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Divorce is one of the most traumatic and life-changing experiences anyone can have.  No matter how many self-help books you read, it’s never possible to completely understand the reality of what life is going to be post-divorce, until the divorce papers have been signed and you are legally free to move on.

Understand that you have just been through a major loss in your life, akin to a death in your family, and that you need to mourn for some time. Give yourself time to mourn the end of your relationship, and acknowledge that you need this space.

In many cases, what hampers a person’s ability to move forward after divorce is the mindset that there is no life after the end of a successful marriage. You will carry a lot of emotional baggage around after the divorce, and will need to talk to someone to let those feelings out. Therapy may be a very good option. A therapist can actually help you work through those feelings of guilt, inadequacy and helplessness that are very common after a divorce. There will also be feelings of failure because no one actually goes into a marriage expecting to divorce, even though statistics indicate that as many as 50% of American couples will eventually divorce. Therapy can help you focus on moving on with your life after the end of your marriage.

It’s important to remove negative language from your communication as well as from your mind. Stop telling yourself that you’re a failure, or that your life now is going to be horrible, or that you have lost your world. Nothing of that sort has happened. Your marriage may have ended, but you still have your life, your health, your job and your children.

Avoid regret. There is nothing that you can do to change what happened in the past, but what happens in the future is entirely in your hands.

Develop a positive mindset that is targeted at success. Take a new class, join that professional program that will help you get the promotion you’ve been trying for, or develop a new skill set. Move in a new direction with a positive attitude. Make time for positive people in your life, and for yourself. If you have children, focus on making the transition to a single-parent household as easy as possible. Not only will this help them get through this traumatic period, but you will also have something positive to focus on that takes your mind away from the divorce.