How to Get Closure After a Divorce
Divorce is emotionally, physically, and financially taxing. Divorces are often heated affairs and can come after months or years of relationship troubles. Getting closure after a divorce can be challenging, leaving many people feeling like their lives are in limbo. Below, we offer a few tips on obtaining closure after divorcing. Reach out to a compassionate New Jersey divorce attorney for help with a New Jersey family law matter.
Commit to Working On Yourself
Ultimately, you are the only person who can give yourself closure. Waiting to get it from your ex is likely to end in disappointment. Instead, once you have decided to no longer let your ex and their energy consume your life, focus on yourself. Focus on your relationships with your friends and family, your personal habits like healthy eating and exercise, and your relationship with your children. Consider seeing a therapist or counselor to help you keep things in perspective; there are therapists who specialize in divorce and grief counseling. You will feel better about yourself overall, less caught-up with your ex and their life, and you will make better choices for yourself and your children.
Allow Yourself to Grieve
Ending a marriage is in many ways like the death of a loved one. The grieving process can feel similar; you are grieving the loss of the relationship, the loss of a very close companion, and the loss of who you were before and during the marriage. It’s OK to feel sad, angry, and all manner of emotions. It can help to have a symbolic send-off, just like you would for any other life event (funeral, wedding, etc.). You might even consider having a light-hearted divorce party with your friends and your family to officially say goodbye to the marriage and that phase of your life.
This one is tough. You might not think your ex is deserving of forgiveness. But now that you have them out of your life (either entirely or at least outside of custody/parenting time-related matters), holding on to your anger or resentment is only hurting yourself. All people are flawed, and more likely than not your ex did the best they could at the time (except for abusive or manipulative relationships). Dwelling on your ex and the past gives them free rent in your head and prevents you from fully moving on.
It’s easier to forgive when you reframe the matter: Forgiveness is not about actually forgiving your ex, or saying that their behavior was appropriate or acceptable. Instead, forgiveness is about giving yourself permission to move forward with your life. Leave your ex in the closed chapters of your life and look to the future.
Accept That You Might Never Get That Apology
In your quest for forgiveness, you may need to accept that your ex simply might not apologize for what happened during or after the relationship. Unfortunately, some people are simply unwilling or unable to acknowledge where they’ve done wrong or the pain they caused. Do not base whether you “forgive” them on whether they give you the apology they should. Your life is your own, and you have the power to move on regardless of what they do or do not say.
Focus on the Future
The more you can look to the future, to the positive impact divorce will have on your life (the freedom to redefine yourself and the course of your life), the easier it will be to find closure. The less you dwell on the past, the better. Focus on your relationships with family and friends, your relationship with your children, and what you want out of your life from this point on. Reframe the story to embrace the silver lining of your divorce: You are now fully empowered to give yourself whatever direction you want.
If you’re considering filing for divorce in New Jersey, or if you are dealing with child support, custody, alimony, or other New Jersey family law issues, call the seasoned and considered Union family law attorney John B. D’Alessandro for a consultation.