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  • Paula Thompson
    Paula Thompson

    Coping With Life's Struggles After Divorce

    When two people who were once deeply in love end their matrimony, it can be difficult for them to adapt to the change in lifestyle and circumstances that often follows a divorce. A great deal of time and effort had gone into adapting to the notion of a shared life only to have it suddenly become a thing of the past. Even if the divorce was amicable, most people struggle with the distinct uneasy feeling that often manifests when faced with an uncertain future. Moreover, they must also learn how to confront the life struggles that come along with moving on with their lives after the divorce.

    Though it is normal to feel overwhelmed and uncertain when the security of marriage has been ripped away, the truth is that women and men alike can and do find the strength within themselves to move on and discover newfound freedom. But that doesn't mean it is always easy to make the transition from an old life to a new one. It often requires a great deal of hope, courage and perseverance to begin again.

    Regardless of the circumstances or duration of the marriage, divorce can be a major life-altering event for everyone involved in the split. Being thrown into an unfamiliar world often creates emotional turmoil as people try to adjust to their new situation. Many ex-couples find that the emotional upheaval experienced post-divorce leaves them struggling with self-doubt, insecurity and fear of the unknown. This makes it quite natural to feel anxious, lonely and heartbroken.

    To help with the transition, here are a few tips on learning to cope with the life struggles that come along with starting over:

    Acknowledge Your Feelings - Don't bottle up your emotions. It is important to recognize and accept the trauma that comes with a broken relationship in order to move forward. Talk with someone you trust and share your feelings in a healthy way. If necessary, seek out counseling or therapy.

    Give Yourself Time to Grieve - After a divorce, it is important to give yourself the time and space you require in order to heal. Even if the decision was mutual, there will be moments of sadness and grief. Give yourself permission to experience these feelings without shame. Allow your moods to fluctuate, so that when you're feeling down, you don't beat yourself up over it.

    Set Goals and Boundaries - Post-divorce can be a confusing time. Be sure to establish new goals and boundaries to help keep you on track with your life. Focus on matters such as career advancement, reconnecting with friends, exploring creative gifts, opening up to finding new love, etc. This can also include setting career goals, figuring out how to parent differently, or preparing a new budget.

    Develop Positive Self-Talk - Practicing positive self-talk is a non-negotiable if you wish to move ahead. Instead of focusing on all the things you think you lack, concentrate on all the newly found possibilities that come with the newfound freedom. Remind yourself of your potential, and see this stage of life as a learning experience full of opportunity for growth.

    Grow and Thrive - With so many different avenues ahead, post-divorce can be a time to radical shift in lifestyle, relationships and career. Take the necessary time to research and explore what opportunities may be out there, refine skills and interests, and come to a better understanding of what you want and deserve.

    Getting through any difficult period in life can be daunting, but with the right attitude and perseverance it is possible to adjust and even thrive. For those dealing with the life struggles that come along with post-divorce, remember that much of the process is trial and error. Trust your instinct, learn from your mistakes, and keep moving forward.

    Don't allow yourself to be limited by the ideas society and other people have set in stone. Establish a plan that works best for you and your children, and devise ways to cope with the day-to-day struggles, should they arise. Life may look different now, but you possess the power of choice, allowing you to create anew.

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