Moving On

Is It Possible To Be Happy Again After A Divorce?

After a separation it’s quite common to wonder if you’ll ever bounce back and be happy again?   Peter recalled “I felt so low I could hardly get out of bed, and all the things I used to enjoy, felt pointless.  I asked myself if after this exhausting period I could ever be happy again?” 

Peter in fact found contentment some time after his divorce, although it wasn’t immediate, “It was really gradual.  One big moment was noticing that I laughed and then I thought, “Hey, I can still find things funny!” and these moments just got more frequent”.  

But it’s not necessarily a linear process – there are ups and downs: “Some days I felt worse again, like when I found out that my ex was dating someone new, but overall things got better.” 

So what’s the secret to finding happiness after divorce? 

There is a lot of research about grieving and recovering from break-ups.  Perhaps one of the best studies found from Stanford University  .  They found that how quickly you recovered depended on how many additional stressors you had in your life, and what coping strategies you had. 

It is hard to avoid some stressors but you can work on your coping strategies. 

What this study found about coping strategies was actually quite suprising.  They found that talking about your problems could actually make things worse!  Talking too much and repeatedly about how low you feel can lead to you focusing too much on this horrible time. 

Talking to people who you think do not understand what you are going through can also increase stress.  It is important for people to know that the way they feel is normal but without focusing on their own expereince the whole time. This is why you should come to one of our Divorce Club Events which you can find here! 

Doing things with friends is a helpful coping strategy  

So what are the adaptive coping strategies that can help us be happy after divorce? 

According to bereavement expert Nolen-Hoeksema,  adaptive coping involves “doing things that renew your sense of control and take your mind away from your worries for a short time. People typically use things like sports or hobbies or going somewhere with a friend, such as to a movie or shopping,” she said. “A little bit of distraction leads to more motivation to do more pleasant activities. You can start small and build.” 

Ineffective coping strategies, include distracting behavior that is reckless:drinking alcohol, casual sex and other risky behaviours.  Another unhelpful strategy, (which is also the one we are most likely to do), is sitting home and thinking, “I just don’t have the strength to do anything,”.  All that happens if you stay at home, alone and without distraction is that you go back over the same distressing thoughts without actually doing anything to relieve your low mood.  This is known as passive rumination and unsuprisingly, those who engage in passive rumination will remain depressed for longer. 

So is talking bad for you? 

No! It is important to talk about what is going on.  People who just try and shut it out, end up ruminating more.  Men have typically been the ones prone to finding happiness more slowly as they are less likely to talk about what has happened to them, particularly if their wife was the only ones they used to talk to about their problems. 

The important point is that you must balance talking, with also doing other activities which can give you a break from thinking about how bad you feel.  And when you do talk, pick people who will understand you, and even a therapist who can stop the talk becoming passive rumination, and instead be a helpful perspective that can set you on the path to feeling happy again. 

Authors of this article, Lucy Davis and Isabelle Hung, run  The Divorce Club  www.divorceclub.com     an online support network for people going through divorce and separation.     Wendi’s Note: The Divorce Club in London is a great way to meet others who are going through similar experiences. Wisdom and laughter are shared at Lucy’s get-togethers through this MeetUp.com group.

 

 

 

Moving On After A Divorce Or Break Up

Moving on Mentally After A Divorce

In the United States of America, a couple divorces every 13 seconds. Divorce has become a norm in our world today but this does not mean the process is any less painful or stressful. By the age of 50, more than 90 percent of Americans get married but almost half of them do not find their happily ever after. For some, it has been a long hard decision taken over months or years spent trying to make their relationship work. For others, it is swift and sometimes unexpected. So how do you move on from a divorce? Here are just a few tips to get you started.

Accept & Let Go

The first step to moving on from a divorce can be one of the hardest. It is facing the situation and acknowledging the end of your marriage. The period immediately after can be emotional and unpredictable; ranging from sadness over lost dreams to regrets and denial over your decision.

It is completely okay to mourn the loss of your marriage. No one enters a marriage thinking they would like to get divorced. In fact, it is important that you let yourself feel the loss and come to terms with it. Grief is a natural reaction to loss.

Reconnect with Yourself

Whether it is through self-reflection, venting to a close friend or counselling, reconnect with your spiritual side. Begin by focusing on yourself. Banish any negative unwanted thoughts and look to defining your self-worth. Your marriage may be over but there are many positive things you may have to offer. Realize that your failed marriage does not define you.

As you begin to find your true self again, a clear understanding of what you want and what makes you truly happy will help you move forward. Finally, self-reflection and acceptance mean addressing your responsibility in the breakdown of your marriage. It is vital that you not only recognize your part but make peace with it and learn from your mistakes for your future relationships. Understand that you cannot change the past events and you cannot change your ex-partner. What you can change, however, is yourself.

Make the Shift

Finally, one of the most important steps is making the change in mindset. This can easily be judged as one of the most difficult parts of moving on and requires the commitment to moving on.  In the beginning, it is normal to grieve over what occurred but now it is time to commit to being happy again. This does not mean that all the feelings of sadness or loss automatically disappear. Instead, spend time focusing on the future and exercise the strength to put a time limit on the self-pitying mindset that may still pop up from time to time. It is the perfect time to pursue those unfulfilled dreams of yours that got lost in the translation of your marriage.

In reality, life is not written as the fairy tales are and we do not always end up having that happily ever after. While incredibly painful, divorce can also serve as a catalyst for growth and self-evolution. This does not happen overnight; there is no time limit. However, with these tips, you can slowly begin the process. After all, why shouldn’t you find happiness again?

Author of this article, Lucy Wyndham, is a freelance writer and former Financial Advisor. After a decade in industry, she took a step backward to spend more time with her family and to follow her love of writing.

 

Having a More Positive Attitude in Divorce

During and after divorce it is easy to slip into negativity. Lives are changing with a dip in finances and time spent with the children. Dwelling in what is not working out can blind you to what is going right in your life. People that do not move on after divorce, can build a wall around themselves which keeps others away.

How a Positive Attitude in Divorce is Beneficial

Various studies have indicated that people who were more positive about what lies ahead were less likely to have ailments. Web MD found that “People who have a positive attitude during stressful events are 22% less likely to have a fatal or non-fatal heart attack than those who hold negative attitudes.” The Mayo Clinic discussed the health benefits of optimism – seeing some positives including in stress-full situations. Some of these are “greater resistance to the common cold”, less cardiovascular issues and decreased risk of depression. The Dalia Lama states “Unhealthy attitudes disturb the body. The body/mind relationship affords ample proof that human health depends on positive feelings.”

Surround  Yourself with Positive People

Choose to be surrounded by positive people. One attracts friends who are like them. Being negative is like a magnet which draws others with negative attitudes to you. These pessimists may forecast gloomy outcomes for your divorce or hold you back by focusing on obstacles to success. I had a divorced friend who was concentrating on what was not working out in my divorce. I would change the subject and she did not get the hint. My son finally told her bluntly to stop talking about divorce. She eventually drifted away when I refused to discuss the negatives. I surrounded myself with upbeat people who are still my cheerleaders today. One’s outlook is how they see the world -as a scary, dark place, or where many good things happen. One projects their positive or negative outlook onto others, as if they were a screen.

People sometimes seek out the negatives as a way to validate their political, career or other life choices. I heard a speech recently whose message was since her candidate did not win the election, that the apocalypse is coming. She refuses to try and see anything positive and attempts to dissuade others from doing so. When I was in London during the Brexit voting, it was a similar situation. The other side was totally wrong for many people.   In divorce, this type of attitude hinders negotiation and being flexible in working out custody arrangements.

Live in the Present, Not in the Past

A way to be more positive is by not living in the past. Put energy into focusing on the present and near future. You cannot change the past, but can learn from it. Be in the moment as in mindfulness. Tend to what is needing your immediate attention: splitting assets, dividing personal property or just taking the dog for a walk. Distraction helps to gets one’s mind off the negativity of the divorce situation and on to something fun.  Please read more   http://www.divorcemag.com/blog/looking-for-positives-tips-for-avoiding-negativity-throughout-divorce