Nobody goes into a relationship with the plan of getting a divorce. In the beginning, it is always love and lust, laughter and smiles. The joy of it carries you away and makes you feel as though nearly anything is possible. As time goes on, those feeling dim into a sense of normalcy. For some, those feelings fade completely and they find themselves looking at this person that used to be able to make the moon sing as though they are a stranger.
Choosing to get a divorce is never an easy decision. Oftentimes the emotional aspects are further complicated by the realities such as how time with the kids will be split, how to pay bills as a newly single person, and whether or not you can really ever feel at home again in your house. The decisions you make regarding your divorce are important and could have long-term impacts on every aspect of your life.
As the paperwork draws to a close, it is time to start thinking about picking up the pieces and starting over. A place to do that is a must. Finding a way to re-establish “home” following a divorce is one of the most important aspects of beginning the healing process and stepping forward.
To Stay or To Go
There are many reasons to find some difficulty with re-establishing this home base. Staying in your home may bring back difficult memories of happy or sad times with your ex. While leaving and finding something new may seem overwhelming when all you want is the comfort of the familiar to surround and envelop you.
Of course, there are also a number of logistical challenges. For instance, without two incomes it may be impossible for one party to stay in the house, meaning selling it would be necessary. There can be a lot to think about if the house will be sold during or shortly after the divorce such as who will pay the bills while it is on the market, how with profits from the sale be split, and who the real estate agent will be.
Whether you are choosing to stay or to leave, there are several important things to do that will help start the health process. The first of which is to start going through and getting rid of sentimental items such as pictures of you and your ex, wedding gifts, and items that bring back memories you don’t need to hold on to. Getting through this first step will help you begin the next part: reinventing.
Reinventing yourself through your living space is arguably the single most important thing you can begin doing in order to heal yourself from the emotional gauntlet of divorce. Getting rid of the items that remind you of your ex and cause you pain is a start. But there is also a need to fill the gaps with other, more positive things.
Many experts suggest starting with the bedroom as this is the area you likely spent the most intimate time with your ex. Set a budget and purchase the things you need (as well as some of the things you want) and take time to customize the bedroom – and eventually all the other rooms in the house – to you. This can involve things such as rearranging furniture, putting some items to a different use, or repainting in colors that you want. Throughout all of it, keep the focus on what you want specifically, don’t allow thoughts of what your ex would like to creep in.
There is a lot of psychology associated with this cleansing process, and a lot to be gained by going through it. If you moved into a new place, don’t live out of boxes; get unpacked and set up so you can be comfortable and functional in your new place. It isn’t always easy to get through this and you may struggle to come up with ideas for yourself. If necessary focus on some other psychological tips such as decorating with nature in mind to promote a greater sense of ease.
Remember – it will take time. Not every day is going to be easy or exciting. There will be moments when all of the decorating and customizing and nesting will never feel as though it is quite enough to end the pain or pent up anger you’re feeling towards your ex. But you will get through it.
Nesting in your place and re-establishing a “new home” serves a number of cathartic purposes. First, it can help you to work through and purge difficult memories from your life and prevent you from dwelling. Second, it can provide the mental break you need by giving you a goal to focus your energy on and strive to achieve. Finally, doing this can help you rediscover your sense of self and personal preferences, which is a huge factor in ultimately finding true happiness.
Ultimately, whether you decide to remain in your current home or move away to seek out new adventures, the most important thing to remember is, simply, home is where you make it. You might have special memories in one place that you’re hesitant to leave behind, but keep in mind that memories can be made anywhere, and especially when they’re made with the right people, they can become even more important than those you considered waiting behind for. So whether you decide to stay, reimagine, or move on, just know there are brighter days ahead.
Image courtesy of Andrea Piacquadio.