There could be a few problems about getting over a divorce.  First, we need to determine exactly what we're getting over.  That's right.  We may feel stuck because of our divorce; but, could there be more than divorce in our way?

Could part of the problem actually

Divorce can represent many things in our life that have been wrong.  Wrong for so many years that we often fail to recognize these pesky choices, habits and lifestyle behaviors.  These things may have started as young children.  They may be intertwined with how we were raised to believe what was right and wrong.

It could be anything from how we eat, live, talk, worship, love or express our feelings.  Some of these problems may be part of the reason we got divorced.  The hardest part about recognizing these issues when we're divorcing, is that we're in a constant state of looking at the other person in the battle as the wrong doer and the antagonist.  Worse yet, is that since divorce can be heavily contentious and emotionally charged, we may guard ourselves or faults in an effort to avoid taking blame for the failed marriage.  However, in realizing what we could do to improve our life, we don't necessarily exonerate our former spouse.  It's not an all or nothing observation.

It's important to realize that acknowledging our own personal issues shouldn't be thought of as self-blame. It's about self discovery, challenging our minds and hearts to unravel the years of influence by our community, family and spouse.  Not to reject all that we are; rather to accept all that we can be. 

It's never easy to see how much self-sabotage we actually commit as a result of our choices and behavior.  Perhaps we have not yet acknowledged our own wrong-doing in our former marriage or how we may have hurt our former spouse. 

Obviously, in some marriages, one person may have been the primary reason for the divorce.   However, in many cases, each spouse plays some part in the failed marriage.  This is further acknowledged based on statistics from an article, "Life After Divorce" on that indicates most individuals who have divorced have less than 67% chance of a second marriage succeeding and less than 73% chance of a third.  In other words, until we recognize our own personal relationship issues, we are destined to repeat them.  

Before we can fully manage a new relationship, we will need to get over "it".  "It" is not just a representation of all the relationship stuff though.  The failed relationship can be a result of both spouse's individual failure to recognize their own issues.  These issues are at the core of many problems in marital relationships.   If we stop looking at the pain the other has caused long enough, we will be able to look at what pain we have caused ourselves.  i.e. If you were in a relationship where your spouse was the primary offender; someone who repeatedly lied and talked down to you, you may now realize that your own self-esteem issues contributed to your fear to speak up, demand be treated better or to leave sooner-than-later.  In many cases, when a victim escapes a verbally or physically abusive relationship, she has a higher probability of getting into another one.  While she left the abuser, her own problems with self-worth and low self-esteem contribute to her attraction to a similar domineering individual.  

As you can see, it's not about the relationship as a whole, it's about our recovery from a failed relationship.  In that recovery, we must identify all that damages what we value, seek and expect.

We then may recognize our individual characteristics that contribute positively or negatively to relationships with friends, family and love interests.  Not only will we be able to release some of the pain we attributed to our ex, but we will be in a better place to start a new relationship and achieve personal happiness. 

What is self-sabotage?

Our core belief systems, lifestyle choices and sense of self are primary platforms that support both our good and bad relationship qualities.   These qualities usually go unrecognized or acknowledged as contributions in our life that either interfere or support our long-term goals and relationships.   They are within our routine, language, habits, communication skills, interests and personality along with numerous other aspects of our identity.  They can either positively contribute or damage our self-esteem in both direct and indirect ways. 

If we fail to recognize the difference between our positive and negative contributions we may damage our relationships or feel a lack of closeness with those we love.  This often results in blaming others for differences where blame is not a construct to relationship betterment. 

These qualities are passed down from family members or persons of influence and usually carry forward into future family relationships.  

How to determine your lifestyle vices

Most of who we are is a continued evolution of the same things.  Things we do, feel, say, believe, consume, take, drink-  Many of us are significantly affected by the community and society in which we live.  Our community begins with: self, family, school, church, employer and our society: people, race, religion, culture, media, government, country. 

All of these affect who we are and further develop our sense of self like lenses in eyeglasses.  They influence our behavior, schedule, love, interests, choices and are very much part of our lifestyle.  Often, we don't even realize how the lenses have changed over time since just living our life naturally affects how we see, perceive, understand and believe.  This is the evolutionary effect of our communal and social influences.

We could no sooner remove our lenses of influence then we could live without such influence and it's continued development of our self.  This influence is a major part of our identity.  We can not just delete this from our life.  However, we should recognize and understand why we believe, act and think as we do in an effort to represent our truest self.  This means in order to discover the vices that negatively affect our life, prevent us from understanding and accepting others outside our own influences/community or belief system, we should acknowledge the reasons we think, act and behave as we do.

While we have innate qualities and it has been argued these qualities have significant baring on our identity, it is clear that "outside influencers" are a strong factor in our strengths and weaknesses.  It should be a primary starting point when recognizing a problem we feel incapable of solving.

How to rid your vices in order to let "it" go

See your truest self

Recognize the influences of your upbringing, past and current social circles, religion, career, relationships.  Relax your mind and ask questions of yourself.  Do you really believe as they do?   .. as you do, verbally, physically, emotionally?  Are you really you?

Do you do what you want to do and what's really right to do? as you would like to live?  ..reside in a place you wish to live?  Do you truly believe in all that you have been told, been expected to do or expected to feel?  

Instead of looking at such influencers in your life as the problem, look to yourself for the solution.    Evaluate what hurts you, be strong in declining what doesn't help.  Allow yourself the power to critically evaluate why you do, think and behave as you do.  Don't ask permission or advice about who you want to become - empower yourself to make changes to negative qualities or maintain and add positive attributes.   Ironically, identifying negative qualities about ourselves in an effort to promote a clear sense of self actually promotes self-esteem and confidence.

Acknowledge independent thoughts, beliefs, needs and wants

Let some radical beliefs enter your mind.  Radical because it's a far reach to acknowledge what you may have believed for years.  Use your intelligence to accept new opportunities that would further develop your truest self.  Understand new philosophies,  explore world religions or consider the depths of yours.  Determine how you really want to live, what you really believe or want and make it happen. 

Understanding the beliefs and opinions of others does not infringe on your own.  It just provides you a better understanding of life and possibilities.  It provides you the wisdom to make your own choices based on your own life experiences, education and choices.

Recognize vices that don't support your truest vision of self

Who was the first person who negatively influenced you?  Why?  How?  Was it something he/she said, did, failed to do?  Part of finding what's right for you, is to understand why some things are wrong.

Now, look at your lifestyle, what feels right about it?  What feels wrong?  What is in the way of your acknowledgement of what you truly want in your life that would make you feel like you?  ..the real you.  You are not just born being you.  You are not just who raised you or influenced you. 

Instead you are all of these things.  Innate, learned, influenced, what you experience, your interests - all of these things and your own value of each is what makes you who you are. 

Take back control with a balanced life

A good way to know that you may not be true to yourself is when you let one thing take control, put too much value in one area of your life, stifling all others.  When you let a negative experience breed hate in your heart, it stays in front of every interaction, every relationship, every job.   When you let others control how you act, think, talk or behave to find acceptance you give them control.

Perhaps it's when you allow a religion to control your own individual happiness and diminish our greatest capabilities based on centuries old doctrine.  Is it wrong to allow some of these to influence our life.  No.  It's wrong for you if it interferes with your life experiences, education, faith, needs and influences that further balance your entirety of self. 

Only you know when something isn't quite right. To grow as a person, you must evaluate your life from time-to-time, really ask yourself, is this who I am, what I believe and where I belong?  Sometimes we have major life corrections, but if we maintain awareness of what's best for our true individual, often these adjustments are minor. 

Determine how the influences in your life have been so instrumental at taking you off course.  Question the reasons for your actions and challenge yourself to know when you are allowing an improper influence to damage your vision of yourself and your goals.  A divorce does not always mean you are not who or where you want to be in your life.   But, it may be a good time for a reasonable evaluation.

Take action to support who you are destined to become

Do, change, challenge.  Open your mind to the possibilities beyond what you had and realize your future self.  What can you become?  Then become that person. 

You no longer have the years from the past in your way.  Keep the past behind you and stay focused on your goals.  Your past experiences should naturally provide you wisdom, experience and strength to conquer the challenges of your future instead of challenge or weaken your goals by remaining top-of-mind.

You only live and exist in today and tomorrow.  If you have a mess from yesterday, clean it up and move on.   Stop giving negative people and situations from your past control to damage your personal happiness.

Expect the freedom from letting go of something you don't want

Expect to feel better when you let something negative in your life go.  Look for the positive response of such actions.  That way you can truly appreciate what it means to let it go and allow the new you to emerge.  The hard part is realizing what you think is helpful or necessary is actually in your way as a negative influence, belief or habit.

Realize how your divorce, ex spouse and failed marriage were only part of "it"

The problems with your former marriage and spouse were real and very painful.  Your divorce is probably still the most negative thing in your life right now.  The more you think about it, the larger it projects a picture of your pain in your life, giving it power.  This mental picture adds to your current problems, making them seem even worse.

The problems from your marriage do not need to be fed any longer.  Your marriage has been dissolved and is now part of the past.  If remnants from your divorce like child custody and support, financial damage and divorce reasons are still top-of-mind since they affect your present life, you may need to work with professional counselors or therapy groups in order to keep your life moving in the right direction.  

Don't make the picture of your pain and disappointment bigger.  Instead, focus on the new you, your renewed sense of self that allows you to appreciate the value in starting over.  Your pain from the divorce will naturally decrease over time, you will begin to develop a clearer perspective and your new future will be possible.  Remember, being proactive about diminishing your pain will provide a faster route.  So, take action today!

All that has been right in your life is still right.  All that is wrong in your life should be made right.

This one is easy.  If it causes you pain, holds you back or fails to improve your life, don't feed it.  If someone, something or somewhere is right for you, then don't change or remove it for the sake of change or improvement.  It's time to know the difference so that you can be most effective in procuring a successful future.

Continue to live as you truly want to be, not just a person of your influences

Finally, allow this time in your life to open a door to that person you never allowed yourself to become.  Reach further than your influences, community and society and be the change that makes your life better.  It's better for you.  It's better for your community and its better for the world!


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