It might feel as if you’ve been blindsided or as if the rug has been pulled out from right underneath your feet. It was supposed to be “til death do us part” yet now it feels like your life is all of a sudden outside of your control and you feel powerless and somehow lost. Nothing makes sense anymore.
There is one thing, however, that will always make sense. You are still you. You may have become someone else during your marriage. Now you have the chance to become who you really are. Here are 3 simple yet powerful ways to get you started:
1. Be Kind to Others. There’s a natural high that comes with being kind and helping others, even if it’s just to hold the door open for someone or to help them with an armload of groceries.
And it’s a win-win – you feel good while helping someone else, and at the same time you’re taking action to reduce conflict around you.
Even when your soon to be ex speaks and acts negatively toward you, you can choose to recognize that it’s not about you. It’s about him or her. He or she is angry, fearful, frustrated and underneath it all, hurting. If you recognize that, perhaps you can find a way to feel compassion.
2. Never Assume. So many miscommunications and misunderstandings come about when we assume we know what others are thinking and how they will act. I can’t help thinking of the long-ago television episode of The Odd Couple (now I’m dating myself…) where Felix writes the word “assume” on a whiteboard and shows Oscar how, when we “ass u me,” we make an “ass out of you and me.”
This is true. Instead, ask open-ended questions and really listen to understand where the other person is coming from. Guaranteed you’ll learn something new every time.
3. Be Your Best. It’s easy to be angry at your soon to be ex. But those angry feelings only hurt you. The toxic emotions eat away at you.
A very wise former client of mine put it perfectly. She told me she eventually got so tired of being angry. It was when she realized that her teenage daughter needed her that she decided to become the best person she could be for her daughter. She began to take care of herself by exercising and she lost weight and began to feel healthy both inside and out. It was then that all of her anger simply dissipated and with compassion for herself and her husband, she proceeded to obtain a divorce realizing that she deserved better than he could ever give her.
Let’s face it – even if you haven’t experienced the tumultuous emotional roller coaster ride of divorce, it can be challenging to find calm in the storm of our hectic lives. But you need not look very far.