What are some healthy ways of starting over after divorce?

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Answered by: Taunya, An Expert in the Coping with Divorce Category
Starting Over After Divorce

The major changes of life are rarely smooth and easy. However, the choices that we make in handling those changes can make all the difference in how we survive or overcome them. One of the most profound events that I've experienced was getting divorced and beginning a new life that I hadn't expected. Looking back at that time, two major choices that I made in how to handle the fallout led to the happier, more fulfilled life that I enjoy today.

My first decision was to not pretend that I wasn't in pain and grieving. My marriage was very short, but going through the process of ending it was, in my opinion, no less painful than being divorced after many years. It wasn't just the end of a way of life. It was the end of a future that I was building in what I had expected to be a lifetime partnership with my husband. I'm thankful that there were no children that had to suffer through the process. That definitely made it easier to sever the ties and start fresh. I drew close to a small, select group of people who loved me and I let the tears flow. I allowed myself to feel the pain of my shattered dream. I embraced the stinging hurt of betrayal and abandonment. I mourned. The loving care and support that I received during my grieving period were crucial to my healing so that I could move on.

My second decision was to not jump into another relationship anytime soon. I knew that doing so would be a disservice to myself and to anyone I was dating. I knew that I needed time to heal and gain clarity. Also, I had seen so many others do the same with disastrous results. Divorce leaves one with baggage. It's a wise choice to take sufficient time to shed that baggage before moving on to someone new. When loneliness came, I just determined to focus on myself and making my new life the best that it could be.

I started taking better care of my body, mind and spirit. I exercised more in ways that helped me to connect with nature. That, in turn spiritually grounded me. I read many self help books and wrote in my journals more. I revealed strengths and talents within myself which I had long forgotten or hadn't previously been aware of. I also discovered things about myself that needed work, and I proceeded to do that work. Before long I rediscovered the freedoms that come with singleness, and I simply plunged in. I went back to college. I enjoyed more time with my siblings and friends. I became the "Cool Auntie" to my nephew and nieces. Overall, I developed a sharper and intuition consciousness about the world and my place in it. Starting over after divorce wasn't easy, but I am confident that the thoughtful choices that I made about how to move on, as well as the loving care of family and friends prepared me for the life that I now enjoy.

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