Learning to Move On – A Guest Post by Wendi Schuller
There comes a point in divorce when one has to let go of the past. We cannot change it, but rather learn from its life lessons. We are not able to look forward when we are looking behind us. It is similar to driving a car – one steers it by gazing ahead and not by staring in in the rear-view mirror. Dwelling on regrets and the “what ifs” is detrimental to progress.
Still In Love
It is especially challenging when one party is still in love and the other has moved on. Several women I know introduced their husbands to their close friend. Unfortunately, their spouses went for the friend and divorced these women. In one case, there were small children who were caught up in the conflict. That mother went through a lot of healing to get to the other side. Now she is able to be around that couple and co-parent with her former spouse. These individuals chose to put their energy into getting through the divorce rather than on fantasizing about getting back together at some point.
A way to look forward is to set goals which are desired outcomes. These guidelines can be tweaked as life takes twists and turns. This can be the time to make a move out of town or change jobs. Some people I interviewed insisted that getting away from where they lived while married, was the way to let go. A clean break by moving to a different locale was the ticket to starting life over as a newly single person. Others stated changing careers loosened their grip on their past. Divorce pushed me into trying a career that I had always wanted to pursue.
Distraction is a great way to get one’s brain off the endless loop of going over what went wrong in the marriage. What has helped many during and after divorce, was to stay busy. Discover new interests or get back into enjoyable hobbies. Being physical releases pent up energy and anxiety. Some fellows I know, rounded up their mates and play sports on a regular basis.
Renew old friendships and enlarge your social network. Having fun with others helps banish thoughts about the past and gets one’s focus into the moment. Shaking up routines nudges one out of their rut that keeps them tethered to the past.
People that cannot let go of their divorce are annoying to be around. Friends lose patience hearing the same stuff over and over again. Let go and move ahead. If having a rough time with this, consider seeing a life or divorce coach who can help you come up with strategies to get unstuck. A career coach can be invaluable when deciding whether or not to stay with a job or get on a new career path. Taking classes can increase one’s skill set in the workforce and lead to advancement. Intensely studying to move up to the next level at work, helped one father avoid dwelling upon what was – being with is kids 100%.
Think about what are the positives in your life and chase after them. This can mean reframing negative thoughts into more positive ones. Look for what is good in your life, no matter how trivial. I reframed the ordeal of moving house in divorce, to how lovely it was to have my own place – my sanctuary. Being positive got me out of ruminating about what I used to have. If you are a parent, it is important to model the behaviour that you want your children to emulate – live in the moment and look to the future. Change your attitude and that changes your life.
Wendi Schuller is a nurse, hypnotherapist and is certified in Neuro-linguistic Programing (NLP). Her most recent book is The Global Guide to Divorce and she has over 200 published articles. She is a guest on radio programs in the US and UK. Visit her website at globalguidetodivorce.com.
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