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The Rocky Road to Recovering from Divorce

The Rocky Road to Recovering from Divorce
Written by
Annie O'Neill

Divorce is one of the most traumatic things that can happen to you. Coping with the loss of a partner is incredibly hard and quite often friends and family won’t understand what you're going through.

Whether you're the 'dumper' or the 'dumpee' (I apologise for the horrible terms but they are the best description I've found) you are likely to feel shell-shocked when the split first happens. You are used to having another adult in the house and suddenly you're alone, even if you have children, you will probably feel lonely. You have to take over all the household expenses, cope with doing everything alone instead of sharing the chores and learn how to do the jobs your ex used to do. It is also possible you will have to move house, which is another of the most stressful things you can do.

On top of all this you have to cope with the legal side of divorce and, if you have children, co-ordinating visiting times that suit both of you. Please, however much you hate your ex, do not complain about them to or in front of the children. You need to make the divorce as dignified as possible for them.

You also have to cope with all the emotions you are feeling. Depending on whether you initiated the divorce you are likely to feel one or more of the following: anger, guilt, grief, fear.

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These are negative emotions and you need to work through them and let them go. Keeping a journal of your feelings is often helpful, or writing a letter to your ex, saying everything you are feeling and then burning it can help you to deal with all the pent up emotions. One thing is for sure, holding on to these negative emotions will only hurt you. It won't hurt your ex but it will stop you from letting go and moving on with your life.

The most important thing about moving on with your life is that you are happy with yourself, that you like yourself and the life you are living. So many people jump into relationships before they are ready, often repeating patterns/mistakes they made in their first marriage.

When you are living a busy and fulfilling life any romantic partners are an added bonus rather than a need. If you go into another relationship because you feel you need someone in your life your relationship is far more likely to fail. If you are happy with yourself and self-sufficient you will only allow people who will compliment your lifestyle into your life.

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Divorce often makes people stronger. If you take time to learn from the mistakes of your first marriage and do some personal development work (there are hundreds of great self-development books available) then there is no reason why you cannot make the next chapter of your life better than the last. The New Horizons motto is 'Don't just GO through it, GROW through it'.

Take time to really decide what you do and don't want and then plan the steps you need to take to design the next chapter of your life.

The biggest challenge can be deciding what you do want. So many people don't know, maybe you haven't even thought about it?

Set aside a couple of hours, go somewhere you won't be disturbed and think about what you want your life to be like. Write down all the things you would like to be, do and have. Write everything down, however crazy it may seem.

  • What did you used to enjoy before you were married?
  • Did you sacrifice any dreams, ambitions or hobbies during your marriage?
  • Imagine that you are 90 years old, looking back over your life - what memories would you like to have?
  • What would you like people to be saying about you?

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Now think about what steps you could take towards achieving the life you want. Don't think that it's hopeless and you can't change anything; think about what is stopping you and what you can do to challenge it. By making small changes, going one step at a time and trying different things you can change your life.

Five secrets to creating a life you love

  1. Know what you want.
  2. Be willing to take action.
  3. Believe that there is no failure, only feedback.
  4. Be willing to try different things - if what you are doing isn't working then do something different.
  5. Be positive and believe that you can create a rewarding and fulfilling life.

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