Thoughts

2017 Divorce Resolutions: Foundation for a Happy Future

2017 Divorce Resolutions: Laying Foundation for Happy Future

Every year as the calendar flips from one year to the next, millions of people reflect on goals and changes that can improve their lives: diet, exercise, save more money, spend more money,have more fun.

For people experiencing the transition of divorce, there are both tangible and intangible objectives that can transform chaos into stability and dissatisfaction into fulfillment. These can include life areas such as career, social life, finances, weight loss, and dating. They can also include personality and behavioral qualities like patience, kindness, and gratitude.

Let’s focus on some ways to grow through the psychological and emotional challenges of divorce to lay a foundation for a happy future.

Resolution #1: “I Will Not Speak Poorly About My Ex To Our Children.”

If you loved everything (I mean everything) about your ex, you probably would not be divorced. You are allowed to dislike the annoying things your ex says and does. You can also dislike their parenting choices. What you should NOT do is share those opinions with your children who see themselves as half of Mom and half of Dad. When challenged with situations that directly affect your children, assist them in coping with disappointment and difficult feelings rather than criticizing their other parent. Use good friends or a trusted therapist when you need to vent about your ex.

Resolution #2: “I Will Nurture My Self-Esteem.”

It is natural to feel unwanted and unworthy at times following divorce. The key to feeling better about yourself is to look at yourself through God’s eyes and not your ex’s eyes. The use of positive affirmations on a daily basis can help to change the negative recordings in your head. Try some of these: “I am attractive. I am loving. I am smart. I am successful. I will love again.”

Resolution #3: “ I Will Forgive My Ex.”

If you follow through with this resolution, you will create peace and save yourself from bitterness. Regardless of what transpired in your marriage, letting go of anger and resentment is the key to healing. Looking at the divorce more objectively (which takes time and distance) often results in the conclusion that you wanted and valued different things. Focus on what you value and let your ex off the hook to pursue what they value. Try to go a step further and wish them well in your heart.

Resolution #4: “I Will Have Fun.”

Make yourself a “Bucket List” for 2017. Include big and small desires. Some examples are to plan a trip, decorate a room, take a meditation class, go for a massage, run a 5K. Perhaps musical theatre brings you joy? Or live music? Identify interests that make your heart sing and DO THEM!!!

Make this your year to be grateful for what you have rather than what you don’t have. Focus on abundance and watch what you’ll accomplish!

By Deirdre Hally Shaffer, LCSW

©2016 Alpha Resource Center

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