Too often, people identify themselves with who they were when they were married, rather than who they’ve become (or would like to become) postdivorce.
Now is the time to evaluate what you would like your life to like, and to develop strategies to get there. If you were the primary caregiver and stayed at home with your children during your marriage, perhaps you need to go to work but haven’t been in the workforce for a number of years. You could consider going to a vocational coach to help you make the transition. Perhaps you can afford to continue not working, but will this still be fulfilling? You can volunteer or pursue other interests. After all, your children may no longer be with you every day or weekend. The challenge is to rebuild your life to achieve a new kind of happiness. You just have to want to change and believe that it can be accomplished.
Visualize your life being different, and live your life as you envision it. Don’t wait to do the things that you promise yourself you will do when you feel better. Start doing those things now, and happiness will follow. If you wait until you are happier to do those things, you will be waiting a long time.
Please click on the click to read more about tips and strategies as to how to develop your postdivorce identity.
I wrote this article for More magazine’s online edition. More magazine is a publication which celebrates women over 40. Men should also feel comfortable reading this article as it offers great insight into moving on postdivorce; tips that apply to both men and women.
I don’t want to sugarcoat things. There are times when life postdivorce is difficult, sad, and lonely. You might still be experiencing a sense of loss, a setback in terms of self-esteem, or shame at no longer being part of a couple. But there are many single people living very rewarding lives. Again, try to reframe the situation and reflect on the life you actually had when you were married. I have heard people say that although they may have been blindsided by their divorce, when they really think about their marriage they realize that they were not fulfilled. If you are having difficulty postdivorce, this is when you really need to work hard to regain a positive outlook and work toward self-acceptance. Talking to a therapist, having a strong support network, or just asking yourself many questions about your life’s goals can lead you to an evaluation of where you are headed and how to get there.
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