10 Ways To Reinvent Yourself After Divorce

10 Ways To Reinvent Yourself Post-Divorce

In a recent post where I interviewed a local divorce attorney about divorce, it became clear that Covid has spiked the number of divorces right now. 

Instead of dwelling on the negative side,  let's focus on how you can come out of this fresh, or reinvented. 
Being single and living without your spouse is a huge change, and part of being divorced is reconciling who you were before you married your ex with the person you are now.

Going through a divorce was probably a tough time for you that was filled with paperwork, court dates, and custody battles. But now, it’s all in the past. You’ve been through a divorce, and you’re stronger because of it. You’re starting a new chapter in your life as a single man. Here are 7 ways to start a great new chapter after your divorce:

1. Get Your Head Right With Daily Gratitude

It may be a given that you might not feel very grateful in the moment, however, this exercise will help you shift your energy and mindset where you will start to see many things good or even wonderful things in your life.
Start feeling gratitude with the small things, fresh clean drinking water, that you live in an amazing country, that you have freedom to make change and decisions that can impact your life, that you have a job, family that does love you, friends that have supported and continue to support you, good health, stable or great job...

Make a list of all the potential things you can be happy about, the people you know, the people that serve you, technology, clean air, your gym or daily walks.  You'll start to notice a change in how you actually feel.

2. Give Back... Pay It Forward

Now that you are starting to feel better and happier more consistently, it's time to focus on other people and find ways to help that inspire you.  It could be a simple mission to make someone smile every day or you could volunteer, donate to a great cause.

Shaq, the Championship Basketball player is well known for going into Walmart and buying people stuff to help shift their day and give them something good to talk about.  

3.  Change What You Watch

 Stop watching and reading things that sap your energy, make you feel bad or worse create anger.  The News was the first thing I chopped as it was constantly showcasing all the world's problems and catastrophes.  The News can come in many forms TV, Social Media, Twitter.  

Keep in mind, what you focus on expands.

4. Choose your narrative

Your divorce probably took up plenty of your emotional energy. Moving forward, you may be stuck wondering how you should integrate your divorce experience into your life. It’s up to you to decide if you want to make your divorce a big part of your narrative or not. For some people, making divorce a part of their story can help them move on. Hiring a therapist, talking to friends and family about it, and even blogging about it can help people grieve the loss of their ex. But, despite the strong feelings and trauma that divorce can cause, you don’t have to be defined by your divorce if you don’t want to be. Whatever way you decide to go, embrace it. There’s nothing wrong with choosing either option. 

5. Don’t forget the tough times

All relationships have great and not-so-great elements. A new way to reinvent yourself after divorce is to remember the ways your ex held you back instead of just reminiscing about the good times. Often, couples make compromises with each other that they don’t really want to make, and you probably did this in your marriage. Maybe you like going out, but your ex was a homebody, so you’d stay home with them. Maybe you’ve dreamed of moving to another city, but your ex wanted to stay put. It’s helpful to focus on hobbies and activities you did before your ex. Spend some time reconnecting with the activities you used to do. This will help you get back in touch with who you were before you were married. 

6. Commit to being there for your children

You’re likely an amazing parent already, but reaffirming your commitment to your children can give you a stronger sense of purpose. Spend as much time as you can with your kids and talk to them often. Remain respectful towards the other parent, and don’t make your kids the messenger between you and your ex. You understandably may feel betrayed and upset about the divorce, but don’t vent to your kids about it. Save your venting for a therapist or a friend.  Make sure your kids know that you love them with words and gestures, not just with presents. While overindulging your kids may make them happy in the short term, long term, it’s not good for your kid’s self-control. Children need discipline and structure to stay happy and healthy.

7. Establish new goals and work towards them

Think of some goals you’ve been wanting to reach. Whether that’s getting in shape, saving money, or pursuing a career goal, go do it! But be sure you set realistic and attainable goals for yourself. For example, if your goal is to get fit, set a goal to workout twice a week. Then, after you are in that routine, add on another day. It takes 30 straight days to build a habit, so be patient with yourself. As you’re pursuing new goals, you’ll probably find that it’s easier to achieve them without the influence of your ex. 

8. Re-establish your social circle

When you were married, you probably had a lot of married couples as friends. You likely saw your single friends less because you were part of a couple. Sometimes married friends take sides in a divorce, and some of them may have taken your ex’s side. Let go of those people who chose your ex and rethink your social circle.  Check in with old friends from college or high school, or friends you had before you married your ex. Call your parents and siblings more often. Talk to some of your coworkers and get to know them better. Reach out to other single parents at your children’s school and arrange a play date. 

9. Don’t hold on to fantasy

Some people fantasize about getting back together with their ex after a divorce. Not only is this possibility extremely unlikely, it just doesn’t make much sense. Some also fantasize about running into their ex in public. They may picture themselves arm in arm with a gorgeous new beau, and then they run into their ex on the street. They picture their ex seething with jealousy over the good-looking date. Then, later on, they get a call from their ex begging for them back. You may have had these fantasies while going through divorce, or you may have had entirely different ones. To reinvent yourself this year, let those fantasies go. While fantasies are fun and provide comfort, they’re unhealthy to hold onto. If you keep thinking about your ex and how much you want them back, you’re going to have a really hard time moving on. Replace your tired, worn fantasies with new, realistic ones, and you’ll start working towards becoming a new you. 

10. Forgiveness

Whether the divorce was initiated by you or your ex, forgiveness is essential to moving on. Forgiveness is simply the ability to let the situation go and accept that this is how it is. Forgive yourself and accept that what is in the past is over. To reinvent yourself, you need to let go of what happened in the past so you can move forward. Make any apologies you need to. Divorce is really difficult to handle, but the good news is that you made it through. Knowing this, you can have an awesome life going forward, and you can reinvent yourself in positive, healthy ways.