Even an amicable divorce can leave a person feeling sad, unhappy, insecure and rejected. If you have been through a bad divorce, your self-esteem may be at an all-time low. It's normal to feel that you won't be able to trust again. Before you think about getting into another relationship, you need to spend time focusing on your needs and boosting your confidence. When you feel good about yourself and have put the past behind you, you are in a great place to open your heart to another person.
It's crucial to spend sufficient time recovering from the aftermath of your divorce. Rushing into a new relationship isn't advisable, says psychotherapist Barton Goldsmith in the article, "10 Things to Remember After a Breakup" for "Psychology Today." Don't worry that you'll never meet anyone or be happy in love again. Spend time with friends and family members who make you feel good about yourself. Take care of your mental and physical well-being by eating a healthy diet, taking regular exercise and devoting time to relaxation. Treat yourself with patience and compassion. Getting over a bad divorce is not an exact science: depending on the circumstances of your divorce, it may take months or even several years. Go easy on yourself and don't set yourself any unrealistic time limits.
Even if you see your marriage as a failure and have struggled to cope with a difficult divorce, you can still make the divorce aftermath a valuable life experience. By looking for the positive in your previous relationship, you can learn important lessons about relationships, marriage, love and trust. Think about why your marriage ended and what place trust had in your relationship. For example, if your ex cheated on you and this lead to the breakdown of your relationship, consider why he had an affair in the first place. Perhaps there was a lack of healthy communication, respect or physical intimacy in your marriage. A little soul-searching at this stage can help you grow as an individual so that you can reach a happier place from which you may be able to trust a new partner.
A Clean Slate
When you meet a potential partner, try to focus on the present, rather than dwell on the past or worry about the future. Avoid transferring your feelings about your ex and your divorce to your new partner and any future relationship you may have. The hurt and betrayal you experienced in the past has nothing to do with this new person in your life. When you catch yourself having negative or anxious thoughts, remind yourself that this is a fresh start and a chance to be happy in love.
If you are struggling to come to terms with your divorce or if your ex abused or treated you badly, you may need professional help. Look for a suitably qualified counselor or therapist who can help you deal with your emotions, address any residual issues and equip yourself with the skills you need to create a happy, healthy relationship based on love and trust.