You don't need to handle the aftermath of your divorce alone.
Divorce is a journey, and just like any other journey, a roadmap — or a GPS tracking system — often is necessary to reach your final destination. Think of these 10 resources below as your emotional GPS system, taking you from point A (the sadness and anger of divorce) to point B (feeling joyful, more self-confident and learning to love again).
Some of these resources help you deal with the practical aspects of rebuilding your life after divorce such as keeping track of your kids' schedules. Others are meant to give you an emotional boost or increase your chances of finding the type of love that will last forever. All 10 resources will keep you sane as you embark on your journey to a new beginning.
- Rachel Gladstone's Blog. Rachel is one of my favorite divorce writers. She has a unique ability to capture the funny side of a sad topic. And she speaks from experience. She writes about her quirky ex-husband and moving on after her divorce in a way that any divorcée will appreciate. You'll laugh with her, you'll cry with her, you'll relate to her frustrations and learn from her wisdom. Rachel is working on a book, but in the meantime, you can read her blog. My two favorite articles are "How One Tiny, Chin-Hair Changed My Marriage" and "I See Married People."
- 2Houses app. Created by a divorced parent, this app provides ex-spouses with a neutral platform where they can discuss their kids' activities and schedules. Dread talking to your ex? With this app, you won't have to — at least not as often. You and your ex can make changes to a shared digital calendar, including your child's parent-teacher conferences, soccer games and other activities. If you update the calendar, the app automatically notifies your ex-spouse. The app also helps you track shared expenses.
- The Rebuilding Your Life After Divorce DVDs. I gathered together relationship, self-empowerment, child-raising and financial experts and asked them to spill the beans on what it really takes to feel happy after divorce and find a new love. The wisdom the 14 speakers shared at the retreat is now on The Rebuilding Your Life After Divorce DVD set. The speakers address all aspects of how to have a more fulfilling and joyful life after divorce. They're a comforting voice on your worst days because they let you know everything is going to be all right. They also share the insider's scoop on what it takes to succeed at online dating and a simple way to make dating after divorce more fun, relaxed and enjoyable. For example, Lisa Steadman, author of It's a Breakup, Not a Breakdown, shows you ways to make it much easier to find exactly the type of love you want to attract into your life. Dr. Alice Chan has some surprising advice on what you need to do to release any negative emotions. Charles J. Orlando, author of The Problem With Women. . . is Men, addresses the red flags you should watch out for when you're dating after divorce. He also has some important words for anyone hurt by infidelity. The speakers on the DVDs inspire you to forget about your ex, move on with your life, rebuild your self-esteem, get yourself in great physical shape and find someone new and wonderful. Linda Lesperance, who attended the retreat where the DVDs were filmed, told me, "before the Rebuilding Your Life After Divorce Retreat I was terrified about starting to date. I knew that I didn't want to be alone for the rest of my life, but I felt that I had so many strikes against me that no one would want me, and fear of rejection had me stuck. After the retreat, I felt better about myself and that it was not unreasonable for me to find a new mate. I had the courage to sign up for Internet dating!"
- DivorceCare. This one is for Christians who seek answers from above. You'll receive daily emails with subject lines like "Forgiveness is Obeying God," "Being a Good Example" and "Can Kids Recover From Divorce?" all written from a Christian viewpoint. There are also DivorceCare support groups around the country, usually based out of local churches.
- Sesame Street Divorce App. You probably never thought the Cookie Monster and his friends would be showing you how to explain divorce to your child. The Sesame Street Divorce app provides suggestions on how to explain divorce to kids aged two to eight. Animated friends, who your kids probably already know and like, help them understand divorce. And the app makes it easier for you to broach the subject. It suggests conversation starter questions to jumpstart a dialogue and articles with great advice on helping your kids cope. Using interactive tools, the app lets your children express how they're feeling about your divorce so you can talk with them about their emotions.
- Broken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow, By Elizabeth Lesser. You'll never be able to heal your heartbreak until you reach the point that you are grateful for the pain. The book Broken Open will help you think of your divorce as a gift. Author Lesser shares the story of her rough first marriage and how the emotional pain of the divorce made her a better person. By sharing her story and the story of other people who have endured difficult times, Lesser describes what she calls the "Phoenix Process." After reading the book, you will, like Lesser, rise like the mythical bird from the ashes of past mistakes and suffering.
- Huffpost Divorce. This is a one-stop shop for some of the best articles written on all aspects of life during and after divorce. If you have a question about anything divorce-related, you're likely to find an article about it here, often written by someone who has gone through exactly what you have or by therapists and experts in divorce law.
- The Sociopath Next Door, By Dr. Martha Stout. This is required reading for anyone who is dating after divorce, and for anyone who even suspects they were married to someone without a conscience. I wish I had read this when I was in my 20s. It explains the odd behavior of some of the men I met both online and off when I was dating before meeting my husband. This book could literally save your life. Dr. Stout explains the characteristics of a sociopath: people who have no conscience. Sociopaths aren't all serial killers, she says. There are different types. Some do anything to avoid holding a job, including living off of others like a parasite. Others are power-hungry and will use you to get to the top. After reading this book, you'll know the type of people you should never get involved with —no matter how sexy or charming they may seem.
- Two Homes, By Claire Masurel. If you're a parent of young children, one of the most challenging and heartbreaking aspects of divorce is making your kids understand that they are still loved. The children's book Two Homes makes it so much easier to discuss this topic with your kids aged two to five. The book doesn't try to justify divorce or apologize for it — it simply shows kids what life will be like splitting their time between mom and dad. And — most importantly — reassures kids that they are still loved no matter where they are living.
- Chicken Soup for the Soul: Divorce and Recovery — 101 Stories about Surviving and Thriving after Divorce. When you're physically ill, there's nothing like a sip of chicken soup. The same is true for emotional heartbreak. Chicken Soup for the Soul: Divorce and Recovery nourishes your spirit with heartwarming, true stories of people in all stages of divorce — from the initial grieving, to dating again and, ultimately, finding true love. The stories are short and easy to digest a little at a time. Some of you will feel as if you're reading about yourself. It's like being in a support group with people whom you'll never meet, but whose stories resonate deep down inside. And the personal accounts of remarriage will give you faith that you, too, can find a real, long-lasting love.
Would you like to heal your pain after divorce and move on with your life? Then visit Kimberly Pryor Wilkes' www.afterdivorceadvice.com, where relationship and self-empowerment experts share lots of savvy advice that really works.