Recovering and healing after an abusive marriage is a gradual, but important process. Your self-esteem and beliefs about human nature have been enormously damaged. It is important to know how to heal yourself after an abusive marriage is over or you may end up with another abusive partner.
Get professional help. A psychologist or counselor will help you sort out your thoughts and behaviors. You will be able to talk about what is normal and abnormal behavior in a marriage. He will help you build your self-esteem and give you the courage to rebuild your life. A counselor can help you know how to help any children that were affected by the divorce.
Avoid romantic relationships for a while. It is very important not to get into a serious relationship for as long as you are fragile and healing. Healing after an abusive marriage may take years. Recognize that you might feel ready for a relationship before you actually are, and this may stem from feeling lonely. You must learn to recognize an abuser and understand why you were attracted to him -- before you can trust yourself in another relationship.
Protect and nurture your children. If you have children from the marriage, do not forget their physical and emotional well-being. Both emotional and physical abuse affects everyone in the family. Take your children to a counselor to rebuild their self-esteem and help them feel secure.
Rely on family and friends you can trust for help. Confide and talk to them frequently. Make sure they are positive and uplifting and don't drag you back down.
Keep a journal. Writing down your thoughts and feelings helps you pinpoint what you are going through. Bring your journal to your counseling sessions. Write down goals in your journal.
Build your self-esteem with a new hobby, or an old one that you stopped doing. Focusing on yourself and finding enjoyable activities will help you remember that you are a person with talents and abilities. You are now free to find yourself again.
Discuss with your counselor what types of personality traits you might possess that attracted the abuser. Ask the counselor what you can do to change these traits in the future. Spend time with the counselor learning how to recognize early warning signs of an abusive relationship.
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