With the breakup of a marriage, the tragic fact is that either one person or both will be moving and changing residences.
Home Is Your Safe Place
Since our home is our safe place and sanctuary, changing where we live is one of the most emotionally charged and even traumatic experiences of the divorce process. And, it affects everyone in the family.
Your home provides comfort, a sense of stability, and it is the place that is tied to so many memories. Unlike many other changes during divorce, (except for issues concerning our children), moving out of your residence during divorce and its impact on one's state of emotional well-being is quite profound.
Moving Shakes Stability
Moving changes your sense of routine and grounding under the best of circumstances, so when it’s something you must do because you are breaking up a marriage, the negative effects are numerous. They include feeling displaced, a shake-up in one's identity, great sadness, anxiety and even depression.
Get Heart Centered - Create a "Home Vision"
The transition of moving out of your home to a new and unfamiliar space is a process. While there are lots of practical issues that have to be dealt with when changing residences, I want to focus here on how to address the internal struggles and some ways to minimize the pain of this transition.
Getting out of your head and becoming heart-centered is a great place to start. There will be plenty of time and professionals to assist you with the practical aspects of your residence change. Take some time to reflect and write out what your vision is for your new home and living situation.
What are the features that best suit your day to day living and enable peace of mind through the divorce transition and beyond?
Define Your New Home
Your new home will become your new safe space. Therefore, determining the type of residence and the specific characteristics that you desire is a first step to ensuring long term that your new home will provide comfort and refuge.
Reflect on what type of residence will best fit your lifestyle. For example, private house, apartment, condo, etc. Ask yourself which rooms and spaces have the most significance and say “home” to you - the kitchen, a family room, a backyard.
List your desires in order of importance and determine which ones are non-negotiable for you and your new life.
Feeling like your soon-to-be ex-spouse, the judge and even your attorney for that matter, are in control of outcomes during divorce is not uncommon, particularly when your life is changing so rapidly. This is especially true when circumstances dictate that you must uproot and move.
Imagining and writing down your home vision enables empowerment and grounding as well as a sense of control in a situation that feels like everything is out of control.
Embrace the Positives
In spite of the change in living quarters and the sadness and anxiety that accompanies it, "feel" the positives that may come with this new space. Is there anything you will be gaining that really pleases you?
If you can find one or two things, keep your focus on this and embrace the joy that comes with these thoughts.
Establish Home Goals
Goals are key when going through any life transition. When it comes to starting life in your new home, create a plan of action for transforming it into a space that reflects your unique personality, habits and lifestyle.
Start to envision the way you will be living day to day, with your kids, extended family, friends and pets. Think ahead to joyous occasions and holidays and the integral role your new home will play in building new, meaningful memories.
"Feel" the happiness of these new visions and in so doing, you will start to invent a new home life future before it has even begun!
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