There’s always a feeling of relief, however small, when a divorce is finalized. In many cases, you look at the future with a more positive attitude and see possibilities. Mixed with this is an emotion that’s more negative. You may not always feel as if you’ve done the “wrong” thing, but you may occasionally feel a slight twinge of remorse or guilt.
The key to moving forward is not to take either of these feelings to an extreme. Don’t let your feeling of “release” cause you to make decisions guided by enthusiasm, not by careful thought. In the same way, you don’t want to be weighed down by negative emotions. The months immediately after a divorce can be a time of “happy medium” but you will need to be aware when those extreme emotions start to take over.
When You’re a Parent
Divorce is difficult for the children. There’s little doubt about that. But it’s essential to be aware of how it affects you. When you’re working through the emotions mentioned earlier, don’t lose sight of where you stand. Naturally, you must be available for your kids. Be prepared to listen and do your best not to judge them or tell them their emotions are “wrong.” If they feel a certain way, they are not mistaken or wrong. You must talk to them and listen to them when they express their true feelings.
You’ll find that when you talk to friends and neighbors about divorce, many of them will immediately ask about the children. Even if the kids are grown and on their own, they may still be hurt, confused, and anxious. If there is one emotion most difficult to deal with, it’s the feelings you have toward the children. This is an important part of your life after divorce, but it’s not the only part.
You cannot hide away or become involved in activities that are only for you, so you don’t have to deal with your feelings. You must try to find a balance in the time you devote to your “old” life and your “new” life. You can get a good start by staying away from people who are not supportive. If someone begins telling you how difficult things will be, and that you’ve made a major mistake that won’t be recovered from, your best option is to avoid them.
You have enough to deal with, without carrying their burden as well.
One of the most important lessons you will learn after a divorce is that the world will continue to turn and your life will go on. This will be a great time to remember an important bit of advice: Don’t worry so much about what people think of you. They don’t think of you as often as you believe they do.
Everyone has a lot going on in their lives, so they won’t spend as much time worrying about you and your divorce as you might think. In fact, many of them will stop thinking about it altogether in a rather short time. One other lesson you can learn (it will take time): Focus on you. Of course, you can reach out, sincerely, to your children and to your close friends. But there’s very little to be gained from stirring up emotions or starting a conversation because you think others need to hear what you have to say.