Roughly half of marriages in the U.S. end in divorce. The statistics are much the same for South Africa, with four out of ten marriages ending in divorce before their tenth anniversary. Most people understand the risks that marriage brings, but no one gets married with the expectation of dealing with divorce. Divorce ranks as one of the most stressful situations anyone can go through. Dealing with a divorce is no small matter. It requires patience and stamina. There are no shortcuts.
That doesn’t mean that the process of getting over a divorce requires a decade. How long it takes is largely up to you. There is a path out of your current pain. Time is an important part of that path.
These tips will help you move on after your divorce:
- Give yourself time before dating again. How much time you require is an individual decision. But there’s no rush. When you begin dating before you’re ready, not only are you potentially creating additional challenges for yourself, but consider your dates, too! They might be getting more than they bargained for. Take the time you need to heal.
- Take the opportunity to make over your life. Now might be the perfect time to join a gym, start a new hobby, or travel. When you’re married, you have to accommodate the needs and wishes of another person. You can give yourself more consideration for a change.
- What would you like to change about yourself and your life?
- Learn from your divorce. What went wrong? What did you learn? What were the good and bad qualities of your partner? What type of person would do you believe would be the best match for you? What mistakes did you make along the way?
- A divorce is painful, but a great learning opportunity. You can have much more confidence in your next relationship if you use what you learn.
- Forgive. You can’t truly move on until you’ve forgiven your ex-spouse. This may take time. But you’re never really free until you’re able to forgive.
- Get the support you need. This might take the form of a friend or family member. There are also support groups for the newly divorced. Avoid the mistake of attempting to navigate your healing process alone.
- Maintain your daily routines. This means to continue to bathe, brush your teeth, and so on each day. Continue to eat healthy meals. Go to bed at your normal time. Keep your normal social outings. It’s easy to fall into a slump and to allow the quality of your life to deteriorate. Some things will change, but many things can stay the same.
- Avoid making your situation worse. This isn’t the time to overeat, drink excessively, or start using drugs. A rebound relationship also isn’t advised. Get your feet back on the ground and avoid doing anything that can make your challenging circumstances ever harder.
- Get out of the house. Not only can you keep your previous social schedule, you can consider adding to it. Join a yoga class or a golf league. Create something new that you can enjoy with others. You won’t find any solutions while you’re sitting on the couch, staring out the window.
- Share your feelings with a divorced friend. It’s important to talk to someone who has had the same experience. Confide in someone that has successfully moved on from divorce.
Divorce is stressful and unsettling. There are almost 900,000 divorces each year in the United States. 25 326 divorces were granted in South Africa in 2016. This is according to a recently released report by Statistics South Africa on marriages and divorces.
You’re certainly not alone. Give yourself time to grieve and heal. In time, your life can be even better than it was before. Use this opportunity to reinvent yourself and your life.
This post is for informational purposes only. It should not be considered therapy. This blog is only for informational and educational purposes and should not be considered therapy or any form of treatment. We are not able to respond to specific questions or comments about personal situations, appropriate diagnosis or treatment, or otherwise provide any clinical opinions. If you think you need immediate assistance, call your local doctor/psychologist or psychiatrist or the SADAG Mental Health Line on 011 234 4837. If necessary, please phone the Suicide Crisis Line on 0800 567 567 or sms 31393.