When you are going through a break up or separation, it can really feel like that there is nothing you can learn from divorce. As the person you once shared everything with, your life with and your home with, is busy moving out and packing up, it is a painful and confusing process that feels like an out of body experience. Even though things may feel like they are totally out of control, you can learn from divorce, and how you move forward can be life changing. Here are 8 Lessons to learn from divorce.
One of the most crucial lessons of divorce is handling the issue of blame. Taking full responsibility for the demise of your marriage or completely blaming your partner for the breakdown of your union, are both as bad as each other. Blaming yourself will serve no useful purpose. Blaming the other party may seem cathartic at the time, but is largely not constructive in the long run. Take time to sort out your feelings, and think before you speak, before you say something in hurt and anger, especially in an email, that you can never take back.
2. Get to Know Yourself
There used to be plenty of stigma attached to people seeking the help of a therapist, many people deemed it to be an act of weakness, when it is in fact a sign of strength. Acknowledging that you are unable to do this on your own, is a sign of maturity and an indication that you have the ability to ask for the help that you need, which is in itself a valuable life lesson divorce will teach you.
3. Understand Friends Vs Friendly
Sometimes things get really nasty; emotions, words and accusations are running high and there are times where you cross a line that you can never cross back to. Don’t try and force a friendship out of guilt or for the kids, you have absolutely every right to be friendly rather than actually be friends. One of the lessons of divorce is that you have gained independence. Your Ex doesn’t need to know everything that happened in your day, and being polite without being familiar may be the path that you need to follow.
4. Understand That You Are Actually Handling It
This one might be more important than you realise at the time - having the chance to take the time out every day, 10 minutes with a cup of tea or a glass of wine, to write down your inner most frustrations, painful emotions and raw memories. Even a week later, looking back on your worst days, you will start to see a pattern that will show that the good days are slowly but surely outweighing the bad days.
5. Learn to Accept Help
Learning from divorce is also knowing there is help and support available. Even if the thought of actually going to a group terrifies the living daylights out of you, the Internet has so many chat rooms, blogs and forums that provide support from people going through the same painful process, and you may find that an online support group will provide you with the shoulder to cry on that understands exactly what you are going through.
6. Take Time for Yourself
When you are so busy making sure that everyone else has everything they need, in an exhausting attempt to make sure that the routine stays the same as far as possible, so that kids feel less like their lives have been upheaved completely, you forget that you need to make time for yourself as well. One of the biggest lessons that divorce can teach you, is that looking after your family and looking after yourself are both as important as one another.
7. Wait before Dating
In a rollercoaster of raw emotions, with periods of strength, euphoria, anger, loneliness, devastation and relief all coming in waves one after each other, or sometimes a few all at the same time, the worst thing you can do , is start dating again. It may feel like the best thing to do. It relieves that heavy pain that threatens to swallow you whole, but for the first year, take time to settle yourself and your family. A new relationship is like adding petrol to fire, it won’t do anyone any favours.
8. Embrace Your New Life
The steps encountered when going through a divorce are much the same process as suffering a loss. The only guarantee that there is in all of this mess is that it does get better, it does get easier, and you will enjoy your life again. One of the best lessons divorce can teach you is that you can survive on your own, and you can build your own life, and there will come a day that you will embrace it. Don’t force it, it will come all on its own, and it will be wonderful.
The process of divorce is just that, it is a process, and at times it feels like the lessons of divorce are ones that you could have done without. Healing and forgiveness are not the only lessons from divorce, but they are two that may take the longest. Of course, your own divorce may have been the happiest moment of your life!