies and interests you have developed, consider taking enrichment classes online or at your local institution of higher learning. Become more actively involved in social networks or causes that you perhaps had less time for previously. Join a church ministry or organize one that will help you meet your needs in reemerging into society a divorcee. Increase your social circle by joining a support group for other divorcees, but make certain that you aren’t participating in a pity party. That’s only going to prolong the process. What would be most helpful are people surrounding you with encouragement and optimism.
4) Throw yourself a party! You had a beautiful, lavish and elaborate ceremony introducing you and your former partner as one. Then you had a wonderful reception where everyone danced and ate and drank to help you celebrate your union. Why not recreate that feeling? Many divorcees are opting to have a “divorce party,” which can be an excellent idea to kick off your brand new life. You may choose to make mention of your former partner, or make the event all about you and your reintroduction to single life. Take it a step a further and host your party on a special date that you would want to celebrate and be reminded of annually. Or you can even do a destination party! You make the rules!
5) Make it a movie night! Theme nights with your friends can help make what would be a lonely, sad evening an opportunity to poke fun at your divorce. Host a movie night and choose movies that put a comical spin on divorce. Le Divorce, Waiting to Exhale, The First Wives Club, She-Devil andWar of the Roses are just a few that can add some humor to an otherwise unpleasant topic. Like to read? Why not get together with a few friends and have a book party discussing your favorite books on the subject! Make your process what you want it to be!
Unfortunately, there are no guarantees where relationships are concerned. Sometimes reality crushes our wishes for “happily ever after.” But with a healthy attitude and some creativity, you can lessen the trauma and join the club!