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5 Ways to Rebuild Your Life After Divorce

woman wearing glasses and looking thoughtfully off to the side

This article originally appeared on iMOM.com and reflects their mission and beliefs.

A friend of mine recently went through a divorce. She’s 59 and had been married for 32 years. For many other women, divorce comes in the first 10 years of marriage when the kids are little. No matter when it happens, the reality of it can be emotionally, physically, and financially painful. To rebuild from it, the anger needs to subside, you need to find humor (whatever there is to be found), and you need to develop a renewed spirit.

In life after divorce, many women quickly jump into a new relationship or go through an identity crisis and do things that are out of character. But those first several months or years are an opportunity to use the experience to prepare for what’s next. Becoming stagnant is a trap that leads to heartache. But there is hope for life after divorce. You can rebuild and become a better mom by doing these 5 things.

Take time to grieve.

The shattered dreams, the broken vows, and the reality of starting over can cause a sense of hopelessness. Shoving those feelings down and not feeling them will cause further damage. Divorce may come with all the stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. So find people you trust with whom you can share these emotions. That could be a pastor, a counselor, a wise friend, or a small group. Ignoring your grief will lead to stress and emotional instability and your kids need you to be emotionally healthy.

Regain your individual identity.

Figure out who you are and the things that make life work well for you. It’s important to learn to respect yourself and feel worthy again. Hone the character traits and abilities you possess that have brought positive results and avoid repeating patterns that have hurt you. This enables us to better understand what we need in the next relationship. Most of all, learn to pray with sincerity and purpose. God has never left you and never will.

Build a network of friends.

Life after divorce doesn’t have to be lonely. Divorce will cause friction in some of your friendships, but gracefully accept it and retain your relationships with the friends who reach out to you. Work to make new friends who will help you stay positive and in a growth mindset, not ones who will bring you down with negativity. You should expect to have an active and enjoyable social life, but craft it with great care.

Plan financially.

Accumulating mass amounts of debt will make life miserable as you transition. Even with child support, cutting back to one income will force serious restructuring. Being bitter about it will only hurt the entire family–especially your children. They will feel like burdens, which is the last thing they need to feel. It’s going to be painful, but make the hard decisions and necessary cuts.

Set goals and make a bucket list.

Starting over requires deciding what’s most important to you. Set daily, weekly, and annual goals, maybe to become a better version of the person you already are or a more faithful and wiser parent. Be a woman who prepares herself for the best chance at happiness and success. Make a bucket list of what you wish to do with your new life. Try new things.

What are some ways you have moved forward after divorce?

This article originally appeared on iMOM.com and reflects their mission and beliefs.

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