The Secret to Finding Love Post-Divorce from Hundreds Who Know
In speaking with Wendy Paris, author of Splitopia: Dispatches from Today’s Good Divorce and How to Part Well, about what comes next after a successful divorce, I found she had a hopeful answer to everyone going through a divorce, no matter how painful.
Sometimes the practical side of ourselves tells us that finding happiness—much less romantic love—is impossible. That’s often the lesson we take from divorce. But that’s not what the science says. In fact, women, in particular, are often more likely to be happy post-divorce than before.
Wendy interviewed over 200 people who reported having positive post-marriage relationships. What were their secrets?
Softening the Blow: Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)
One way to make the transition from married to single less traumatic is to soften the blow through non-traditional divorces. ADR is defined as “any method of resolving disputes without litigation.” This comes in many forms, but the two primary are arbitration and mediation. This route doesn’t mean there won’t be any hard feelings—or tears—but tends to mitigate the emotional toll divorce takes on people. That’s because the emphasis isn’t on blame and fault, but rather on finding a peaceful way forward. It’s about compromise, so both sides can feel heard and respected. Breakups like these tend to leave less emotional baggage behind, readying you for taking a romantic leap sooner than ugly, lengthy and angry divorces.
But how can you get there?
Self-Compassion is a Start Towards Positive Post-Marriage Relationships
Wendy breaks up the emotional steps to post-marriage relationship readiness in seven parts that all start in the same place—compassion. A study from the University of Texas psychologist Dr. Kristin Neff found that being kind to yourself was a key indicator of how well you’ll recover from a divorce.
Wendy calls this “self-compassion”. It’s a Buddhist idea that comes in three parts:
- Finding the universality of your experience
- Practicing mindfulness
- Granting yourself forgiveness and understanding
What makes these steps powerful is that you direct them back at yourself in your specific situation—the dissolution of your marriage. And the results are powerful enough to put you back in the mindset of being open to new, positive relationships after the end of your marriage. And practicing kindness has another great side effect: greater compassion for others.
Talk about making what seems impossible, possible!
Divorce Options that Can Help Lead to Positive Relationships
Call my team to schedule a confidential consultation if you are considering a divorce but want to learn more about alternative methods. Our Westchester lawyers can explain different divorce options that can help you leave your marriage prepared for positive post-marriage relationships.