From Ex-Spouse to Friend: Reinventing Relationships After Divorce

Don't rush in

After the initial fallout, a lot needs to be put back together; sometimes you need to put yourself back together before reconnecting with your ex or your in-laws. You may feel broken right now, but the path to wholeness exists if you want to take it. Follow it, and you'll eventually learn how to keep the good in your life, be it a great sister-in-law or just some positive memories about your ex.

Be aware that this process can be very uncomfortable and confronting at times, and it will require a strong commitment to your goals -- whether that be making friends or just making peace with your ex. Personal growth is always uncomfortable, and sometimes downright painful, so don't assume that your discomfort is a sign that something's wrong.

The road to recovery starts with forgiveness. Forgive your ex, and yourself, for the parts you played in contributing to the end of the relationship (especially if your ex left you, you need to identify and "own" your part in the breakup), and give up blame and hatred. Hate can be just as binding as love -- even more so sometimes -- and if you want to be free to move on with your life, you cannot remain bound to the past. So forgive, and begin creating a new life with relationships that will nourish and excite you.

Divorce Magazine provides advice and support for those coping with separation, divorce, and remarriage. For more tips and stories, visit www.DivorceMagazine.com.

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