If you were to go to Google or Bing and type in the words 'divorce month,' you would find dozens of articles that speak to January being the most common for couples to divorce. This makes sense if you think about post-New Year's resolutions, a very common one of which is to find true happiness.
And so it goes, as a lot of people decide to walk away from a marriage that did not make them happy.
Logic would also suggest that the months directly preceding a divorce would be particularly difficult, thereby giving a new meaning to the term 'spring fever,' emphasis on 'fever.' This is true even for the person who initiated the divorce. We are human, and we can't help but feel pain and hurt for the loss of love, and in some cases, the countless years we feel that we wasted on someone. What's more, we can very often feel like we have nowhere to go in this new dating world that we're unfamiliar with. Hence, spring 'fever' is upon us.
So how do we break out of this? What are some things that we can and should be doing to lessen the scars of divorce?
Reflect on why the divorce happened.
Maybe there were egregious things like abuse or cheating at play; perhaps long-standing communication or complacency issues. Whatever the reason, it is important to recall those negative experiences and remind yourself that part of why the divorce happened is because these were unacceptable things, which will no longer cast a dark shadow over your life. Think about it: it's a lot easier to move forward when you can remind yourself what you're moving forward from.
Put yourself out there, physically.
Do not sit around the house. Do not spend hours behind a keyboard, not even those mini ones that can fit in your back pocket. Sitting around will do a few (bad) things for you:
- It will rid you of any opportunity to socialize or experience new things that help you remember the possibilities.
- It will put you in a literal space where you'll have oodles of time to ponder and re-ponder the old.
- It will make you lazy in all respects when what you really need is to feel, and be, energized.
Think about it: There is no moving forward when you're spending so much time resting in place.
Get excited about the idea of someone else.
Did you know that 50% of all U.S. adults are single? That represents over 100 million adults, and hundreds of thousands of options within any mile radius for the average adult. Who is your someone else? What does he or she like to do for fun? These are perfectly reasonable, fun, and healthy questions to ask yourself. And yes, they are helpful. No one is suggesting that you'll be ready to date two months after a divorce, but when you can imagine a life of intimacy, fun dates and quality conversations with someone special, you will begin to forget where you were and where you stand. Think about it: it's a lot easier to move forward from pain and heartache if you can replace those things with love and passion.
Here's the thing: Divorce is neither fun, nor unstressful, but there are things you can do to lessen the hurt. If you don't take some deliberate steps to help you move forward, spring fever will become bummer summer. Take personal action to help you avoid this cliché of an experience. Take control of you.
Written by Chris Armstrong
Chris Armstrong is a Certified Relationship Coach. His advice and columns are rooted in modern realities of men, women, sex, and love. He has been published more than 500 times in various media outlets such as MSNBC, Elephant Journal, Huffington Post, Divorced Moms, Your Tango, The Good Men Project, and She Knows, to name a few. Chris has had more than 450 clients and has run more than 75 workshops and seminars. Contact him via www.MazeOfLove.com.