Managing Relocation and Divorce
Moving, like divorce, can be an intensely stressful experience. Having to do both simultaneously can make these already difficult processes that much harder. Managing relocation and divorce may be challenging, but it is possible to get through these experiences and start over.
When you have to relocate to a new home or community because your marriage is ending, it can make you feel like you have been evicted from your life. Suddenly, you have to abandon the idea of being a spouse and all of your future plans with your ex while adjusting to living in a strange place. Transitioning into your new environment will be easier if you are patient with yourself. As you establish your new routine, your life and home will become more familiar.
It may also help to try and take on one thing at a time. Depending on your circumstances, you may want to focus on getting comfortable with your new space before devoting your energy to working through your emotions about the divorce. It will take time to process everything that has happened, and it may take even longer for things to make sense. By not pressuring yourself to do too much at once, you can process the changes in your life at a pace that works best for you.
Letting Go of What Should Have Been
Leaving the home and life that you created during your marriage can feel like a defeat. Perhaps you spent years improving your house, paying on your mortgage, and planning to retire with your ex. With the divorce, all of those efforts can feel wasted now that your plans are over. You may have it in your mind that you “should” still be married and have all that you have lost. Further, if you have kids, you may believe that you “should” have been able to keep your family together.
It’s time to let go of your ideas of what should have been. Your marriage didn’t work for a reason, and your plans have to change now. Getting a divorce does not mean you failed your children or yourself. There are an infinite number of ways for your life to improve now that you are no longer constrained by a relationship that was not right for you. The first step towards them may be releasing yourself from old concepts of what your life must be in order to be acceptable. With these past expectations behind you, you can be open to new possibilities.
Building a New Life in Your New Home
Divorce can involve having to adapt quickly to living on fewer resources. If this change in your finances led to your move into a new home, you might need to devote some attention to creating a budget based on your new circumstances. Getting your finances in order can help you minimize stress and feel that you are asserting control over your new situation.
Although it may difficult to move, there can be some positive aspects of changing homes after divorce. For one thing, you will no longer be living in a place that reminds you of your ex. Your new home is a clean slate for you to start over. You can decorate it any way you like and make it into a comfortable environment that suits your tastes. If your new living space is temporary, remember that. Maybe it’s just a transition to better things to come. And better things WILL come.
Living somewhere new may also open you up to new friendships and experiences. For instance, you may connect with others at an area fitness center, through a neighborhood class, or a nearby place of worship. Additionally, where you were living before, everyone may have known you as married. Relocating to a new home could mean no longer having to be identified by your divorce story. You can form relationships and connect with others based on who you are now rather than who you were before the divorce.
Managing relocation and divorce can be challenging, but with time, patience, and a new perspective, you can begin to feel at home in your new space.
Karyn Youso of First Look Family Law is a trained Wisconsin attorney, Collaborative Attorney, and Mediator. She has extensive experience assisting clients before, during, and after Wisconsin divorce cases. She can help you understand your options and find the right resources.