Yesterday, I discussed the five things you should wait to do after you divorce. Today, I'm going to talk about some things that you shouldn't be waiting on. This, coincidentally, lines up with my "Happiness Wednesday" project, because these are things that will keep you from working through and moving on.
It's very easy, when you're going through all this mayhem, to just shut down and tell yourself you don't want to think about it. You can get stuck - and believe me, I speak from experience, here - and that's no good way to be. So here are just a few of the things you shouldn't be waiting around for, once your ex has exited the picture:
- You shouldn't wait for your ex to turn back into the guy you married. You can't wait around for the day when the world will suddenly right itself and your ex will remember the person they used to be and you'll be great friends and productive co-parents together. Maybe that will happen, maybe it won't. It takes a while for all the raw feelings to process, and you have to keep moving forward regardless. Don't spend extra time and energy waiting for something that might never happen. Be a great parent, be a good person, and the rest will take care of itself, in time.
- You shouldn't wait to start looking for your own happiness. I spent an awful lot of the early days sitting on the couch watching Netflix, just because I had no idea what to do and a real fear of figuring out how to do anything. I've since learned that sometimes, you have to force yourself to get out there. Reconnect with some old hobbies and passions or look up old friends. Find ways to become part of the community and world around you and pursue them. You'll be glad you did.
- You shouldn't wait for the magical day when you'll be 'over it'. Grief is a fluid thing, and there are parts of losing a marriage (and a love) that you will never be entirely over. Accept that, try not to wallow in it, but allow yourself to feel what you feel without guilt. It's okay to be sad sometimes. It's okay to miss some of the things you did when you were a couple. As time passes, those feelings get less and less painful, but it's a process, and it's not a quick one.
- You shouldn't wait for your friends or family to make it all better. It's great to have a support system, and people who care about you and look out for you, but they can't do it all. Lean on them when you need to, but realize that happiness is a choice, and it's a choice that you have to make.
- You shouldn't wait to ask for help. There are times when you just can't do it alone. Maybe you need therapy. Maybe you need someone to watch the kids so you can have three hours with a half a bottle of wine and a chick flick. Maybe you need someone to show you how to replace the flapper assembly in your broken toilet. Whatever it is, don't be afraid to ask. Your friends and family want to help, but they may not know what you need until you tell them.
Those are just some of the things that can end up being roadblocks on your journey to happiness after the dust settles from your divorce. What did you wait to do that you wish you had started or done sooner?
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