When you’re in the middle of a divorce, just starting one, or just ending one, it can be hard to see a future. Where will you be in a year’s time? Will you be better off? Will you be worse? When a couple decides to say “I do,” they never, ever dream of saying “I don’t.” Divorce can be debilitating, but when the dust is settled, you will have to pick up the pieces and move forward. It really is possible, sometimes you just need to know the road to you, after divorce.
You, After Divorce
It goes without saying that divorce is a difficult process. Whether or not there are kids involved, a number of thing need to be worked out: child custody arrangements, child support, spousal support, marital property division. A family law attorney will be able to help you with these aspects of ending a marriage. But you’ll also need help working through the tougher parts of ending a marriage: emotionally tiring and stressful aspects of ending a mrriage. It not only changes your entire lifestyle, it changes you. If you can step back, you might just realize how it changes you in a good way. Here are some positive aspects of a divorce that you may want to consider. In the end, you might just be grateful for the little things that you learned from going through one of the hardest processes you could go through.
Sure, you have to legally be an adult before you can get married, but that doesn’t make you mature. If you had to take a maturity test before tying the knot, chances are marriage wouldn’t even exist. In truth, we often enter marriage still in a childlike state due to the faith we’ve put into the idea of “soul mates” and the fairy-tale romances we’ve been told that end in happily ever after. We might have been blind to the fact that marriage requires a whole ton of effort, and on your part, not the part of a fairy godmother. There’s also a good chance we never set down the wounds of our childhood. Those patterns that we picked up as children (yeah, those ones we never dealt with) all get taken along with us, becoming patterns that impact our marriages and adulthood.
Divorce is like the evil step-queen, yelling in your tear-streamed face. She’s not going to let you go on being the prince or princess that you thought you were. You’re going to have to create some magic of your own, on your own, perhaps for the very first time in your life.
Confidence After Divorce
Divorce can knock your confidence level down to zilch. You’re probably feeling pretty defeated because you weren’t able to hold your marriage together. And if infidelity played a part, then you’re also wondering where you fell short and why your ex-spouse decided to look elsewhere. All that, plus the idea that the whole dating scene has completely changed and now you have to get back out into, can lower your confidence level to below zilch. It’s terrible. But that’s only the first half of the story. Here’s when you re-write the second half.
When you successfully complete something that in your mind you just knew you could not do, you gain confidence. Having to re-frame your assumptions about your weaknesses and limitations, forces you to find a way to believe in yourself. Facing your fears and surviving gives you strength. And after battling through opposition you can emerge, sure, bruised and battered, but knowing that you didn’t give up.
Yup, it’s true, hindsight is 20/20. You have to walk through something, get a far way ahead of it, and only then can you look back and see just how important that process was. At that point you can see the beginning, the middle, and the end, and how that end is so clear and empty of emotional and clutter. Take this new clarity and run with it. That perspective can give you amazing information you need to change your own behaviors and to improve your future relationships.
Gratitude After Divorce
After you lose everything, you take nothing for granted. Divorce can be like losing everything: past memories, your present marriage, and future dreams. Let that be your determination to survive. But this is also a time to lean on friends and family that stepped up and stood by. They will lift you up, even when you can’t lift yourself. Be grateful for them, and try to show them that you are. If not now, then try to later.
When you have felt pain, you honor and respect that pain in others. Divorce can make you more empathetic towards people facing any form of loss. You will move towards acceptance and forgiveness of your situation and your ex. And with this movement will come the ability to see things from other people’s viewpoints, making you a better friend, and a better person to be in a relationship with (down the line, when you are ready for one).
Divorce wipes away the ego that believes it’s shameful to ask for help. After you admonish this, you will be able to accept help for yourself, and then be able to offer help to others who are in need.
It’s easy to blame your ex, to place the responsibility for the divorce in his or her hands. We also might realize that all too often we have looked to them to provide happiness, or support for making decisions. This interdependency ends with divorce. It’s good to be interdependent, but divorce requires that you learn to be independent. You’re going to be steering this ship on your own. You’re going to have to be responsible for your own things now: happiness, support, etc. Let this empower you though, rather than make you feel lost or scared. You’re completely in control now. You can change. It’s your life now.
Divorce teaches us that no matter how much we want something to be true, we can’t force it into being. All those choice you made have consequences. And maybe now you are being forced to see them. Sure, you might have said “divorce will never happen to me,” but now it has. You’re going to have to admit that it can happen to anyone. Let this “slap” of reality force you to embrace acceptance while also redefining expectations. You’re not immune to anything.
Divorce can be a longer process with more setbacks than you had ever imagined before you took that first step. Just when you think that the worst is behind you, BAM! It hits you again. Two steps forward, one step back has never been more true. It takes grit to survive.
Divorce can be a wake-up call. Often times people realize they were living in a kind of “auto-pilot” mode when they said their “I dos.” The clarity and awareness you have after saying your “I Un-dos” might provide you with a sense of awareness that wasn’t there before. A lot of people turn to meditation and yoga during divorce because it settles the mind to allow for awareness. This mindfulness and consciousness will be helpful moving forward in your new life.
Divorce is also a way to test your abilities… all of them. Your negotiating skills, your financial skills, your balanced budgeting skills, co-parenting abilities. You are the only problem solver now. You will need to work out how to afford your rent on a portion of the budget you once had. You will also need to learn how to co-parent, potentially with an ex you hate (for now). But the more you are placed in these new positions, the better you will become at those tasks.
Wisdom from Divorce
Divorce can be an opportunity for reflection and analysis. You are now raw and ready to learn new ways of doing things, in addition to just learning new ways to move on and cope.
Working with Professionals During and After Divorce
There are so many emotional things that you will need to work through when you decide to end your marriage. You might want to consider reaching out to a therapist or life-coach to help you through the emotional aspects. They can coach you on coping techniques and skills that will help you come to terms with your divorce.
A Family Law Attorney
But when it comes to the actual legal process of a divorce, you’ll want to work with a skilled family law attorney There are a number of things that need to be considered during a divorce: child support, spousal support, marital property division, and other things. Working with a skilled attorney can help ensure you get a fair case. For advice on divorce, child custody determinations, setting up a co-parenting agreement, dividing marital property, and spousal support you need the expert law firm of Divorce Law LA. Schedule a consultation today.
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