What's In This Article
- 1. If You’re Reading This Article, You’ve Likely Already Made the Decision
- 2. Staying “For The Kids” Might Seem Easier, But It Might Be Damaging In The Long-run
- 3. Your Friendships Will Change
- 4. It’s Important To Find Support
- 5. It Will Take A While To Feel Better
- 6. Take Time For Self-Care
- 7. You Will Find Love Again, But There’s No Rush
- 8. Take Time To Make Other Positive Life Changes
- 9. Understanding Your Motivation Is Key
- 10. You Deserve The Best Life For You
- Final Thoughts
Falling out of love is difficult. Whether the situation is amicable or more complicated, divorce is a major life decision. But is life better after divorce or will you end up regretting your decision?
We’ll go over the possibilities to help you understand if the grass is greener.
1. If You’re Reading This Article, You’ve Likely Already Made the Decision
You know it. Google knows it. Your spouse likely knows it as well. We know that divorce is complicated and navigating the unknown often feels overwhelming or even downright terrifying.
Is life better after divorce? Honestly, it depends. Every situation is unique, but if you stay in an unhappy marriage, life will only be the same as it is right now.
If you took the time to research this issue and look for anecdotes from others, your life is probably about to go through a major change.
Are you ready to deal with that?
Alternative Reading: Can You Be Happy In An Unhappy Marriage?
2. Staying “For The Kids” Might Seem Easier, But It Might Be Damaging In The Long-run
A surprising number of couples report staying in a marriage because they have kids with their spouse. It makes sense–It’s one thing to leave a relationship when it’s just you, but it becomes much more complicated when you add kids to the equation.
Protecting your children from the negative aspects of life seems noble, but remaining in a marriage simply to keep your kids comfortable is just delaying the inevitable heartbreak and confusion.
Divorces happen. They complicate matters and take a lot of adjustment.
But being the best parent for your child means taking responsibility for your life, working together to co-parent successfully, and demonstrating what a healthy relationship looks like, even if that’s with someone other than their birth parent.
3. Your Friendships Will Change
If your friend group is closely tied to your spouse, you will inevitably lose friends. In some cases, that’s not a terrible thing (Did you even really like Becky?). Some of the friendships that remain will change, especially if your friends are married with kids.
If your friend group contains you and your spouse you might experience people taking sides and choosing one party over the other. Depending on the reasons for divorce, you might also experience strong reactions and gossip.
The good news is that your strongest friends will stay by your side. The shake-up of an established social group is inevitable, but those who care about you and your new path will remain in contact, even if the dynamic changes.
One piece of advice: Be careful speaking ill of your former spouse to mutual friends, especially if the comments you make are deeply personal. The same goes for your kids. Remember that your pain, anger, or sadness isn’t the only point of view.
4. It’s Important To Find Support
The transition from married life to single life comes with several complications. One way to ensure you start living your best possible life post-divorce is to find support. If you don’t have a strong relationship with your family or a strong friendship group, don’t worry.
There are many meet-up groups and online communities where you can find support from others who have experienced the same loss. You might also consider finding therapy. Many employers provide low-cost mental health counseling as part of their benefits package. Your insurance provider can also help you find therapists in your network.
Life after divorce might seem lonely, but establishing strong relationships or communities will make a big difference in your life after divorce.
Read More: Do Men Regret Divorce?
5. It Will Take A While To Feel Better
You might expect that post-divorce, your life will immediately improve, and in some ways, that’s true. Conflicts arising from cohabitating will be eliminated if you find your place. You might also experience relief in other aspects of your life. You get to begin new adventures, meet new people, and (when you’re ready) try to find love again.
But don’t expect it to be easy. Many individuals experience shock post-divorce while they grieve the ending of a relationship. Much like losing a loved one, grief can creep back in even when you feel you’ve moved past the grieving stage. Go easy on yourself in these moments.
Eventually, however, you will go a whole day without thinking about the other person. Then days. And then your new life will start to feel normal. Better, even.
6. Take Time For Self-Care
As your life changes post-divorce, remember the importance of taking time to practice self-care. The divorce process can be enormously stressful and time-consuming, and it’s easy to lose yourself in the process.
Your life after divorce will be better if you set aside time for yourself. Whether exercising, trying out a new hobby, or simply hanging out on the couch with a good movie, having me-time will allow you to relieve some pressure and focus on your own needs.
If you have children, finding time for yourself can be difficult, but self-care can be a family activity. Work on a project, go on a hike together, or have a lazy day around the house. This will help alleviate the complex feelings everyone is having while building relationships and prioritizing your mental health.
7. You Will Find Love Again, But There’s No Rush
One aspect that makes life after divorce better is finding love again. After the pain of ending a relationship passes, you will have the opportunity to experience the joys of new love. First dates, first kisses, and butterflies in your stomach will return. It’s a great and intoxicating feeling, especially after separation and court proceedings related to divorce.
While finding your next relationship is an exciting prospect for many, rushing into a new relationship will likely do more harm than good. Take your time getting back out there. Learn more about yourself. Make positive changes as you begin this new phase.
8. Take Time To Make Other Positive Life Changes
Starting a new chapter is scary. One way to ensure a better life after divorce is by establishing positive habits and routines throughout the transition.
Routines do wonders for mental and physical health. And you don’t have to commit to running a marathon or embarking on an Eat, Pray, Love-like adventure to find yourself. Simple routines, like going for morning or evening walks, setting a consistent bedtime, or even volunteering a few times a month can help create the consistency that improves mental health. Routines you might consider:
- Joining a club or hobby group through your local community center
- Establishing a standing lunch date with friends or colleagues once or twice a month
- Sign-up for a meal prep service that allows you to cook meals on your own a few nights per week.
- Enrolling in night courses to build skills in community college
- Commit to reading a few chapters of a new book each day
Finding the best routine for you can take time, but it doesn’t have to be time-consuming or expensive. It might even be the change that allows you to meet new friends and grow your social circle.
9. Understanding Your Motivation Is Key
Articulating the reasons you’re considering divorce is an important step in this process, and it can help prepare you for the uncertainty that lies ahead.
Missing the days when you were carefree and single is completely normal. Becoming annoyed with your spouse or feeling stagnant in a relationship can make you feel like throwing in the towel, but some of these feelings are just facts of life.
Ask yourself: What would improve my marriage? The answer might be couples therapy. It could also be divorced.
Of course, some things are simply dealbreakers. The most common issues noted as being the final straw in relationships are infidelity, abuse, lack of commitment, and conflict. Getting out of an abusive relationship is imperative and there are several resources available to help you.
10. You Deserve The Best Life For You
You’re reading this article because you are unsure what life might be like after a divorce. One essential component is realizing your worth and strengths. While the negativity often associated with a failing relationship can distort your self-perception, you still deserve the best life for yourself.
For those who are looking to escape an emotionally or physically abusive marriage, also know that there are many resources out there for you. You deserve a safe, happy, supportive, and healthy relationship with an individual who loves you. Life can (and should) be better.
Even if your relationship ended amicably, confusion and other negative emotions can still accompany the grieving process. Right now, you might be stuck in a moment of grief or feeling remorse, regret, or loneliness, but these moments will pass. Life will get better.
Life after divorce is different for everyone. Some people experience immediate relief and intoxicating freedom, while it takes longer for others, especially if you experienced infidelity or other abuse. Others may experience feelings of depression and anxiety as they adjust to a life without their former partner. Some may even experience all of these emotions at once.
These feelings are a normal part of the divorce process. You shouldn’t feel alone or isolated as you go through life after your divorce. Don’t be afraid to seek help and lean on close family while you navigate your new life.
Overall, life is what you make it. Making positive choices, finding support before you reach a crisis, and taking time to let yourself relax will make life after divorce better. It might even be amazing. Just wait and see.
Lauren Cook-McKay is the Vice President of Marketing at DivorceAnswers.com. She holds a Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) from the University of San Diego and applies her training in private practice to helping couples struggling in their marriage. She believes there is hope in all marriages and strives to provide therapy to couples that will lead them back towards a loving marriage, or an amicable divorce that brings peace and closure.