The Divorce Decree is signed and it is official, you are divorced. Now what? At Wevorce, we end our mediations with a Divorce Ritual. We honor the end of a marriage and welcome the opportunity to begin again. It is our goal to help you both take your very first steps into the next stage of life as single individuals with hope and vision.
Yet, you may feel less than confident in those first, shaky steps. Even if it was a mutual decision, or your own, you may feel disoriented, even sad. You may be bitter, angry, or fearful if divorce was not what you wanted. Maybe you cling to hope that you will get back together, or you are feeling mixed emotions. Whatever you feel, you are likely experiencing one of the stages of grief and that is normal. Allow yourself time to grieve your loss, but don’t get stuck in this cycle.
It may not feel like it, but there is life after divorce and, at some point, you must pick up the pieces of your life and move on. First, do not dwell on the end of your marriage, but, instead, think of it as a new beginning. It is the opportunity to do things differently, the chance to make your new single life what you want and how you want it. That can actually be invigorating, a challenge to achieve new goals and dreams.
It’s important not to live your life thinking on what was, but focus on what is. Keep the catastrophic language out of your head. It’s not the end of the world. Honest. Regret is a waste of time: We can do nothing about what is done, but we can do something about what comes next. Just do it … one step at a time, and move forward.
Some aspects will remain the same; if you have kids you are still a parent, with all the responsibilities that come with that title. But you can create a new, positive model for your family, one that includes the two-family script, with your spouse as an ally, co-parents working toward a common goal of happiness and security. Be a good example for your children.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. A strong network can make all the difference in the world in how long it takes to heal. Whether it’s family, close friends, or a professional, you may need guidance or emotional support along the way.
Self-rejection can be a deadly aftereffect of divorce; you feel the weight of having failed at your marriage. But, as with all things in life, you must learn from failure and move on. Liking who you are is a giant step in the right direction. Having faith in yourself will help you to build a life you love. Step out of the old life with confidence, knowing you have the capability to build your dream.
The answer to “Now what?” is in your hands.