Estimated Reading Time: 2 Minutes 50 seconds
Day in and day out, I deal with people who are suffering from broken hearts. It is incredibly sad. At the same time, however, I view these heartsick, soon-to-be divorcees as people who truly have a second shot at happiness. The fact is, most people going through a divorce are in the uncharted emotional territory when they come into the divorce mediator’s office. And though they would like the idea of moving on after divorce, they don't know how to navigate the waters.
The way I see it, if there was not enough love to hold the marriage together, then that union was, for all intents and purposes, already over. The final straw (an affair, acting out, complete withdrawal, pushing away, out of control “isms” (e.g. alcoholism, workaholism, etc), and emotional neglect) is often just the catalyst for the ultimate break-up (or complete break-down) that the marriage was headed for, anyway.
So, what can a broken-hearted person do to feel better? The secret lies in DESIRE – the desire of the downhearted person to heal his or her own broken heart.
Moving on after divorce? The key is in Desire to do so
In order to get over a broken heart, the desire to move through and over that pain must be so large that it actually gobbles up space -- in both your mind and in your daily schedule -- that was once otherwise reserved for other thoughts and activities. That is OK. If you are committed to moving on with your life, and becoming emotionally secure, you can toss aside some non-essential activities and thoughts that might be getting in the way of your progress. You will need to pare down distractions for this extremely important journey in your life.
It is too bad that there is not a foolproof, step-by-step guide to getting over a broken heart. There just isn’t, though, and that is why a commitment to a full-hearted desire to feel better is your best hope for pushing through despair. In other words, the formula for successful emotionally healing does not really matter so much as the desire to heal. The details will sort themselves out.
I do believe, too, that there is always much to look forward to even after the trauma of divorce – if that is your desire. For example, most psychologists agree that we all need close, loving relationships in order to be happy. Loving relationships, they say, create a sense of personal safety that allows us to move from survival mode to a secure place where we are comfortable in exploring our world and building other relationships and experiences. In other words, loving relationships provide the qualities that make life worth living.
Believe in love again
If you were in a dead marriage, congratulations—you are now free to pursue a loving relationship that fills your heart and makes you believe in love again. It may take a while in truly picking yourself up and moving on after divorce - emotionally - and I’m not suggesting that you speed-date to get there, but the opportunity is out there and may be just what your heart needs (once the fissures and bruises have mended a little J).
It is always a good idea to remember that it takes time to heal and that you cannot change things that have happened to you. But you can choose the way that you feel about them (or at least you can try . . . and that is an excellent start!). We forget, sometimes, that we have a choice about how we feel. Ask any happy person how they stay that way and they almost surely tell you that it is a choice that they make every day. Good advice.