Divorce is one of the most challenging things you can go through in life. When you get married, you typically don’t expect that the relationship will end. But if it does, your entire life changes.
A failed marriage is often perceived as a personal failure. The emotions you need to work through are powerful. After a divorce, there will be days when you feel excited and optimistic about your new life, and other days, when you feel discouraged, lonely, or sad.
Many people get divorced because they are unhappy in their marriage only to find out they are still sad after it is over. Divorce recovery takes time, but there are ways to find happiness after divorce.
1. Develop a Strong Support System
Your support system is essential when you are going through a divorce. Identify the people you can rely on in your post-divorce life. It is a good idea to have someone you can talk to when you start to feel down. When choosing your support system, make sure you pick non-judgmental people.
If you need help beyond your friends and family, hire a therapist or a divorce coach. Trained divorce professionals have experience working with people in your situation. They have tools to help you work through your emotions without judging you.
You can also attend a divorce support group. If you do not feel comfortable attending an in-person support group, there are social media support groups you can join.
Or, you can speak to your pastor, priest, or other religious leader. Regardless of who you turn to during this difficult time, it is important to find someone who can help you through your divorce recovery.
Working with a professional is even more important if you suffered abuse during a bad marriage. You should also let your divorce lawyer know if you suffered domestic abuse in your marriage, as they may be able to connect you with resources in your area.
2. Let Go of Animosity
Holding on to hatred causes a lot of pain. It is likely better for your mental health if you can let go of any emotional trauma from your past relationship. If you share children with your ex-husband or wife, this is especially true.
Working together for the sake of your children will be challenging, but it will be even worse if you hold on to the pain you endured. By letting go of the negativity, you can become a better father or mother.
Of course, this is easier said than done especially depending on the severity of the trauma you endured. This is another area where a strong support structure and mental health professional can be helpful.
3. Remember Why You Got Divorced
While it is important not to dwell on the past, it is essential to remember why you got divorced in the first place. Often, when you are no longer in a bad marriage, the negative experiences fade away. This may leave you feeling lonely or even cause you to miss your ex-spouse.
It is natural to miss someone you shared a big part of your life with. However, there are reasons you got divorced, especially if you left a narcissist. So, when you start to have regrets or miss your old life, it can help to remind yourself why you chose to move on and lean on your support structure.
4. Discover Yourself
Getting over your divorce is a process that involves self-discovery. As a married person, you shared a lot with your spouse.
Now, it is essential to find constructive things that help you discover your own happiness.
Make a list of all the new experiences you would like to enjoy. Then, start doing them.
Make it a point to get outside of your comfort zone and do things you’ve never done before. Doing things for the first time will help build your confidence and allow you to get to know yourself better.
Here are some examples of things you might want to add to your list:
- Take a new class
- Try a new hairstyle
- Go out with friends
- Try a new exercise class
- Try a new restaurant
- Go to a show
5. Don’t Rush Into a New Relationship
Rushing into a new relationship too soon after your divorce can lead to more heartache. If things do not work out in your new relationship, it adds insult to injury.
It does not mean you have to give up on love. Just take some time to figure out what you want in your post-divorce life. There is nothing wrong with being single.
If the right person comes along, they will understand you taking some time before jumping into anything. Take things slowly, especially if it’s your first time dating again after an unhappy marriage.
This can help you avoid a future divorce.
Keep in mind that negative people prey on the vulnerable, so if someone is overly pushy about entering into a new relationship, that might be a warning sign.
6. Take Accountability for Your Happiness
At any moment, no matter what you are going through in life, you have the choice to be happy. You can look at the glass half full or half empty.
Here are some ways to take accountability for your own happiness:
- Develop a positive personal dialogue
- Stay optimistic about the future
- Live in the moment
- Practice mindfulness exercises
- Practice meditation
- Make plans for the future
- Deepen your faith
- Take care of your physical health
- Set long-term and short-term goals you can meet
- Find reasons to celebrate
7. Take Care of Yourself Financially
One of the most challenging aspects of divorce is the financial strain it can cause, especially with the division of assets and debts. While money does not buy happiness, a lack of financial resources can cause stress and even depression.
And depression can cause your financial health to become worse. Many people suffering from depression overspend and put off paying bills.
So, it is important to be mindful of your financial situation as you start your new life. Otherwise, you might get stuck in a negative cycle. Many people seek the assistance of a financial advisor after divorce if they did not have one previously.
It is also a good idea to consult with your divorce lawyer to learn how you can protect your assets during and after your divorce.
8. Take Care of Yourself Physically
When you are conscious of your health and appearance, you feel better about yourself.
Create a look that represents you in your post-divorce life.
This will help others see you the way you want to be seen. It will also help you to approach this new chapter of your life with your head held high.
It is also beneficial to eat a healthy diet and get enough sleep. When you lack sleep it is more challenging to process stress. If you have trouble sleeping, try working out during the day and meditating at night. Both of these activities will help you let go of the things that trouble you.
9. Love Yourself
Loving yourself is one of the best things you can do to get over your divorce. It will help you improve your mood and maintain your confidence. If you spent a lot of time in an unhappy marriage, you might not know how to show yourself love.
Here are some ways you can love yourself:
- Take alone time to do the things you enjoy
- Go on a trip by yourself
- Celebrate your accomplishments
- Create a vision board
- Enjoy a spa day
- Write in a journal
- List all of the things you love about yourself and focus on them
- Learn to say no
10. Give it Time
You have to expect that it will take some time to adjust to life after your divorce. Do not expect things to be outstanding immediately.
If you do not plan for the adjustment period, it can catch you off guard and make things more difficult. Just remember that it takes time to start your new life and find your own happiness.
Final Thoughts on Finding Happiness After Divorce
Going through a divorce is not easy. However, as divorce attorneys, we know first hand that there is life after divorce. By giving yourself some time to heal and taking care of yourself, you can live a better life.
While things will be different, your divorce is an opportunity to live more peacefully and focus on finding happiness.
So, stay optimistic, look towards the future, and consider post-divorce life a new journey.
It will be filled with new experiences and opportunities to create a life you love, free from heartache and emotional trauma.
Your new life is a clean slate. You can become the person you have always wanted to be, and that is an excellent reason to be happy.