Divorce is becoming more common. About 34% of married couples are aged 20 and older. 33% of married men will part ways Their spouse. But while there’s plenty of conversation around the heartache stemming from a marriage falling apart, the difficulty of the first breakup after Many times, divorce is not explored.
“Research on how grief is processed in the brain explains the various physiological changes that occur when we have a loss—whether that is through death or divorce or some other form of separation. In the case of unprocessed grief following a divorce, a subsequent breakup can reactivate the initial unresolved grief,” explains Aurisha SmolarskiCalifornia-licensed marriage and family therapist. Unprocessed Grief your divorce can muddle your current relationship. So, when? your new partnership comes to A close can feel like a double loss. “You may cycle through denial, sadness, anger, guilt, fear, and shame,” Smolarski also adds
Michelle, a Boston resident, asked to Be identified by her first Name to Protect her privacy, she has personally experienced this kind of heartbreak. “When I finally exited the marriage, I was looking for my first serious relationship post-divorce to be a validation that breaking up my marriage and going at it alone would be worth it for my son and me … I was dreaming of that Brady Bunch scenario, and then the hard decision I’d made would play out to be worth it,” She says. But things didn’t quite go as she’d hoped. Her son didn’t mesh well with her new boyfriend’s kids, and eventually, the pair decided to It’s over. “Post-divorce, people may better know what they’re looking for in a partner, but the baggage can make it harder to succeed in a relationship,” She says.
According to Savannah MillerSenior manager of therapy services and licensed clinical social worker Headspace HealthThis baggage is in the form two inner narratives. “I’m scared I will get hurt again” “I don’t trust myself in love anymore.” “Even in the most supportive divorces, there is a sense of loss of the dream you created with your partner, the romantic relationship, and a realization that even with the best of intentions, not all marriages are able to succeed,” says Miller. Miller said that the breakup Sometimes it feels like everything. your worries were completely valid—and the cycle continues.
You may also no longer trust that you’re worthy of love—and that feeling seeps into your Next breakup. “[A] first heartbreak after divorce can feel like an internal ‘I told you so’ moment,” According to licensed marriage and family therapists Emily SimonianHead of clinical education at the counseling platform Thriveworks. “They may be flooded with negative beliefs about themselves or relationships—beliefs that they worked hard to disprove, only to feel like their fears have been realized.”
These are all normal, but very damaging feelings that you might feel. your first post-divorce breakup, it’s important to prioritize your healing before “getting back out there.” Here are the top tips from experts for caring for your pet. your well-being.
1. Learn from others your People (including therapists)
If you have the financial means and the time to Family therapy should be a priority. However, if that’s just not in the cards for you, tap your For support, network. “Whether or not you choose to try therapy, this is an important time to reach out to supportive friends and family,” Smolarski. (*6*)
2. Do the things that bring you joy. your breakup
Smolarski is also a strong advocate for getting back to No matter what, the things that make your happy are the most important. your Relationship status “This could be hiking, camping, dancing, yoga, drawing, playing music, or painting. Whatever it is, go do it. You want to get those endorphins activated in your brain,” She says.
3. Try to Find the objective ways to Look at what has happened
“It’s too easy to become self-critical or to feel rejected, but there is usually another way to view a subjective reality. For example: Just because it didn’t work out with [that person] doesn’t mean I’m unlovable/won’t find someone that is a better match,” says Simonian. You can also try writing these truths down—and returning to They are available when your Inner critic can get too loud.
4. Carefully curate the media you’re consuming
During this time, you’ll want to Be extra cautious about the content you are putting into your website. your brain. For example, your Comparisons can be made on social media. to Smolarski also recommends that others stop using TikTok or Instagram for now.
Your newfound free time will make time for self-improvement podcasts and other forms of media that truly bring you joy—something that Miller loves recommending to Her clients. It doesn’t matter if you are a client. The Great British Baking Show or listen to an entire season of Brené Brown’s podcast, your You will have a positive impact on your mental health.
5. You can create routines that will give you stability
Whether you’re practicing mindfulness, writing in a journal, or taking a walk every single day on your Smolarski likes to have lunch breaks. He believes in one new habit, which will make him a strong, unwavering force. your life. This will offer you a sense of consistency at a time when things may feel like they’ve gone haywire.
6. Remember that there’s still a chance for love—if you want that
“In July of 2020 I ended up meeting a new guy who I’m still dating now. He’s a great person, and our relationship is going great,” says Michelle. “The jury is still out, but I’ve moved beyond the breakup to a much better place.” Keep taking care of yourself—and you will move on, too.
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