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.