You need to define life after your divorce before you spend any more time contemplating divorce. If you could push a magic button and instantly be “living the dream,” what would that be like? How would your life change? Invest the time going through what I’ll call the “Who, What, Where, When, Why and How of Separation and Life Improvement.” Before you go any further, you absolutely must be able to answer the following questions:
Who do you want to be as a person?
What would it take to make you happier and healthier?
Where would you be living and what type of people would you surround yourself with?
Why would this life be better than your life is now?
How is divorce a necessary part of you having this life?
Engaging in this analysis, or something like it is critical. You must have a picture in your mind of what your favored life after the divorce will be. Otherwise, you’ll lack serious direction in how you move forward, and you will not be making purpose-driven decisions when it comes to handling the legal aspects of your divorce.
I doubt you would ever consider investing half of your life savings – which is what many lose in their divorce – in a business, idea, or person, without a compelling reason. Divorce should be no different. You need to know your end game, your big picture purpose before you begin anything. Divorce, no matter how well done, will disrupt your family, friendships, and finances. It would be a huge shame for you to endure the divorce process and not have a better life to show for it. Do yourself a favor and take the time now to understand what you want out of life when the divorce is done. Taking this step costs nothing but your time and brain-power.
If you have no idea what your life after the divorce should be, it might be a sign that you are living it already and things might not be as bad as they seem. Sometimes, people are stressed out with their job, the death of a family member, or something equally traumatic, and end up believing divorce is the answer to making their life better because it is what they’ve seen others doing. Don’t let yourself be one of these people.
That said, determining what your idea life might not come easily if you have spent most of your adult years in a toxic relationship.If you are having a hard time understanding what you want your life to be, or envisioning any other life than the miserable one you are living, you need to spend some time with an experienced therapist. They will help you determine why you are unhappy and whether divorce should be part of the solution. The therapist will help you develop a vision of hope and change, even if your husband has always held you down. Your health insurance likely covers the therapy expense. Most therapists offer evening appointments to accommodate those who work long hours during the day. If you do not know a therapist, I’ve listed plenty of the great ones in South Florida on StayMarriedFlorida.com.
Once you develop your vision of your “ideal life” I encourage you to write it down and revisit and refine it often.Life is always a “work in progress” and your vision for your future is no different.