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Using the Power of Positive Thinking After the Divorce: Where Do I Go From Here?

Posted By Judy Williams || 4-Jun-2014

In this, the sixth and final article in the Positive Thinking series, we will deal with areas in which you can best positively impact your post-divorce life. We will assume you have read the previous articles and have taken steps to protect as many relationships as possible. In the divorce process you agreed to a financial plan, child support (and possibly spousal support), and division of assets and debts.

So, let’s deal with some of the most important issues and areas which require ongoing commitment and energy.

Research has found that most people are in a slightly depressed state in the period immediately following a divorce, and are dealing with the new environment of single life after an extended period of marriage. No matter your income level, you are feeling almost like you are starting over. There are many uncertainties still to be dealt with, even though your final divorce decree spells out certain decisions you have made relative to finance, custody and assets. Those will require attention in this period.

This entire series of articles leads to this place: How can adopting positive thinking and a positive mindset help you with the rest of your life?

Seek Guidance for Financial Decisions

You have financial decisions to be made. You must follow through on decisions to make sure that you have a good understanding of the assets that are now yours from the agreements in the final divorce document. It may be worth your time to meet with a financial advisor to get a clear picture of your options and how you will convert any monetary or physical assets into an income stream to meet your anticipated income needs.

Seek Guidance to Support Children

If children are involved, have you taken the time to sit down with each child to address their hurts, needs or expectations? Children often take on a negative burden of feeling that they may have been part of the reason for the divorce. This is a very important time for them to be encouraged to address all of their questions. Discuss them one by one until there is either a good resolution or you can make a plan to address their outstanding fears, perhaps with a children’s counselor who specializes in helping children of divorce.

Always be positive and supportive. They may have been exposed to negative exchanges (anger, criticism, contempt and blaming) and need the strengthening of positive behaviors, such as expressions of support, empathy, humor (which always works) and lots of affection. You want to do your very best to restore their confidence, feeling of self-worth and importance in the family. If there is a shared custody plan, communicate with your former spouse to try to make each child feel loved by both parents.

Be cautious not to jump to conclusions about what a child says without validating the comment or question. When you are satisfied you have understood the child’s viewpoint, answer the best you can in a loving and positive way. It is easy to get into a running “one-upsmanship” battle by trying to answer questions without exploring the feelings and motive behind them. You will always be their Mom and their Dad, and you will want a warm relationship with each of them for all the special future times in their lives.

So, this is the time to practice answering with a positive mindset. Your personal interest in the events of their lives and your positive comments and support will not only teach them how to be positive and see success versus failure, but will be necessary for you to develop the habit for your own personal success. Nothing makes a kid feel better than a sincere compliment from mom or dad.

As a last tip, use your cellphone scheduler for keeping up with birthdays, commitments to call a child, special events, and the time for the next call or visit. It’s that easy. Your phone will remind you, and you and your kids will benefit. Social media also makes it easier to send messages and pictures back and forth easily.

Seek Guidance with a Divorce Recovery Workshop

Divorce Recovery Workshops led by trained professionals are very helpful in dealing with all facets of the issues you are going through, from hurt and anger to finance and custody. Sharing your feelings with others going through similar issues can also be helpful. You can find out more about this option by simply searching the Internet for one near you.

Based on your meeting with your personal financial advisor, you may need to make some new decisions as to what actions are necessary to go forward in a positive manner. Write down the decisions you make to put your future in the best light possible, and prioritize them with a few actionable steps with expected deadlines. Put those on your scheduler, too. Taking things one step at a time with a plan in mind can work wonders.

If you have read the previous five articles, you know that statistics say you will probably marry again. Spending more time on what went wrong in your former marriage is only helpful if you know of certain things you want or need to change. We all change as time goes by, but your concern for your future should focus on what you do well, what you like to do and how you want to spend the rest of your life. If you are in a job or place you really love, don’t change. If you feel like you want a fresh start, consider whether you want to do it on your own or if you really want another relationship. Using the Power of Positive Thinking for your future means that you focus on keeping and prioritizing the positive things in your life, since they give you satisfaction and enjoyment. You downplay those things that produce negative energy.

Approaching future relationships

Sooner or later, you have to consider your future. It’s good for people approaching a new relationship to really look at themselves honestly. In any romantic relationship, both parties should be aware of why they’re in it and what they expect from their partner. When you meet someone, first impressions are good. If you feel comfortable with the person, are attracted to them and can laugh along the way through your first meeting, it’s a good sign. If you have worked through your issues and been truly honest with yourself, you will be in a good place when it comes time for more serious discussions. You may ask the person the same kinds of questions about themselves to find out what they like and what they are looking for.

Early on, be honest about your commitments to your kids and any other financial support commitments. Everyone has a few commitments to the past; it’s part of life. But proceed with your positive mind-set and enjoy the romancing. Romancing should be about two people forming a happy, healthy partnership.

And, last but not least, never underestimate the Power of Positive Thinking. Remember Dale Carnegie’s, “Act enthusiastic and you’ll be enthusiastic.” A warm smile, an upbeat greeting and a positive attitude will go a long way.

-Judy

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