The time spent planning a wedding can be a whirlwind of hopes and dreams. There are often dreams of spending your lives together as a family in a perfect home surrounded by a white picket fence where you will remain in love … forever.
That’s why one of the most difficult things about divorce is experiencing the loss of this future life. No doubt about it, the loss is real and you need to give yourself the time you need to grieve.
But life is still far from over; it’s just a new beginning for you. So when the white picket fence comes down, be confident in knowing that you can build your own, one fence post at a time. All you need are the right “tools.” Ideally, your “toolbox” should contain the following:
1. Other people. Don’t be shy in asking for help. Now is the perfect time to lean on others for support, even if it’s difficult for you. Believe it or not, people will be honored that you asked. Ask for help from others to look after your children when you need a break (which you will). Ask your closest friends for support if you’re tempted to do anything stupid, like texting, emailing, or leaving your ex nasty messages, particularly while drunk. Professional support can be especially valuable when you select a therapist that you really connect with.
Also, with all the technology available, it’s easier than ever to connect with others who share your interests and newly single status. For instance, you might join a local meet up group and attend events where you can meet other new singles that share your interests.
2. A Competent financial planner and accountant. If you and your spouse shared a financial professional and/or an accountant, get your own. If you haven’t done so as part of your divorce, now is the time to have your financial professional run a net cash flow analysis designed to meet your post-divorce financial goals.
3. An intense sport. Get involved in any physical activity that you enjoy, especially one that helps get out those angry feelings that pop up from time to time. Boxing is a particularly good one.
4. Regular talks with your children. Talk often with them about what’s going on; listen to how they’re feeling, and assure them that things will get better. Involve them in decisions.
5. A good tearjerker. This can be a movie or book. Pull one out sparingly to allow yourself to grieve. Then put it away and move on.
6. Journal. It can be very rewarding to keep a journal to record your hopes and dreams for your new future. What really matters to you? What do you consider your greatest strengths and talents? For added confidence in this area, take the online quiz available when you purchase the book Strengthfinders 2.0. You will discover your top 5 strengths and talents and how to make them work for you. Use this opportunity to rediscover old – and new – interests that you put on the back burner while you were married.
7. Interior Designer. While this might seem a bit unnecessary, a good interior designer can help overcome any depressing feelings when you and your children have to move into a different and smaller place. This can be the ideal time to design your dream home. Even if you move after the divorce, you and your children can still make a new “home” and create new memories.
Best of luck in putting together your own “toolbox” and please let me know what other “tools” you’ve found helpful.