Can one of the most traumatic experiences in your life make you stronger? You bet it can! Maybe not initially, but, it is impossible to go through a divorce and not be a changed person. The key is growth IS up to you. Will you cave in and let your life completely fall apart? Or will you take charge and become the best person you can be and create a life you only previously dreamed about.
The shocking moment I learned of my husband’s infidelity left me devastated. After 21 years of marriage, everything was falling apart. I did go through a dark period and had trouble getting out of bed in the morning. But, one day I thought this is not how I want the rest of my life to be. It took time, but, today I am a better, stronger person and wake up feeling happy and grateful for the life I created. And you can do the same!
7 Important Things Divorce Teaches Those Willing to Learn
1. You will learn to live in the present moment. With divorce, nothing remains the same. The life you hoped for is gone. Your home may be gone and your financial situation will change. There will be difficult times, but, they will pass. By staying in the present moment you can avoid all the “What ifs?” about your future and just deal with your life day by day. When the stress would be overwhelming, I would stop and take a few deep breaths. This simple tool worked wonders for me and helped me to stay centered and present.
2. You will learn to say “no” with assertiveness. The divorce is the start of YOUR time, your priorities, and your new life. Be protective of your time and nurture yourself through the transition and afterward. It is OK to relate to others in a different way and it is OK to say no without guilt attached to it. Take up that hobby you never had time for. Treat yourself with kindness and love. Before my divorce, my priorities took a back seat. I put everyone else first, gradually that changed and I can now say “no.”
3. You will learn that alcohol or drugs do not numb the pain. They may help ease the pain temporarily, but, one day you will allow yourself to feel the hurt and betrayal. This is the beginning of healing, forgiving, and moving on. You are alive and can create a positive outcome.
4. You will learn to face your fears. You are now alone or if you have children the full responsibility may fall completely on you. There can be many fears you will have to face: fear of being alone, fear of supporting yourself financially, or fear of dating again. Fears do not go away, we need to walk up to them, embrace them and then, they will fall away. Consider fears to be your friends, they are helping you to grow stronger. I have been divorced for eight years and have faced many fears. However, when loud sounds wake me up in the middle of the night, it stills scares me! I had an animal get in my attic last week and it kept me up all night. Getting an animal out of my attic maybe a fear I never face!
5. You will learn that change can bring gifts. It is a gift of a new life. Live your dream. Develop your passions. Wear clothes that you spouse did not approve of. Get out, get moving and try new things.
6. You will learn that you will survive. With this survival comes a new you that can handle just about anything. Imagine all the doors and possibilities that will open up for you. Dream big, you deserve it.
7. You will learn that forgiveness is vital. By setting others free, you are setting yourself free. Free to allow happiness and love back into your life. Forgiveness does not mean you condone their behavior, it cuts the ties. Do not be a prisoner to your past. Let them lose and let them go.
This article originally appeared on Divorced Moms
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