After years of growing apart, Tammy decided to divorce Alan. They never spoke and Alan did not seem to care about their marriage enough to figure out how to meet Tammy’s needs. It seemed as if they had lived on two different planets for years. Tammy had been so very unhappy and felt extremely alone in her marriage. Once she made up her mind that the marriage was over, she thought moving forward would be a snap. She was not prepared for the wave of emotions that swept through her once her and Alan physically separated.
You may identify with Tammy. You believed that the hard part was making the decision to divorce and that it was behind you. However, even while you were contemplating divorce, you had a certain sense of knowing what your life was all about. In other words, you were in your comfort zone. You were very used to the day to day habits that you and your husband established throughout the years. Now, after separation, you find that everything around you has changed.
A part of you wants to know what the future will bring. You know that you want to be happy. However, this is the time where you may be questioning your decision to leave. If you take a few minutes to breathe, you may realize that you don’t want your old life back and that you were truly unhappy in your marriage. You are longing for normalcy, and it can be quite scary while you are creating a new norm and moving forward after separation.
Each time you begin to feel panic, Close your eyes, and take three DEEP breaths. Breathe in through your nose and slowly out through your mouth. On the inhale silently say “I,” and when youexhale, silent say “Am.” If you like you can go longer than three breaths. Allow a wave of peace and calm to flow over you. Rinse and repeat as often as necessary.
Our lives are nothing but a gigantic number of habits. Many of these habits are forcebaly broken, the moment you and your husband separated. To move forward after separation, you need to begin to establish some new habits. Don’t go overboard. Choose one habit to focus on for a week or two, and then move on to another habit.
Think about what your regular routines were when you lived with your husband. Ask yourself which of these habits you liked and want to recreate as well as which ones you want to abolish for good. Note, that you may feel an emptiness when abolishing them, as they may have been a part of your life for a very long time.
Ask yourself what type of things do you want to do and what places do you want to visit? Can any of these become new habits? For instance, you may choose to join a club, go to church or volunteer at your local women’s shelter. You may want to take walks in the park or begin visiting all of the local attractions in your area. Tammy loved trying new and exotic food, so she made it a point to try a new restaurant every week.
Think of it as cleaning out your closet. You need to get rid of the old clothes to fill it with new one. This is what you are doing in your life right now. You are emptying the habits you did not like, and will begin to focus on new gratifying habits in order to move on after separation and divorce and live a happy and fulfilling life.