Changes are coming to all areas of your life, and the bedroom is a great place to get started!
The boxes of household goods have been packed and moved. A couple is now two singles. Now life after separation and on the way to divorce begins. Whether you’re the one who moved out or it was your ex, this is the time to make sense of the pieces and start moving forward with the first day of the rest of your life.
My recommendation? Start with the bedroom!
If you’re going to have to rearrange and deal with newness anyways, I think this is a great place to start for a few reasons:
The bedroom was the setting for our most private and intimate moments as a couple. The vulnerability and closeness of sleep. Sex. Long talks into the wee hours of the night.
The bedroom is symbolic of our status as a couple. When we share a bedroom we are part of a committed relationship, and that place becomes our shared sacred sanctuary.
Often, a couple’s bedroom reflects a blend of their styles and personalities. Even if just one partner decorates the room, it contains clothing and belongings of both people; but, more often it may contain furnishings and other items either selected together or a combination of things that each brought into the relationship.
While the rest of the house may have also been a blending of personalities and possessions, the bedroom is somehow more couple territory than anything else, and it may feel the most awkward now of any other changes that have happened in the home.
If you moved out, at least the space for your bedroom has changed; but, most likely you still brought many of the same furniture, bedding, and decorations that will feel like the old room.
If you’re staying in the same home, your ex may have unloaded many items from the room, but it’s still the same four walls and “that place” where so much history was written.
This calls for a change!
When I moved out, I couldn’t stand to cover up in the same blankets he and I slept in and setting up the same bed and dresser in a different bedroom still made it feel like the same room. I needed to make changes. It had to be mine. I needed my bedroom to be my safe place and my fresh start.
Of all areas on the home front, my first priority for change was my bedroom!
I couldn’t afford to go out and buy all new furniture, and what I had was actually pretty nice; but, it needed a makeover so that it was a me thing and not an us thing. I decided to paint all my furniture a chic black and change the knobs on the drawers. It ended up being an inexpensive revamp, and in no way reminded me of the set in my former shared space.
Next, I ditched all my bedding. In my marital bedroom, I tried to strike a balance between male and female so that we would both be comfortable in there and it was something that appealed to both of us. I no longer had to worry about his taste or making him feel comfortable’ so, I took this as an opportunity to express myself and do something I would love, but he would have never gone for!
I painted all the walls a pretty Tiffany blue and bought new bedding and curtains. A few simple changes and the room no longer pulled me back down memory lane, and it was all mine!
So, if you find yourself staring into the bedroom that used to be yours or a new one that will soon become yours, here are some ways you can sweep away some of the unwelcome shadows of marriage memories so that it can be redefined as your space:
Who’s to say you can’t rearrange the furniture? Perhaps just facing a different direction when you get up in the morning will help you greet the day with a new perspective. I recently rearranged my room, and I was amazed by how just rotating the bed made the space feel so much bigger! The change cost me nothing but caused an automatic transformation!
Change up the color. A can of paint can create magic! The whole room can be altered with a new shade to freshen up walls, furniture, and other accents, and the end result is a fresh new spot just for you!
Make it yours! Have you always wanted to decorate with a favorite color or pattern that you knew your ex would never go for? Who cares what they think now because the only opinion that matters now is yours! I decided to go ultra-feminine in my room because I wanted it to be a space that made me feel comfortable and happy.
De-clutter the relationship memorabilia. Bedrooms often contain personal artifacts such as wedding photos, gifts, and other keepsakes. You may decide to keep them, but perhaps it’s time to no longer prominently display them. Instead, surround yourself with objects that inspire smiles and associations to pleasant memories.
Surround yourself with sensory delights. A bedroom should be a place to relax, recharge, and be comforted at the end of a long day. Divorce is a stressful experience, so your bedroom should be a haven. Design your room with quality sleep and serenity in mind, including the smells, sounds, and other sensory experiences of the room. Choose soft and snuggly bedding, consider the lighting, and set a backdrop to unwind.
A bedroom and everything that happens within is a very personal thing. During and after divorce, it’s important to have a safe and comfortable place to retreat to for rest and relaxation. Updating the bedroom is a great way to make our surroundings reflect our personality and changes to the environment can help us mentally prepare for other changes ahead. Removing objects that we associate with our marriage can assist us to look forward instead of clinging to the past and encourage us to tap into our individual preferences so that we’re freer to express ourselves!
What changes will you make to your bedroom so that it feels like your own haven?