Once it’s all said and done, divorcees just want to “move on.” A long divorce process can involve a lot of blood, sweat and tears and you’ll want to put it all behind you and start living. Yet a few months have passed and you find yourself stuck in a post-divorce or separation rut. Life doesn’t seem to be moving and you’re not sure what’s holding you back.
Author Lisa Ardens recently wrote that there’s a good chance you’re probably doing one of these things wrong if you’re having trouble moving on:
- Forgiveness: Most people respond with frustration when asked to forgive their ex. “How could I possibly forgive him/her?” is a common response. But the old saying is true—you’re not hurting him or her by not forgiving your ex, you’re only hurting yourself.
- Grasping: When we lose a part of ourselves, or big changes occur, it’s common to grasp at whatever is left. Often the only thing left after all the paperwork is signed is pain. You hold onto that pain because it’s the only thing you have left to remember the last time you were a family. (Or what you view as a family.) Letting go of that pain means you might start to forget that time. And that’s ok. It’s time to let go.
- Associations: That song, that image, that dress, that car… there are so many things that can immediately pull you back into “that life” and “that time” with your ex. Good news- you can retrain your brain. It will take time and it’s not easy, but you can consciously decide to think of those things for what they are now, and what they could be, not what they were.
- Isolation: This is an issue for introverts, more often. It may seem like a natural reaction to isolate yourself from the world. And if you need to for a week or so, go for it. But know that it’s not healthy and you need human interaction. There are friends and family members who will listen and want to be there for you. Or they will just go out with you and get your mind off it. Let them help. Humans are not meant to be alone.
- Self-care: This can be the biggest struggle for single parents, especially if you now bare the sole responsibility of caring for your kids. Remember that you can only sufficiently take care of them if you’ve taken care of yourself first.