• ktidwell

Use Your Divorce as an Opportunity for Growth

I am a firm believer that one should always strive to grow as a person. As much as we would like to blame our ex-spouse for all that went wrong, and granted they can be 95% of the problem, there may never be a bigger opportunity to learn from your past actions than through a divorce. It’s definitely not fun, but once you get a little distance out it’s time to go through the assessment process - objectively evaluate what really went on, be kind to yourself but be honest and take responsibility for your mistakes. Next, get to the root of why you acted that way, learn from them and move on. Your top goal now is to increase your confidence, put a thoughtful plan in place, set a good example for your children and prepare yourself for success in relationships going forward.

  1. Objectively Assess what went on. A lot of hurtful things are said during a divorce. Some have merit and some are just efforts to push buttons. Think about what you were criticized for. Was it an especially hurtful comment because you knew on some level it was true? Were you not affectionate? Were you overly critical? Did you spend too much? Was there a pattern? A certain cause?

  2. Take responsibility for your mistakes. Pride is a dangerous emotion that EVERYONE struggles with. It sometimes blinds us to our own faults. Part of personal growth is being able to recognize your own potential issues as well as gaining more and more control over your actions.

  3. Why did you act that way? Now that you have acknowledged your “need to work on items.” Where did that behavior come from in the first place? Where do you start trying to find out? What are you going to do to make progress going forward? This is usually most effective when you are partnered with a therapist. I know you think you can do it all on your own, but trust me, it will be a much quicker process with some experienced outside input.

  4. Put a plan in place for your fresh start. Goals are just dreams without a plan. You are going through a very emotional time, but emotions are temporary. The keys to success long-term are planning, mindfulness and discipline. Seems like way too much to process now - which is why this is the very time to ask for help! There are professionals that can help you prioritize your goals, create a plan on how to get there, and hold you accountable. If your struggle is financial there are divorce financial professionals or if it’s a health issue there are personal trainers to give you direction.

For some hindsight is 20/20 -they can clearly see the errors of their ways and take measures to help ensure they are not repeated in future relationships. Most of us, however, need both a partner and a plan. Keep taking the next step forward. If you are not sure what that is, let us help you think through what is needed to build your path to financial independence.

Life is full of mistakes - what is important is that you recognize and learn from them so that you can have success and happiness in the future!

Next week: Part 2: Find your Purpose. How to use your divorce as an opportunity for career growth. To make sure you don't miss out sign up to receive our blog here.

For informational purposes only, not giving legal advice.