Friday, January 17, 2014

Focusing on Positivity

Anyone who has been through a divorce has war stories—ugly, gory tales. Sometimes it is helpful to commiserate with each other by retelling these unpleasant events, but Sunny Splitsville is mostly about the positive—learning to thrive after the trauma of an unexpected divorce. Negativity is omnipresent and simple to embrace; a positive outlook is harder to maintain, especially in the first few months or even a year post-split. Bitterness is not what you want as your defining characteristic, so learning to adopt positivity (yes, I know the grammar is off) is critical to long-term happiness and success, both for you and your redefined family.

So what do I mean by positivity? It is an outlook and attitude that embodies:
  • Regaining self-confidence. No matter if you are a beauty queen and the mistress is a plain Jane, it takes time to recover from being rejected. Sometimes that involves returning to the dating world; other times it is about understanding the difference between what you have to offer and what he wanted. Most of all, it is about believing in yourself and knowing that there are plenty of other (and better) fish in the sea.

  • Learning new skills or recalling old ones. Once divorced, you often need to handle tasks that you never had to manage before or had delegated to the ex. As the head of a single-parent household, you have to do a lot more. From taking out the garbage to balancing the budget and  paying bills, you are in charge and that is empowering.

  • Discovering how to trust again. For the "it could never happen to me club," of which many of you have become unwilling members, learning to trust again can be a major issue. After all, if your previous assumption was a lifetime commitment and a bright future with the man you married, the next time someone makes a promise, you will be naturally skeptical and not as willing to believe it.

  • Acting as an effective single parent. Sure, it would be nice if a divorced couple could co-parent smoothly, but the reality is that now that you have taken this path, you do not always get along. In a marriage, everyone is on the same team, but on your own, questioning the wisdom of an ex's parenting choices is pretty common. The challenge becomes being a strong, self-assured parent while dealing with growing kids and the decisions of an ex, which you may sometimes feel are counterproductive.

  • Being optimistic. Kids, friends and family all pick up on the energy you emit, and it is important that you remain upbeat. Your children especially are looking to see how you adjust to your new life phase. What if this should ever happen to them? They want to see you not only survive, but flourish. Of course, everyone has a dismal day occasionally, but it is essential that you be there for your family and create a loving home where you continue to celebrate beloved traditions and make happy memories that you can all cherish.

1 comment:

  1. I found all of these positive ideas very helpful! thank you!!!