Divorce is hard. Divorce is devastating. However, it is not the end, and it can be the beginning of something amazing. This is an opportunity to start fresh and build a new life for yourself and your family.
It may feel hopeless and sad right now; the pain of losing someone or your family is immeasurable. However, it is possible to rebuild your life and move on after divorce and come out happier and more at peace than ever.
Divorce is not the end, and it is a beginning of a whole new you, a chance at happiness and peace—little steps at a time.
You will get there– it is beautiful, new, and exciting. I promise I am the happiest I have been in a very long time. And you can be too.
Are people happier after divorce? It depends on the steps you take to become whole again and you must make your mind up to do so. I can tell you wholeheartedly, I am happy, at peace, and very content with my life after the divorce. But I had to work hard on my well-being and focus on myself for a bit.
I have been divorced twice. Twice. In three years. I have had to pull myself off the ground and rebuild my life twice. Yes, not fun.
My first divorce seemed easy. We agreed on everything and wrapped it up. we have an amicable co-parent relationship. We had disconnected long before the divorce papers were filed. I moved on quickly and got remarried way too fast.
After my second marriage ended, which was a shock, I had to peel myself off the ground and do anything and everything I needed to feel better. Here is what I did to rebuild my life after the divorce.
After the Divorce-Grieve
If you need to cry, cry, scream or call a good, reliable friend, do it. Cry. After the divorce, grieve your relationship. These days will come and go. Some days you feel like your heart was ripped out of your chest. The next day you feel like conquering the world.
The days you feel good, get things accomplished. I allowed myself days of grief. I would listen to a sad song, cry in the closet, and cry in the car.
When I did not have the kids, I binge-watched reality TV and ate chips and salsa in bed.
If this is what you must do to move on from divorce, do it. But not too long. If you do not get your grieving out, the grief will come out in some other way.
You lost something important to you and your family. Even if it was mutual or your decision, it is hard.
It is freaking hard.
In my second divorce, I struggled a ton. I cried a lot. After a few months, I gave myself a deadline, a specific date when I would not cry over him or the divorce again.
I needed to move forward with rebuilding my life after this devastating divorce. It worked for me. People will tell you to “get over it,” but this is your grief journey.
But please, do not wallow in it. Do not let this consume your health.
To move on after divorce will not be emotionally painless; you must FEEL it.
Then let it go.
How to Move on After a Divorce-Therapy
If you need extra help getting past this phase, or have depression or anxiety after divorce, do not be ashamed to try therapy. I did a good year and a half of treatment. I feel good now, but every once in a while, I need a session or two to stay on a healthy track.
There is a stigma for some reason surrounding therapy and I do not understand. It is such a fantastic way to sort through emotions and what happened and take a good look at your situation. If you are embarrassed about seeking professional help, you really do not have to tell anyone.
There are plenty of affordable options out there for you to get the tools and resources you need to feel healthy and well again.
Additionally, there are many support groups to help you through this process. These are people that have been through and are going through this tough time of moving forward. Sometimes we need people that understand what it is like. Friends and family may mean well, but they may not always understand.
Eat Food That Makes You Feel Good and Drink Lots of Water.
Eat nutritious, comforting food. Drink tons of water and stay hydrated. Make it a daily goal to eat feel-good foods that fuel and lots of water a priority. It sounds cliché, but it’s true.
I am one of those people that lose weight when stressed. Going through my divorce, I had a hard time eating anything or even drinking water. Food and drink had become repulsive. I lost a ton of weight, I looked and felt unhealthy.
I went to get a massage, and the lady gasped at the thinness of my back and ribs. My tailbone started to show.
At that moment, I started to exercise more, drink more protein shakes, and make healthy smoothies packed with antioxidants and nutritional value. I started taking vitamins, and everything started to improve.
I NEEDED to be healthy and happy for my children. I NEEDED to be happy post-divorce.
My hair, my skin, and my self-confidence improved. What you put in your body makes you feel good, not just the outside.
How to Move on After Divorce: Don’t Date
People assume to “move on” after divorce is to date and find someone new. That is the furthest from what you need to do to “move on.”
Men and women after divorce worry about being alone after divorce, but remember, you can be alone but not be lonely. This is a personal choice of yours but proceed with caution. Be whole again before dating after divorce.
I honestly cannot stress this enough. Please, think about and try staying single for a while after your divorce. Find yourself again. If you do not heal from what hurt you, you will bleed on people who did not cut you.
Take this time to reflect, heal and grow as an individual again.
You have been a wife (or husband), a caretaker, a housekeeper, someone’s support system, and a partner. It is time to stand on your own. Find you again. I love them again. It’s a great book I read, and it’s meant to find yourself, not hide from love but rebuild YOU before dating.
I highly recommend Single On Purpose by John Kim or some tough love and life-changing book, Unfu*ck Yourself.
Inspirational Books That Will Motivate The Heck Out of You
Be your best version of yourself, so that when you start dating, you will exude confidence, and you will know exactly what you want, what you don’t want, and what you are willing to tolerate.
I did not date for two years after my divorce. I traveled alone, traveled with my friends, and visited my family. I found new places to explore. It has been AMAZING.
Make Your Own Space
Reinvent the space you have or if you can, move, relocate. This is a step to rebuilding after the divorce that I loved the most.
After my divorce, I lived in the same home we lived in together. Buying new sheets, and a fresh comforter was all I needed to feel a bit better.
I decided I needed a fresh start, and I sold that home. I bought a little red brick house of my own, put everything I love in my home, and I am starting my new life as we speak.
Get your home or space organized and make it feel good to you and your family. Make your space a sanctuary and a place of peace and solitude. Make it all about you.
Keep a Journal
I cannot explain why or how writing things on paper and getting it all out works. It seems dumb, but I will tell you it is therapeutic. It is a way of processing.
At the beginning of your breakup or divorce, you want two journals. One for positive writing and reflection and the other for rage writing, yes, rage writing.
Get a throw-away spiral notebook, and this notebook is used to write everything down or what you want to say to your ex. Write it out instead. You never send or show them this; it is just a way to process, and get those feelings out.
Just remember, it is pointless to send anything hateful to your ex or beg them. This is time for moving on after divorce and not going backward.
After a bit, throw this journal out, burn it, and put it out of sight. Move on from it. Move on from all the negativity.
Find a positive light. Again, I do not know how it works, but I feel so much better after.
Start your morning or end your evening with journaling for better reflection, goals, dreams, and what you want your life to look like.
My older daughters also benefited from journaling, and I encourage them to do so. Journaling helped me center myself. Find what you are grateful for every day instead of dwelling on what you do not have. Get the negative out of your head,
I started journaling just five minutes in the morning while having my cup of coffee. It set my day (and my life) up in a more positive light.
Here are my favorite journals. The Five Minute Journal and the Five Minute Journal for Kids are AWESOME, and I highly recommend them.
Make an investment in these journals. They are guided and get you thinking in a way you may not have before.
The kids and I would make it a little bonding time in bed and write in our journals together. It also creates a very healthy habit for your child’s future.
Find a New Workout or Go Outdoors
I cannot stress this one enough, again. I am not asking you to get an insane break-up body shape.
We are going to exercise for our mental health. For our hearts that have gone through so much.
Exercise and walking outdoors are important to moving on after divorce. As hard as it is, get moving. For me, working out hard at a gym gave me an extra kick of adrenaline only made my emotions worse. I needed to allow my cortisol to level out before really hitting the gym hard. I started with walking, pilates, and yoga at home to calm my mind.
I gave myself time and started walking outdoors. That 20 minutes changed my life. Just walking outside. It was therapy for me.
I eventually started a group class with weightlifting to build muscle and met women that brought me out of my divorce funk for good.
I had support and met some real women that I now call my best friends. My body also started to change, I started to get a little booty, and I felt excellent (wink, wink).
Make New Memories With Your Children
The loss of a traditional family was one of the hardest things to comprehend during my divorce. But, as time went on and my kids and I were making fantastic memories and having so much fun together, I realized I still have this little family. This is what MY family looks like, and I love it.
Our little family may not look traditional, but we are HAPPY.
Remember, it is not all about you. If you had children during your marriage, kids need the best version of you. Think about how hard it is for you, and you can fully comprehend and process the divorce. Kids may be resilient and they will get through this, but they need you too.
Recommended Books for Children on Divorce
Think about how you do not want to get up out of bed because you are too sad and depressed. Imagine being a child trying to cope with these new emotions, new homes, and parents separated for good. It’s rough.
This brings me to my next point.
Do activities that are good for you and them. Together.
Play with playdoh (which is surprisingly therapeutic), color, do a special movie night, go outside and ride bikes together. Buy some rollerblades and try to relive the early 90s. Be lighthearted with your kids, but also allow them to grieve.
I started finding little cabins and cottages not too far from home to go with my kids for a night or two. We bonded, had fun drives, and got our minds off the divorce.
We also did mornings where we made “room service” trays and watched movies Sunday mornings. We made special memories that got us through together.
Avoid Creating Bad Habits
Avoid drinking too much alcohol or any other vices that may numb the pain. I noticed when I got divorced, and I became dependent on melatonin gummies. Small, I know, and very natural. I had to take one or two to sleep and could not wait to sleep at night or take a nap during the day.
Why? Because I was avoiding thinking about my pain. It was just easier to sleep it off to get to the next day. It was not getting me anywhere. I weaned off the gummies, and my skin, my body, and my days became more productive.
Watch bad habits, and they sometimes pop up in strange ways that are not always alcohol or smoking.
Find an Endorphin-Pumping Hobby.
Or just a new hobby, not necessarily adrenaline-induced. Find something that makes you feel accomplished and makes you feel exhilarated.
I got back to riding horses, and I took firearms lessons. It made me feel amazing. Learning to use something so powerful and learning to use a firearm was just what I needed. I would leave my lessons and feel on top of the world. I felt confident and like a badass.
Boundaries After Divorce
This is an important, crucial step toward moving on after divorce, and it’s going to sound harsh but boundaries after divorce are SO important.
You and your ex BOTH need boundaries.
You are an individual now with your very own life. Do not feel bad about rebuilding your life to fit your needs and your children’s.
Cold hard fact: You do not need to answer anyone, and your ex does not need to answer you.
Allow your ex to move on with their life and vice versa. Do not look at their social media, and do not ask mutual friends if they are dating or what they are up to.
It is actually none of your business and will only hurt you in the long run. My favorite feature on social media? The block button, use it.
If you are recovering from narcissistic abuse and trying to move on after divorce from a narcissist, you will need boundaries more than ever. You will not be able to move on without strict boundaries in place. This is when you need knowledge and all the tools possible to heal and stand up for yourself.
It is your life now. Own it. Do not let a thing get in the way of your peace and happiness. It is best to move forward and move on after divorce.
Do not look back at what broke you.
Only look forward to the bright future YOU are creating.
Co-Parenting Books to Read To Create a Peaceful Life
Start Reading or Listening to Audiobooks.
Not all of them are divorce-centered but focused on improving YOU. Audiobooks got me through the worst of times, especially at night. Instead of thinking at night while falling asleep or driving in the car, I focused on listening and building a tool kit of self-improvement habits.
I use Audible. Every month I get a credit, and I make it a goal to listen to one self-development or improvement book every month before my credit is up. I look at it as an investment in my future happiness.
I take little pieces of each audiobook and apply them to my life to create healthier habits and a more positive lifestyle.
Remember, self-improvement needs to be a large part of moving on from divorce.
Book a Trip
If it is possible for you to make a trip happen, make it happen. The way on moved on from my divorce was to have something planned. It was important to have something to look forward to and to keep busy preparing for that trip.
Even if it were a weekend staycation or a quick weekend trip to New York City. I did all of it on a budget.
Moving On After Divorce.
Just remember, it is so hard now. Little things add up in a big way, even if you do not feel like it is right away. Invest in yourself and make the best version of yourself!
Small steps in the right direction will build you a beautiful life full of opportunities you never thought imaginable. You got this. Please feel free to reach out with any questions!
- How to be Happy Single–And Be the Happiest You Have Ever Been
- Happiness Quotes to Make You Smile
- Inspirational Books That Will Motivate Your Life
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