Divorce. Something no one who gets married wants. It seems impossible maintaining a positive attitude during divorce. However, it can be done. The positive attitude doesn’t just kick in, it is something that we have to make a conscious effort to develop. For me, the first step to maintaining a positive attitude during divorce, was to first allow myself to feel whatever it is I needed to feel. That meant that if I felt the need to cry, I allowed myself to cry. I didn’t try and hold back the tears in an effort to convince myself that I was strong. There is so much strength in letting the river of tears flow down your face. I then had to tell myself not to give in to my sadness. Sometimes that simply meant getting up out of bed to shower, and change the clothes I had on for days. Maintaining a positive attitude during divorce for me also meant allowing others to help me. That meant not isolating myself from family and friends who loved me. I had to make a conscious effort to answer my phone, knowing that on the other end was probably someone wanting to offer comfort (at times I didn’t want to hear words of consolation because I felt it set me back sometimes). I had to allow others to talk me up, to hug me, and offer their wisdom so I could pull strength from their surviving the same, or similar betrayal. I also had to be honest when loved ones asked me what was wrong. That was a hard one. I was so embarrassed, and full of shame, as if I was the one at fault for my spouse committing adultery. I still loved my husband with all my heart, and wanted him to come back to me at that time, so telling loved ones what he was doing to me was not something I wanted to do. There is nothing worse than forgiving your spouse, but then everyone else continues to hate them for what they did. That puts undue stress on a couple that is trying to work through it, and put it behind them. However, if we can openly share what we’re going through, it allows us to actually hear what we’re saying. We are getting the words out of our head, and out in the open. That allows us to begin to reason on things, and when we can reason, we find strength in those moments when we have a revelation like “why am I embarrassed for something HE/SHE is doing wrong?” Those moments are very important in maintaining a positive attitude during divorce.
Maintaining a Positive Attitude During Divorce
It may seem impossible when the wounds of adultery are fresh, but as weak as I felt, no, as weak as I was, I knew that maintaining a positive attitude during divorce was crucial to my healing. I still have some scars, but I make a conscious effort every day to not allow my mind to linger on the pain put on me back then. It’s ok to reminisce, it’s ok to even miss that person, just don’t allow fantasies to get in the way of your new reality. I have been single (in every sense of the word) for 8-years now, and while I still have some negative feelings about what was done to me, I know that staying in a healthy mental state depends on what I allow myself to meditate upon.
I have put together some steps any of you can take in an effort to lift those gray clouds of sadness, and while this list is not all-inclusive, these are some great steps to take in maintaining a positive attitude during divorce:
- Get up out of the bed
- Take care of your personal needs (i.e., eat, exercise, read, bathe, etc.)
- Go to work (or just go outside)
- Spend time with family and/or friends
- Open your blinds/curtain, and let in the sunshine
- Don’t be afraid to lean on others for strength
- Get strength and joy from your children (if applicable)
- Seek professional help if you believe you’re falling into a depression
- Look at yourself in the mirror, and smile
- Allow yourself to feel whatever you need to feel to get through each moment
- Remember who you were BEFORE you married
- If it is your spouse who is at fault, remind yourself of that, and reject self-shaming
- Think of who you want to be AFTER the divorce, and work towards that
I hope this helps you to believe that you can, and will, get through this. Divorce is not something any of us wanted when we decided to get married. Unfortunately we cannot control the actions of our spouse, and if they do something that warrants that divorce, just remember that you are not just one thing, you are not JUST a wife/husband, you are a living soul who deserves to be happy. I hope you will use one, or all of the things I laid out in honest effort to maintaining a positive attitude during divorce.
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