Moving On From Divorce
by Melissa Provence
Rarely is anyone ever prepared for divorce and the emotions that go with it. I would compare it to l trying to stay afloat in a sea of anger, heartbreak, and loneliness. Your life raft has a hole in it and the sharks are beginning to circle. Emotions come in waves and some hit harder than others.
I was in disbelief when my husband told me that he did not want to be married anymore. I had absolutely no idea we were not in a happy, committed marriage. While my husband was earning his masters and building his career, I was taking care of kids and doing everything I could to build a happy home life. I had not worked in 12 years and while I did talk about getting a part time job now that the kids were older, I knew I would not be pulling in a salary anywhere near what he earned. We were supposed to grow old together, retire to someplace tropical, and travel the world in between visits with grandkids. Every hope and dream for our life and our family was erased with the four words… “I want a divorce.”
After the divorce, I became a woman who was sad, lonely, and financially strapped. I was so overwhelmed with fear I did not even know where to begin trying to salvage what was left of my life. It took 2 years after my divorce to get a handle on my financial life. The waters calmed. I was not drowning in emotion. Things got better and life had meaning again. Here are three things I did to move forward after the heartbreak.
Mourn the loss.
The falling apart of a marriage will surely take its toll. You need to mourn the death of your relationship and the passing of the life you had hoped for. It is ok to be angry, confused, and disappointed. Maybe you were in a toxic relationship and now you feel relieved or grateful that it has come to an end. There are no right or wrong feelings in this situation. The best way to cope is to allow yourself time to process how you feel and not distract yourself from grieving.
Remember that there is a difference between taking time to mourn and wallowing in self-pity. Take the time to sit in those feelings so that you can get past them; then stand up and dust yourself off. There is a life yet to be lived. It is simply different than you imagined.
Talk to a professional
You are going to get a lot of advice from friends and family during this time. They love you and they want to help but in doing so, they often give misguided advice that you will regret later. Leave the heavy stuff to the professionals.
Therapy can help you manage all the emotions that come along with divorce. You may gain peace of mind and clarity by simply talking to a licensed professional about what you have been through and how it has changed your life. Having an unbiased person to bounce thoughts and emotions off of is invaluable. A counselor can teach you ways of coping or redirecting negative thoughts in a productive manor that will help you during this transition. You can find a therapist or divorce coach near you on our website or on Psychology Today.
Not having a grasp on my finances was one of the most worrisome aspects of my divorce. My kids were depending on me to lead our family. Learning about cash flow, retirement planning, and how to invest became a real self-esteem booster. I learned I could make it on my own with the assistance of a financial advisor.
Time and again we see clients that have been left out of the financial planning aspect of their marriage. Their husbands have the 401K’s and IRA’s because they have been on a career path and the wives have been home makers. Clients come into our office embarrassed about their lack of knowledge when it comes to finances and retirement planning. Women often do not understand what assets they own or how to move awarded assets into their possession, after the decree is signed. This predicament was one of the driving forces that lead us to create Divorce Recovery for Women. Our mission is to empower women with the knowledge and resources to be financially independent. We offer a free monthly webinar called “Finding Financial Peace of Mind After Divorce.”
Financial independence is one of the most important factors that can lead to a better life after the divorce. Schedule a complimentary consultation to find out how we can help you today. You can do this!!