It takes more than a little bit of patience to survive a difficult divorce. In fact, divorce can be one of the most challenging things you deal with throughout your life, and even the strongest people find it completely exhausting. The gossip, money issues, bitter ex, angry children… there is little anyone can do to prepare for a divorce or separation. However, writer Amira Young outlines what she learned through divorce, and you’d be better off learning them before/during the process than realizing them after:
- Don’t care what people think. As the old expression goes- those who matter don’t mind, and those who mind don’t matter. Divorce is a public matter that is far too often made private, but you can’t spend the time or energy worrying about what your gossipy neighbors think.
- Put yourself first. If you’re trying to heal the last thing you need to do is be a people-pleaser. It might be in your nature to take care of everyone else, but now is the time for them to take care of you.
- Mourning is essential. Divorce may not be a death, but it’s the end of a relationship, a very important one… and it’s important that you go through the necessary steps to recover from the loss. Even if you wanted the divorce, don’t fool yourself into thinking that it’s not hard on you too.
- Have sex again. It’s scary to get back in the bedroom, but it can actually be healthy for a lot of people. Have courage and out yourself out there if you want to.
- Take control of your finances. If your spouse has been the one controlling the money, it can be a huge shock or challenge if it’s your responsibility all of a sudden. So start now, before you’re overwhelmed.
- The best support will be from fellow divorcees. People who haven’t experienced divorce or separation can be sympathetic, but they can’t relate. Talk to people that have experienced it (it shouldn’t be hard to find those people…) and you’ll find that conversations is much more helpful and less painful.
- Figure out where your marriage went wrong. Don’t dwell on every little detail, but do take the time to realize what each spouse could have done differently. You’ll learn from your mistakes (don’t worry, we all make tons) and know what you’re looking for in your next partner.
- Love still trumps all. In many forms- friends, family, loved ones – love is the most powerful thing in the world. Cherish all the love in your life, even if the love of your ex is no longer there. Believe that love may come and go in some relationships, will last forever in others, and may still be out there with a future Mr. or Mrs. waiting for you.