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Finding a way to heal and move on after a divorce

In this blog, we talk a lot about the divorce process and how individuals planning to divorce can best prepare. While discussing the legal aspects of divorce and factors related to dividing property and deciding child custody matters are certainly important and hopefully helpful, the truth is the divorce process doesn't really end once a settlement has been negotiated or a divorce decree signed.

The end of a marriage signals the beginning of a new chapter in an individual's life. Changes in living arrangements, financial standing, parental responsibilities and social circles can leave an individual feeling unsettled and lost. These changes, however, often end up being positive and serve to make an individual happier and more focused.

Of course, that's not to say there won't be difficult times ahead. Many recent divorcees have difficulty adjusting to life as a single person as much of their identity and self-worth may have centered on a spouse's likes, dislikes and friends. So how can an individual successfully make it through and move on after a divorce? The answer may surprise you.

While some may contend a recent divorcee should do his or her best to forget about an ex-spouse, new research suggests otherwise. A recent study that's published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science, discusses the emotional benefits of "reflecting on a breakup" or divorce.

For the study, 210 participants were divided into two groups; one that completed two short surveys about their breakup and one that answered more detailed questions about a breakup over the course of nine weeks. The results? You guessed it, those study participants who were asked to reflect more upon a breakup fared better emotionally and seemed more at peace with their new single status.

When it comes to love and heartache, there's no one-fits-all solution. However, according to research, being able to discuss and process what went wrong in a relationship and to acknowledge one's feelings about a breakup is an important part of the healing process.

Source: NPR.org, "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do, But Science Can Help," Maanvi Singh, Jan. 13, 2015

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