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Getting Past Divorce
Your Dream Was Shattered, Time to Wake Up
Divorce is one of the most devastating life events a person can experience. It can be overwhelming and painful, leaving a man feeling helpless and isolated. But, it is possible to get over a divorce, and there are steps a man can take to rebuild his life and find a way to move forward.
For the record, I am in the camp of doing everything possible to get yourself and your relationship back to “right” before deciding to break the lifelong commitment made; divorce is not something that should be happening as frequently as it does.
Five Steps to Overcoming Divorce
I’m obviously not divorced, and I’m the guy saying, “If you don’t live it you can’t give it” so am I breaking my own rule here?
Divorce, Business Partnerships, Close Friendships, etc., there’s an overlap with all of these which I’ve studied, lived, and now understand intimately - to the point that I’ve helped many men who’ve gotten divorced find their way back to living their best path.
I’ve done this with them during their divorce, not just after the fact.
So, I’m speaking to you from an awareness and understanding of transferable skills I’ve tried and tested; I know they work. While I’ve never been divorced, I’ve been through enough and have worked with as many as needed for me to know I know what the hell I’m talking about.
1. The first step to getting over a divorce is accepting it has happened.
This can be difficult to do, especially if it is the more common scenario where you, the man, did not initiate the divorce. You may feel angry, hurt, and betrayed, all of which is natural, and it is also natural for you to want to deny or avoid the reality of the situation.
But, to get over the divorce, you must accept that it has happened or is happening.
Take a breather and step back, see life for what it is, not just at the moment, but take the 30,000’ overhead view and see that this is now your reality and all of those hopes and dreams you had, they’re going to be different as this relationship has run its course. Beautiful memories may be tainted; try to keep the good, let go of the bad, and accept that this was a lesson learned and not your final lesson.
Life goes on; as hard as that is to hear and accept, it does.
2. The second step is to grieve the loss.
This is a very important step, allowing yourself to process the emotions and come to terms with the divorce. You may experience various emotions, like someone you hold dear passing away, flashes of sadness, anger, guilt, and relief. You must allow yourself to experience and express these emotions, as doing so will help you to move on and begin the healing process.
When the house is empty, the kids may be gone, the silence is deafening, the dreams are over, the reminders sting, and ultimately the void is left in your soul, missing the piece which used to be filled by your spouse - that is painful, and that is a literal death, it’s the death of the marriage, with all of the reminders around you of what was.
Mourn it like a man, then pick yourself up and continue to move forward; the relationship died - you did not.
3. The third step is to take care of oneself.
This means eating healthy, exercising, and getting enough sleep. Taking care of your physical and mental health is essential after a marriage dissolution. Finding your way back to thinking clearly and channeling the emotions out healthily, along with the mental benefits of stimulating your body, will help you find the strength and resilience needed to get through this difficult time.
Now is the time to commit to that program, find a coach, or commit to consistency with reading, meditation, and physical fitness.
You must keep yourself from becoming a depressed sedentary human mushroom, growing on a couch, living an apathetic existence with nihilistic thought patterns. The sooner you catch yourself, the less you fall; thus, you must climb fewer rungs to get yourself back to “normal”.
4. The fourth step is to reach out to friends and family.
Having a strong support system during this time is important; having people to talk to can make all the difference. For many, close friends and family can and should be pulled into the fray for discussion and planning for future living.
Inside the Fraternity of Excellence, we’ve been there to help many through this process. I’ve witnessed firsthand a strong male network's impact on a man going through this painful transition.
A support system helps one feel less alone and provides much-needed empathy and understanding. If you’re losing your wife, the last thing you need to to feel you’ve lost your friends and other loved ones as well.
5. The fifth step is to focus on the present.
It is easy to be consumed by thoughts of the past and feelings of regret, but it is important to focus on the present and look forward to the future. This will help you move on from the divorce and create a new life. Forward-thinking literally has you looking to the new and giving time and attention to something aside from the old.
Once you mourn the loss, give yourself permission to move on.
Yes, it’s weird, different, unplanned, and all sorts of other descriptors, but the one thing you cannot say is that it isn’t here.
This has happened; deal with it, take that awareness to move on with the lessons learned, and focus on what is next for you.
Start the next chapter; your book isn’t done.
Moving Forward Without Anchors
Please be patient with yourself; there will be times you don’t get it right, you want to cry, you’re sad, etc. it’s fine to feel this, but to sit and dwell, stewing on the wrongs committed, how this isn’t fair, or talking shit about your ex - that is unacceptable.
Divorce is a long process; healing and moving on will take time.
Allow yourself the time and space needed to adjust to the new reality of life.
Divorce can be a difficult and painful process, but it is possible to get through it and move on to a happier future. Rebuild your life, don’t spend the rest of it staring at where things went wrong, or you’ll end up a bitter, broken, lonely old man who missed the opportunity of a lifetime that was presented after your divorce.
- Zachary Small
Fraternity of Excellence - This is my private men’s community dedicated to helping you become a better man, husband, father, and leader; FoE is a community that can help you improve your finances, relationships, and physique and ultimately get you living the life you want to live.
It’s also a place where many who’ve lost their marriages have found ways to save themselves and their future.