How do you get unstuck after divorce? After surviving all the legal stuff, explaining your divorce to family and friends, uncoupling consciously as Gwyneth Paltrow put it, it’s all hard! I’m sharing 5 tips for women on how to get unstuck after divorce.
By the way, if you’re not sure what being stuck feels like, it feels like you’re in constant struggle mode. Even when you’re not struggling per se, you still feel like you keep running into a wall.
It’s exhausting, defeating and annoying AF.
This doesn’t have to be your reality of divorce.
But no one really talks about what happens after the divorce. When everything is final and you’re officially single..now what?
This is the really hard part because while you may feel stuck, you know you want to move on and meet someone. All that legal stuff, the uncoupling part, dealing with the family and friends that’s just a warm-up to the real work of getting unstuck after divorce.
Rebuilding your life after divorce requires effort. It requires getting used to your new life and figuring out who you are without a spouse. My FREE guide How to go from dependent to Independent without your spouse shows you how to start this process.
You have to reshape your identity. You can’t change your feelings without first changing your thoughts, which is apart of your identity. Trying to change your feelings with only positivity quotes won’t be enough.
To go from stuck to empowered you need help, you have to go inward.
If you allow yourself to surrender to this process it can be one of the most transformative things you do for yourself.
I’m sharing my 5 truths about what to expect after divorce to help prepare your mind and emotions on the journey of re-engineering your life for the best YOU.
Here are 5 truths you must know to get unstuck.
1. Time doesn’t heal all wounds
This is one of my favorites that I had to learn the hard way. Yep, after a couple of years of holding on to old, stale, scary feelings from my marriage it hit me like a ton of bricks.
Time doesn’t heal anything, it’s me that allows the healing. How fast or how deep I healed was on me. Time is a thing that’s outside of ourselves.
It has no control over your life unless you allow it. Waiting around for time to get you unstuck after divorce is your right. But FYI – time doesn’t care if you heal and move on.
Whether you move on or not time does what time is supposed to do, tick away moment by moment.
It could be 10 years before you feel ready to move on. Who has that kinda time to sit and wait?!
The saying “time heals all wounds” is a passive statement. It requires no action on your part.
We all know that’s not how life works. Marie Forleo said it perfectly, “clarity comes from engagement, not thought”.
My definition of “Time heals all wounds” is that time allows for us to become comfortable with our wounds so we don’t notice them anymore. Those old wounds become like old friends.
They comfort us when we feel uncomfortable, they give us reasons not to try things… and the reasons are always so good. Probably the best thing it does is it keeps us critical of ourselves.
Waiting on time is not fulfilling your promise to yourself to move on. It comes down to making the decision to move on. It doesn’t just happen. You decide to get unstuck, then do it, even when it feels uncomfortable.
2. Your ex is probably already dating someone
Don’t expect your ex to tell you when they start dating. More than likely they’re already dating or thinking about dating.
Think of it this way. If you had a condition that made you feel like not eating would you expect your ex also not to eat?
Of course not!
You’d expect them to chow down on whatever they wanted to fill their need to eat.
Dating is not a cure-all for getting unstuck after divorce. It can lead to more problems if you’re not ready to start dating.
But assuming that because you’re at a place where you can’t even think about dating doesn’t mean that’s where your ex is.
Don’t beat yourself up if you find out your ex is dating someone. Focus on you and building your new life and you will start meeting new people effortlessly.
3. Your kids are watching your every move
Kids are very observant. For some reason, we have this belief that our kids are not aware. Maybe it’s because they are small, young and inexperienced. Even with teens or adult kids, we think we can fool them.
This is the furthest thing from the truth. Furthermore, regardless of age kids notice everything. Mainly because they look up to.
They look up to you for how to deal with life and how you handle situations and adopt your reactions as their own.
How you act, react and show up in your life is how they will act, react and show up in their own life. This doesn’t mean you can’t have bad days or say the wrong things from time to time. You’re human you will make mistakes.
Acknowledging your feelings and not using it as an excuse for bad behavior, letting your kids see you apologize when you’re wrong, talking about situations honestly and letting them see you be courageous in rebuilding your life. Your kids seeing all of this gives them hope that they can handle life.
Don’t be fooled by thinking your kids don’t notice you or your ex emotional outbursts, pain or withdraw. Kids feel more deeply than we realize.
4. Self-care is absolutely necessary
I know as a mom your kids are number 1! Nothing wrong with that. But how many others are on this list?
Probably includes your mom, sister, brother, best friend, your job, bills, the dog?? I used to believe putting others before made me a good friend, good daughter, good mom or good employee.
I was wrong!
It’s the fast track to resentment and exhaustion. You’re hard-working, ambitious, strong, get-shit-done kinda woman that takes pride in being a good mom, good friend, good daughter and just damn good!
But don’t forget about you. Overworking yourself to do it all won’t prove you’re “good“. Consequently, it proves you’re not doing enough for yourself.
Certainly doesn’t help you get unstuck after divorce. This is the main culprit to keeping you stuck.
You’ve got to get really good at being good to yourself FIRST. It can be hard to see this as necessary, but it’s very necessary for finding long term happiness and confidence within yourself.
Think of it this way, there will come a time when your kids will want to create a life of their own therefore your role as a mom will change.
Will you have invested in yourself to be the person you want to be? Will you have created the life you want to have?
To have the life you want and be the person you want to be requires starting right now. You have to invest in yourself now.
5. Isolating yourself is ok sometimes, but don’t make it a habit
Stop hiding out and get out. Maybe you don’t feel like socializing because you don’t feel confident or put together to look and feel your best. However, being around other people is exactly what you need.
After divorce loneliness will set in, it’s normal to feel this way. You’re out of practice with the social scene and the easiest thing to do is sit back and isolate yourself.
Don’t do it.
Be open to do activities with friends, family, and coworkers and try something different.
Finally, take one day at a time to get unstuck after divorce. Soon you’ll get the hang of this new life. I’m a big believer in our thoughts and language that determine our actions and reality.
You don’t need to fake til you make it, just be you. Know that you are working toward your best self every day.
Also, pay attention to your thoughts, I did this mind hack early after my divorce every morning because I needed to start with my thoughts first thing in my day.
I name 3 things I was grateful for and 3 things I was looking forward to, I still do this, as a result, it provides an instant shift in perspective.
Try it out and watch how your emotions start to shift naturally.
Download my worksheet 7 mantras for empowerment after divorce for daily inspiration.