What Qualifications Does a Divorce Therapist Need?

Since divorce can be one of the most emotionally and psychologically challenging events that impacts numerous aspects of person’s life, it is no surprise that the qualifications of a divorce therapist are quite involved.

When a marriage ends traumatically, a divorce therapist is usually responsible for helping an individual cope with the challenging mental, financial, emotional, and physical process of the uncoupling. Not only can divorce therapists act as an intermediary to ensure that the separation is achieved with minimal hostility, they can also equip individuals with the essential skills needed to navigate through all of the choppy waters associated with this life transition.

Since divorce can be one of the most emotionally and psychologically challenging events that impacts numerous aspects of person’s life, it is no surprise that the qualifications of a divorce therapist are quite involved.

When a marriage ends traumatically, a divorce therapist is usually responsible for helping an individual cope with the challenging mental, financial, emotional, and physical process of the uncoupling. Not only can divorce therapists act as an intermediary to ensure that the separation is achieved with minimal hostility, they can also equip individuals with the essential skills needed to navigate through all of the choppy waters associated with this life transition.

Since divorce can be one of the most emotionally and psychologically challenging events that impacts numerous aspects of person’s life, it is no surprise that the qualifications of a divorce therapist are quite involved.

When a marriage ends traumatically, a divorce therapist is usually responsible for helping an individual cope with the challenging mental, financial, emotional, and physical process of the uncoupling. Not only can divorce therapists act as an intermediary to ensure that the separation is achieved with minimal hostility, they can also equip individuals with the essential skills needed to navigate through all of the choppy waters associated with this life transition.

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How to Convince Your Husband Not to Divorce You

I often write about preventing divorce and saving marriages. Often, I chat with women, (but I am sometimes approached by men.) One of the more common questions I get is “How can I convince my husband not to go through with the divorce?,” or “How can I change my husband’s mind about leaving?”  I find that a lot of the time, the women asking this question often want to know many things.  They want to know if they can make real changes themselves when their husband isn’t receptive or has one foot out of the door.

They also want to know how to bring the spark back in their marriage and they REALLY want to stop feeling like they’ve lost control and are at the mercy of their husband’s thoughts and wants with no real input.  They are tired of talking and saying the same things with the same results. They wish they could find the magic words or write the magic letter that is going to stop all of these talks about divorce.

Here’s the truth.  You can’t really “make” or “convince” someone not to get a divorce. Sure, some can strong arm a man into changing his mind, but this will backfire eventually. There’s a much better way.

Because, if his heart is not truly in it, the issue is going to keep coming up over and over and your husband will not allow himself to be so easily convinced the next time.  The best way to “encourage” your husband to change his mind about a divorce, is not to convince him or manipulate him, but to make him want to stay through your changed actions.

The Wrong Way To Convince Your Husband Not To Divorce You: Here’s what most women do and here’s where they go wrong.  Many women who feel their husband slipping away pull out all of the stops. Nothing is off limits. They go into overdrive and become crazed rather than calm and panicked rather than patient.  They follow their husbands around trying to engage and get any reaction they can (even if it is a negative one.) This only makes the situation worse.

Or, they may try to argue and debate with their husbands or “prove” to him why he is wrong.  Or they try to convince him that if he just understood the real situation. he would realize he is wrong.

Still other wives try to become overly accommodating, telling their husband’s they’ll “do anything” to save the marriage and try to “show” or “prove” to their husbands how much they really love them.

All of these strategies can backfire because they are all using manipulation and worse, they all insinuate that your husband is WRONG and isn’t capable of making a sound decision.

In essence, by trying to convince him that he is wrong about a divorce, what you’re really saying to him is that he can’t evaluate his own feelings, he doesn’t deserve to be truly happy, and his spouse would rather strong arm him to get her own way than truly think about his happiness.

I am not writing this to frustrate you. I just want you to see it from your husband’s point of view. The problem here is that your husband is not feeling validated, and until he has, he’s going to block you and essentially tune out what you are saying.

The Right Make To Make Your Husband Want To Stay In The Marriage On His Own (No Convincing Involved): Hopefully, I’ve been able to show you that trying to change your husband’s mind or convince him he is wrong without really listening to him is not going to work long term.

So, what is the better way to get your husband to stay in the marriage? In truth, he needs to want to stay on his own. You need for his heart (and his commitment) to be fully present. So, you approach him from a place of validation. You tell him that you are listening intently to what he is saying, want to understand how you help, and value the closeness you once shared (and wouldn’t do anything to compromise it) Then, you agree that you could both stand to work on some changes so that things will be better for both of you.

You look him right in the eye and tell him that his happiness and the happiness of your family is extremely important to you.  Tell him that you’d like for him to know that you are available if he wants to talk or share with you what would make things better for him.  Tell him you intend to only interact with him positively from now on. He may balk at first, but he will remember this conversation later.

Then, you have to make good on this. Because honestly, he’s not going to believe you at first.  If he’s seriously considering divorce, it’s very likely you’ve both made promises that haven’t been kept.  He’s probably been told things will change when they really don’t.  So, now, you have to SHOW him (with your actions, not with your words) that this is no longer the case.

Getting The Spark Back Will Make A Divorce Much Less Likely: I’d like for you to take a moment and thing about how you treated your husband when you were dating. You probably hung on his very word, placed his happiness high on your list of priorities, and poured a great deal of time into the relationship. This likely resulted in him feeling on top of the world.  And, he probably thought that you could do no wrong.

But, this was lost somewhere. It happens to all of us. We all have responsibilities and priorities that get in the way. However, you must show your husband these two people again. You must always ask yourself if the person you are showing your husband is the one he fell in love with. (We often lose ourselves and replace her with a hurried, distant, hollow version of someone else.)

But, if you can bring back the woman your husband fell in love with, (in a genuine rather than manipulative way), she’ll do all the convincing with her actions rather than with her words (as she did in the beginning).

 

Frequently Asked Questions About the Divorce Process

Going through divorce is never an easy process. It doesn’t help that there’s a great deal of confusion regarding the actual legal steps and requirements along the way. This guide will offer some insight specifically into Maryland divorce FAQs for individuals and couples residing in the state.

What are the grounds for absolute divorce in Maryland?

Maryland recognizes a handful of different grounds for absolute divorce. The first is a 12 month continuous separation period, during which the two parties have been residing separately, in separate places of abode, without martial relations or cohabitation, continuously and uninterruptedly for the entirety of the separation period. After this, a complaint for absolute divorce may be filed.

One new avenue that applies to certain couples is that of mutual consent. With mutual consent, there is no minimum separation period. However, it only applies to parties who have no minor children in common, and those who have a signed, legal separation agreement or Marital Settlement Agreement, which has resolved all issues arising out of the marriage, including but not limited to alimony and division of marital property.

Beyond those two, there are other grounds for divorce. These include adultery, cruelty, desertion, excessively vicious conduct, insanity, and the conviction of certain crimes whereby the party is incarcerated for three years or more.

What’s the difference between absolute and limited divorce, as well as fault and no fault, and contested vs. uncontested divorce?

-Absolute vs. Limited Divorce: Absolute divorce is the official legally decreed end to a marriage. Limited divorce is utilized in certain circumstances, usually when the Parties cannot establish grounds for an Absolute Divorce. However, with a Limited Divorce, the marriage is not officially terminated and the Parties cannot remarry.

-Fault vs. No Fault: There are different grounds for either fault or no fault divorce. In Maryland, the 12 month separation and mutual consent decrees are both no fault divorces, while the other grounds for absolute divorce discussed above are considered at fault.

-Uncontested vs. Contested: Uncontested divorces are those in which the two parties have come to their own solution, either before filing for divorce, or during the divorce, whether through mediation or negotiation, by way of separation agreement or Marital Settlement Agreement.

What are the rules for separation and separation agreements for Maryland divorce?

Separation agreements are not required in the state of Maryland, although they are helpful in certain circumstances. As far as separation periods, the 12 month separation period is one ground for absolute divorce, while mutual consent has no separation period requirement.

Of course, this has all been a very brief overview of some of the most pressing frequently asked questions about divorce in Maryland. For more information on your own case or circumstances, be sure to consult with an experienced attorney in your area who can provide you with guidance on your best course of action.

 

When It All Falls Apart: The Importance of Having an Experienced Divorce Lawyer

Sometimes, things don’t work out the way we planned. Despite our best efforts and intentions, things break, and relationships fall apart.

When a marriage or civil union ends, no matter how amicable the parties involved may be, it is important to find a divorce lawyer to represent your interests. You may think that doing it yourself will save some money. However, marriage is a legal institution, and most of us are not lawyers. Having someone by your side who understands how family law and how it may affect you is highly recommended.

Expert Guidance

Laws on distribution of property after divorce vary greatly from state to state, and can change frequently. Divorce lawyers are aware of how these laws may affect your situation. Their expert guidance can make sure you get what you deserve. Financial matters such as spousal or child support, debts, assets and future assets can be confusing without a knowledgeable guiding hand.

Avoid Paperwork Problems

It is possible to obtain, complete, and file the paperwork necessary for divorce cases without legal advice. However, incomplete, inaccurate, or missing paperwork can cause frustrating delays. Adequate legal counsel will help you avoid paperwork issues that might delay court rulings and the finalization of your divorce.

Clarity

The court is legally bound to review any information it receives on your case, regardless of who files it. Without knowledge of proper legal language, misunderstandings are possible. These can lead to the court misunderstanding your wishes, and taking actions that you did not intend. Professional divorce lawyers are able to present your case in clear legal language, ensuring that your desires are understood. This is especially important if there are child custody issues.

Stress and Mistakes

Divorce is an emotional event. These emotions can make it difficult to function through daily life. How much more difficult would it be to navigate a new field of knowledge with that emotional stress? With your mind altered by an already stressful situation, mistakes can be easily made. This can add to the stress you are already experiencing. Having a lawyer to take care of all the legal details will allow you the time and space to take care of yourself and your loved ones in a difficult time.

Access to the internet has given many of us the idea that we can become instant experts in most fields. While this may be true to some degree, legal matters are always best left to the experts. Divorce cases are as unique as the individuals involved. A search engine can provide valuable information, but it cannot replace years of experience and first-hand knowledge. Choosing to do it yourself can cost you precious time, money, and energy that could be used for self-healing and rebuilding your life.

 

How To Heal Yourself & Begin To Move On From A Broken Relationship

Are you newly single? Have you just come out of a relationship or marriage? Failed relationships can be painful and challenging to overcome. While the most common solution is to rebound into another relationship, these relationships rarely survive beyond a few months. And even if they do, they mostly work more like a compromise. The best way out is to take advantage of your new relationship status by learning from the past and recreating your life. A breakup or divorce can be a positive experience if you choose to learn from it.

Learn from a failed relationship and prepare to receive your future partner:

What’s the lesson? Every failed relationship provides at least one significant lesson. What was it? Relationships typically fail either due to errors in choosing a partner or errors in behavior. Reflect and see where “you” made a mistake and decide to do something better next time. If you have multiple failed relationships, check to see if there is a pattern you can identify common to all of them. If you can understand your contributions to the failed relationship, you’d be in a better position to attract the right person and make it work!

Let it go. Unless there are children involved, consider ceasing all contact till you get over the hurt. Resist the tendency to “accidentally” run into them at your favorite hangout, send a late-night text message, or stalk them on Facebook. Take anything that reminds you of them, box it up, and put it in the garage. It is possible to be friends with your ‘ex-partner / spouse’ but it takes two very matured people to make that happen plus some healing time to reach a point where a healthy friendship can be maintained with no heart aches.

Forgive him/her for your own sake. It’s an easy word to say, but challenging to do. Remember! There’s no closure without forgiveness. Forgiveness is about freeing ourselves from the energy-draining quest for retribution.

Be there for yourself. It can be tempting to compromise on your hygiene, sit in front of the TV in your pajamas, and avoid the gym. However, it’s important to continue taking care of yourself. Get a shower, spend time with friends that really care about you, and maintain your normal routine.

Get your life in order. Find a job you like if you don’t already have one. Ensure your finances are in order. Get in shape. Feel good about your life and yourself before dating again. You want to have a great life to share with someone else, rather than find someone to fill in all the gaps and solve all the challenges in your life. Fix your life first! You’ll be a much more attractive partner, when you do that.

Transform your space. Create a new environment at home. Move the furniture around. Renovate your home. Give yourself a fresh start.

Find a new hobby. There has got to be something you have always wanted to do. Now is the perfect time to do it! Take a photography class or buy a guitar. Join a dance class. Add something new and fun to your life.

Enjoy the freedom. Just enjoy the time, space and freedom of being single. Avoid starting a new relationship immediately. Spend more time with your friends and family.

Decide what you are looking for. Make a list of what you would like in a potential partner. Think about your past relationship experiences and put together a description of what you would like in a new partner. Also reflect on what that kind of person will be looking in their ideal partner. Work on yourself to develop those traits. Begin looking, but avoid straying too far from your list of requirements. Avoid falling into old patterns.

Take one step at a time. When you find a potential match, enjoy it. There’s no rush. Take it slow. Neither be desperate for a commitment, nor commit too soon. Let it flow.

Moving on after a failed relationship can be especially challenging. Rely on friends and family to see you through. A breakup or divorce is an ideal time for self-examination and making positive changes in your life. There’s no reason to be in a hurry to find a new partner. Move on from the past before jumping into a new relationship.

Divorce Recovery Time – 3 Months? 3 Years? 3 Decades? How Long Will it Take?

Divorce recovery takes time. This is a fact of divorce. The real question is, “How long must I endure the upset and pain of adjusting to my divorce?” While specific time predictions are not possible, we can make choices that reduce recovery time from several years to a few months.

WHAT DO WE MEAN BY “RECOVERY?”

Successful recovery from divorce can mean different things to different people. By “recovery,” I mean that we are no longer haunted by painful memories of the relationship. We can talk about our ex and talk to our ex without negative emotions. We can wish our ex the best in their new life. And we can go for days with even thinking of our ex. In other words, we feel content with our current life and excited about our future without our ex being an integral part of it.

SLAYING THE MYTH THAT TIME HEALS EVERYTHING

Accepted wisdom tells us that “time heals everything.” Tell that to my former sister-in-law. I met Faye before I met her sister, Anne, who I eventually married. At this time Faye had been divorced five years and every reference she made to her ex was critical and painful. Sixteen years later Faye died of cancer and to her dying day, her references to her ex remained critical and painful. Twenty-one years should have been enough time to heal her divorce wounds IF “time heals everything” were true. It isn’t. Time, by itself, heals nothing.

What IS important is what we DO during that time. What are our choices for “what to do?”

WHAT CAN WE DO TO RECOVER FROM DIVORCE?

Our two main choices are 1 – DO NOTHING and let “Time and Sympathy” cure our pain and 2 – Use a “TARGETED PROGRAM” specifically designed to change the attitudes and behaviors that keep us stuck in our post-divorce pain and dysfunction.

I do not address generalized therapy because of the nebulous nature of the process. Some, if not most, talk therapies, both individual and group, provide little more than a safe place to vent feelings and perhaps receive “advice.” Other therapies, like the divorce-specific behavior therapy program of Wanderer and Cabot, provide the client with a specific, behavior-focused program specifically designed to deal with the unique issues of divorce recovery. The first kind I lump in with the “Time and Sympathy” strategies. The second I include in the “Targeted Program” strategies.

RECOVERY TIME USING “TIME AND SYMPATHY” STRATEGIES? 3 TO 5 YEARS

If you do nothing, that is, if you use the “Time and Sympathy” strategies, it will take years for you to recover. Just how many years is unclear. Reports vary. Some say 1 year, others say 2 years. Some predict 1 year of recovery for each year of marriage, while others say 1 year of recovery for every 2 years of marriage.

Two major research projects generally confirm these estimates. Hetherington’s study puts this time frame at 2 to 6 years. Wallerstein and Kelly found that the average time after a divorce for women to reestablish “inner equilibrium,” “external stability,” and “a sense of continuity in their lives” was 3 to 3½ years.

Any way you cut it, if you depend on “Time and Sympathy” to provide your recovery from divorce, you are looking at a long time.

Is there a better way? Can you recover from divorce sooner? Answer: Yes!

RECOVERY TIME USING “TARGETED PROGRAM” STRATEGIES? ABOUT 3 MONTHS

“Targeted Programs” are behavior-focused and attitude-focused, structured programs that walk the divorced client through the unique issues and challenges of the divorce-recovery process. Two examples include the Divorce Recovery Behavior Therapy Program (Wanderer and Cabot) and my Smooth Divorce Recovery Coaching Program (JW Young). Even though the programs come from related, but different, theoretical approaches (behavior therapy versus transition management and dissolving resistance to change) their results are quite similar. Both programs estimate it takes approximately 3 MONTHS (not years) to recover from divorce.

In my divorce-recovery coaching experience, the shortest recovery time was 6 weeks for a person who had had two previous “let’s get divorced” decisions followed by reconciliation. The longest was 5 months for someone who was stuck in the past and dealing with gut level anger at being betrayed. The typical client took 3 months of weekly, 2-hour sessions, to walk through the program, during which they dropped their fantasies of revenge, saw clear hope for the future, and were able to wish their ex well.

Divorce Counseling

The end of a relationship and a divorce normally includes experiencing a wide array of emotions, which can include grief, anger, relief, pain, confusion, gratification-seeking, indignation, depression, anxiety, happiness, hopelessness, loss, neediness, frustration, attention-getting, withdrawal, loneliness, lifelessness, negativity, and more. If you are experiencing some or all of these emotions, then congratulations — it means you are normal. Even though almost half of all marriages in the U.S. end in divorce, studies have shown that divorce can also be one of the most stressful transitions that most people will ever experience.

Divorce is one of those times in life when professional counseling is a very wise investment, because of the intensity and wide range of emotions. Usually, lots has happened that led to this point, and the guidance that a good mental health counselor can provide includes helping you make sense of the emotions you are experiencing, processing and releasing the intense emotions, and becoming centered again. Good divorce counseling can include helping you achieve clarity and hope by helping you process your emotions faster without staying stuck.

Divorce counseling is different from collaborative divorce coaching. Collaborative divorce coaches are trained in and focused on assisting the collaborative divorce process. Coaching is mostly limited to identifying communications patterns, skill-building for the collaborative divorce process, providing insights so the team can better facilitate reaching agreement, and some other narrow tasks during the collaborative process. Unlike a counselor, there is no privilege or confidentiality between coach and other team members; in fact, a coach must provide information to the other team members for the coach to provide full value.

Therapists are licensed mental health professionals such as psychiatrists, psychologists, psychoanalysts and social workers who work with patients who have diagnosable medical and mental conditions. They often examine the patient’s past to find root causes of current problems and helps the client heal, recover and resolve issues. On the other hand, coaching is not clinical in nature, is not based on a diagnosis and does not usually delve into the past except for background information. The focus of coaching is forward momentum. Remember, coaching is not therapy. Clients are ultimately responsible for all of their own choices and decisions in their lives that are discussed in coaching sessions.

The work you would do with your own therapist, with whom you would have confidentiality to the maximum extent allowed by law, will also differ from the work you do with your coach. Most people who have counseling during their divorce feel that it helps them greatly.

How To Find A Reliable Divorce Lawyer

Divorce is not always easy because there are so many legalities involved in the process. Child custody, property settlements and parental responsibilities are some of the legal issues that come into the picture when getting a divorce. It can be mentally and emotionally taxing and the last thing you want to do is struggle with the process. A divorce lawyer comes in handy during this trying phase of your life. The divorce attorney represents and guides you through the process, making it easier for you to handle. But to enjoy a smooth process, you must find yourself a reliable attorney.

1. Talk to friends and relatives

Divorce rates are high and this means that a close friend or family member might have been through one. You can use them to help you find an attorney you can trust with the process. If you do not have any issues with your friends and family knowing about your divorce, then you can get recommendations so you can hire a lawyer that will deliver as per your expectations. Find out as much as you can about the lawyer before you contact a few and make comparisons before then deciding.

2. Know what your needs are

You really cannot get the best attorney if you do not know how you want the divorce process to go. Remember that a divorce can end on mutual agreement or it can be a messy divorce process that is one sided. Choose a divorce attorney bound to cater to your personal preferences and needs throughout the process. Age, personality and gender are some of the preferences you might have when choosing a legal representative. The divorce lawyer should make you feel comfortable and should understand the situation and know how to handle it better.

3. Do your research

The internet offers an easy time to find what you are looking for and you can use it to find yourself a reliable lawyer. You can use referral programs to find the best representatives for your case or you can use lawyer directories in your locality to get familiar with law firms and what services they offer. You can pick a number of potential attorneys then compare them one by one before selecting the one you feel best suits your case. Yellow pages can also prove helpful when looking for a reliable lawyer you can trust with your case.

4. Create a budget

Before you hire a divorce attorney, you must start by setting a budget. How much are you willing to spend for the legal services? Attorney rates can vary from firm to firm sometimes depending on the experience and rank of the attorney. You should strive to get one who can deliver exceptional service at a fair rate or a rate that you feel you can afford. Know what you can afford before you hire your lawyer for the case. Once you find a lawyer you can afford, then you can go ahead and ask as many relevant questions as possible so you make an informed decision.

How To Heal Yourself & Begin To Move On From A Broken Relationship

Are you newly single? Have you just come out of a relationship or marriage? Failed relationships can be painful and challenging to overcome. While the most common solution is to rebound into another relationship, these relationships rarely survive beyond a few months. And even if they do, they mostly work more like a compromise. The best way out is to take advantage of your new relationship status by learning from the past and recreating your life. A breakup or divorce can be a positive experience if you choose to learn from it.

Learn from a failed relationship and prepare to receive your future partner:

What’s the lesson? Every failed relationship provides at least one significant lesson. What was it? Relationships typically fail either due to errors in choosing a partner or errors in behavior. Reflect and see where “you” made a mistake and decide to do something better next time. If you have multiple failed relationships, check to see if there is a pattern you can identify common to all of them. If you can understand your contributions to the failed relationship, you’d be in a better position to attract the right person and make it work!

Let it go. Unless there are children involved, consider ceasing all contact till you get over the hurt. Resist the tendency to “accidentally” run into them at your favorite hangout, send a late-night text message, or stalk them on Facebook. Take anything that reminds you of them, box it up, and put it in the garage. It is possible to be friends with your ‘ex-partner / spouse’ but it takes two very matured people to make that happen plus some healing time to reach a point where a healthy friendship can be maintained with no heart aches.

Forgive him/her for your own sake. It’s an easy word to say, but challenging to do. Remember! There’s no closure without forgiveness. Forgiveness is about freeing ourselves from the energy-draining quest for retribution.

Be there for yourself. It can be tempting to compromise on your hygiene, sit in front of the TV in your pajamas, and avoid the gym. However, it’s important to continue taking care of yourself. Get a shower, spend time with friends that really care about you, and maintain your normal routine.

Get your life in order. Find a job you like if you don’t already have one. Ensure your finances are in order. Get in shape. Feel good about your life and yourself before dating again. You want to have a great life to share with someone else, rather than find someone to fill in all the gaps and solve all the challenges in your life. Fix your life first! You’ll be a much more attractive partner, when you do that.

Transform your space. Create a new environment at home. Move the furniture around. Renovate your home. Give yourself a fresh start.

Find a new hobby. There has got to be something you have always wanted to do. Now is the perfect time to do it! Take a photography class or buy a guitar. Join a dance class. Add something new and fun to your life.

Enjoy the freedom. Just enjoy the time, space and freedom of being single. Avoid starting a new relationship immediately. Spend more time with your friends and family.

Decide what you are looking for. Make a list of what you would like in a potential partner. Think about your past relationship experiences and put together a description of what you would like in a new partner. Also reflect on what that kind of person will be looking in their ideal partner. Work on yourself to develop those traits. Begin looking, but avoid straying too far from your list of requirements. Avoid falling into old patterns.

Take one step at a time. When you find a potential match, enjoy it. There’s no rush. Take it slow. Neither be desperate for a commitment, nor commit too soon. Let it flow.

Moving on after a failed relationship can be especially challenging. Rely on friends and family to see you through. A breakup or divorce is an ideal time for self-examination and making positive changes in your life. There’s no reason to be in a hurry to find a new partner. Move on from the past before jumping into a new relationship.