Life After Divorce
One day you felt like you were in a secure marriage, you felt the love from your spouse and you were giving your spouse that same love back. You geared what you were doing in your life to better your life together, by going to work, or building a business. Perhaps you went through a lot of drama in the marriage, such as multiple illnesses or serious accidents, and you stayed loyal throughout.
Then one day, it all goes upside down. Maybe you saw it coming, perhaps more than likely you did not. However, the reality is that the marriage has taken a serious change, and it is falling apart. Maybe you tried to work it out with your spouse, maybe you felt resistance towards that. Perhaps you found yourself apart from your spouse for the first time in many years and realized that it wasn’t as bad as you thought it would be. Perhaps you spent many nights after that fateful day getting little sleep, and being up with a ball of “ugh” right in the center of your chest, where your heart felt ripped out.
Whatever has happened to “I do?” Where did ‘til death do us part’ go? Did forever end? Once you get past the heartache and hurt that you felt from the death of your marriage, and you go through the legal process of divorce, what is next?
Let the healing begin
First and foremost, you need to make sure you are taking care of yourself. If you have let your body get comfortable, then now may be the time to focus on losing the padding you took on because you got relaxed in your marriage. Taking walks and even joining a gym might not be a bad idea if you have the time to devote to going to one.
If you live in an apartment, or had to move to one because of how the assets were separated, see if one of the offers is a fitness center. Take the time to invest time back into yourself. It will help your self-image and will also help you relieve a lot of the stress and tension in your life.
You should also look at joining groups to get some social aspects back into your life. Even if you have a large circle of friends and you can go out on a regular basis, what is that one thing that you have wanted to learn that you couldn’t get into because your spouse just didn’t like it or see any purpose for it? Now might be the time to pursue that, but not out of spite for what happened in the marriage, but because it’s something you want to do.
In those groups, you might get the chance to meet new people, and do so in a way that doesn’t seem like trolling (think bar scene) and looking for someone easy. Everyone in that group is already interested in the same thing, so it’s a good point to talk from, and get to know someone through that. Again, be sure you are not looking to replace your spouse, but instead you are looking to expand your social circles.
This is important because if you are a person of faith (such as I am), then stay strong in your faith. Go to church, perhaps the same church you have always gone to with your spouse. Don’t feel uncomfortable doing this, because your life is different now. There may be some people who will talk, but that is everywhere, and not just at church. Those people who talk will be the same people who will be held accountable when the time for judgement comes, don’t let their judgement of you deter you from doing what you enjoy.
However, if you are uncomfortable going to the same church (perhaps your spouse is well liked and is very connected at this church), then seeking out another church is not a bad thing. It will also allow you the opportunity to expand your social circles while continuing to practice and live your faith.
Recovery Is a Marathon
Just remember that healing will take time. It’s hard to get used to being alone, and if there are children involved, then it is very complicated indeed. For the sake of this writing, children are not involved only because I did not have any children in the marriage. After the divorce is final, you may wonder what next? Where do I go? I thought I found ‘The One’, only to find that not to be true. It’s normal and quite common to question yourself after such a traumatic event like the death of a marriage and subsequent divorce.
Just know that you are not alone. There are groups out there that will help those who need it to get through and find peace in their lives. I know that I still am dealing with the loss. There are days where I feel like everything is great. Then there are the days where I feel the absence of my wedding ring on my finger, like a phantom leg that an amputee might feel.
Do you have any suggestions for how to help someone get on with life after divorce? Perhaps you have been through a divorce and found a way to cope that I did not touch on? Please be sure to share in the comments below.