Surviving a divorce is one thing; thriving after one is quite another!
We've all seen people who divorced ten or twenty yeas ago and still talk or act as if their life has been ruined by their former spouse, right? Well, when I meet or hear about someone like that I always wonder how different their lives could have been if they had gotten some help to go through the whole grief and recovery process years ago... to be able to rebuild their life successfully.
So, whether you are presently in the midst of a breakup of still dealing with the residual feelings from a relationship long gone, TODAY can be a major turning point in your life, healing, and rebuilding by taking the following quiz to see how well you're doing in your recovery and growth.
Take a look at this 'rebuilding after a divorce' checklist:
1. On an average day I feel:
A. life is not worth living without my partner; I feel like such a failure.
B. an occasional feeling of concern for the future but mostly excited for what the future holds as I reach new goals.
C. like I'm bouncing around from doom and gloom to scared and anxious, and occasionally excited.
D. a bit sad about what could or should have been, but I've mostly accepted that we're getting divorced.
2. How much of the 'failed' relationship do you feel is/was your responsibility?
A. Since a relationship involves two people 50-50 equally, we are each equally accountable for the breakup.
B. Not a single thing. I did everything I could to get my partner to see that s/he needed professional help.
C. I probably did a few things I shouldn't have, but when you're with a partner like I had it's impossible not to.
D. I'm prepared to take 100% responsibility for the relationship ending, even though it was a 50-50 partnership, because I am accountable for 100% of my actions and reactions, so I must have added to the problems at times by either doing something damaging, or not doing something helpful.
3. Post-Divorce relations with my former partner would best be described as:
A. I try to keep an open mind to the fact that neither of us is perfect and we are both doing our best for our children.
B. We differ so much in our points of view and parenting styles that it's almost impossible to have a conversation.
C. Our relations are so difficult but very real - not like all the other liars who say that they forgive and get along with their former partners and treat each other like "friends".
D. In a word: "useless!" I hate my ex and always will. S/He ruined my life because of their lying/cheating/stealing/...
4. When I hear or read that "self-care" is important after a split, I immediately think:
A. I go out every Friday night and have a great time! I don't know how much more I can do when it comes to self-care.
B. Self-care? You've got to be kidding me! Get out of bed, dressing and eating is all I can do right now.
C. My friends have mentioned self-care and I'm looking into it. I'm learning what it means, how it can help me and what I need to do.
D. I'm not relying on anyone else to care for me. I'm caring for myself and taking responsibility for my own health and personal growth.
5. My children hear me saying something nice or positive about their other parent:
A. Never. There's nothing positive or nice to say.
B. They haven't yet, but I'm working on it. I know it's important to them.
C. At least once a week - usually before or after the exchange.
D. I do it all the time. After all, my former partner is their other parent.
6. Since the divorce, my feelings about love are best described as:
A. I consider this break-up to be a failure on my part. I truly doubt that I have the ability to ever have a lasting relationship.
B. I look forward to falling in love again. Only next time, it will be with someone I know better and we love each other the right way.
C. Like the book says, "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus." Obviously, men and women don't belong together.
D. I'm trying to learn my lessons from this divorce so that I'll be able to create a better relationship next time around.
7. In light of handling new routines, schedules and activities, how do new goals fit into your life now?
A. I think change happens in stages, so I've set new goals, made some accomplishments, and look forward to many more.
B. Everyone expects so much of me yet do nothing for me or I have to wait forever when I ask for something. I don't have the opportunity to set new goals.
C. I've started setting some goals but am still struggling to get the routine stuff under control. I'm sure I will soon, though.
D. I'm totally overwhelmed! New goals are not a priority and won't be for quite some time - if ever.
8. Right now, my view on support groups, coaching or participating in a relationship review is:
A. I would love to try something but I have no idea where to find these services or who to call.
B. Nothing is going to change the past, so why bother?
C. I don't think they're for me. A friend tried getting outside help and said it wasn't worth it.
D. I take advantage of every opportunity for personal growth. Learning my lessons, with outside help, really allows me to move forward.
9. After everything I've been through with this divorce, putting myself out there to date is:
A. A very scary idea. I don't know if my heart can handle another disappointment.
B. I certainly expect to fall madly in love one day. I have a list of the characteristics I'm looking for in a partner and look for "the one" everywhere I go.
C. I'm exciting about meeting new people now that I've reviewed my relationship history and I understand my needs and wants better.
D. I believe in love, but not looking for it. If it's meant to happen, love will find me.
10. Are you putting out positive energy to others around you?
A. I'm so glad I'm doing well enough to give to others by volunteering/acknowledging the success of others.
B. I've been trying to come out my shell and have been catching up with friends and family.
C. I'm focusing on myself right now so I can't really dedicate any time and energy on others.
D. I avoid people to the extent of isolating myself since I have nothing to give, so it's isn't a problem.
Here's the way to calculate your score:
1. A=0, B=3, C=1, D=2
2. A=2, B=0, C=1, D=3
3. A=3, B=2, C=1, D=0
4. A=1, B=0, C=2, D=3
5. A=0, B=1, C=2, D=3
6. A=1, B=3, C=0, D=2
7. A=3, B=1, C=2, D=0
8. A=2, B=0, C=1, D=3
9. A=0, B=2, C=3, D=1
10. A=3, B=2, C=1, D=0
Tally up your total and see how well you are doing.
Score : 1-9 is Stuck in splitsville
It sounds as though you haven't been able to deal with the sadness and anger that normally come with divorce recovery. It could that the split is fairly recent or it's just taking you time to work though the hurt. On the other hand, you may be stuck because you haven't accepted your own share of responsibility for the break-up of your marriage. Sure, you may feel that you have every right to blame your ex, but unless you start to take responsibility for your part of the relationship, and accept that it just did not work out for the two of you together, moving forward will be difficult - if not impossible. You might want to learn more about 'the emotional divorce' being a normal part of the process and consider having open, honest conversation with a coach or counselor. Remember, you can do it!
Score : 10-20 is Heading out of town
As the saying goes, "You've come a long way, baby!" But, you're not quite where you want to be yet. Remember that there isn't a time limit on how long you should take to work your way through the emotions that normally come with divorce. Yet, if you're feeling that you have made some progress but can't seem to get where you want to be, you may need some help. Think about it as 'making the the rest of your life the best years of your life'. Do you want to start dating again some day, but feel a touch insecure or scared? Maybe you want to take some classes or change careers and would benefit from some guidance. Perhaps your goal is to accept your ex for who they are and start working together at being the best co-parents you can each be for the children? Whatever it is that you're working towards, know that you CAN do it! Continue to make time for yourself to learn more about the 'emotional divorce' and consider learning from others who have 'been there and done that.' You would be able to reach your goals much faster, and easier, if you reach out for some help from someone who works at helping others get through a divorce, and over the humps... to thrive. Keep going, you're almost there!
Score : 21-30 is So over it!
Congratulations! It sounds like you've worked through your divorce, or have cleared major hurdles in splitsville. Sure, it may have been tough at times, but you've come out of it with your head held high and your confidence intact. If you have set goals for yourself, now is the time to fine-tune your plan for achieving them. Just remember that during the healing process you can still go through a setback now and then. Don't let it get you down, and do not take it as meaning you are a failure; it's just part of the process. To keep yourself working toward your new and rewarding life, don't feel as if you have to do it alone. For the finishing touches on your journey, you can hire a coach to help you out and to be sure that you do not repeat any of the negative patterns from this past relationship, or from your family of origin.
Keep your head high and reach for that thriving life!
Sharon Shenker, Founder of Divorce Support Plus
(The Rebuilding Checklist was originally created by Sharon Shenker for Quiz: Are You Stuck in Splitsville?)
If you prefer to fill out an interactive format, you can go to their site to find out if you're still stuck in break-up more or if you're on your way to a new life, with new challenges and rewards.