Ending a marriage is never easy and is even more complex when you're not the spouse that initiated the process. The mere thought that your marriage is ending can make you feel confused and hopeless. Avoid closing yourself off to the outside world, or getting trapped inside thoughts of the "good times" by learning to let go of your spouse.
Acknowledge your feelings without letting them overtake you. Understand that you can't make someone love or want to stay with you. Refrain from groveling or trying to force your spouse to change her mind. This includes using your children as leverage, or threatening to make the divorce process long and nasty.
Commit to making a new life for yourself. Realize that the end of a marriage doesn't mark the end of your existence. Strive to think of your divorce as a new opportunity for self-improvement. Examine your financial outlook, physical health and emotional well-being to set reasonable goals.
Surround yourself with positive friends. Discuss your feelings with as much detail as you feel comfortable sharing. Avoid bottling up your emotions or pretending that nothing affects you. While these behaviors may serve well as short-term coping mechanisms, failing to express your emotions in constructive ways can lead to self-destruction. It may be especially helpful to interact with friends that have successfully made it through divorce, as they may be able to provide greater insight and advice.
Engage in rewarding hobbies that keep you occupied and challenged. While facing the future without your ex-spouse may seem unthinkable, it's essential that you prepare for this reality. Gain the self-confidence needed to let go by expanding your hobbies and skills. Examples include enrolling in art classes or joining civic organizations. Spending time around others can also make you feel more connected with the world. Avoid wallowing in self-pity, which makes it harder to move forward with your life.
Tips & Warnings
- Joining a divorce support group can give you access to compassionate listeners.
- Take time to get reacquainted with you, as navigating through a troubled relationship can take a heavy toll on your physical and emotional well-being.
- Avoid engaging in risky behaviors to mask your negative feelings. This includes engaging in romantic relationships before you're ready to give love another try.
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