Divorce ushers in both an end and a new beginning. Those who make the tough decision to get divorced typically have very good reasons to do so, as the divorce process is hard, no matter what state it is in or whether it is contested or uncontested. There is no "normal" reason for wanting a divorce. Divorce lawyers like me typically see divorce stem from a lack of commitment of the other spouse, too much arguing, infidelity, physical or emotional abuse, getting married too young, or having unrealistic expectations of what it takes to maintain a marriage.
Being "stuck" in a relationship under any of the above conditions creates a large amount of stress, anxiety, and unhappiness. Experienced divorce lawyers are always told that when talking, counseling, and other self-help methods do not solve the issues, divorce is the only way "out".
While simply making the decision to get a divorce and getting it out in the open with your soon-to-be ex may provide a sense of future freedom, a finalized divorce provides a substantial sense of relief knowing what each spouse's responsibilities are, for how long, final child custody schedules, and having a definitive result.
A Fresh Start
Whether or not a person is going through a divorce, everyone wishes they could simply just start over from a certain point in their lives with the knowledge that they have now. That being said, those going through a divorce may know the exact moment they wish they could start over from; whether it be the moment they met their spouse, the day they got married, etc.
While this is not possible, it is possible to learn from the past and have a new beginning after a divorce. It is important to have a positive mental attitude about a new beginning and it makes a huge difference in how happy life will be after divorce. Life after divorce can be fantastic and it can also be very tough by not remaining positive.
In starting a new life after divorce, it is important to remember the lessons learned through past relationships. As an experienced divorce lawyer, I recommend keeping the following tips, suggestions, and ideas in mind when moving forward:
1. Forgive yourself.
It is not uncommon for individuals involved in a divorce to feel guilty about their failed relationships, even if they were not at fault. Letting go of what was once a big part of your life is difficult and it is in many ways, inevitable to feel at fault. Starting anew starts with forgiveness. While this may be a difficult thing to do, it is an important part of moving on.
2. Take time for yourself.
Make it a priority to do something just for yourself; maybe something you've always wanted to do while married, but never had the time, money, or guts to do. Find some time to rediscover yourself and redefine your goals. Take a trip or try out a new hobby. Getting to know yourself again is a big part of the healing process.
3. Be sure to keep in contact with family and friends.
Divorce can be an isolating experience. While it’s important to take some time alone to reflect and find yourself again, you should not alienate yourself from your friends and loved ones. These people are there for you and re-establishing ties with these individuals can help you to create a personal support group to boost morale and help an individual through the rough patches.
4. Take care of your body.
Physical health is tied into your emotional health and the emotional pain commonly felt during and after a divorce can manifest itself in back pain, headaches, or other ailments. Be sure to eat properly, get enough sleep, and try to exercise regularly. A little physical activity in your day to day routine will help make you feel better.
5. Don’t feel bad about being happy.
Not feeling bad about the end of your marriage doesn’t make you a bad person. Don’t feel bad if your divorce brings you a sense of relief after soon after or over time. Sometimes, things just don’t work out. Don’t be ashamed to look forward to the future. In the end, your happiness is an active choice you have to make.
Being part of a marriage changes your life goals, responsibilities, priorities, and outlook. When a marriage ends in divorce, men and women often struggle with a new mindset of being single once again. They may feel a sense of loss and confusion as their outlook on life now must shift away from the marriage. Although divorce is a daunting process, learning how to deal with your loss and what you can do with your newfound sense of relief and closure.
Image Credit: Jonathan Cohen
Jason B. Martin, Esquire is a Pennsylvania divorce lawyer and the founder of The Martin Law Firm, P.C., located in Blue Bell, PA. Jason is also a member of the American Health Lawyers Association and serves as outside General Counsel to the Pennsylvania Chiropractic Association. To read more of Jason's work, visit www.jbmartinlaw.com/blogs/family-law.