Written by Monica Borschel, PhD and family law attorney Ashley Nicole Green
Divorce is full of loss. One of the losses you might encounter is losing your support system. Not only are you losing your partner, but you are also losing parts of your family. You and your ex might have had mutual friends or shared a community. You might be hesitant to go to events because you don’t want to have to explain why your partner isn’t there. You might also be nervous about what others have heard about you.
Rebuilding your support network can be challenging when you are grieving. However, here are some ideas on how you can make it fun. Start by asking yourself the following questions:
- What kind of friends am I looking for? Think about the personality traits that you are looking for in friendships. Where can you find people like that?
- What would I like to learn? Taking classes is one way that you can meet new people. Some examples might be art, pottery, language, or sports classes.
- Is there a built-in community I would like to join? Built-in communities include church groups, sports groups, book clubs, and gym classes.
- What would make me healthier? Focusing on your health will lead you to healthier friends. Some examples might be attending cooking classes, taking your dog to the park, or attending a farmers market.
- How can I serve my community? Volunteer work and community service are great ways to make friends. Community service has also been shown to increase happiness and reduce feelings of loneliness.
- What do I need support for? Joining support groups can help you to make friends and to feel validated. Meeting people who understand what you are going through can feel reassuring.
- Do I want to meet people virtually? There are numerous internet resources, such as meetup.com, where you can meet people who enjoy the same activities that you do.
You might need help to answer some of these questions because you need to focus on your feelings, needs, or desires. For example, you may have needed to focus more on your partner or children to think about these things. Starting over can feel overwhelming. Instead of focusing on what you lost, consider what you stand to gain. This is an opportunity to create the life and the community that will make you happy.
Sometimes rebuilding your network will consist of professionals you have never sought. Still, certain professionals could be vital for your healing during your new journey as a divorcee. Here are some professionals to consider reaching out to during your transition:
- Financial Advisor: After a divorce, you will still have the same financial responsibilities as a divorcee that you had as a married couple. Some examples are planning for retirement and paying for your child’s college. A financial advisor can help you create a long-term financial plan for you and your children compatible with your income and financial goals as a one-person household rather than a dual-person household.
- Therapist or Counselor: After a divorce, your emotions are up and down while adjusting to your new role as a single parent. The emotional roller coaster can quickly become overwhelming. A therapist or counselor is vital to your healing journey because they are trained professionals who can assist you with your emotions without worrying about suppressing your true feelings, which you sometimes may do with a family member or friend.
- Mentor or Coach: A mentor or coach differs from a therapist or counselor because they will keep you focused on your goals and aspirations and hold you accountable along the journey. After a divorce, it is prevalent for individuals to tap into a new version of themselves and explore careers and passions that they had left on the back burner during their marriage. Although many tap into these new versions of themselves and their career goals and desires, it is common for many to start the new journey and stop because they are overwhelmed with all the changes around them. A mentor or coach can help you stay focused and follow through with doing the work to find your new self, reach your career goals, and explore your unique passions.
The professionals you might seek out after a divorce could be professionals you have yet to consider during your marriage. Still, during your journey of starting over, these individuals can relieve some of the pressure you may be feeling during your transition and can keep you on track to healthy healing rather than stress and a feeling of being overwhelmed. In addition, your new life will require you to create a new community on your journey to happiness.
Ashley Nicole Green is a native Houstonian and has been practicing family law since 2015 as a litigator, amicus attorney, ad litem attorney, and a certified family law mediator in the Houston and surrounding areas. Ms. Green is a problem solver that helps clients navigate through family law issues; she assists parents in focusing on the best interest of their child(ren) and zealously representing her client’s interest while balancing the needs of the child; and she helps women and men focus on rebuilding their future after an unsuccessful marriage while remaining grounded on their core needs, focusing on what they truly deserve, and balancing freedom and happiness. She enjoys spending time with her husband and sons, traveling, and participating in community events to help those in need. She has a long-standing commitment to working with underprivileged children. Ms. Green’s ultimate career goal is to serve as a powerful voice for children, who are often left unheard. www.lawofficeagreen.com She can be reached at email@example.com or tel:832-844-1677+ext+5
To book a coaching session with divorce and trauma recovery coach Monica Borschel, email firstname.lastname@example.org or text/call +1 909 260 5279