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Divorce is difficult. It’s not just your marital status that changes — your entire life shifts.

1) You will mourn — it is a huge loss. Even if you wanted to divorce, you will mourn. You have lost a significant relationship, as well as your status, identity, image, and more. The future you envisioned and strived for has ended.  You could try to see this loss as a gain — you’ve gained power, freedom, autonomy, and a new identity.  It is essential that you go through the mourning process. If you move on as if nothing ever happened, it may come back to haunt you, sometimes in disguise.

2) If you have children with your ex it is essential to accept that your ex will be a part of your life, and that you to learn to co-parent in a healthy manner. You have a responsibility to raise your children with your ex, keeping the children’s best interests in mind. Effective co-parenting, with no agenda (other than your children’s well-being), is crucial.

3) You won’t be “single” again. You will be “divorced.” Divorce doesn’t just mean that the ring comes off your finger, and you have to check the “divorced” box in government documents.  People may look at you differently, with a “poor you” smile, along with a “you’ll make it” jovial punch in the arm. i

4) Your social life will change. It can take time to learn who you true friends are as opposed to those who are acquaintances disguised as close friends (only around for the good times!).

5) Anger will raise its ugly head — in both of you. There will be some anger, resentments and blame. In the aftermath of divorce, despite how far you’ve each moved on, there may be thoughts and even words such as “This is the thanks I get for all I did,” “I stood by you; you didn’t stand by me,” “I wasted [insert number of years] with you,” etc.  It doesn’t matter if you’re happy or relieved about that loss. Part of loss and the mourning process is feeling your anger. But for your own well-being, you have to deal with the stages, and move from anger into acceptance.

6) People will talk; they will take sides; and it can get ugly. Nobody knows what really goes on in a marriage except the couple themselves. Gossip can take its toll on you.  It takes a lot of self-awareness to see the grey area that no one else does and accept the reality that only you know.

7) Your memories will be with your forever. You spent a significant amount of time and made a lot of memories with your ex. Choose to look at the memories, not as tainted ones, but as priceless experiences.

Source: Kathy Kaveh, The Huffington Post.


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