Most of us understand that ending a marriage is an emotional event in a person’s life. Almost everyone knows an ex-spouse who remains bitter from a divorce, even if that marriage ended years ago.
A “happy” divorce, though, just may be possible. It all depends on perspective and attitude. Here are a few ideas to keep in mind.
Divorce means the relationship wasn’t working. Does it really matter who left whom? If your spouse doesn’t want to be there, why would you want to be with him or her? And doesn’t it make sense to show kids that an unhappy marriage is never something to suffer through?
Turn to family and friends as you go through the divorce process. Most of them want to support you, even when you are at your lowest moments.
Find activities you enjoy. Simple engagement in something that has meaning for you can help drive away negative feelings.
Avoid the negative, whether that means people or situations. This includes focusing on the present rather than rehashing the past and what might have been.
Twelve-step groups often advise you to “fake it until you make it.” Tell yourself everything will be all right over and over even if you find it hard to do or to believe. Over time, this simple message will become part of your everyday thinking. It could mean the difference between eternal bitterness and feelings of hope about the future.
Divorce is a reasonable exit for a person who wants out of a marriage that is not working. Dealing with your emotions honestly, but with optimism, can help you put the issues you face in your divorce into a long-term perspective that includes a better future for you.
Source: Huffington Post, “Divorce Advice: How To Have A Happy Divorce,” Dr. Lisa Kaplin, July 22, 2013