There is a popular misconception that moving out during a divorce must mean that the process of moving on has commenced, this is not always the case.
The moving out by either party simply means a physical removal of belongings and a separation of what once belonged to you both. Moving on emotionally and by this I mean, healing from the separation and divorce, is another matter altogether. The emotional wound can take months, years and with some individuals, a life time to move on from.
In my experience, the feelings that are manifested when in the process of divorce are similar to those of bereavement and these can take the form of numbness, shock, disbelief, anger, guilt and resentment. Through the process of grief and loss and within the spiral of grief, the painful feelings are experienced repeatedly over time but with a different intensity.
There are ways to begin the process of healing once the dust has settled, the maintenance has been agreed, custody has been shared and all finances have been sorted. The process of divorce can be soul destroying and therefore it is about rebuilding your soul and letting the ego fall by the wayside.
The following 10 tips will help you “move on” after you’ve moved out:
- Take responsibility for your part: A relationship takes two people to function and its important to take responsibility for your part, however passive it was and begin to work towards forgiveness, starting with forgiving yourself.
- Honor the feelings that emerge: However uncomfortable they are, don’t be in a rush to run away from the feelings that emerge, it is simply your body informing you that there are aspects of your relationship that you are still grieving, notice this and allow for it to be. Don’t deny or resist – remember what you resist persists.
- Ignore well meaning friends and family who state that you should be over it by now: Take as long as you need to adjust and fully process what has happened. Remember that you are in transition so allow for this time to figure things out.
- Take time out: Take time for yourself if possible, even if it means enlisting friends to look after your children. It is important to create a bubble of space to have time to heal, get quiet and reflect on where you are.
- Enlist a good Therapist or Coach: This allows you to express your feelings together with a professional who will listen and acknowledge these which can be very powerful. It is also great for highlighting any core beliefs you might have which are getting in the way of the healing process.
- Do volunteer work or reach out to others in need: Helping out at a charity, handing out soup and free clothing so that parents and children can be fed and kept warm in the winter. reaching out and connecting to others who have undergone traumatic situations with their children can put absolutely everything into perspective.
- Have at least one good friend who can motivate you: A good support system is crucial as you begin the transition. A friend who can give you honest feedback and who will motivate you. There is no need for a huge amount of friends, just the right friend who will keep away from negative comments such as “I don’t know how you’re going to manage.” The comments you need are along the lines of “You can do this, you’re a strong woman.” I cannot emphasize how important this is in beginning to empower yourself. We all know friends who drag us down when we spend a few moments with them, avoid these friends at all costs during this time.
- Connect to your body: This could mean enlisting in Yoga which can calm your mind to shut out all the mindless, unhelpful thinking that rotates inside. If you’re harboring anger, acknowledge this and book a Zumba, Kick Boxing or Step Aerobics exercise class which gets your body moving and releases endorphins which feel great.
- Don’t make big decisions during this time: This is an important point, as separation and divorce can bring up an intense amount of anxiety, which will invite you to hook on to the next tangible item which makes you feel secure as you exit your marriage. The decisions you make straight after the divorce has been finalized are not the ones you will made 6 months or a year after, so let the dust settle and get your bearings. Once things have settled, you will be in a much better position to make decision from a calm and more informed place.
- Moving on is a Choice: It really is, you can choose to be a victim of circumstances or choose to move on in a healthy way. I have met the most inspirational women who have had incredibly traumatic and difficult divorces with very problematic ex’s, who have made a choice to create a life beyond this. Their divorce did not define them, it bettered them and through this they were able to create a life they could only have dreamed of despite the difficulties or obstacles they encountered. We are all capable of this, it is just a matter of making a choice to see and experience life differently.