Moving On After the Divorce

2020 is not only a new year but the beginning of a new decade. What do people do when one year ends and another begins? For many it is a time to reflect on where they’ve been, take stock of where they are and make resolutions that bring them closer to where they want to be.

In a similar fashion, divorce is a transition, albeit usually an unwelcome one. Like turning the calendar to a new year, so the same process of reflection can be applied. Looking back on what you have been through and what you’ve learned can help you find strength to explore what you really want from life and who you really want to be.

One of the hardest parts of divorce is the damage it does to one’s self esteem. We feel vulnerable. Our dreams have been upended. The picture we had of the next ten years has been trashed and we are uncertain what this future will really offer us. We may wonder where we fit in this world we find ourselves in.

All these feelings are normal. While in the middle of it, going through it can feel like being stuck in an emotional fog. Keep in mind that this period of transition never lasts forever. It may not feel like it now, but the sun will come out tomorrow.

As you reflect and take stock of your life, pay attention to your self-talk. Is the voice in your head telling you truth or lies?  What we tell ourselves can leave us feeling either comforted or anxious, disappointed and guilty. For some reason we all too easily think the worst. Remember, 99% of what we worry about never happens.

Here’s another challenge many divorced people face. A failed marriage is a form of public humiliation that undercuts one’s self-worth.

The truth is that you yourself are not defined by your marital status, nor by having experienced this life setback. You are someone important and valuable who will once more gain your equilibrium. Through family, faith or friends you will find your footing and discover inner strengths you didn’t even know you had.

Ten years from now you will look back and this painful time will be a blip in the rear-view mirror. Yes, there will be a scar, but healing will come. 

Jessica Sterle