Divorce is difficult on all parties involved: the spouses, their children, and other family members. But there is life after divorce and that life can be good.
This is the final article in a series of six articles about divorce and its impact. This article examines moving forward after divorce.
Previous articles examined impacts to custodial parents, children, and non-custodial parents. Additional articles examined helping children heal and helping yourself heal.
In the best case scenario, the two parents have worked through their issues and have a good working relationship following the divorce. Most divorces don’t follow this scenario.
In many divorces, one or both former spouses hold onto anger and resentment. This is especially true if the divorce was long, drawn out, and adversarial.
You probably know people who have been through this kind of divorce. Maybe your divorce was ugly and adversarial. Even if that’s the case, there are things you can do to move forward.
You can’t control how someone else treats you but you can choose to walk away. If you find that there are angry words exchanged every time you see your children’s other parent, examine your own reaction and words.
By changing how you act and react, you may help smooth the relationship between yourself and your children’s other parent.
According to www.mediate.com, it can take 4-8 years to recover emotionally and financially from a bitter divorce. Many states and localities now require or suggest mediation prior to divorce.
Often mediation can help former spouses work through the issues surrounding their divorce. Some parents are able to do this without help, talking through the details of the divorce and communicating well over issues about the children.
Christina Rowe writes in Seven Secrets of a Successful Divorce, “You will survive, and you will thrive again.”
Deborah Moskovitch writes in The Smart Divorce, “Your job after a divorce is to create a better life than the one you had before.”
Steps you can take yourself to help move forward include:
- Remember that your former spouse is also your children’s parent
- Walk away from any arguments
- Understand and accept your own role in the divorce
- Regain control of your life
- Create a plan for the future
- Rediscover who you are
- Create a new identity
- Enjoy new experiences
- Discover new talents
- Move beyond anger and resentment
- Reach toward forgiveness
- Create a mantra to help you during difficult times
Your own personal mantra may be something as simple as, “I am a valuable person” or “I can do this.” For this examiner, the mantra was, “Life goes on and life is good.”
There is life after divorce and you, your former spouse, and your children will heal and move forward.