Divorce is hard on everyone involved. No one goes into a marriage hoping that it’ll end in divorce. That means part of it is accepting failure, learning from it, and moving on.
Granted, that’s a lot easier said than done. How to actually get to the other side is a heart-wrenching process that can take a long time, but here’s how I did it.
Find A Support System
The hardest part for me was that I was in a battle against the person I once considered to be my partner and best friend. He was my support system and our lives were completely intertwined.
To survive our divorce, I had to replace that empty space with the friendships and ties that I had built elsewhere.
Put Your Emotions On Hold
While all I wanted to do was either scream or cry at how I got here, I learned that I had to keep my feelings in check.
I needed a clear mind to make logical and fair decisions on how to divide and separate everything we had build together. Plus, it helps to negotiate when you’re not yelling at each other.
Don’t Blame Yourself
The worst thing you could do is beat yourself up. I spent hours crying myself to sleep wondering what I could have done differently to prevent this end.
However, I realized that this was out of my control as it takes two to make a marriage work.
Have A Plan
While you don’t need to have all the answers right away, I found it helpful to at least have a sense of what’s next.
I planned where I would move, and what I would keep. It gave me a sense of hope that everything was going to be okay again.
Do Something For Yourself Each Day
The trick to getting through a divorce is to take it day by day. It’s hard to imagine how your life being flipped upside down will feel normal again.
I took the time to do something for myself every day, no matter how small it was. It gave a sense of control in a time where I felt like I had none.
The number one priority is you, even if you’re a parent, as you won’t be able to get through this or take care of anyone else unless you’re taking care of yourself.
Plus, it’ll make it so that you don’t regret any of the legal or financial decisions you make with your ex. I figured asking for more was a good point to start negotiating down.
Decide On A Financial Boundary
The truth is it’s quite costly to go through lawyers. No matter how bad things got in your relationship, try to figure out as much as you can without the legal costs.
If you can’t, decide on a limit so you don’t find yourself bankrupt and single in the end.
Every part of me felt like I hated my ex, not because I actually hated him, but because I was angry at him for making me go through this when he once vowed we’d grow old together.
This anger hindered my healing and prevented me from making any kind of peace with the divorce. Only by forgiving him was I able to start moving on.
Don’t Show Him You’re Hurting
Maybe your ex is less toxic than mine, but the only way to avoid him taking advantage of my state of vulnerability was to not let him know of it.
Even if I had to pretend it was okay, I made it clear that he could not influence the divorce to work out favoring his wants and needs over mine.
Enjoy Your New Status
At first, I didn’t know what to do with all my newfound freedom. Then I realized I couldn’t even remember the last time I could go on a girls’ trip for a week straight and not even worry about checking in with someone else.
Everything I did was now up to me and per my liking.
Pack Up And Move
I had always dreamed of living on the west coast by the water but was held back by my husband’s job.
Since I was moving out anyway, this was my opportunity to relocate wherever I wanted and truly experience a fresh start. Plus, this way I didn’t have memories associated with every place I went back to.
Accept The Pain Won’t Ever Heal
This might be a hard pill to swallow, but the truth is no matter how much I move on, my ex will always be a part of my identity. We grew together, we shared a lot of history, and I wouldn’t be who I am now without him.
All I can do is take the best parts of our experiences together and use the rest as lessons, knowing that there will always be a little bit of him in everything I do.
There’s No Point In Stalking
The moving on process might feel like a competition, but it’s not. Even if you find out they’re already dating someone new, it doesn’t mean that they’re happy without you.
Even if they are, that doesn’t mean that you can’t be too. It was hard for me to accept this.
Don’t Lose Your Dignity
As much as I wished that I could just wake up from this nightmare and that everything would be back to normal, I refused to beg for reconciliation.
Even if he was to accept, I would’ve just went back to an unhappy marriage, so what’s the point?
Divorce Is Like Grief
The five stages of divorce are a lot like the five stages of grief, so be ready to experience denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.
You might not experience them in that order, and you might go through all five multiple times before you actually move on.
Love Isn’t Dead Forever
This might be a very far-out thought and you may not even want to consider it right now, but just because your marriage failed doesn’t mean that you’re now destined to be single forever.
Once I was ready, I entered the dating pool again, and despite never believing I could fall in love again, it happened.