People often say that marriages are made in heaven, but unless the two work together as a team with respect and love, the heaven can soon turn into a living hell. When things get ugly in a marriage, the usual consequence is divorce. Whether the divorce is by mutual choice or not, it leaves a deep effect on both the partners for years to come. To recover from divorce is to play a part you didn’t choose to. And if there are children involved, the going only gets tougher.
At times, tough and challenging experiences like divorce lead us to develop a victim mentality, where we assume that we are at the mercy of other people’s decisions and what is happening to us is beyond our control. From a far away perspective, a situation like divorce might seem beyond someone’s control, but when you introspect a little, you find that all the answers and solutions lie only within you. Ask yourself- why does this divorce hurt so badly? Didn’t you forget to live a life outside of your marriage? Didn’t you stop living for yourself? Maybe you did something to spark the fire for that divorce in the first place? If you look inside for the answers, you will find that you did have at least a small percentage of role to play in the divorce and its aftermath. And if you played this role, how can you be the victim? If you were the beginning of the end, how can you blame someone alone for having caused you the hurt?
Sensitive situations like divorce require a mature mindset and a fighting spirit. Keep reading to find out how to recover from divorce and quit that victim mindset.
1. Take A Break
When someone with whom you have essentially shared countless memories and experiences, both good and bad, is suddenly no longer a part of the equation, it can push you into a vacuum where you begin feeling empty and lost without them. It is very difficult to completely forget about your ex-partner after a divorce, which is why a short vacation or staying at a friend’s place out of town will do you a world of good.
Just a few days of distraction from your recent turmoil can do wonders for your well-being. When you choose to stay happy, withstanding the storm, then you rewire your brain to believe that you’re the victor and not the victim of your life.
2. Fresh Faces
After an exhausting split from your partner, you sit down for a nice dinner with your friends, only for one of them to inadvertently bring up the heartbreaking topic once again. Though they mean well and are only concerned about you, talking about a devastating divorce may only exaggerate the rawness of the situation.
Getting to know new people and interacting with them will ensure that you have a social circle that does not know your ex-husband/ ex-wife, at least not personally, so you can be assured of conversations that do not revolve around your recent divorce. Besides, you can also choose to stay in the company of supportive friends who incessantly inspire you to fight your situation and come out as a winner. With this, you will be answerable to someone other than you.
3. Be Gracious
When a divorce is mutual and neither one’s fault, it is difficult to hate your ex, but at the same time, you cannot like them too. And when kids are involved, you will have to interact with them on a regular basis, which may cause some awkwardness. This is where you have to be gracious and polite and keep things sensible.
Do not cave into your emotional whims. Let courtesy and goodwill rule your behavior instead. Try to comprehend the simple fact things are unfolding in the best way possible and the universe is constantly working in your favor. Your graciousness during the toughest of times is what will set you apart and make you come out as a victor.
4. Don’t Dine & Whine
The days after divorce proceedings can be very challenging for those involved, and most will find themselves in an emotionally vulnerable state. They will be looking for a vent to release these pent-up feelings, and most often find it among friends.
However, it is not a good idea to use your friendly get-togethers as a podium to complain about your ex or to cast them under a poor light. Making yourself feel like a victim to garner sympathy may be a tempting prospect at that stage of your life, but it will only cause larger problems in the long term.
5. Take Control
When marital life begins descending in a downward spiral, you will often feel as if you are losing control of your own lives, and that your decisions are taken out of your hand. So once the divorce is finalized, it is imperative that you take back control of your life, and achieve liberation from the chains that had bound you for long.
Finding out where the problem really was, and getting the mental satisfaction that you have moved on from these problems, will make you feel more confident in your future undertakings.
6. Choose A Goal & Live For It
The few weeks immediately after a divorce are some of the worst times anyone can ever go through, and it is very easy to lose sight of one’s purpose and position in life. You can find yourself being dazed and confused, and even a little disoriented in day-to-day activities because you are so used to sharing them with someone else.
This is where it becomes necessary to find something to strive for; a goal, something like a project at work, or your kids. Long term goals work best; something that will take your mind off your recent situation, and something to sharpen your aim towards a better and happier future. Remember, it’s always better to chase goals than chase people.
7. Stop The Blame Game
It is very easy to blame the other person for the cracks in your marriage. Most people believe thoroughly that they are exempt from mistakes, and all problems were caused by their spouses, even though this may be far from the truth. This form of biased opinion spouting can tarnish your reputation and your credence as a well-functioning member of society, not to mention the embarrassment it will cause to your family and theirs. An amicable and agreeable divorce is the best solution for all those involved.
8. Forgive Your Partner
A divorce can usually get ugly, where one party blames the other for their problems. Fingers get pointed, dirty laundry dried in plain view of others, and tempers flare. Amidst all this, you should let calm sense prevail. Whoever may have been at fault, the situation now is that it is over. It is time to move on; a fact that you have to wholeheartedly accept. And this can only happen if you forgive your ex-partner, and take a step towards the next journey in your life.
9. Forgive Yourself
Sometimes, you may feel that you were the one at fault in the marriage, and you were the reason that the divorce even happened in the first place. This can lead to a vicious cycle of self-pity and self-loathing, and it does no good to anyone, least of all to you. It becomes essential that you learn to free yourself of all guilt that you may be feeling over the issue and prepare yourself to start a new chapter in your life. You cannot accept life’s reality if you cannot accept yourself.
10. Embrace Your Wild Side
Getting over your divorce requires a large amount of time, but how one uses that time is also equally important. With a greater freedom granted to you, why not use it to explore new avenues in terms of career, hobbies, sports or fun activities.
You can go on a solo backpacking trip, become a gym rat or catch up on all those books you were going to read. Not only will these activities distract you, but they will also energize you and stop you from getting stuck in a rut.
11. Avoid Drama
It is quite often the case when one of the estranged couple resorts to exaggerated drama over their problems or the shortcomings of their ex. This can be either to get sympathy from friends and family, or to seek revenge on their ex by harming their image in the society. These are early signs of a toxic mind, where fear, uncertainties and anger lead them to seek an unhealthy way of dealing with problems.
A hassle- and guilt-free split is necessary for both parties to gain closure from the divorce, and will enable them to move on with their respective lives.
12. Piece Yourself Back Together
A married relationship involves an exchange of pieces, be it emotional or physical, of yourself with your spouse’s, and an end to this partnership may leave you feeling like less of a whole. These pieces are in fact all the time and effort and experiences you had put into the relationship, and a divorce will make you feel hollow from the inside. It will take time, effort and counseling to make yourself whole again and mend what you perceive to be broken.
13. Count Your Blessings
If what preceded a divorce were the worst days of your life, then the days to come must surely be the best ones. You split from your spouse for a reason, and now it is time to embrace that reason as you embark on a new voyage to unexplored destinations. So, instead of focussing on sorrow and despair, why not think of the freedom, think of the happiness, think of the bliss that you are going to experience in the next few months? Just the thought of it is enough to bring a smile on your face, isn’t it?
14. Work On Yourself Every Single Day
Just as a butterfly emerges out of a cocoon, similarly, you also will emerge from your divorce to give birth to a new ‘you’. A ‘you’ free from sorrow, guilt, shame, insecurities, anxieties, and problems. This new ‘you’ is a gracious gift, and it will be a sin to waste it. So spend each day doing what you have always loved to do, what you have not been able to do during your marriage. Make a checklist of things you want to do, and start crossing them off one by one. This new found spirit will hold you in good stead in the days to come.
15. Remember Your Kids
Marital problems can cause the couple to focus on themselves so much that they often forget about how it impacts their children. Once the divorce proceedings are done, it is often the case that the children have to be shared between the two parents in allotted time periods. This can cause great psychological and emotional trauma to the kids, especially when they are very young or are teenagers.
A gentle and responsible approach is required to inform the children about the situation so that they do not harbor any negative feelings towards one or both parents for their predicament.
In today’s world, divorce is becoming increasingly common, and with it, the problems seem to increase too. Mental stigma, physical abuse, trauma to the children, and financial burdens all come with the package, which is why one must find effective and therapeutic ways to deal with divorce, and the victimization and blame games that are associated with it. Not everyone’s marriage is a bed of roses, but with compassion and rational thought, one can ensure that post-divorce, their lives are not headed down a road of thorns.