A huge 89% of those going through or about to embark on divorce proceedings are worried about their general direction in life according to new research.
Dubbed the 'Divoid' by QualitySolicitors who ran the survey, two thirds of parents have concerns about the impact of their divorce on their children’s future emotional wellbeing, while nearly half are worried about their post divorce living arrangements.
For those who have mutual friends, a third (32%) are worried about how to make new single friends while over a quarter (29%) worried about being isolated from their married friends.
Over a quarter (26%) worried about how to start dating again, but we imagine this figure might be higher.
Here are some top tips from the company:
1. Consider a collaborative divorce:
This is a far more positive way to work through a divorce than the traditional route of solicitors hashing out an agreement over the phone. Collaborative divorce means you and your partner sit down in a room with your solicitors and work together to come to an agreement that works for everyone. Starting off on a positive foot will mean it’ll be easier to maintain a good relationship post-divorce and avoid bitterness.
2. Do something your partner would never have done
Did you always want to do a cookery course or travel to a particular country but were held back because your partner didn’t want to? Well, now’s the time to try! Trying new things can help you re-discover yourself, learn what you like as an individual, as opposed to what you liked as part of a couple.
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3. Don’t beat yourself up for feeling blue
Life’s not like the movies. You don’t go from being down in the dumps to singing from the rooftops Gloria Gaynor style overnight! Whichever way you look at it, divorce is a loss and you’re bound to feel a sense of sadness and grief as a result. It’s a very British response to deny feelings but it is far healthier to provide an outlet for them as a valuable part of the healing process.
4. Move away from negative language
Comments like “My life is over” and “I’ll never get over this” aren’t true: life moves on and so will you, even if it doesn’t feel like it right now. Stop focusing on these sentiments and free up your energies for more positive thoughts, like “Life is difficult right now but it’ll get better” or “I’m going to get through this”.
5. Re-skill by enrolling yourself on a course
There’s never been a better time to reassess other areas of your life. Have you always wanted to learn a new language but life got in the way? Sign up for a course today.
6. Start exercising
Exercising releases endorphins which give you an unbeatable buzz. If you can exercise outside, even better – getting close to nature is key to feeling better. And there’s a great by-product too - losing weight and feeling fitter will do wonders for your confidence too.
7. Restart lost friendships
Many people lose touch with dear friends over the course of their marriage, as differing circumstances or geography mean people drift apart. Think about the friends you’ve lost touch with over the years. Any regrets? If so, now is a great opportunity to make contact again.
8. Don’t hibernate
Tempting though it may be to stay inside and wallow, you’ll benefit hugely from just getting out there and realising that there’s new things to do, new people to meet and lots out there for the new you.
9. Maintain a positive relationship with your ex
Neither of you will benefit from making each other’s life hard. Be considerate of their feelings: don’t flaunt new relationships or try and point-score. Create an intention for how you want your relationship with your ex to be – ideally do this together. Write it as a goal, visualise the details and keep it in focus when you’re together. This is an important part of moving on – when you can say thank you to your ex then you are truly free
10. Don’t jump into a new relationship too fast
Rebound relationships rarely work because you’re still too emotionally attached to someone else. Do be open to ‘transitional’ relationships though: dating someone that isn’t necessarily going to be a long term love and that is different to your ‘type’ can help you move on as well as give you a confidence boost.
11. Don’t think you’re the only one
ONS data shows that 42% of marriages end in divorce. This means you’re bound to know other people that have been through it and come out the other side. Speak to friends and family about their experiences and get their advice.
12. Discover a new you
While going through a divorce can be a very difficult period, it is also one of discovery as the world you knew evolves into something new. Embrace this. Change can be liberating - whether it’s something simple like a new haircut or doing something daring that you’d never have done before, like going out to dinner on your own.
13. Be kind to yourself
Don’t set yourself up for failure by expecting your life to change for the better overnight. Setting unrealistic expectations and then beating yourself up for not achieving them will bring you down. Instead, learn to love yourself and enjoy simple pleasures like a walk, quality time with your children or catching up with an old friend. Creative pursuits can be very cathartic. Go back to lost pursuits like joining a choir, art class or writing a journal.
14. Go on holiday with friends or family
It may be a cliché but getting way from it all can give you the perspective you need to reassess your life, focus on the areas you want to change and chatting it through with friends and family in a neutral setting can help.