An unwanted divorce can leave you feeling exactly that...unwanted. Whether it came out of left field or was something you knew was bound to happen, an unwanted divorce can feel like being strapped into an emotional rollercoaster that never seems to stop.
Getting off this no-joy ride can be a struggle, yet you know deep down that you need to move on. Here are some tips on how to heal from an unwanted divorce:
Work through your grief.
There is a reason why the phrase “working through” is used to describe overcoming negative feelings. Because it’s work! The grief of an unwanted divorce can be profound; after all, you are grieving the loss of a life -- the life you had with this other person. So take some time to work through your grief, but don’t take too much time or you’ll stay stuck in your old life, putting your new life and all its possibilities on hold indefinitely.
Focus on self-love.
An unwanted divorce can deal a near-fatal blow to your self-esteem. You may feel unlovable and unworthy of love. The best way to overcome these feelings is to practice acts of self-love so you can eventually find happiness again without having to rely on someone else to make you happy.
Reclaim your individuality
. Marriage is a coming together of two individuals and it’s easy to surrender some of our own individuality to our joint identity as a married couple. Now that you are facing life again as an individual, it’s time for you to reclaim who you were before you were married. Think about your old dreams and expectations for your life and how they might apply to your new future. Be bold in making plans that honor you as an individual person.
Seek out support
. You need a good support team to see you through this time in your life -- family, friends, and probably a good therapist. Surrounding yourself with people who are compassionate and non-judgmental will give you the optimism and strength to tackle whatever your future holds.
Don’t expect time to heal all wounds
. Time helps to lessen the sting of emotional wounds, but it doesn’t necessarily heal them all. However, you can help the healing process by not holding on to old grudges and by realizing that while your marriage is over, your life is not.
Make new life goals.
Creating new life goals is a good way to help you let go of the past. Whether it’s furthering your education, going for that promotion at work, or even starting a new exercise routine, it’s important that you have something to look forward to that will benefit you over the long-term instead of just providing temporary relief.
Take your time with new relationships
. As tempting as it may be to jump into new relationships as a balm for your wounded self-esteem, resist the temptation. Do the work you need to do on yourself before jumping into the arms of someone else.