How to find happiness after a divorce
When you got married, you promised to share every aspect of your existence with another person. As you began your lives together, you and your spouse stood high atop a mountain looking out at the expanse with hope and excitement for the future and the life that you would build together. Whether purchasing property, having children, building a business, or having any one of a myriad of experiences, your life was the culmination of this commitment made to your spouse and the marriage. Now, standing at the bottom of that very same mountain, you are untangling your life from that of your spouse, which can throw even the happiest soul into a state of deep depression and grief. Through the thick of it all, though, finding happiness after divorce is not unfathomable.
Putting life into perspective
Divorce is akin to losing a lifestyle. More than just the tangible things that make life comfortable, such as the many material possessions, vacations, and celebrations enjoyed as a family, the intangible possessions make people unhappy – intangible possessions such as memories. Ironically, these wonderful memories cause newly divorced people to grieve over the loss of the quality of life. Whether the divorce was contentious or not, one’s perspective can become very dark, and more significantly, can be an obstacle in moving past this life tragedy. From that standpoint, the newly divorced can avoid chronic unhappiness by simply changing their perspective.
Tips for a healthier perspective
Focus on the positive. While it is easy to view divorce as a personal failure, these thoughts of disappointment can be tempered with thoughts of what was successful about the union or thoughts of what you, the individual, accomplished while married. For example, if you had children while married, they are the fruits of your marriage, and better yet, your blessings. Also, if you learned a new skill with the help of your spouse, you had a valuable learning experience. If you had the opportunity to open a business, think about how wonderful it was to accomplish this feat while married. A person can have a myriad of experiences while married, but by focusing on the positive ones, you can avoid the pitfalls of seeing oneself as a failure.
Avoid making your ex-spouse the devil. While right now all you see when you look at your former spouse is a pair of horns on their head, at some point in the relationship, your spouse was the next best thing to Wonder Bread. Also, while that person is presently dragging you through one of the worst experiences ever known, your spouse used to be Pooh Bear. Your spouse might in fact have had multiple affairs while married to you. Your spouse might have left you for a much younger co-worker. Your spouse might have driven you crazy with their haphazard spending habits or crazy relatives. However, your ex is still the same person you trusted enough to exchange vows with, so remember their positive attributes, which might make getting through the process easier.
Carve out a new life for yourself. Look at this separation as the opportunity to transform your own life. All those goals that you put off because your life was filled with the stuff of marriage can now be accomplished because you can focus on yourself.
Seek out others for support. The world is filled with people with different experiences, and unfortunately many experience divorce. In addition to family members, seek the support of your friends because sometimes our perspective becomes clouded when in the middle of personal dramas. Another perspective can give balance to a situation. Outside of close friends and family, one can seek professional counsel from a resource site containing divorce resources.
Give yourself emotional pick-me-ups throughout the day. Exercising, journaling, finding new hobbies, in addition to leaving self-affirming, positive notes for yourself around the house are all ways that a person can lift themselves out of a depression after divorce.
Perspective can be the difference between stagnation in a miserable situation – especially if you have to see your ex-spouse frequently – and moving toward happiness and bliss. The bitter pill of the divorce is the loss of the intimate relationship and experiences shared during the marriage, none of which can be replaced. On the flip side, though, a positive perspective gives a newly divorced person the motivation to take everything attained in the marriage – tangible and intangible – and transform a miserable situation into a new and exciting life.