Divorcing an abusive or controlling partner can leave you miserable, panic-stricken, and sleepless. If you split up with a narcissist, for instance, your life may feel more unmanageable than it did when you were still together. Your ex, in fact, could turn into a terrorist. He or she could threaten you with litigation, allege that you’re not fit to be a parent, hire a divorce attorney to get full custody of your children, and come up with all kinds of drama. Your ex will do everything he or she can to stop you from achieving what divorce can finally give you: the ability to move on with your life.
You don’t have to remain in his shackles; you can empower yourself to move forward. Here’s how you can get started:
Remember that your former spouse no longer has control over your life. This is a perfect time to establish boundaries. Explain to your ex that you (and your kids, if you have one) won’t be taking calls during specific times of the day. Before you respond to your former partner’s inflammatory emails and texts, wait a day or two. Setting these boundaries can help protect you from unwanted abuse.
Create Rules of Communication
Establishing communication guidelines allows you to counter any cyberbullying from your ex. Unless it’s a life-or-death situation, you don’t need to reply to every over-the-top text and email sent by your former spouse. When you feel the urge to lash out in retaliation, disengage. Getting riled up is not worth your time and effort.
Be Kind to Yourself
Divorce is a time to be kind and gentle to yourself. By filling yourself up with your own appreciation and love, you’ll be able to easily move into a place of gratitude. Take note that you can create a new life for yourself, and you can make it using several perspectives, each providing you with a unique experience of your future.
Carefully Assess All Your Relationships
Think about your friends, co-workers, and loved ones. Then, ask yourself these questions:
- Do they support and inspire you?
- Are they being honest with you?
- Do they make you feel good?
- Are they healthy for you?
Surrounding yourself with people you can rely on and trust will help you forget or let go of those terrible times when you feel compromised by a person you trusted. The individuals you associate with can lift you up or pull you down, so pick your friends wisely.
Focus on the Positive
No matter how bad your situation may seem, remember that there are people out there who are doing worse than you are. Keep a gratitude notebook and write down the things that you are thankful for. Being grateful for little things like a comfortable bed, a beautiful morning or a hot shower can be surprisingly powerful. You’ll start to realize how much you’ve been taken for granted, as well as how much you have going for you.
Following these suggestions will give you the strength to move on from a painful divorce. By taking charge of certain aspects of your life, you’ll start feeling truly in control of your new destiny.