When you’re agonizing at the conclusion of a relationship, it can be very tempting to just find someone else quickly to fill that void. People do it because they are truly lonely, because they can’t get used to not being needed or simply because they want to prove to their ex-partners that they can go on without them.
With almost 39% of marriages ending in divorce in Canada, the statistics are even grimmer for second and third marriages. Unless you take the time to stop and as honestly as you can reflect on what went wrong in your first marriage, you may be setting yourself up for a scenario where history repeats itself. So before you even consider another relationship, take a hard look at your present life. If you are a parent, your first priority should be with the wellbeing of your children. Getting a divorce does not mean you never have to see your former partner, ever again. People that have children together will always have some kind of relationship together for the rest of their lives- ”Living apart but still a family”. Developing a friendly relationship between the parents is the best thing for their children.
Try to look at the situation from your children’s perspective. How will your new relationship impact the children? Divorces are messy and those are the ones that we always hear about. A simple solution for a friendly divorce is to find some ground that benefits everyone involved and amicably co-parent your children, but that does not always happens, and for that reason may not be a bad idea to take some individual or couple therapy. This type of friendly separation involves an agreement with goals. It teaches the children that there are times when everyone can make mistakes but it is ok to get help from an outside party. Seeing their parents being open with them, and each other, and working towards solutions together, will also help children not feel guilty or that they have to take sides.
So, before you take that step towards your next relationship, first, find and identify yourself, your ambitions, and your past. Make a list with the characteristics and dynamics that didn’t serve you well in the past. Use your gained wisdom and set goals for what you want for yourself in future relationships and stick with them. Use the break period to connect with your passions in life and with other people who share that same passion.