By Karen Finn
Getting divorced and going through the divorce process is no walk in the park, but the truth is, learning how to start a new life after divorce can be just as difficult.
One of the realizations you’ve probably had as you’ve been healing from your divorce is that you learned to accept less than you wanted during your marriage. Obviously, you accepted less honest communication, less meaningful connection, and less unconditional love than you wanted and deserved or else you’d still be married.
But in the name of compromise (or keeping the peace), you also accepted other things that you didn’t really want or like: the nagging, the yelling, the strained relationship with your in-laws, or even the colour of your bedroom.
So here’s the great news: Now you can finally stop settling! But not just on the things that you settled for the sake of your marriage.
Now, you can stop settling for everything, and learn how to start a new life after divorce.
A life that’s full of things, relationships, behaviours and experiences you love
However, before you can fully create a life you love after divorce, you need to learn how to stop settling — in all areas of your life.
Whenever you ignore your preferences and choose something just because it’s what’s available now and not because you love it, you’re settling. Whenever you do something because it’s easy and not because it’s what you really want to do, you’re settling. Whenever you accept someone’s poor behavior without saying something about it, you’re settling.
It’s important to recognize what settling is because it’s an insidious habit. It’s easy to put your preferences or feelings to the side for the sake of someone else. And why do you do that? So those other people can have what they want!
Well, it’s time for you to have what you want out of life. Since no one is going to just hand it to you on a silver platter, it’s time for you to stop settling and start the new life after divorce that you deserve.
When you stop to think about it, settling feels bad. You feel diminished and less than the person you’re allowing to have their way. If it goes on too long, you wind up feeling victimized and unworthy of what you really want out of life.
Now that you know how settling feels and what its impact is in your life, you can begin to eliminate it from your post-divorce life.
Start by taking a good look at your possessions. Are there things you need to purge because you feel bad just looking at them or you feel bad when you use them? Those are the things you’ve allowed into your life that you don’t really want. Those are the things you’re settling for.
But don’t think you have to purge or replace all of that stuff at the same time. You can do it in phases (and as your budget allows). Maybe you’ll start by getting rid of all the pens you have that don’t write well. Maybe you’ll start by throwing out all the underwear that you’d never want someone else to see you in.
The important thing here isn’t how quickly you eliminate all the things you’ve been settling for, but that you begin purging them and have a plan for how to replace (or live without) all of them.
After you’ve cut your teeth with getting rid of the things that you’ve settled for, you can start looking at how you’re settling in other areas of your life. Some of the other areas for you to consider are your relationships, your behaviours, habits, and your job. Dating after divorce can actually become a fun process of meeting people that make you happy!
What you’ll quickly discover as you eliminate more and more of the things, relationships, behaviours, and experiences is that you’ll feel lighter. Your new life after divorce will seem happier and more comforting because you’re only surrounding yourself with people, places, things and experiences that you want.
And that will guarantee that your life after divorce is way better than it was before you got divorced.