How To Heal Your Heartbreak After Divorce

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By Aaron Kaplan, Featured Columnist - February 22, 2015

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Congratulations on surviving your divorce experience! You have have made it through what is one of the most traumatic and challenging experiences that one could go through in their lives. Now that it is over, you might be surveying the landscape and the new life that you are beginning and asking yourself, "Now what?"  

Yes, on one level you might be feeling tremendous excitement about all the incredible possibilities that the future holds for you. But the reality is that you won't be able to truly live "happily ever after" until you have gone through the requisite healing process. Because if you do not take the appropriate time to do the extremely necessary work in healing your heart and soul from the marriage that did not work out, as well as the divorce process, you will end up taking all of that toxic emotional baggage with you going forward as you build your new life.  

Be completely honest with yourself for a moment. Do you really know how to heal your heart from the marriage that has now ended? The reality is that if you have had a deep, meaningful experience with a partner and the relationship falls apart, you may not know how to truly get over your former spouse in a meaningful and healthy way. Not knowing is completely okay, because none of us were ever given an official instruction manual that outlines specifically how to go about healing your heartbreak. There really isn't an official rule book for this, so please take what I am about to share with you as simply being suggestions, and not requirements, as these may, or may not work for everyone.

At first, there is a decent chance that you will feel terribly hurt and alone, despite being surrounded by supportive family and friends. Accept the reality that you are indeed feeling this way, and don't attempt fight, or deny it. You spent a good amount of time and emotional energy on your ex, and that won't heal in a hurry. It is okay to cry. Talk to your friends and family who have gone through similar experiences about how they dealt with their divorce. You might receive some interesting and valuable insight, perspective, and even advice.

One useful thing that you might want to consider doing at this stage is to write a letter to your ex. Pour out everything that is in your heart. Talk about your love, your expectations, and your pain. Many people find that this letter runs pages in length. Take your time composing it.

Then, when you have said everything that needs saying, roll up the letter and burn it.

That's right. What ever you do, do not mail this letter to your ex. The purpose of the letter was for you to emote. But, don't keep the letter lying around either. You want a symbolic ending. Burning gives you a sense of finality that even throwing the letter away wonít give you.

As you get a little bit of perspective on the relationship, the next step in how to get over someone you love is to analyze what went wrong. As unlikely as it seems right now, you will have other relationships. If you learn from the mistakes in this one, the next one has a better chance of success.

Keep your distance from your ex to the extent that you realistically can. If you have kids, then it will not be realistic or possible to cut your former spouse out of your life completely, but you can certainly assert some more stringent, new boundaries. Asserting those new boundaries will go a long way in helping you get over your ex-spouse and move past your divorce. Make a commitment to yourself that you won't call, text, or email each other other unless it specifically pertains to your kids, if that is indeed the case. This will help in asserting new boundaries.

Think of the first year following your divorce as a time to work on areas of your own life that you have neglected. If you have ignored friends because your marriage isolated you in some way, use this period in your life to reconnect. Friends can provide a valuable support network during this time.

Start working on your own emotional and physical health during this time. Take time to go to the gym and consider working with a personal coach, and/or getting therapy to help your psyche heal.

You should also look into ways to improve yourself. Join a hiking club. Take a class at the local community center. Take tango lessons. As you work on becoming a better person, the hurt of the relationship and the divorce will begin to fade away.

You will meet a whole new circle of people when you get involved in activities you enjoy. Some of these people will become friends. And, one may turn into someone with whom you could pursue an exciting and fulfilling new relationship with!

Whichever path to healing your heart that you ultimately decide to take, remember, that you won't fully experience the joy and fulfillment that comes from experiencing life as a completely liberated and free person until you have completely dealt with all of the past baggage from your marriage and divorce.

How did you move past your divorce?

 

photo credit: A New Day for Atlantic City via photopin (license)

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