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How to Accept that Your Marriage Is Over
Whether you and your spouse have known that your marriage is over for a while or you are served with divorce papers out of the blue, what follows is sure to be a stressful rollercoaster ride of emotions. Grief is common, even when you and your spouse agree and acknowledge that it is best if you separate.
While feeling sadness over a marriage that has ended is nothing to be ashamed of or concerned about, remaining stuck in a state of grief can impact your quality of life and ability to move forward.
Moving Forward After a Divorce
Moving on with life following the end of your marriage is not easy, and everyone who experiences divorce moves on at different rates. However, if you feel stuck in your feelings or as if you cannot move on from the divorce, the following tips may help:
Give Yourself Time and Space to Heal
First, ensure you have given yourself enough time to process what has happened and experience your emotions. There is no “right” or “wrong” amount of time within which you must move forward. Do not get down on yourself or feel bad because others say you should just “get over it.”
Set Small Goals for Yourself
Popular culture suggests divorce is the chance to reinvent yourself and embark on a new direction in life. Moving forward may involve setting small goals and achieving them. Achieving even something small, like making the bed, can be the stepping stones you need to pursue grander goals.
Interact with Friends or Family Who Are Focused on Your Future
A good friend can be challenging to find. However, if you can associate with friends or family members who will support you during this time, you should. Going out to eat or catching a movie with friends can lift your spirits and remind you that while a chapter in your life may pass, your life is far from over.
When you speak with your friends, discussing your feelings about your marriage and your divorce is okay. But try to intersperse such discussions with talks about future plans, goals, and hopes. Remember to be a good friend yourself by supporting your friends and family members while they are supporting you.
Forgive Yourself and Your Ex, if You Can
In some divorce cases, the marriage’s end is not due exclusively to one spouse’s actions or the other, cases of abuse and infidelity notwithstanding. Remind yourself that you are human and that your divorce does not mean you are a bad person. If you did make a mistake, forgive yourself for it and decide to learn from what happened.
Forgiveness for your ex’s mistakes may not be possible in cases of abuse, infidelity, or deceitful behavior. You need not forget what has happened to you or the lessons you learned from your experiences.
However, try to remember as much as possible that your marriage’s good and bad experiences will only make you a stronger, more resilient person in the future.
Know When to Seek Professional Help
If you notice that your attitude and outlook are not improving, or if grief, anger, or depression are consuming your thoughts and interfering with your daily activities and obligations, it may be time to speak to a professional.
A qualified counselor or therapist can help you process your feelings and thoughts in healthy, constructive ways and guide you as you develop positive actions geared toward your future.