Last Updated: December 23, 2022
No one enters into a marriage with he thought they will be getting divorced. Divorce can be a nasty experience for some, and can carry a lot of heartache. However, many people learn a lot about themselves after having gone through a divorce. This isn’t to say divorce is something to strive for, (it isn’t), but it happens to millions of people and it presents a unique opportunity for individuals to grow and better themselves (and their family). The ability to have meaningful personal growth after divorce is essential to moving on to a positive next chapter.
Personal Growth After Divorce: Many Options
The dissolution of a marriage can allow a person to grow in various ways. For some, going through the process of a divorce can force a person to address personal issues and/or problems in his/her life that may have played a central role in the breakdown of their marital relationship. Divorce can also give someone the opportunity to reflect on his/her past, think about mistakes that were made, and work on becoming a more positive, successful person in the near future.
Beyond that, personal growth after divorce might be achieved by allowing a person more freedom and autonomy to pursue his/her own interests and goals. Finding out what a person’s life goals and aspirations are can lead to new and wonderful things like a career change or the opportunity to move to a new location. However, it is very important to remember that divorce can also (many times) be a stressful experience. It is perfectly normal for people to experience a wide range of feelings and emotions. This might come in the form of sadness, anger, and even anxiety. The ability to find personal growth after divorce can be finely tuned with the help of friends, family, or a therapist if needed.
Personal Growth After Divorce: Therapy Can Help
During and certainly after a divorce, it can be a smart idea to seek some individual therapy. Seeking therapy can be a helpful option for individuals who are going through a divorce, and who have recently finished the divorce process. A therapist can provide a safe and confidential place for a divorced person to explore, in-depth, their inner thoughts, feelings, and behaviors related to their divorce.
Therapists can also help a person develop skills for coping with their emotions and positive strategies for managing the stress that often comes with the dissolution of a marriage. Therapy can also be a useful tool for individuals who are struggling to navigate the practical aspects of their divorce, such as dividing assets or establishing a new living arrangement.
Therapy Can Be Successful
Keep in mind that everyone’s experience with therapy is entirely different, and it will likely take time to find a therapist who is a perfect fit. It may be helpful to speak with several therapists before deciding on one, and it’s okay to switch therapists if needed. Therapists know that personal growth after divorce is incredibly personal and they know that they might not be a good fit for everyone that makes an initial consultation with their office. It’s also important to remember that therapy is a process that is collaborative in nature, and the most successful therapy outcomes often occur when the person involved is actively engaged in the therapeutic process.
Therapists Specializing in Divorce
There are specific therapists or therapy practices that primarily work with divorced individuals, although most therapists handle divorce situations and other types of therapy. There are many therapists that are experienced handling the stressful issues that go with people who are going through a divorce. Therapists like this can offer specialized guidance to help them move on in a positive manner. Many therapists have specific training in working with people looking for personal growth after divorce as his/her main goal (versus therapists that primarily just work with a client for coping skills).
Take these situations for example: if a person is having difficulty with feelings of grief or loss after finalizing the divorce a therapist who specializes in working with individuals who are grieving. In the alternative, if a person is having trouble with child-related issues such as co-parenting with their ex-spouse, they may want a therapist who specializes in helping clients with co-parenting issues (like a parenting coach or parenting coordinator).
Experience Personal Growth After Divorce
There are millions of ways that a person can experience personal growth after divorce. Some of these ways include:
1. Reflect on the past: Take time to reflect on what might have happened in the marriage and what may have been the main contributing factors to the divorce. Reflection can help an individual learn from his/her mistakes and prepare them to make positive changes in the future.
2. Seek support: The process of and the end result of a divorce is difficult. The emotional process is tough all by itself. It is important to have a strong support system in place to help get you through the challenging days ahead. Having friends, family, a therapist, or even a support group for individuals going through a divorce can help make you stronger in the end.
3. Take care of yourself: Prioritize self-care and work on your physical and emotional well-being. This includes important things like getting exercise, eating healthy, getting enough shut eye at night. It also includes finding healthy ways to cope with stress.
4. Set realistic goals and work towards them: The divorce process can be an opportunity to reassess one’s goals and priorities, and to make a plan for achieving them. This might include setting career goals, financial goals, or personal growth goals.
5. New experiences and trying new things: Divorce can be a time to step outside of your comfort zone and try new things. This could be anything from learning a new hobby, to traveling, or even meeting new people.
6. Closure: The path to achieve personal growth after divorce means finding a way to make peace with the past and move forward. Getting closure through communication with an ex-spouse, or even through other means, like writing in a journal or talking to a friend.
Keep in mind that personal growth after divorce is a process, and it may take time to work through the challenges and emotions that come with it. Be patient with yourself and seek support when needed. Divorce attorneys have dealt with every issue imaginable, and can provide resources with a free consultation.