Let’s face it, divorce hurts! The love and passion we once felt has somehow turned into bitterness and anger. We may even find ourselves directing all that negative emotion toward the one person we swore to love forever: our now ex-spouse.
Holding on to the past makes the heart fertile ground for bitterness, affecting how you view yourself and the world. So healing the hurt of your divorce and forgiving your ex-spouse is something you need to do for yourself, not for them. Here are some tips on how to heal:
Accepting the reality of what has happened to your marriage can make you feel more powerful in the face of heartbreak. Refusing to face reality only makes you suffer more.
Yes, it can be really hard to find reasons to be grateful for your ex-spouse. But it’s important to recognize the gifts he or she brought into your life -- the best being your children. Think of just three things to be grateful for involving your ex-spouse, and then recite them to yourself whenever you feel those negative emotions start to take over. If you can keep doing this, you will eventually control the narrative.
Write a letter.
Pour out everything that is in your heart in a letter to your ex-spouse. Write about your love, your hopes, your dreams, and your pain. Make the letter as long as it needs to be for you to get it all out on paper. Once you have said everything in the way you want to say it, read it over one last time and then burn it as a symbolic ending to everything good and bad you shared together.
Build a new relationship with your ex-spouse.
You no longer share a life or a home, but if you have children, you share parenting responsibilities. Focus on building a new relationship centered on being good co-parents. While there may be disagreements about schedules, school, and living arrangements, resolving these quickly and definitively without animosity will help your children cope better with the divorce.
Be good to yourself.
One upside to divorce is it creates an opportunity for you to reclaim some of the “me time” you had to sacrifice while you were married. Use it wisely by investing in things that make you feel good physically and emotionally. Pick up old hobbies or passion projects that you may have given up when you became a couple. Do things that make you feel good without any guilt!
Some people are optimists, seemingly born with a positive outlook and the ability to be resilient in the face of adversity. If you are one of these people, you will have an easier time recovering from your split. If not, consider working with a therapist to increase your ability to cope.