5 Ways To Let Your Dream Marriage Go When Divorce Becomes A Reality

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crying woman

Letting go after a divorce is one of the most challenging things you will do in your life, even when done respectfully.  

You are now divorced and, suddenly, reality hits. How do you let go of the dream marriage you have with your ex? 

You come home from work and there's no one to share the highs and lows of the day. You have to do things that your partner used to do and learn again how to do it.

You want to go out for dinner, but who do you ask? Most of your recent friends are people you hung out with as a couple. You will need to make time to grieve.

RELATED: 7 Ways You Can Finally Let Go & Move On After Divorce

Letting go after divorce takes time and practice.

Your expectation that you would stay married until death did not materialize. Your dream of traveling around the world after retirement won't occur in the way you expected.

How will you celebrate significant holidays with your adult children? You will have to wait your turn to see them and the grandkids.

There are times when you feel lonely. You may even question if the divorce was the best choice. Often, you prefer the devil you know to the devil you don't know.

This new single, post-divorce life feels uncomfortable. You're exhausted. You may be wondering what your friends and family think of you. 

It's tempting to stay home rather than face the unknown of how others will treat you. Even at work, you feel uncomfortable because you notice people avoiding you. After all, they don't know what to say.

Here are 5 ways of letting go after divorce becomes a reality. 

1. Grieve.

The grieving process will take time. An excellent way to help you move through the ups and downs is to keep a journal. If you don't like writing or typing, you can make an audio journal using your phone.

You can also find ways to express yourself to help you move through your grief, such as photography, poetry, prose, painting, music, dance, scrapbooking, and other creative expressions to release your inner pain.

2. Love yourself every day.

Love yourself by taking care of your body, heart, and head. What do you love to do that can help you? What are you willing to try? 

Activities such as yoga, taichi, meditation, walking, gardening, hiking, skiing are all helpful to ground yourself in your body.

Make an effort to feed yourself good food. Treat yourself from time to do something that brings you joy and hope. Maybe you love live theatre, going to museums, walking in the park, or hanging out at the beach. 

Remind yourself that you are worth it.

When you start feeling open to discovering the new chapter of your life, it's time to re-discover what's essential for you.

What dreams or life goals have you not fulfilled? What experiences do you want to have? Have you ever wanted to go back to school? Are you happy with your current job?

Choose one thing and make it happen. 

3. Look at changes you can make in your life.

What kind of money do you need to make this happen? Is the income in your current job enough? How will you divide the responsibility to support your children with your ex if they are in university or need some help buying their first home?

You will need to find civil ways to communicate with your ex if you still have children or young adults to support. It will be much easier for your children and both of you if you can keep it civil and respectful.

RELATED: 6 Strategies For Loving Your Life After Divorce

4. Be present.

You can learn to be present by becoming more observant of what's going on inside you. Look for guided meditation apps such as Insight Timer. 

You can also do a simple meditation beginning with your feet and notice what you are experiencing as you move up your body.

Whenever you do exercise, notice is what is going on in your body as you do it. Yoga is an excellent combination of stretching and breathing.

As you get more grounded, your heart will open up, inviting you to connect with old and new friends. You'll know when you're on the right path. And it will show you the way to finding your purpose and being the best you can be so you can let go of your dreams.

Whenever you catch yourself stuck in your past relationship, refocus on what you can do at the moment. If you start fearing the future, you need to refocus on the present. It's in the present where you can make a change.

You might create a short mantra to say to yourself when you get stuck in the past or future. It could be something like "I am loveable," "I am worthy of respect," or "I am a child of God" or whatever works for you.

Focus on those words to quiet your mind. You can also use the breath to help you focus on the here and now.

With practice, you will spend increasing amounts of time in the present. The more present you are, the more meaning, hope, and joy you will experience in life. 

You will find your flow, know better what you need, and attract people who will bring out the best in you and you in them. 

5. Get help.

If you're continuing to struggle, don't be afraid to get professional help. There's no shame in getting help. You can get help from life coaches, counselors, psychologists, or therapists. You can also join support groups.

Whoever you choose, find a person with whom you feel safe. You have to find the right fit, or it won't be as effective as it could be.

You will benefit from having friends and family who can support you on the journey. These need to be people you can trust, who will hold your confidence, keep you accountable for staying on your healing path, and loving you no matter what happens.

Healing after divorce does not need to be a lonely journey. Find your community if you don't have one, and begin this exciting new chapter in your life.  

You will know how to let go so you can start again.

RELATED: 5 Reasons My Divorce Was The Best Thing To Happen To Me

Roland Legge is a Certified Identity Life Coach and a minister in the United Church of Canada in Yorkton, Saskatchewan. You can join his newsletter for free advice and private Facebook Group, "Discover Your Identity."

This article was originally published at REL Consultants. Reprinted with permission from the author.