Even though divorce proceedings can be gruelling and tedious, they give you the opportunity to begin a whole new life. Unfortunately, many people focus on the negative emotional and financial impact of a divorce, rather than thinking about the new life they can create. If you still have a year or two before your divorce is finalized, there are a number of things you can begin planning in order to ease the transition.
Moving on after divorce
Time to gain perspective
When you’re in the middle of divorce proceedings, it’s difficult to maintain a perspective on the rest of your life. While you may have no further emotional attachment to your spouse, you may still find it difficult to imagine having another romantic relationship. It’s important to take time and learn about your feelings, instead of rushing into a relationship you aren’t ready for.
In particular, if you’ve already separated from your spouse, this is the perfect time to seek psychological counselling. Therapy will give you the opportunity for some introspection, which will help you feel more confident about yourself and leave you better able to choose a more suitable partner for your next relationship.
It’s a good idea to travel to another area once your divorce is finalized. Even if you only take a brief vacation, it will be time away from all the memories you’ve left at home. If possible, try to visit a place anywhere in the world that you’ve always wanted to see. Doing so will give you a whole new outlook on life, and help you to put aside all of the stress that’s built up as a result of your divorce proceedings. While you’re on vacation, you may even find that there are job and housing opportunities that will enable you to move on a more permanent basis.
Spending time with your family
Divorce will change your relationship with every member of your family, so it’s important to work at maintaining good ties with everyone. Even though you may no longer consider your spouse a member of the family, you can still keep in touch with your former in-laws – if you get along well with them. In particular, if you have children, it will be enormously beneficial to them if you can remain on good terms with both sides of the family.
Our focus this month is on setting effective goals and in accomplishing those goals. The first step, of course, is to set SMART goals. To assist you in this task, check out the following 8 tips:
Making a new life
Because the courts may require a certain amount of time for you to be separated from your spouse, it can seem difficult to move forward with your life. On the other hand, there are many arrangements that you can begin to make during this time. For example, you may want to think about moving or even start dating again. When you’re going through the process of making a new life after divorce, it’s crucial to look upon your past as a learning experience. In this way, you’ll be able to look at your divorce as a way to build a new life without the old mistakes in it.
- State each goal as a positive statement: For example, stating your goal as “I will exercise 2 times this week” is more effective than “I will not be a lazy couch potato this week”.
- Be precise: Set a precise goal, putting in dates, times and amounts so that you can measure achievement. If you do this, you will know exactly when you have achieved the goal, and can take complete satisfaction from having achieved it. For example, pick a specific date and time when you are going to exercise and stipulate “I will exercise, at home, in my basement, Monday and Wednesday after dinner”.
- Set priorities to your goals: When you have several goals, give each a priority. This helps you to avoid feeling overwhelmed by too many goals, and helps to direct your attention to the most important ones.
- Write goals down: Studies show that persons who write down their goals are more likely to achieve them. So, get out your notepad and pen and record your goals!
- Keep operational goals small: Keep the low-level goals you are working towards small and achievable. If a goal is too large, then it can seem that you are not making progress towards it. Keeping goals small and incremental gives more opportunities for reward.
- Be realistic but also ambitious.
- Be aware of the effect of External Forces. Remember that you can only control your own self. You cannot control external forces. However, you can control your reaction and response to unforeseen external forces.
- Finally, create SMART goals: Make your goals specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound.
Dealing With Loneliness Post Divorce
When your partner is no longer a part of your life, chances are that there will be many days- and many nights – when you feel the loss sharply, and you’re lonely. Besides simply enduring the hurtful, empty feeling, what can do you do, to deal with loneliness?
- Get a pet, depending on your time and other responsibilities, get a cat or dog. Even a fish will lift your spirits. Having something that gives you unconditional love will help with the loneliness.
- If you have a trustworthy friend that you can talk to when you feel “down”, give the friend a call.
- Volunteer. Share all that you have to offer. It will help the community and it will make you feel rewarded, as well.
- Recognize that the loneliness you experience will subside, with time.
- Get spiritual. Pray to whomever or whatever you believe in, to be strong, and to endure through the lonely times.
- Make new friends (and do new activities with them). To accomplish this, join different groups and activities, and “put yourself out there”. A good friend is priceless, so be patient about meeting persons with whom you are compatible. It does seem to be harder to make new friends, once you are finished secondary school. Anticipate this, and be patient about making new friends.
- Have a few activities around the house that you can work on, when your children are sleeping, and you don’t want to watch television or browse the internet. For example, join a book club so you are motivated to buy a book and read it! Start a scrapbook and set a deadline to finish it.
- If the lonely feeling stays with you during the day, fill your day with more activities to keep your mind and body occupied.
- If the lonely feeling plagues you at night, distract yourself with a favorite movie and prepare yourself a healthy “comfort snack”.
If you’re experiencing depression which is interfering with your ability to perform daily activities, consult with a professional.
Woman divorce support has compiled practical divorce advice for women, that is specific to a woman’s unique situation. Our women divorce support features include a book club and divorce articles which are both informational and inspirational. These divorced women resources have been collected to facilitate access to divorce advice and support, regardless of what stage a woman is at, in her separation or divorce transition.
At WomanDivorceSupport, we look at each and every woman’s divorce recovery process with a sincere appreciation for the circumstance that many of us have endured and worked hard to overcome. Our members are intelligent and mature, divorced or separated women, who are making changes to improve the quality of their life, and the lives of their families.
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