How to Be Happy after Your Divorce
So the story of your marriage ended less like a Disney cartoon and morelike a Shakespearean tragedy. Now that all the legal and financialmatters are settled, staying in bed with a carton of Ben &Jerry's may seem appealing. After all, there are all those love-struckcouples walking around on the street and not enough things to throw atthem.
"Think of the time and energy expended on your former partnership andthe divorce proceedings as a tangible asset," says Ellen Sabin,executive director of the Institute for Equality in Marriage. "It'syour choice whether this asset will be used for regret andself-destructive behavior or channeled positively toward writing yournext chapter."
The Institute has developed the following steps to help you bounce backfrom a divorce. Balance yourself. Don't focus solely onone area: emotional recovery, career, children or dating. Instead,rebuild your life in a holistic sense. Remember, now is a time to beselfish and focus on your priorities. You gotta have friends. You may not havehad time during your marriage to maintain a large network of friendsand you may lose friends through the dynamics of divorce. But don't beafraid to utilize the important people in your life and strive to makenew acquaintances through social activities, clubs and support groups. Give yourself a break. The fact that youget up every morning and are actively rebuilding your life is anaccomplishment. Don't forget to reward yourself. Use some of the timeand energy previously focused on your partnership to make you feelbetter. Get a massage. Go on a vacation. Read a book. Take a long bikeride. Write a book. If you aren't feeling awide range of emotions, then you're probably taking too much Valium.Make sure you record these thoughts consistently in a journal, whichwill help you make better decisions fueled by your wants and needs.It'll also help you clearly identify the lessons you've learned andcharacter you've gained through the process. Lower your blood pressure. A study bythe University of Tennessee attributes forgiveness as a key factor inlowering blood pressure and reducing anxiety. Divorce may leave youwith a great deal of anger and resentment, but remember that energyspent on these emotions is a resource not being applied to your newlife. Work through these feelings in your journal, with a therapist orin a support group. Letting go gets you moving on. Be practical, not pessimistic, about romance.Chances are, in the months following a divorce, you may find yourselfsneering at wedding invitations. It's important to separate yourfeelings about your past relationship with your view on romance andpartnerships in general. When you feel comfortable, it's important tothink about your previous marriage to help identify what went wrong andhow this might be avoided in future relationships. Date casually with caution. Too oftendivorcees take extremes when reentering the dating pool, eitheravoiding it altogether or jumping in headfirst, anxious to fill theirvoid with a new relationship. The higher divorce rate for secondmarriages is often attributed to this rebounding process. Now's a timefor fun and exploring, but don't forget that your newfound time andenergy are for rebuilding your life and not questing for the nextspouse.
Source: Relationships & Love
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