How to Survive Divorce – The First Year

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divorce advice from divorce coach
Carole Ann Rice
Life Coach

After the tsunami of stress and paperwork subsides and the air clears the new divorcee can feel like they are clinging to a wreckage of their lives.

It is not unusual to feel a visceral sensation of grief for loss of what was, of shared dreams and even of status.   This has,after all, been one of life’s greatest traumas.

Now you are no longer married then who are you?

This is a natural feeling of sadness and perhaps fear as you face the future, the  unknown, maybe on your own after many years or even for the first time ever. It is important that you show yourself compassion and patience at this time of readjustment.

The changes will feel huge to begin with until a routine and a sense of normality returns.  Which, rest assured, it will.

 It’s not a time for kicking heels and making rash decisions but one of quiet contemplation as you wait for the dust to settle and to work out your options.

Understand that it is entirely alright to feel anxious as you find your way.  Family and friends can be a great support at this time so take up the offers of help they may give.  Alternatively if you feel you would be burdening loved ones seek our divorce support groups which meet regularly where you can hook up with others going through the same thing you are.

Letting go of the past is not a quick and easy process but give yourself time to aim for acceptance of what is and therein lies peace.

It might help to sit down and write out some lovely and compelling goals for the year ahead.  Shopping for new fixtures and fittings for the home, perhaps a make-over with a personal stylist, new hobbies and interests, social dates and holidays.

You would be surprised at how a new haircut and some updated new clothes can lift the spirits and energise one.  Many big chains and department stores now offer free “personal shopper” services which can add inspiration if you are feeling stuck in rut with your looks.

You may feel that your confidence and self esteem has taken a dive and again this is only natural so think of ways of restoring yourself by doing what you love and being with people who make you feel good too.

Journal writing

When confidence is low take stock of what your strengths and values are and write them down.

Keep a “Big Me Up” journal where you write down all your achievements, all you are good at and any compliments or positive comments you receive.  Soon you will see the evidence of your strengths outweighs the doubts of your inner demons.

If you have children it is important they see you are coping and equally OK to tell them you are sad and distressed by the break too.  No matter how bitter you are feeling at the moment try not to vent your feelings in from of them.

Avoid bad-mouthing your ex or encouraging them to take sides.  Wherever possible aim for harmony, which isn’t always easy and will take effort, which will pay dividends in the years to come when family gatherings and landmark occasions can be conducted with dignity and respect.

If you are feeling lonely be cautious of rebound relationships.  It’s only natural to want to start afresh and to seek validation via a new partner.  Sadly this could be disastrous if you haven’t fully let go of your spouse, the relationship and the fall out or any negative emotions (anger, betrayal, jealousy, rage, disappointment, resentment) that still linger could sabotage your chances with a new partner.

All relationships come with some emotional baggage but better to give a new relationship the best chance by taking time out to recover and look after yourself.  Decide instead to see the months ahead as an investment in the self where you take time to restore and re-gather and start to stabilise life again.

It may take time but many people do go on to have new and exciting lives post-divorce.  It can be a time where you learn more about yourself, enjoy a new found liberation and can devote your time to finding out who you are and what you now want from your life.

As one door closes another opens.  Prepare for the new chapter in your life with hope, acceptance and a sense of curiosity and you could find a new level of wisdom and life fulfilment you have never reached before.


An inspiring and motivational business and life coach Carole Ann uses wit and wisdom to teleport her clients into their full potential for over 10 years. 

Carole Ann is  also the co-author of Find Your Dream Job  and her new book Find Your Dream Business.

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