Some of the highest-read stories on Ribbons & Wine are me addressing my life post-divorce. When starting Ribbons & Wine, I wanted to include I was divorced and maybe some sprinkles about post divorced life, but I didn't want to make it a focus. However, since launching the site, Instagram, and Facebook pages, I have had people reach out to me for advice on many topics around divorce. Of course, I wasn't expecting to provide divorce advice, but knowing how overwhelming the process can be, I am grateful I can help.
Divorce is a subject that is often not talked about because it has a negative taboo, which can make going through the process lonely, scary, and confusing. I want others to hear that you can have a fuller, happier life even despite a divorce. Yes, divorce is challenging on families, and I wish everyone could have that fairytale happily-ever-after life, but that's not always possible or in your best interest. Here are my best tips for building a happy life during and post-divorce.
Choose to be happy. You are in charge of your happiness. Letting anyone else decide how you feel is giving them too much power. Instead, keep a positive mind that you will be fine, and everything will work out. I find meditation, physical activity (such as running/working out), and listing my gratitude’s each day helps me stay focused on all the blessings in my life and multiples my happiness.
Surround yourself with a few good people. The rest of the world doesn't need to hear your entire divorce story. Have a couple of good, trusted friends you can turn to unload, vent, and move on. You can have more friends but invest in fun and live a good life with those friends, that doesn't include dwelling on the past. Make them part of your future hopes and dreams. You have an excellent opportunity to build your dream life.
Hire a trusted attorney. I knew nothing about divorce. It didn't even cross my mind I would have to know anything before. Suddenly, I needed an attorney. My first attorney was indeed a fighter, and I respect her for that, but I felt lost in the process. I never knew what to expect or what was going on. I switched attorneys to someone that could answer all my questions and explain the process. She knows what my goals are, and we work together as a team. I feel respected and listened to; she's not just out to bill me. She wants the best for my children and me. Take your time and interview as many attorneys as you need to feel good about working with them.
Find a good therapist/life coach. I love therapy! An hour to talk about anything I want to, and this person has to listen to me. If you have kids, you know you can talk and talk and feel like no one hears you. I'm lucky because my therapist not only listens to me, but she is also a gifted life coach and offers solutions I wouldn't have thought of to make life easier. We have more patients, love, and empathy for others when we feel heard. Ask friends for referrals; that's how I found mine. Some websites can help and online reviews. Such as psychologytoday.com or betterhelp.com.
Keep your head high and keep being you. My wish would be that divorce goes smoothly and the contention melts away and both parties can find peace and happiness. Unfortunately, that rarely happens, or I hear it takes time. My main focus has always been my children, which has never changed. I want them to be happy, prosperous, and have integrity. I think about how I want them to see me behave, which may not always be how I want to react to a situation. There are always two sides to every story, and I can't control anyone else's narrative, but I can control how I respond and set a healthy example that stays true to who I am and my core values.
No one that I know gets married wanting to get divorced. Marriage is hard work, give yourself grace and evaluate your life and how you want to live. Divorce is not the end of the road but the start of an exciting adventure of self-discovery. Give yourself permission to be happy and go after your hopes and dreams.