Inspiration, Encouragement & Strength
join a community of support ›

From The Experts

We’ve gathered knowledgeable, dedicated divorce experts from a variety of fields to lend their advice and perspectives. Our experts include lawyers, healthcare professionals, certified professionals, and everyday women with insight into the topics that will help you stay empowered.

Back to Article List

Filter Articles By:  

Like the old song says, breaking up is hard to do. Getting a divorce is even harder because you can't always cut your ex out of your life. Relationship author/expert Lisa Steadman offers the following five tips for healing and moving on after divorce.

Create new boundaries with your ex

Healing and moving on after a breakup is easier when you can cut your ex out of your life completely. However, when you go through divorce, you can't always do that. Maybe you have kids together, property together, a business together, etc. If this is the case, the first thing to do when going through a divorce is create new boundaries with your ex. Only discuss matters that relate to both of you, i.e. the children, business, property. Don't try to nurture each other through the divorce or talk about your new social life. That just muddies the water and makes moving on more difficult.

Enlist the help of your Boo-Hoo Crew / build your social network

No matter how many breakups we go through in our life, we never get through them without our friends. Divorce is no exception. It's important to have a support system in place for those times when you're sad, depressed, or just have the urge to contact your ex. If you don't feel comfortable, enlisting the help of friends he made during your marriage, call on old friends or join a divorce support group. And don't worry — as you ease into Movin’ On Mode, your Boo-Hoo Crew becomes your Woo-Hoo Crew!

Give your post-divorce bedroom a makeover

It may seem insignificant, but your bedroom holds the key to how quickly and easily you move on after a divorce. That's why it's necessary to give your bedroom a bit of a makeover. Buy new sheets or a new comforter, move the bed to another wall (or throw out the mattress and really declare your bedroom yours!), invest in a new set of pajamas that your ex never saw you in, invite a new scent into the room with candles or air freshener. Do whatever it takes so that every time you enter the bedroom, you're not reminded of your divorce and instead are able to focus on celebrating you and your ability to move on! Here are a few more tips on redecorating your bedroom as well as a Q & A on Sprucing Up Your Post-Divorce bedroom.

Give yourself a makeover

Divorce can be tough on your self-esteem. That's why it's so important to treat yourself to a makeover. It helps us reconnect with our inner fabulousness. So go ahead — invest in that cut, color, and highlights. Re-vamp your closet. Stop by the makeup counter at your local department store and get a new look. You deserve to celebrate the new you that's emerging after the divorce. She's fabulous. And she deserves to be celebrated!

Throw yourself a movin' on party

Celebrate the new and improved life after your divorce by throwing yourself a movin' on party. The party is not so much focused on celebrating divorce as it is celebrating the life that's now waiting for you, a life that promises to be more authentic and inspired now that you're free to be true to yourself. Only invite friends and family who can celebrate your future and not dwell on the past.

 

Click the following for a directory of articles to help you keep a healthy mind and spirit through divorce.

Back to Article List


Leave a comment

18 comments

  • Comment Link Val Saturday, 22 February 2014 19:35 posted by Val

    I found the community at EXaholics.com to be a lifesaver when getting over my divorce. http://www.exaholics.com/2014/01/24/how-to-recover-from-a-break-up-part-1-validation-2/

  • Comment Link Guest Sunday, 27 January 2013 22:49 posted by Guest

    Lost: Dear Lost,
    I'm so sorry what you've suffered. You have been very damaged by what is known as a malignant narcissist. Look it up and do a little research. They are people who have no conscience and pick people like yourself, very caring and committed, to basically feed off of. They also must make themselves feel good by destroying those closest and most loving toward them. It will help you a lot to understand what happened to you in your marriage, so that you can heal. It is not like a regular relationship problem-when you get involved with a narcissist you are damaged in very critical ways that need special attention and awareness to heal. I wish you all the best, and until you heal, it is good to stay away from men for now, because during vulnerable times we are very likely to be won over by another narcissist and damaged even more. They are experts at finding vulnerable people and making themselves look like your savior to win you over, and as soon as you begin to trust them, they begin to destroy you. Take care!!!

  • Comment Link Guest Wednesday, 23 January 2013 00:49 posted by Guest

    well iam a divorced man: well iam a divorced man myself i did similar things your husband did and actually had sex with a lady. I hated getting a divorce i regret what i did. But the thing is question how much he loves you pray give it to God. If he stands by how he feels after you show him love then you may have to concide. God bless U!

  • Comment Link Guest Tuesday, 22 January 2013 22:08 posted by Guest

    I got through a divorce and so can you!: I am a divorced woman of many children. My divorce was very , very ,ugly to say the least. My ex was very cruel. He abused me physically and mentally. I had no choice but to save myself and leave the marraige after 17 years of it getting worse and worse . I exhausted everything including many therapists . The decision to leave was very difficult for me but once I did I never looked back. It's been 3 years now and I can happily say I have no regrets. I am Jewish so the divorce process took extra long being that I needed two divorces. One Jewish and the other civil. It's very complicated being that only the man can give the Jewish divorce otherwise a woman cannot get remarried again. Aside from all that its important to be part of a support group to vent and share feelings. I have learnt that a real friend is very hard to come by in this world. I mean a friend that will stick with you in the good times and bad. It's rough I am not going to say its easy but keep your head up and be strong and you will get through it. Nobody deserves to live an unhappy life. As for my children ,they are with their father now ( it's a long story) . I believe the truth always prevails. Someday, they will know all the brainwashing their father did will never keep them from a loving mother who loves them unconditionally. Take care of yourself and be easy on yourself too. It's ok to have ups and downs for a while. All the best and hope this helps!

  • Comment Link Guest Tuesday, 13 November 2012 09:15 posted by Guest

    Exhausted: I have been married for 8 years and been together 9. Three years ago my husband decided to get a job in another state. My son and I did not see that coming and decided to stay in Tennessee while him in Alabama. My son have always been the top of his class. He was a freshman in high school and have always aspired to graduate valedictorian which is very likely as he is graduating this May. Not to mention his father from my first marriage lives there too.
    For 3 years I have been on the road back and forth driving 7 hours at a time. Shortly after his move I caught him cheating on me with several women online and have even sent naked pictures of himself. To make it short, I forgave him nonetheless and decided to move with him while my son lived with his dad. It has never been the same after that. He did try so hard to compensate what he did but I have grown to be harsh and bitter but still love him. I thought I have forgiven and forgot but looking back I have not. Now he is divorcing me saying that he's tired of carrying the relationship. He has bought me things and done sweet things to me but have never appreciated it. I didn't see it then but I do now. I begged him to give me a chance as I did not see it coming. He said he still cares for me and loves me but not in love with me.
    I just had my first therapy yesterday as I am lost and sinking into depression and anger. I still love him and feel its all my fault.
    Please help!

  • Comment Link Guest Monday, 12 November 2012 00:36 posted by Guest

    Im so sorry to hear that. You: Im so sorry to hear that. You seem like such a gentle man, its unfortunate that you went through that. But I hope you rebuild from it, and live the life of your dreams. Best wishes to you and yours.

  • Comment Link Guest Friday, 09 November 2012 12:51 posted by Guest

    Devistated: Dear Devistated,
    Boy do I feel your pain. After a 20 year marriage, giving my all, trying to make him happy, I finally got mad. It had taken me a long time to get there, but I decided that I had every right to get angry (which was true) and I left my husband to visit my aunt for a while. My ex had a history of walking out on me and when I left him to think about things, he basically got a taste of his own medicine. When I came back home, he left the next morning. We had some very, very good years, and I thought that one of the things that made us so successful was because we had similar dysfunctional backgrounds which I thought we had conquered because neither one of us wanted to go back to that way of living. I realize now that this was a dysfunctional attraction. He had always drank beer, so I guess I didn't notice when it became more and more serious. He probably always had a drinking problem, but as everyone says, Alcoholism is a progressive disease as well as a family disease. Eventually, I became just as unhealthy as he was, but in a different way. I became co-dependent. My easiest definition of a co-dependent is that I am addicted to the addict. So here is what I have learned (and I am newly divorced). For once, I set a boundary with what I felt was unacceptable. This was weird for a couple of reasons. The first was that I stood up for myself which surprised him because I stood up for myself at last. Secondly, because I wasn't use to setting boundaries, it feel really strange to me, almost as if I had done something wrong. When we make a decision to stand up for ourselves after allowing our abusers to walk all over us, they basically throw a temper tantrum because their world is so narcissistic they can't believe we have treated them so awful! So for me, I realized that he wanted to punish me for setting a boundary (by standing up for myself). I, like you, was heart broken. I loved him so much (and probably still do and always will) but the man I married who loved and valued me is gone. I didn't divorce the man I married, because he's gone. I feel more like a widow than anything else. You reached out because you miss him. He isn't calling you because he is trying to punish you for pressing charges. You set a healthy boundary and it is so foreign to you because you have been trapped in a dysfunctional relationship that it has made you feel guilty because you haven't made a healthy decision for yourself. So with that said, it is just as foreign to him. He hasn't ever known you to stand up for him in years. He wants to make you hurt and it is working. You still care of him because you have gotten use to companionship. It is tough being alone. It is tough feeling lonely. For me though, I don't miss the constant tip-toeing. What am I going to say today that is going to send him over the edge. I don't miss tip-toeing and not knowing what is right or what is wrong, because he always seemed to change his mind. God is giving you what you need. He is giving you time to get strong. Anytime that your abuser doesn't reach back to you, is a blessing from God. Remember that God works through everything for good, but it is sooooo hard to see it when you're going through it. You have grown comfortable with the dysfunction and now that you've stepped out to healthy behavior it feels really strange. Pray, stay away, and get to a support group who will help you see how normal you really are and that you are not crazy just because some unhealthy person you use to trust tells you so. You are a strong woman, it has just been a long time since you reached down there to show your courage and strength. You don't have to do it alone and you can get to a support group so you can borrow their strength. You will find that keeping the silence is enabling and you will find true strength in finding your voice and spirit again.

  • Comment Link Guest Tuesday, 06 November 2012 03:58 posted by Guest

    LOST: sigh i am 22 and have been officially divorced for a full year. i was with my ex for just shy of three years i gave my marriage everything i had. time,money, everything....i gave him the best parts of my self and held nothing back from him. i was never taught to hold anything back my family raised me so that when you are with your spouse everything is open and a give take relationship you compromise when you disagree and at the end of the day no matter how frustrated angry or upset you go to bed saying i love you and still curl up with each other thankful that at the end of the day you have each other no matter the difficulty. i know i should have seen the warning signs in the beginning but ahh to be young and stupid...or maybe naive and trusting. my ex went to prison a week after we were married on a charge of petty theft that had been done long before i meet him. he begged me to leave and i said no i said for better or worse and i meant my vows.he swore to me that he would never do something that stupid again and that was all the affirmation i needed. he got sentenced to 5 years 2 in and 3 on parole. those two years where hell on earth for me. i came out of it emotionally battered and bruised feeling like a war victim. but i survived i clung on and i survived , he survived and i thought... maybe just maybe things could finally become the way they were supposed to be and they were...for all of a couple of weeks. i knew there would be difficulty ahead but i knew i could handle it....the worst was over right?we had handled prison and now he was home we had each other and we had proved we could make it thought what life threw at us. :( that what i thought but apparently he didn't feel the same. he resented the fact that i brought home more money than he did claiming that it demasculated him and would complain that i could have a job and go to college no problem but he couldn't because of his record. when i tried to help him find a job or let him take over the accounts he flipped out saying he didn't need my help or to stop pitying him. this went on for about five months and i was patient because the psychological effects that prison can have on a person can be brutal. there was a constant on going battle going on and i was never good enough or he never had enough to make him happy. well around April my job required me to go overseas for a while. not even a month after i left he was telling me that i had never earned his respect and that a dog deserved more respect than i did. he also had been bringing girls at all hours of the night into my house(as i found out later). he had said so many verbally abusive things to me by this point that when he asked for the divorce i gave him a week to cool off and think about it and in the end he still wanted it without going to the counselling i had begged for. so i gave it to him the respect comment had been what broken the camels back but i can still hear him mocking me when i finally gave in and said fine you can have the divorce. " i thought you said you would never give up you keep you vows" i just quietly told him that he had broken all of our vows long before i ever gave in. so from there i stood my ground no fuss no muss no fighting i wasnt having any of the b/s that usually goes on it was almost ruthlessly quick and i was as cold and professional as any one could have asked at least in front of him.in my mind he did not deserve to see one more ounce of emotion from me. iv gone though most of the greiving anger bitterness sadness lonelyness (not much regret he made sure of that) but a lot of sadness. im well on my way to the career of my dreams and got accepted to a great college institute and have a wonderful job i feel more and more like my self each passing day but part of me still feels...lost if i look a little past that i still feel all the pain rejection abandonment and some small part of me screaming that it wasnt right fair ect. most of the time i ignore it that voice is stupid and i give all the valid reasons to my self as to WHY. but it just doesnt go away i cant get into dating becuase the moment i guy glances at me like that i seriously feel like im going to puke and touching me is BEYOND out of the question.i dont know what to do i get so fustrated that im not healing fast enough its not that i want to jump into a new relationship, but i cant stand the though of missing out on part of my life because some doushe decided he was going to break my heart. i am stronger than that i have over come all other obstacles by pushing though and taking action. does anyone no what i have done wrong and why i cant finish healing? i have taken time for my self i am pursuing my dreams, passion, and hobbies but i still cant answer questions about my self that i used to be able to answer without thinking about them. such as what are your cor beliefs about you self or how far do you trust others. trusting guys at this point almost gives my gag reflex a work out just trying to say loyalty or relationship. and the word committment seems to no longer exist in my vocabulary unless pertaining to work or freinds. does any one have any suggestions? iM lost and i just want this overwith im tired of it always being in the back of my mind

  • Comment Link Guest Tuesday, 16 October 2012 17:16 posted by Guest

    New: I have been with my husband for 5 years, married for 2.5. I found out in July that he had been cheating on me, near as I could track, since January. This has devasted me beyond belief. Now, he has received counseling, recognized his problems, and at this point, he is wanting me to let him back in and give him another chance. I have pondered this since July, and have come to the conclusion that I cannot ever trust him again. Trust is huge with me, and I cannot be with someone I can't trust. Not to mention that I don't think I could ever be intimate with him again, because I have terrible visual reminders of his infidelity. How does one get past this and move on? I have told him that I want a divorce, and he is actually filing the papers. Why am I so sad when this is what I want?

  • Comment Link Guest Sunday, 23 September 2012 09:01 posted by Guest

    DEVESTATED: I have been married 25 years, yes we have had many bumbs in the road for 25 years I dedicated myself to my husband, gave him everything in the world made sure he always had the best , made sure my family had the best , however he cheated on me , he would take my things and sell them on ebay or craigslist, he would beat on me when things didn't go his way. Finally for the first time when he went to strike me I had him locked up. So I have reached out for him , however no response from him at all , So I ask how can I still love someone that has been so awful to me, why would I want them back in my home, why is it so hard to move on.? Any words of wisdom or guidence would be greatly appreciated.

  • Comment Link Guest Wednesday, 18 July 2012 14:55 posted by Guest

    THATS WONDERFUL: What a great reply! How motivating. Thanks so much! I can't let my kids down, they see my pain, they will be in pain. I gotta pick myself up and dust myself off! Your words have made a difference :)

  • Comment Link Guest Wednesday, 27 June 2012 09:15 posted by Guest

    headed towards a divorce: Hi there.

    I just want to say first off that I am a man who has had a similar experience to yours, and just felt compelled to respond. I have been reading many of the stories on these pages, as I find great comfort in reading peoples experiences here that I can relate to on a deep level. As usual, women tend to express their feelings more in general, and also more sincerely than men do perhaps. Also, I have been the one cheated on, thrown out, lied to, and disrespected - and perhaps that's why I'm here as as well. My apologies if I'm out of line...

    I also got the "I love you but I'm not in love with you" crap. Truth is, she was having an affair. We had a six year old son and an eight month old baby at the time. I'm a very hands on dad, and was basking in the wonderful and 'perfect' family I was part of. I had no idea my wife was seeing another man. This would later turn out to be one of many affairs she would have. I don't know to this day if it was the first... or exactly how many she had.

    I ended up looking after an 8 month old baby while she disappeared for four days at a time with this guy, her mobile phone switched off. Flying off to holiday resorts. I stayed at home, knowing that she was with him, while I bottle fed our daughter. The pain was incomprehensible. It broke me. I don't know how you got through actually being pregnant while you were being thrown out in the trash, literally. I feel for you. You don't deserve that. Nobody does. It was his place to nurture and protect you. Not reject you.

    At least you can move on, with your children. As a dad, I lose my wife, my son and my daughter, - why? Because she decided I wasn't good enough... One day she said to me "I don't need you for money any more." After 12 years of marriage. I'm fighting for shared residency, but that's still a huge compromise. And my daughter is too young for the courts to award that to me easily.

    We all deserve respect, love and honesty. I don't believe there's any excuse for infidelity, Its a choice. I don't know whether your husband is having an affair or not, but he's certainly entertaining the thought that "The grass is greener on the other side" if he wants to leave you, and that means he's thinking about it. The 'truth' is the tool you need to make the right decision. I wish you the best of luck, and hope we can all, some day, find true peace.

  • Comment Link Guest Friday, 15 June 2012 07:58 posted by Guest

    To last guest w two kids (5: To last guest w two kids (5 yo and 4 mo). Im so sorry, I know how much it hurts.. All too well. The "I love you but Im not in love with you"- its a priceless line isnt it? In truth, its said by a weak individual who wants to sound (he thinks) noble... Like he was trying but that the targeted object of his affections did not live up to expectation. DONT BELIEVE IT. It is emotional warfare right now. Abuse at its worst, and you deserve better. I promise! Take it one step at a time, and do whats best for you and your kids. Moving to another state to be near your family support system sounds like an excellent idea! If he wants to truly be involved he will pick up jlhis fanny and go to where you and his kids are. Or not1 your kids will not only survive but do well- they have you. But much like they say when you are in a plane going down and you are a parent in the plane..quick put that oxygen mask on yourself first or you will all go down! Cherish and find love for yourself. Honor yourself by keeping to what you deserve- respect, kindness, love. You should not be forced to feel like you have to beg or jump through hoops to get love and attention... Despite what he may make you try to believe. You are amazing, a mom of two amazing little kids (Im right, arent I? Lol)... And you must focus on finding joy again. Peace, girlfriend.

  • Comment Link Guest Friday, 06 April 2012 22:21 posted by Guest

    headed towards a divorce: hi iv been with my husband for 16 yrs and married for almost 7. we have a 5yr old daughter and just had a son thats 4months. when i was 6mo pregnant my husband told me he loved me but wasnt in love with me anymore and that he cant change how he feels towards me, or if they will ever come back and not sure when. im devistated to the point i feel so alone. i ended up having our son shortly afterwards due to stress and he was very premature. i thought for sure this would bring us closer together but it hasn't. he doesnt feel for me the way i feel for him and he wants to divorce since he doesn't see his feelings changing anytime soon. hes tired to show affection but he says he feels guilty or forced into it. what do i do and how do i get over this and focus on me and move on from here with out him in my life? my daughtrer doesn't want to leave she says she wants us to be a family. if we leave were leaving the state to be close with my family but that means he will only see them a few times a year and i cry for my kids cuz my dauughter is used to him being there everyday playing with her and its going to be only a few times a yr she will get to see him. i don't want to move on i love him and still want to be with him even though he doesn't love me. please help im desperate at this point. i need to take back control of my life and feel that i am worthy of love again

  • Comment Link ListeningHard Wednesday, 21 March 2012 07:29 posted by ListeningHard

    Call them. Today. Tell them: Call them. Today. Tell them the truth- the kind truth. Tell them you love them, that you are there for themif you need them. Tell them you were not expecting this kind of change but it does NoT change how you feel about them. You live them. And it will be okay, itsv tough time now but that it will get better. Thrn give big hugs (even over the phone). Make plans, at minimum to talk to them again, if not see them. XoX.

  • Comment Link Guest Friday, 09 March 2012 10:14 posted by Guest

    It's not just the breaking up: It's not just the breaking up but moving on is hard to do! Mel, you are in a hard situation. You don't have to be blood to be family and it sounds like those 3 boys love you and need you in their life. What are you doing for yourself? I think of these tips, a post divorce bedroom is necessary (especially if you are staying in the house) and a quick makeover for yourself. Feel beautiful and confident in the person you are. I splurged on a new wardrobe and http://www.proextensions.com">hair extensions. I always wanted them but I wanted a true makeover so I did it! It was the right time for the new me to come out!

  • Comment Link CrazyAngel Monday, 27 February 2012 23:46 posted by CrazyAngel

    Those boys need you. Their: Those boys need you. Their father does not however and will always want someone new. You know this. It's a reflection on him, he's been married twice already and five years is a short marriage. Tell those boys you love them but that your heart is broken and needs time to heal. All relationships are complicated and while you are grieving your loss they are as well.... If the boys are willing then spend time with them and do something entirely new. Learn to dance, take a ceramics class, go fishing or hiking together. After our families are torn apart we need to do our best to repair them and doing things you love together will help. My son and I went bowling every week, we had a great time together and really learned to enjoy the game. I look back and know my children needed me to show them how to be strong because they were hurting too. Do something new with those boys of yours. I hope that by keeping positive relationships in your life you are able to move on. And when these boys have grown up you know they will be better men to the women in their lives.

  • Comment Link Mel Friday, 26 August 2011 00:15 posted by Mel

    New To Divorce: Thank you all for the good advice it is a hard time and finding forums like this can mean a lot. I could use advice that I don't know if anyone on here could help me with about my step sons. I was the second wife and I have full faith there will be a third by the end of the year, but I have had three wonderful step sons through the duration of our 5 year relationship. I do not know what to tell them they have called me and I have been so sad and hurt I have yet to call them back. I love them and have formed a bond with them. I do not want to leave them hanging, but I do not know what to say I was devastated by their dad leaving me for another woman. I am well on my way to putting myself back together from that but still don't know what to say.