By Amanda Singer
It’s a new year, and for many people, that can mean a change in your relationship or marital status as you go through a separation or divorce. Most people don’t associate a New Year divorce with a positive outlook, but it doesn’t have to be a horror story. And before you think I’m crazy and that divorce could never be positive, think about the ways that you can change this outlook in the new year.
Give Yourself Time
Allow yourself time to grieve the loss of your marriage. Most people never expected to be in this position and thought, “till death do us part” meant that. It’s normal to be upset and take the time to grieve your marriage and what you had that no longer is there. There isn’t a “right” amount of time to grieve, that’s going to look different for everyone but give yourself that time and then also let yourself more forward and not get stuck in the grief. Working with a therapist and/or divorce coach can be a great way to help with this.
Think About the Positive
And then allow yourself to think about the positive side of your divorce. While it might be hard at first to think about anything positive from what’s happening to your marriage and life as I tell my clients, there will always be something positive, even if you don’t see it now. Be grateful for what you do have and think about the positive things to come. Whether that’s something new, you wanted to try or travel that your spouse never did or just the fact that you get to make decisions for yourself, thinking about the positive side of your divorce can help you feel better about the process.
Surround Yourself with Support
Understand that it takes time and surround yourself with the people and relationships that you need to go through your divorce in the best way possible. This can mean friends, family, or strangers as working a therapist or divorce coach can be helpful during this time. Make sure that you have the support you need and think about the people that you talk about your divorce with. There will always be those people in your life, friends, and family who merely want to gossip. They want to hear about everything that went wrong in your relationship. These people are more concerned about being “in the know” then really helping you thrive through the process. Other people may always want to bash your ex with you, and while complaining about your ex with friends can be helpful sometimes, it’s essential not to let that control your mindset. Complaining about someone can put you in a negative mindset, and it’s ok to say to your friends that you don’t want to talk about your ex and the bad things they’ve done.
Gratitude Above All Else
Think about what you are grateful for in your life. Again, while it might not be easy to think about the things that are right in your life. Research has proven that gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships. So by taking even just a few minutes each day to write down three things that you are grateful for can help you make your divorce positive and not keep you entrenched in the negativity you may feel. Even when things are less than ideal, I find there are always at least three things that I can find to be grateful for.
Are you thinking about divorce? Did you find this New Year divorce survival guide helpful? Divorce can be done peacefully, together, and without needless conflict. Contact San Diego Family Mediation Center at (858) 736-2411 for a free consultation.