Coping with divorce doesn’t just happen.
You’re going through a significant and difficult life event, so you have to put in some work in your divorce intentions in order to really move forward in an affirmative and healthy way.
About 40 to 50 percent of married couples get divorced. But according to studies, between 32 percent and 50 percent of divorcees regret their split.
How do the rest manage to find joy and happiness in this new chapter of their life?
You can’t take these facts for granted. The people who are happiest after divorce are those who make a real effort to adjust to their post-divorce life.
What does it mean to be “intentional” about divorce?
Being intentional isn’t just about setting goals — it’s about committing to the methods that will help you achieve them. It’s about getting up in the morning and being deliberate in how you take on the day.
Your divorce intentions don’t have to be grand resolutions. They can be little objectives you set for yourself to track your progress and build up your sense of self.
Being intentional isn’t about arriving at happiness, but about putting real investment in yourself.
Setting intentions are especially important when you’re going through something as emotionally taxing as divorce.
When happiness and fulfillment seem so far away, it can be all too easy to just let yourself go. But even though this territory feels uncharted, that doesn’t mean you forgot how to swim.
Here are 4 expert tips on moving through your divorce with intentions in a positive and healing way.
1. Relinquish self-doubt.
If thoughts of regret and second-guessing yourself start creeping in, that’s totally normal.
Getting a divorce is a big decision and with all the big and difficult decisions, it’s hard to tell whether you’re making the right one.
The farther removed you are from the actual relationship, the more removed you become from the negative emotions that pushed you to make that decision in the first place.
That’s why it’s so important to remain confident in your decision to start this new chapter. Otherwise, you’ll never really move on.
Making intentional decisions to instill confidence in yourself and keep out those thoughts of self-doubt is crucial to post-divorce self-love.
But what if the divorce wasn’t your decision? What if, in your heart, you wanted to keep trying to make it work? That’s a totally normal experience.
Your energy is better spent instilling confidence in your new life, rather than wondering if you would be happier in your old marriage.
Coming to terms with the finality of divorce is necessary to feel confident in your ability to turn the page to a new chapter.
2. Let things go.
Whether you feel confident that leaving your marriage was the right decision or you’re still having doubts about your single life, you have to make a concerted effort to let go of your anger, sadness, and bitterness.
Sure, time heals all wounds, but taking that approach can lead to suppressing your very real emotions about the whole experience.
Address what’s making you hurt right now instead of bottling it all up. As you move through that process, you will feel yourself become freer as the weight of emotional labor and trauma lifts off your shoulders.
3. Invest in something new.
Now that you’re single, you probably have some extra time and space to try something new.
No longer weighed down by someone else’s ambitions and desires, you can try a new hobby, learn a new skill, or get back into something that used to bring you joy.
After divorce, a lot of people just feel like there is too much empty space. Finding something to fill that space in a way that brings you joy will boost your capacity for self-love.
Telling someone to try to relax is sort of an oxymoron, but it really is important.
Divorce can bring up extra external stressors regarding finances, assets, children, living situations, and more. Trying to figure that stuff out can make the whole experience way harder than the divorce process, itself.
But don’t forget that you’re also going through a lot emotionally and you have to take care of yourself, too.
Finding time to intentionally engage in self-care will increase your capability in handling those external problems.
Life after divorce is possible, even if it doesn’t come easy at first. Most people don’t just naturally fall into a healthy rhythm — it takes a little time and effort to get comfortable in your new life and heal.
But if you go about the post-divorce process intentionally — as opposed to expecting happiness to just find you — you will find joy and confidence along the way.
You’ll need to take some conscious action to make it happen, but you’ve got this!
Originally Published in Your Tango
Babita Spinelli LP, JD
Babita is a Licensed Psychotherapist/Psychoanalyst, Certified Relationship Coach, and Speaker. She is the founder and CEO of Opening the Doors Psychotherapy and Babita Spinelli Group. Babita works with individuals and couples and her practice has locations in NYC, NJ, and Florida. As the recipient of the 2019 New York Psychotherapist Award, Babita features frequently in prominent media outlets such as Forbes, Insider, Washington Post, and Mind Body Green as a relationship expert. She is a Certified Gottman Level 2 Therapist, Certified Collaborative Divorce Coach, and Parent Coordinator. Her specialties include infidelity, narcissist abuse support, divorce recovery, multi-cultural couples, and career transitions. For all Babita’s latest news follow her on Facebook and Instagram.