Knowing what to expect is important when navigating the divorce recovery process
Divorce is life changing – your life will never be the same. Once you learn how to navigate the emotional waves and the life changes of divorce, you will be able to appreciate this experience and master your life. You won’t be able to have the same lifestyle, your friends will change, and you will also change. With your determination, support and courage, you will be stronger and more resilient after this experience. Everything that you do now is as a single person again. You have the opportunity to grow and gain wisdom like no other time in your life.
Mindset and openness to learn, is key to how quickly you are able to get over your breakup and on with your life. If you set the intention that you are able and willing to learn and grow from your breakup you will be setting yourself up for success. The following are key aspects of the divorce recovery process, which you need to be aware of
Be your own best friend
The process of divorce is mentally draining; beating yourself up, judging yourself and having unrealistic expectations of yourself during this time will only add to your pain. You may feel that you didn’t have a choice in you splitting up, but you do have a choice in how you react to your circumstances. If you are feeling that you are unlovable at the moment, or you are stuck in a cycle of beating yourself up, get help from a coach or counsellor – there is not point in prolonging your pain. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness, but the quickest way to get your life back on track.
Recovery is a non-linear process
Your journey won’t be a straight road; there will be ups and downs. You may feel sometimes that you are moving backward instead of forward. This is normal and part of the recovery process. Be gentle on yourself.
Expect to experience strong emotions
During your divorce recovery a lot of “stuff” will come up, things that you may have forgotten about a long time ago. Just know that this is normal and you don’t need to keep anything bottled up inside you. This experience is an opportunity to heal the hurt that you may have experienced in your past.
No one is to blame
You may feel that your ex is to blame or that you are to blame, or are being blamed for your relationship breakdown. And you may have a strong desire to retaliate or make someone pay. This is a normal reaction. There are effective ways to deal with these emotions, seek help from a coach or counsellor if you feel that your guilt or shame is out of control.
You will have feelings of loneliness
At first you may feel a great sense of relief because the source of your relationship breakdown pain is gone. However, soon you may find that you are filled with despair and loneliness because of the void that your partner has left. This is normal, the person was a huge part of your life. Nature abhors a vacuum and you will unconsciously fill this void with something else. Be conscious of this and fill your life with empowering people and activities.
Divorce is stressful
Divorce is like bereavement – your relationship breakdown starts a grieving process much like the death or a close friend of family member. Much of the strain and stress of divorce that happens is unseen in your body and can go undetected for a long time. Don’t underestimate the magnitude of what you are going through. Take conscious steps to deal with the stress that goes with a divorce.
Develop a divorce transition team
A big project has a team of people supporting them. Divorce or relationship breakup is no different. It is not wise to depend on your lawyer to provide emotional support or financial advice. Have a support team that can support you. For daily emotional support have a close friend who can call when the emotions get to much, a friend who you can call on in the middle of the night when you can’t sleep or stop crying. You also need a professional team who can give you professional expertise. This professional team consists of these three key players: a family lawyer/attorney, a financial planner, and a coach/counsellor. With a personal and professional support team you will be able to emerge from your divorce or breakup in the best shape possible.
Life will never be the Same