Life after a marriage breakdown
Jul 16, 2021
For some people, ending a marriage is a relief, a source of happiness. But in many cases, this experience is painful; and not only painful, but also goes hand in hand with a lack of references about what to do next.
The latter is what happens when the breakup or divorce is experienced as a grief: in the same way that it is suffered when losing a family member or friend, the end of our marriage gives rise to a sense of loss capable of producing strong anguish, as well as the challenge of adapting to the loss of the project and the way of life associated with that union with another person. Recovering from it is painful, but far from impossible.
- Related article: "How does psychotherapy help in a divorce?"
5 keys to keep in mind to rebuild your life after a divorce
Each case is unique and there are no infallible recipes that will work in all cases; that's what psychotherapy is for, to give a personalized treatment adapted to the needs of each one. However, the key ideas below can be helpful in starting to put together the fabric of what a life will be like after a divorce or breakup.
1. Don't try to erase those memories, but don't spend the day feeding them
To get to adjust to life after a divorce, you have to find a balance between not avoiding memories of our married life, on the one hand, and the orientation to the incentives that the present and the future offer us, by the other.
If you try to block the memories and thoughts related to your marriage, not only will you not succeed, but you will give them more strength and importance, to be alert in case they appear in your consciousness. And if you dedicate yourself to recreating over and over again what happened in your married life, it will take a long time to overcome the grief.
2. Don't be obsessed with what could have been
These kinds of ideas only serve to act as a magnet for intrusive thoughts. associated with guilt. Once we have started to feed these fantasies, it is very easy for one to call the following ones, with the consequent emotional exhaustion. In addition to causing us suffering, it predisposes us to constantly remember everything related to marriage, which goes against the previous recommendation.
- You may be interested in: "Rumination: the annoying vicious circle of thought"
3. Engagement is over - act accordingly
It is important to maintain independence and defend one's dignity as individuals in all contexts, including in marriage. However, when you are part of a relationship, you have a series of commitments that you do not we can ignore and that they make it a responsibility to take into account the interests of the other person.
With the breakup, empathy is still important, but most of those commitments disappear; It is the other side of the coin. Therefore, it is important that you do not stay with the bad thing about living locked in nostalgia for that union that ended and with the bad thing about Believe that you should behave like that person's husband or wife without being one (and without living together or having that close relationship as before). That will only cause you frustration and will lead you to accumulate resentment, seeing that you do not receive anything in exchange for those sacrifices.
4. If you have small children in common, do not forget that their well-being is a priority
Even in times as painful as the divorce crisis, the well-being of young children must be ensured. But the good thing about this is that In practice, this role of father or mother helps to give direction to one's life during those confusing weeks.
The upbringing and education of the little ones, as well as the experience of giving and receiving love and affection, constitute a source of incentives and enriching experiences that remind us that life is made up of much more than that marriage we have left behind.
5. Respect your ex's space
Feeding grudges doesn't just hurt the other person through your hostility; it hurts you too in the form of discomfort, obsessive thoughts, fear of showing one's vulnerabilities, etc. Even if that person caused you harm or was unfair to you, it is better to focus on other things than to actively participate in "fighting" against them.
Do you need professional psychological support?
If you are thinking of starting a psychotherapy process to overcome an emotional crisis due to divorce or any other experience related to the loss, I invite you to get in touch with me. I am a psychologist with a consultation in Seville and I offer face-to-face and online sessions by video call.