Once you’ve gone through a divorce, you would think you’ve reached the end. In a way, you have. But you are also at a beginning of a new, fresh life. To live your best possible life and avoid the mistakes of the past, self-reflection becomes an important tool. Few things are as difficult as total self-honesty. And nothing is as rewarding.
Many divorcees avoid contemplating their mistakes. They are just relieved that it is over. However, if you don’t think about what happened, and you are part in it, you are very likely to repeat old mistakes in your new relationships.
What Did I Do To Cause Problems?
The divorce is over, and you can breathe a sigh of relief. Do you really want to ruin the moment by asking yourself, “How did I contribute to our problems?”
Blaming is so much easier than self-reflection. Unfortunately, no one wins in life by taking the easy route. Do you seriously think the marital problems were 100 percent your ex’s fault? Whatever the actual reason(s) for the divorce, both parties usually contribute to the outcome. To move on to a better emotional place, ask yourself what you did wrong, what you might have done differently, and how you can change if necessary.
Self-Reflection and Therapy
Being honest with oneself isn’t always easy. That is why a therapist can help you dig deeper and discover your true self. Find a person with whom you feel comfortable. It’s okay to vent about your ex. A counselor would expect nothing less. But then, move on to you. Ask the questions out loud. “What part of my behavior helped create negativity and friction?” “What can I do to fix my behavior?” “Why am I blaming myself for what he/she did?” Your main goal is not to vent; it is to learn and change for the better.
Wanting to improve your behavior and thinking does not mean that you were a bad spouse. It means that every person can kick his or her behavior up a notch.
Managing Your Emotions:
Self-reflection invariably leads to self-awareness. Greater awareness about your behavior can help you prepare for the next stage of your life.
Ask yourself what you want during and after the divorce. You may say all you want is to part on a mutually friendly basis. However, when you find yourself bad-mouthing your ex, you are no longer being friendly or honest with yourself. Honest self-reflection can help you get to the bottom of your intent. Knowing your intentions gives you the power to make the best choices.
Keep asking yourself questions. What do you genuinely value? What is your intent when you criticize? Do you truly want to listen to what your ex has to say?
For example, once you admit you are still angry at the ex, you can choose to change your thinking and behavior. It is quite empowering to be in control. Once you understand your behavior and emotions, you can channel them to the issues that really matter, such as creating financial stability and working toward a more fulfilling career.
What you lose in the negative realm you invariably gain in the positive areas of your new life.
Learn Your Lessons
Life is constantly changing. A major life event such as a divorce can overwhelm you, or it can help you gain wisdom and grow.
Important questions to put forth are, “What is my goal in life?” You were a different person before and during your marriage. You have changed. Reflect on where you are headed.
Ask yourself, “What am I looking for in a person?” While you were dating, you surely described your ex in a certain (and probably very positive) way. What words would you use now? What happened to change your attitude? Can your ex truly be without any redeeming qualities? If so, why did you get married?
How would your ex describe you? Were you truly the best you could have been during your marriage? If you reflect honestly, you may see some of your contributions to the divorce. The more you understand yourself, the more you bring into your new relationship.
All marriages take work. The more you are aware of who you are and what you want, the better the chances that you will contribute positively to any. Did you do too much? Too little? The period following your divorce is an excellent time to confront your inner self. When you allow answers to come honestly and naturally, you will grow as a person, as a friend, and as a spouse.
The legal process can get difficult, which is why we always recommend that you seek the assistance of counsel; or at least have a consultation. Schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys today to review the issues of your case, the legal options you may have, and certain rights that pertain to your unique situation.
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