It’s quite common in the early days of divorce that the ideas of moving on, finding love, and feeling like yourself (or an improved version!) are almost non-existent. It feels like eternity to the reality of your life – the emotional roller coaster, the difficulty communicating with your soon-to-be ex, and trying to make your life work, but in a different way.
Oftentimes what helps people weather the many storms and the ups and downs that come with divorce is feeling both hopeful and optimistic about their future – despite how they feel at the moment. Positive emotions emerge when we begin to experience the glimmer of better and happier days and our divorce is a thing of the past. People hang on to those moments even if they are feeling outnumbered by the more challenging and negative experiences. By doing so, they can begin to believe that, eventually, the tide will turn and the positive days will begin to outnumber the negative.
It is also during the hopeful and promising times that a person starts to have a mind shift from ‘we’ to ‘me.’ One can see this happening when they begin to feel hopeful about their future, envision what they want their new life to look like through fantasies and visualization, and imagine how they might create a better future – a future of their own filled with endless possibilities. The possibility of being able to love again, have a healthy relationship with self and others, a life of solitude, or stronger family and friendships. Whatever it might be that brings you happiness.
And, being hopeful again will start you down a path of renewed belief not just in yourself, but also in your future. It is important that, while you are doing what you need to do to get through your divorce, you also focus on creating solitude, happiness, and hope work together to create a better future.
Ask yourself these questions:
- What would you change about your current situation?
- What would you have done differently in your marriage?
- Did you give up any values or things that were important to you? If so, why?
- Did you find yourself often acquiescing to just get along?
- How did you change in the marriage? Was that a good thing?
- How do you imagine your next relationship to be? How do you want it to be?
- What changes will you want or need to make to get you to a better place?
- What changes did you make while married that you wish you hadn’t?
- How will the next relationship be different for you? How will you be different?
To get from where you are to where you hope to be one day soon often means drawing on your imagination and recognizing that your impending divorce doesn’t have to dictate where you are or define you. We must remember the better things in life that await us around the corner.
Divorce is just the current chapter in your life and soon a new chapter will begin!