Just over 3 years ago now my ex-wife and I finally called a day on what had been quite a tumultuous marriage. We had been happy for over 15 years but with one thing after another, the relationship slowly began to give way. The split itself was amicable and unlike many couples who have spend a long time with a lawyer in order to settle family law disputes such as custody, settlements and asset division, we managed to agree to just about everything regarding they divorce.
The hardest thing about the divorce was the aftermath, the personal battle to start a new chapter, and learn to adapt to an entirely different way of life. Having successfully come out the other side of the divorce, I wanted to offer some tips on how you can learn to find yourself again after such a split.
There is a natural temptation when you suffer from any kind of grief, to banish the sad thoughts and paint a smile on your face. My advice in such a situation would be to do exactly what I did, and that is allowing yourself to be sad when you feel it. In fact I would recommend that you embrace your sadness, let it come out, and then move on. Pushing feelings to one side can cause problems further down the line when they manifest themselves as something else.
Many people would say to me during the first few months after the divorce, that I should start exercising to feel better about myself, advice I didn’t take until 6 months afterwards. Once I did start exercising however, I did begin to feel a lot more confident and with a lot more desire to do things day-to-day. As to when you start exercising will be up to you but I would highly recommend it if you want to start feeling better about yourself, and bring some of that confidence back.
Meeting new people will be really important as it is likely that many of your friends from the past will have been made as a couple, rather than individually. This is not to say that you should discard your old friends, but making some new ones can help you to move on to your new life. The best way that I found to make new friends was to start a couple of new hobbies. Joining a local club or similar organization can not only give you something new to get you teeth stuck into, but it can also put you in touch with new friends and like-minded people.
If you have children with your ex-partner then you will of course need to remain amicable, if not however, I would recommend that unless you have a particular desire to stay friends, that you cut ties altogether. Holding on to items from your past, photos, wedding rings etc. will only serve to remind you of what has gone before. If you really want to get started with this next chapter of your life, be ruthless and lose the memories.