How to Thrive Instead of Just Survive a Divorce
© Susan Preston, http://flirtingwithfitness.com
All Rights Reserved Worldwide.
Believe or not you can actually thrive while going through a divorce. In order to do so, you will have to change your mindset. In many cases the people involved, feel like they have failed in some way because their marriage is over. It is not that anyone failed, but in fact it is because the natures of the two people are not aligned. Perhaps they never were aligned and over time this became an unresolved issue or as in many situations people grow and in doing so they change causing their natures to no longer take the same path.
There is a lot to be said about people growing older, more mature, wiser. Our lives are in a constant state of change, by our everyday experiences. Some things are great and pleasant experiences while others are hard and more about learning. Whether we think so or not we are always evolving. That being said, people change. Sometimes it is just the fact that one partner has just grown so much more then the other one, that the natures are no longer remotely aligned. A lot of times people change and are no longer needy like they might have been, but have grown into their own skin. They have come to discover who they really are as an individual.
Many times, a couple grows apart and want different things for where they are at this time in their life. These changes are not about having failed at your relationship. They are about having grown, being able to accept the changes that are taking place and moving forward with them in a positive way.
Several years ago, when I decided to leave my 1st marriage after almost 23 years, I felt this sense of inner peace that I hadn’t felt in such a long time. I also realized at almost 44 years old, that I no longer needed my parents’ approval or anyone else’s for that matter but my own. That was such an ‘AHA’ moment for me. I had found “ME” and was ready to embrace all that I had become. I had the strength to set aside the opinions of others and do what was needed for me. I was in control.
Not only did I choose to get a divorce but I moved over 800 miles away right after 9/11 to a State where I knew maybe a couple of people as acquaintances. I was scared yes, but I also felt so empowered and was ready to start my new journey. I had arrived at that place inside of myself where I knew I was ready. You see most of those 23 years I spent trying to please everybody, but myself. I had lost myself in trying to help my ex to be the best that he could be. It is very sad when you think about it.
My ex and I actually went through a mediator rather than each hire our own attorney. We had a home and quite a bit of investments, etc. but we settled very amicably. We were both able to accept our differences and it allowed us to settle the issues between us as adults. So much in so, that we drove to the Court House together the morning of our divorce and that night before I was flying out to go back home in the morning, we took our sons out to dinner and to the Outlets shopping. Our boys were 16 and 20 at the time.
Now, you might be thinking as you read this, there is no possible way mine is going this way or even if I ever chose to get a divorce. I am going to share some tips with you on how you can have your divorce not be the ugly way that you hear how so many others have had going through it.
The end of a relationship is almost always painful and emotionally challenging. As devastating as it is when it happens, though, you do have the strength to put the relationship in your past and move forward. How can you find this strength?
6 Tips On How To Thrive instead of just Survive During This Challenging Time:
#1 Stop The Blame Game:
First of all, putting blame on your partner or yourself accomplishes nothing other than more harm. Beating yourself up over what has happened only slows the healing process for you both. Own what you did or did not do while you were together and then let it go. If you are having a hard time with letting go, ask yourself, “Did I do the best I could in any given situation with what knowledge that I had?” More than likely, the answer will be. ‘Yes!’ Forgiving yourself as well as your partner is key to your recovery.
Acknowledge your feelings, at least to yourself. Admit that you feel bummed out, rejected or incredibly disappointed in how things turned out. These are human feelings and you’re entitled to them.
Take some quiet time to write in your journal out or just think about what you really would want to say to them if you could. Then just let it all out. Now here is the important part, release it and them.
Let them both go! Do not hang onto the negative feelings any longer. Then write or say to yourself, “I forgive you. I wish you the very best.” If you feel that you owe them an apology and you are not ready to do that in person, you can use this technique to do it as well. Write or think about what you would say to them and then release it and let it go. At the end write or in your thoughts say, “I am sorry. Please forgive me.” Doesn’t that make a difference in how you feel? Pay close attention to how your body feels when you release all of the negative feelings that have been holding you back. Feel the sense of peace?
Recognize a divorce as an opportunity. Even though this is very hard to do, view your divorce as a time to thrive by doing different activities, meeting new people and being involved in new social situations.
After a divorce it is a good time to learn something new, stretch your mind and allow yourself to think about something else. Find something that interests you and can challenge you.
#2 Become Clear:
In your journal, write how you envision your life to be. Focus on what you really want. A great exercise to find out what you truly want is to draw a line down the middle of a piece of paper. On the left side write out what you don’t want and then go to the right hand column and put opposite of what you don’t want. Remember, do not stay focused for long on what you don’t want, write it down and move on, use it as a guide to find out exactly what you want.
The more you focus on what you do want and get into the feeling of what your life would feel like having what you want, the quicker you become open to receiving it into your life. Believe it can happen and hold onto that feeling. When you start to get overwhelmed or discouraged go to a place where you can tap into that feeling again. Allow it to wash over you and be grateful for where you are right now in your life even if it is not where you want it to be. Doing this will open your heart to receive more and you will see things start to happen much faster. I have found when I show gratitude for the experiences of tough times, my life then goes to that next remarkable level.
#3 You are Your Own Best Support:
It is so important to continually fill yourself up with love, joy, happiness, trust, respect, self-esteem, honor, worthiness and here it comes, FORGIVNESS. By doing this you will become your own support system. Have you ever been around a friend or maybe you have done it yourself in the past where all that was being talked about was the soon to be ex? It seemed as though they couldn’t get past it. When you become your own support system and have filled yourself with up all of the other goodies, you can take that and go to your other relationships with your children, relatives and friends and have more to give and share of the ‘Best’ you. The support that you receive from them will enrich what you already have given to yourself.
Along the way you may find that as you are growing and making changes you have friends that are stuck in the past and they may try and keep you there with them. They may not understand why the divorce isn’t shutting you down.
Sometimes, people do not always understand your reason as to why you need a divorce and do not agree with your decision at all. You have to re-evaluate those relationships, and release them as well. It is very important that you surround yourself with like-minded people who want to help lift you higher instead of holding you down or back as you heal.
#4 Live In The Present:
One of the ways of continually filling yourself up is to ‘Live in the Present! By living in the present, you are not allowing yourself to stay stuck in the past and you are not just focused on the future. There are people who are so stuck in the past that they merely existing, if you do this you will never grow.
On the other hand, there are people who live just for the future and they have their lives all planned out. Now it is okay to take the little useful snip-its from the past and use them in the present to help you grow even more so. You may want to model your behavior in the past that got you the results that you are looking for. Any part of the past that no longer serves you should be released. As far as the future, it is a great thing to have a plan for the future you want to create and build, but don’t plan every little detail in your life.
When you are living in the present, everything will just fall into place how it is supposed to be. You will be able to make decisions based on what is happening now instead of the past or what you think might happen in the future. By living in the present it helps with your positive mindset because you aren’t bringing into your life, any of the thinking of what your partner may or may not have done. You are living each moment with what is right in front of you. Your decisions will be better, clearer and easier to make and they will be the right choices for “YOU” and for where you are in your Extraordinary journey called life.
#5 Stay In The Present:
One of the best ways of staying in the present is to meditate. It helps clear you mind and allows you to be aware of where you are at this very moment. It also helps you to become centered and at the very core of what brings you peace.
Write in your journal every morning and write out how you see and want your day to go. This allows you to get clear and shifts your thinking to just that day. I often suggest that my clients think of a ‘Theme’ word that they want their day to be like and make that their focus. If you want a day where you are at peace, then you not only need to take effective action to make that happen, but you will also need to feed your subconscious peaceful thoughts and these thoughts must be ones where you are already at peace.
#6 Take Care of You:
When life gets busy and hectic, it is important to take that 5 minutes or more to let yourself just ‘Be’. Sneak off to your favorite quiet place and just allow your mind wander. Forget about all the things that you have to do or what might be going on, but savor those moments that bring you joy. By doing so, you start to rejuvenate yourself.
If you work from home, and are always on your computer it is so important to step away from your computer, your phone, etc. Set it all dawn and walk away. I do this at least a couple times a day if not more. Take that 5 minutes to pamper yourself. Maybe fix your favorite beverage and just step out into the fresh air. When you do go back to whatever it is that you are doing, you will find yourself ready to tackle your workload again any new challenges that might come your way. You will notice how your creative juices begin to flow again.
Focus on your body. Think about the areas you want to maintain or improve upon.
Finding time for prayer, meditation, breathing exercises, yoga or whatever it is that helps you to get to get to that peaceful place inside of you. Write in your journal, this will provide you a place and space to let out your feelings. Some of the other things I suggested above also bring clarity and focus, not to mention a peacefulness and resolve you need to keep moving forward. I do all of these except for yoga every day. When my day starts to slip away from me & I get a bit overwhelmed, I know that I am missing having not done one or more of these things and I immediately take the time to do so.
Consider it your inner compass, and allow it to guide you to where you want to go.
Share your thoughts or feelings about what it is you are feeling and going through until you no longer feel the need. Seek support when you need it and you feel your mood shifting. Recognize that in order to get over it you must get through it.
Learn to make yourself a priority rather than an option. When you fill yourself up with all those goodies I mentioned you have allowed yourself to become a priority you will find that you will have a great inner peace. You will also find that you will are able to give and share more of yourself to others in your life. You want to thrive during this challenging time not just survive it. You deserve that and owe it to yourself. As you go through your journey know that you deserve the very best that life has to offer you.
You are more than Enough. Even if it is your partner or spouse who wants the split, there is NOTHING WRONG with you. Usually, it isn’t about the other partner at all, but rather the person wanting to leave has grown and may just want different things. Change happens whether we want it to or not. It is what we do about it that makes all the difference in our lives and well beings.
You are absolutely Amazing! Now, get up, get out, get moving and create yourself and the life of your dreams …there is a Gigantic world waiting for you to embrace and for your true Magnificence and Greatness to Shine!!!
I would love to connect with you on my Facebook Business Page…Susan Can Help Me Today where I post Daily Mindset Tips and a lot more, thank you! I look forward to connecting with you!
Thanks for this impressive post Susan! You have some great wisdom about how to thrive during a time where many people can kinda “fall apart”. I am happily married now (coming up to 16 years!!) – but went through a pretty big healing process when I divorced my previous husband. It’s really important to focus on what is right for you rather than trying to please others!
Moira Hutchison recently posted..Releasing Mental Exhaustion
You are so welcome, Moira! I appreciate you. Thanks
Susan, such a wise way to handle a divorce, especially the point about stopping the blame game! My divorce from my first husband was very amicable because we decided that it was going to be that way. Love the outline and the steps, that works!
Sherie recently posted..Relationship Tips. #3: Are You Getting the Respect you Deserve?
Thank you so much, Sherie! By not engaging in the blame game, it is in everyone’s best interest especially the children’s.
This is great information for someone going through a big life changing event like a divorce. Glad to hear some people can go through it come out friends. Good for you and glad you are sharing with the world!
Dorien Morin-van Dam recently posted..Interpreting Facebook Insights: A Guide For The Beginner
Thank you, Dorien. It is so vital that we have the right mindset especially when we go through challenging times so that things can be in the greatest good of everyone concern.
Such a heartfelt post! You will help many other women in that situation with this post. It’s so refreshing really to hear someone say they went through a divorce and acted like an adult. Sounds like you and your ex were on the same wavelength in the end, being able to settle with a mediator and having an outing with your kids. Bravo for that! Your tips are so genuine and can really be used for any relationship. People change, things happen. Take care of you. Awesomeness.
Martha Giffen recently posted..The Secret To Being A Successful Online Marketer
Thank you so much, Martha! I so appreciate you. Yes, you are right people change and things happen. For us, our natures were never aligned. When I asked for a separation I said, “Not all of the 23 years together have been good and not all bad and that we have had some wonderful times and we have 2 Amazing sons that we are blessed with, but I just don’t want to be married to you for another 23 years.”
If more people could get past the blame game, they’d be so much happier! Instead of clinging to dead roots and cursing them for no longer growing, it’d be so much more helpful to find some new soil to heal and marinate in, then move on to a new garden. : )
Thanks, Steve! I love when you wrote, “…it’d be so much more helpful to find some new soil to heal and marinate in, then move on to a new garden.” So very true!
What a refreshing article Susan! Your advice is wonderful for those who are going through the difficulties of divorce but actually want to make it amicable for their own benefit or for their children’s well-being.
Thanks for sharing your own experience and I’m so glad it worked out well for you!
Carolyn Hughes recently posted..The Secret of Serenity.
Thank you, Carolyn. I appreciate you. Yes, it is so much better to have done it the way that we did then how I have heard of others who went through a divorce and the pain they were causing each other by their behavior. It doesn’t help anyone, especially the children.
This took me back to 1997, the year I was divorced after 29+ years of marriage. I needed to fly back to Cleveland (I now live in Tucson) for the proceedings and I wondered how I’d feel going back. On the plane ride going there I had my answer when the song in my head kept repeating in a very upbeat way, “I’m getting divorced in the morning!”
Meryl Hershey Beck recently posted..Dealing with Low-Energy People
Thanks, Meryl. You were in a good place inside and that was why it came to you like it did 😉 I appreciate you sharing your story.
Thanks Susan, I have seen people go through a divorce and just couldn’t stand each other any more. I like that you give us such great testimony that it is possible to become friends after..very important!
Olga Hermans recently posted..Dare To Be Real
You are so welcome, Olga! I appreciate you taking the time to come by and comment. Thanks
I enjoyed this post Susan. I have also been divorced through a mediator as well, and found it to be a much better experience than what I’ve heard from others who had separate lawyers. It is a challenge, but how great that you felt confident about building your own life. I’ve also moved on and created a new life for myself and it has worked out well. I like your idea of meditation and journal writing. Both of these would be very helpful. Great tips!
Cathy Taughinbaugh recently posted..9 Parents Who Are Making a Difference
Thank you, Cathy! I am glad that you were able to go through a mediator, as well. Not only is so much money saved but I found it so much more amicable then others who have gone through an attorney. Writing in a journal and meditating are Amazing not only when someone is going through a challenging time but each and everyday!
First, I must tell you that your site looks AWESOME!!! Second, now you had me doing math before I could comment? Tee-hee…
And your post is very interesting. I’ve not gone through divorce so a lot I could not relate, but you certainly gave many great insights & tips. Great work, Susan! x0x
Norma Doiron@Where Aspiring/Budding Business Owners Start, Grow & Strenghten Their Online Business recently posted..Top Keys to Fire Up Your Blogging Audience Response, Part 2
Thank you, Norma. I appreciate you, sweetie
Wonderful words of wisdom, Susan. I loved the tip of stopping the blame game. When you stop blaming, you stop perpetuating the hurt. This is such an important part of healing from a divorce. Thanks!
Lisa Birnesser recently posted..Good Housekeeping: How Perfectionism Can Lead to a Cluttered Home
You’re so welcome, Lisa! Yes, I agree with you, that by stopping the blame game it is such an important part of healing from a divorce as you are not continuing to hurt each other. Thanks
Such great tips to make things go much more smoother in such a dramatic life change. I can say that when I hear someone talk about divorce they are always talking about the other one in the “blame” situation.
Nancy Olson recently posted..Support for Celiacs
Thanks, Nancy! Yes, usually when people are getting a divorce, they do start playing the blame game. it’s very sad and hurtful!
Great post Susan! I had no idea! I have seen couples who actually get along better divorced than when they were married!
Mandy Edwards recently posted..Guest Post: How to Get a Google Bio Box
Thanks, Mandy! Yes, there are couples who do actually get along better divorced then when they are married and we are one of them
Wow, those are some major changes you went through at the time of your divorce! I admire your strength!
I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone go through the divorce process as seamlessly as you and your ex did. So often the people immediately become combative, and before long they aren’t even able to be in the same room with each other.
You offer some great tips on how people can take care of themselves during this challenging transition and really, truly thrive in the process.
Nisha Naik recently posted..Uncovering Your Courage When Facing A Crisis
Thank you, Nisha! Believe it or not before I went through those major changes, I was one who did not embrace change. Since then, my attitude is one of, “Bring it on!” If we don’t embrace change, we cannot grow.
This was a great one for me to read. I’m getting in proud as we speak for not sleeping.
elizabeth maness recently posted..Self Help Can’t Help if you only Read or Listen
Thanks, sweetie! I appreciate you taking the time to read this and comment
We re all our own Best support for sure I admire people who can work through a divorce and soar!
Anita recently posted..Women’s Leadership: Turn Your Mistakes Into Opportunities
Thanks, Anita! I agree, we all are our own best support! It is amazing when we have support from others to enhance what we have already given to ourselves!
Great insights here Susan, lots of ladies out there can relate to this, and this will help them to start a new beginning and move on…Thanks for sharing…great post as always
Thank you, Maria! I appreciate that
Great post Susan! I actually just closed the final door on my divorce this week. I totally agree with you that you have to take care of yourself. Too many times it’s easier to worry about everyone else’s feelings during a divorce and forget about your own.
Helena Bowers recently posted..Are You Giving Your Audience What They Want?
Thanks, Helena. My thoughts and prayers are with you as you go to the next part of your Amazing journey.
Terrific article, Susan, on what personal empowerment and responsibility can do for what can otherwise be a real sticky situation. Great stuff!
Sharon O’Day recently posted..Avoidance Is Not Our Friend
Thank you, Sharon! Both my ex and I realized that it wasn’t just about us, that we had 2 Amazing sons to think about. We didn’t want them to have to go through any more then what they were.
Susan, this is a great advice to take in for those who are going through the difficulties of divorce. Thanks for sharing your experience!
Thanks, Denise! As a good friend of mine once said, “Our messes become our message.”
Hey Susan, I’m also obligated to thank you for your post and your advices in time of divorce
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