Disclaimer: Being divorced is not taboo. We as Indians living in India or anywhere in the world need to stop stigmatizing it.
A divorce happens when either one of the partners feels that staying in the marriage is no longer in their best interest or when the couple mutually agree that the relationship is not working for them.
Unfortunately, most of us are conditioned to believe that failure is a ‘bad thing’. In all honestly, it is not. If you can understand a divorce as a life lesson it is easier to comprehend, accept and to not perceive it as the end of the world for you or anyone else. Having said this, the breakup of a relationship is never easy because emotional reactions are inevitable. To make matters more complex, in Indian marriages the immediate and the extended family are involved and a divorce impact everyone.
The reasons for a divorce are myriad. But we would like to address the most common ones once again:
- Outgrowing each other
- Interference from friends and family
- Complete breakdown of communication
- Any kind of abuse (economic, mental, emotional, physical)
An “amicable” divorce will give you the space to move on at your own pace and possibly with relatively more peace of mind. But a contested divorce (when one of the partners is not agreeable) can drain you emotionally and financially. If there are children involved, a contested divorce affects them and how the process plays out may not be in your control and you will have to be prepared for a possible long legal proceeding. When you are on the other side of the divorce, when it is finalized and you are legally single, we recommend you focus on the present and now rather than the future. Focusing on the present will help you to stabilize yourself emotionally, financially and spiritually, creating a strong foundation for any future relationships.
We share below some tips on how move on after the divorce. There is no order in which these need to be done. You would probably have to doing them simultaneously.
Finances – Ensure that you have a stable source of income and if required you cut back on expenses where you can. Irrespective of whether you are paying or receiving alimony or child support. You must have a control on your money no matter what.
Emotional and mental health – Check in with yourself and be honest. If you think you need professional help to resolve any residual issues seek out a good therapist. In cases of abuse, you should actively seek professional help for yourself and if you have children under your custody then for them too. There is nothing to be ashamed of. Any unaddressed issues can affect your performance at work and can threaten your income and financial stability.
Support systems – Establish a strong support system of supportive, non-judgmental friends and family. It’s okay to be choosy in this process which may result in making new friends. Your support system may include of paid help as well especially if you have young children.
Hobbies – Take this time to pursue hobbies and interests that you may have let go of during the marriage. This is your time to explore who you are now and “me time” is always good for everyone.
Socializing – Do your best to socialize and not isolate yourself. Go out dancing, attend and host gatherings, meet new people. There is literally nothing to be gained by wallowing and closeting yourself from the world.
Fitness routine – Create an exercise regimen that suits your health and fitness level. This can range from going for a walk, joining fitness classes or going for treks.
This is your opportunity for a fresh start. For you to create the life you always wanted. Make the most of it.