People going through divorce often focus on the endings it represents – the ending of a relationship, a dream, a way of life. To thrive after divorce requires you to look at divorce as a beginning – the beginning of a new life, of new possibilities for loving relationship, of a sense of self-empowerment and awareness you may have never have experienced before. I’m often asked by my clients and the media what my most important tips are for thriving after divorce. Here are 5 of my Top 10 Tips to help separated and divorced individuals thrive after divorce.
1. Make a Choice: Survive or Thrive
Getting a divorce ranks right up there among the most painful life experiences. Does getting separated or divorced mean you’re doomed to fail in relationship? Not at all! It’s up to you. You can choose to simply survive and get through your divorce if you want to. Or you can choose to set the bar higher and choose to thrive instead. There is wisdom available to us from our divorce process, if we’re willing to use the experience instead of remaining a victim of it.
2. Get the Facts
It’s your responsibility to learn not only what your legal rights and obligations are, but also what your legal options are. Duking it out in court is not the only solution. There are alternatives such as collaborative law, divorce mediation or arbitration. The courts tend to view you as a file, not a family. Regardless of the legal route you choose, realize that you must be the quarterback and call the shots. If you give a busy judge with a huge caseload the responsibility for major decisions that will affect you and your family, chances are high that nobody will be happy with the final results.
3. Get Real
Divorce can be an overwhelming and confusing time. It’s important you get real with yourself about your situation. It’s difficult to move forward when you’re in denial about where you are now. Where are the holes in your support system or the gaps in your knowledge of how to navigate your divorce? If you need support, ask for it.
4. What Your Ex Thinks of You is None of Your Business
Remaining trapped in power struggles or wishing your ex-spouse will acknowledge your point of view will add some major potholes on your road to divorce. Realize that what your ex thinks of you is not your concern. The degree to which you focus on this robs you of your power. What you think of you and your decisions is what matters. Taking total responsibility for your thoughts, words, and actions will put you in the driver’s seat of your life.
5. Keep Your Children out of the Cross-Fire
It seems obvious that we, as adults, should do our best to keep children out of the middle of divorcing parents. Sadly there are far too many cases of children who are caught in the cross-fire. The spectrum ranges from using children as messengers or spies, forcing them to declare their loyalties, or even outright parental alienation or abduction. Divorce is an issue created by adults and children are the innocent bystanders. Imagine a significant milestone in the future, such as your child’s wedding. What kind of memories do you want your child to have of that special day? Start building toward that memory today and keep your children’s best interests in mind.
Author and spiritual divorce coach, Carolyn B. Ellis, founded Thrive After Divorce, Inc. to help separated and divorced individuals improve relationships, increase self-confidence and save time and heartache. She is the award-winning author of the best-selling The 7 Pitfalls of Single Parenting: What to Avoid to Help Your Children Thrive After Divorce. If you want simple life-changing tips for single parenting, visit http://www.thriveafterdivorce.com now to receive a FREE report.
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