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Going through a divorce can be very much like dealing with a death. Whether you are the one asking for or receiving the divorce, your emotions will generally include shock, denial, anger, mourning, deep depression and bitterness. So exactly how do you begin again after divorce?  

After talking with many men and women and hearing their personal stories, I’ve learned several things:
Allowing yourself time to go through all of the emotions is key.  Don’t surpress the feelings but work through them - not around or under them, but right through them.  And you will have to allow your emotions to come from the deepest part of you.  If you try to deal with just the surface pain, you’ll be missing the real root of the cause and healing will never be able to fully come.

A heart that breaks into a million pieces will heal, but don’t expect it to be exactly as it was.  This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, either.  Through the emotional healing you will come out a much stronger and wiser person.  Learn from the pain.  What brought you to the divorce?  What part did you play in the outcome?  Many of us want to believe we had nothing to do with it, but is that really the case?  Were you putting your marriage first?  Were you giving your spouse the time and attention you did when you were dating?  There’s many different factors to consider.  And I’m certainly not suggesting that in every situation we are to blame,  but during your soul-searching, look at your relationship honestly and see where the break up began to occur.  What can you do to work through that so that your next relationship will not face the same end?

Allow yourself to develop new interests and with them, new friendships.  Start fresh.  Start slowly if you need to, but just start.

Don’t be afraid to seek counseling.  It’s not a sign of weakness.  Most of the men and women I talked to had sought professional counseling at some point after their divorce.

Don’t even think about dating until you‘re ready.  It may take a year or more, but don’t push it.  Waiting until you are ready is crucial to having a relationship that is healthy.  Is the anger and bitterness gone?  No?  You aren’t ready.

Change your look to boost your self-confidence.  Divorce has a way of wreaking havoc on our self-confidence.  Update your look, hit the gym, etc.  

Give the new relationship a chance.  Move slowly, ever so slowly.  And remember, this partner isn’t your ex.  He/she isn’t responsible for any of your past pains and problems and shouldn’t have to pay for them.

If necessary, take it one day, one hour or one minute at a time.  As you focus on the future, you will begin to feel hopeful and excited about your progress.  Life will get better.  That’s a promise all of us who have worked through the healing process can make.

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