When you got married, you probably did not expect your union to end just a few short years – or months – later. Getting divorced as a young person can be especially difficult to cope with, as it may feel like a failure early in life. With a different frame of mind, however, you can view your divorce as a positive thing, like the chance for a brand new beginning.
Shake the Stigma of the “D Word”
In today’s day and age, divorce is common. It no longer carries the social stigma that it used to. Getting divorced does not mean that something is wrong with you or serve as a mark against you socially. In modern times, divorcees are viewed by the public as no different from people who are happily married or who have never been married. It is often your own worries or feelings of guilt that you are projecting on others – not how people actually view you. Remind yourself that people get divorced all the time and still lead successful, fulfilling lives. Your marital status does not define who you are.
Change the Way You View Divorce
One of the biggest differences between young people and older couples is that divorce is a heavier blow to the former’s self-esteem. It is important not to view your short marriage as a failure but as an opportunity to learn something and grow from the experience. You and your ex-spouse are different people now than you were when you met and got married – and that’s okay. Honor the person you are now by forgiving your past self for your mistakes. Then, focus on building the future that you want.
Viewing your divorce as a fresh start or new chapter can help you look toward the future with optimism and excitement. Don’t get stuck in the past or caught up in what could have been. Take this time to reevaluate your life and focus on goals that you want to meet. They may be personal goals, professional goals or goals for your life in general. This next chapter of your life is about you; this means you’re in control and can do anything you want.
Don’t Delay the Inevitable
It can be harder for a young couple to recognize when it is time to let go. You may feel like you haven’t given it enough time or effort, or the embarrassment of getting divorced young may be making you hesitate. If the end of your relationship feels inevitable, however, do not delay. Don’t let the fear of being labeled by friends as “the divorced one” keep you stuck in a situation that makes you unhappy or risks your well-being. It is better to get out of a bad relationship so that you can start living a better life, rather than being paralyzed by fear or shame. Getting divorced is empowering after spending so much time feeling lost or hopeless.
Take Care of Yourself Financially
Another major roadblock to getting divorced at a young age is finances. Getting divorced can be overwhelming if you and your spouse combined your finances or if you were reliant upon your spouse financially. Tackle this challenge by consulting with a financial advisor. An advisor can help you create your own bank account, start a budget or savings plan, cut down on your monthly expenses, and map out a plan for how much money you need to make after your divorce to pay for everything. This can help you feel more in control of your life.
Focus on Your Mental Health
Overall, put yourself first during this time of change in your life. Do what you need to do to ensure your mental health and well-being. This may include going out with friends, meeting new people, joining a support group, starting a new hobby or craft, or focusing on self-care. No matter what you choose to do, keep a positive environment around you. Have compassion for yourself and what you’ve been through. Say goodbye to things you don’t want anymore and make room for new possibilities.