Divorce is becoming a regular part of the relationship cycle. Marriage is a much more casual occurrence than it was centuries ago. Marriages were once regarded as a sacred event.
It was an occasion that tethered two lovers for a lifetime, or (honestly) often as a socio-political strategy to secure wealth, status, or strong offspring. Either way, marriages were a strict binding agreement.
But today, you can take a trip to Vegas, fall in love with somebody at the bar, and stumble off to get married that same night. So it’s not hard to imagine that 50% of today’s marriages end in divorce.
Minimalism after divorce
Though divorce may be common, it doesn’t mean it’s any easier to deal with. Compacting your life may be necessary at this time, especially if you have to move, but it’s also optional.
After a break up, a big concern for people is seamlessly resuming life how they knew it before (because they don’t want anyone to know they’re having a hard time, because they feel like they have to, because they don’t want anyone to think they’re struggling, because they don’t want to face their feelings, etc.).
But trying to override the experience can cause more stress and heartache, deprive you of closure, and just make you feel worse.
Relationships run their course and there’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, breakups are a great prompt to give yourself some much-needed attention. Make some changes that’ll help you reach your greatest potential and best Self.
It can be very therapeutic after a split to go into a small space, cuddle up with yourself, be honest about your thoughts and feelings, re-evaluate your life, then emerge from your little nest brighter and lighter than when you went in.
Of course I’m talking about getting yourself a small house or apartment, grabbing some essentials, closing yourself up in it and focusing on you. There are a lot of benefits to establishing a minimalist lifestyle after a divorce.
Benefits of Minimalism After Divorce
Once you’ve shared your life with somebody, it can feel unusual to not only be alone but to be in a small place alone.
But the point is to concentrate on yourself and your wellness. The less you have going on around you, the more of yourself that you can dedicate to you. Minimalism is a process for the individual, and there are certain guidelines that minimalists follow.
The choice to live with less is all about your health and what you think you need to thrive. It’s about detaching ourselves from the things we thought gave our life meaning, and looking at the world in a new way that emphasizes the light that lives within you and every living thing and inanimate thing around you.
Let’s delve into how post-marriage minimalism, or minimalism after a divorce, gives you the room to mentally re-organize, emotionally recover, and physically live healthier and happier.
Figuring out what you want
For as long as you were betrothed and wedded, you got used to being identified as half of a pair. The “I” long ago became “we”. When you’re in a relationship you have to consider how your partner feels before you do anything (at least if you want a smooth home life).
Consider what they like to eat before you cook dinner. Consider where they want to go when you’re planning a vacation. Consider how comfortable they’d be with you wearing that outfit out.
Well, no more! Minimalism is all about you and your unique journey—we’re all here to achieve something. It’s You time now, meaning it’s time to look within, acknowledge what you like, and let your needs and wants dictate your life.
Get to know more about yourself and what would truly make you happy. Cook whatever you want for dinner, then put on that low cut dress and book a trip to Cabo!
This process is made easier by having less distractions and mementos in your space that take your mind off of what’s happening and how you’re feeling. You’ll naturally want to distract yourself rather than sitting with yourself.
An environment minimally occupied with materials is more conducive to clear thought and new ideas. The first step you’ll want to take is the vital step of recognizing yourself as an independent individual again and learning more about you as an individual at this point in time, in this new phase of your life.
It’s time to go back to being yourself, and (trust me) it feels really good.
You’ll need to do some sorting
This part is going to feel not-so-good for some people. We hold on to our compassion towards possessions long after the person connected to them is gone. This attachment is unhealthy when the object is linked to a toxic or past relationship, or even if things genuinely just didn’t work out and the separation was mutual.
Minimalists carefully select their household items based on the degree to which each item contributes to a healthy and productive life. When sorting through your things, deliberate carefully about what you really need for your mental health and wellness and what you don’t.
In this case, if your former partner gave it to you—unless you honestly, truly, really need it—it would be best for you to part with it. Having reminders and connections to them throughout your home stirs up a bunch of mental and emotional internal drama that you don’t need.
If you need to get rid of it but don’t feel right just throwing it away, consider donating it and bettering the life of someone who might really need it.
If it’s an expensive item and you don’t want to give it away, it’s totally okay to sell it—especially if the proceeds will help you. The most important thing is that you clear it from your space somehow.
Everything you have in your home effects the energy inside, especially if it has an emotion attached to it. You want to give yourself a safe space to heal and grow. Reminders will only keep you stuck in the past when there’s a whole radiant future ahead of you!
Keeping these sentimental possessions around disrupt your forward flow of energy. They can keep you emotionally stagnant and discourage new love from entering your life. If you’re looking for something better, make room for something better!
“Detach” is the name of the game
The core of minimalism is a desire to “detach” from the material world in order to live a simpler and more meaningful life. Being a minimalist requires you to sometimes not only detach from things, but detach from people who are subtracting from your life.
Divorce may also require just this set of skills. When you’re divorcing someone, you’re not only divorcing that person but you’re divorcing their family and friends as well. This can also be very hard, especially if you’ve grown very fond of these people, but you have to put your well being first.
Remember a primary minimalist goal: separate yourself from negative influences in your life or people who bring up negative feelings in your heart because these things are not conducive to a healthy and productive life.
Even if you can’t cut them off completely (because of familial ties or what have you), distance yourself and limit your interaction with them to the point that it’ll benefit your mental space.
Essentially, you’ll have to detach from a whole phase of your life which isn’t easy to do. And this fact will only make it all the more liberating and exciting when you do achieve it.
It’s freedom. Achieving that freedom comes with time and focusing your intention ever-forward and not backward—no matter how tempting or comfortable backward may be.
Stack that money!
Your finances are of major importance during the time after a divorce as well. You have to adjust to an independent financial situation, and divorce lawyers aren’t cheap.
If you were the breadwinner, then this might not be as big of an inconvenience to you. But there’s absolutely no shame to be had in downsizing your living arrangement to reflect your newfound independence.
Minimalism saves you a ton of money on your day-to-day expenses. By only buying the necessities and leaving extras and conveniences behind, minimalists have less to clean, less to replace, less to manage, less to buy!
Material things are just pacifiers, and one might be tempted to take this time to do some serious retail therapy. Don’t! Invest that money in yourself for a serious mental and spiritual glow up! Once you get these aspects of your life in order, the rest will fall in place.
You can also put that money away for your big, bright future plans that you established when you sat down with yourself earlier and decided what you wanted in your life. Endeavor to travel, start a business, or invest in something you love to do. Set some goals and reach for them.
Make time for someone special—YOU!
It’s probably been a while since you’ve sat by yourself longer than it took for your partner to go on a business trip. That might be a depressing thought, until you realize that every moment you have from this moment forward has unlimited potential to be anything you want it to be. Keep that potential wide open by minimizing your planner.
Minimalists are meticulous with their time. That’s because they’re focused on what and who is good for them to engage with. If it’s not worth putting their energy into, it’s an inconvenience to them, it doesn’t get them further to their goals, or they just don’t have the time, they won’t do it.
Not just that, but they prioritize time for themselves every day to relax, realign and just enjoy being. Being their beautiful selves, being on this beautiful Earth.
Cleansing your calendar of dreaded commitments or unbeneficial events/activities can go a long way in restoring control of your life to you. After you have your time, you can fill it with anything you want. It might not be easy to think of things at first, and you’re bound to end up staring at a T.V. and shoveling ice cream in your mouth one time or another.
The minimalist process is not about perfection, it’s about freedom, spirituality and minimalist living. Your mind and spirit will expand and adjust to fit your situation and will eventually fill you with aspirations to chase every single day—spurred on by the energy of gratitude and endless potential.
Wrap Up – There’s life after divorce
If you put your time and energy in the right places, your post-marriage life has the unbounded potential to be more exciting, adventurous, and fulfilling than your matrimonial life.
While others are content to resign to negative feelings, you can take advantage of all the opportunities coming your way by limiting what’s in your way.
You are so much more powerful than you think, and you’ll come into that power easier and quicker once you learn to a) detach from things and people who don’t serve your greatest interest and b) minimize the amount of material things that are around to misdirect you or momentarily pacify you.
Because of the circumstances preceding your lifestyle change, people are going to make their own assumptions about your condition.
They may think that you being distant, downsizing your living space, and decluttering thoroughly are cries for attention, due to financial troubles, or are symptoms of depression. Getting this reaction from others is particularly hurtful when you’re in such a vulnerable place.
But these assumptions are completely irrelevant to you. Without facts, these people are simply projecting onto you what they would do in this situation.
When in doubt, turn back to your minimalist principles: you have the choice to put a healthy distance between yourself and anyone who’s making you feel judged or unsupported. Also, minimalism is the emphasis of what you do have. Don’t let others convince you to focus on what you don’t have—those are materialistic ideals.
The more time you spend in your own light, the more you invest in yourself, and the more you focus on yourself, the sheer weight of your power, beauty, intelligence, gratitude, and talent will erect an impenetrable wall of confidence within you that others’ opinions can’t damage.
There is no end, only new beginnings! A minimalist lifestyle opens avenues for you to reevaluate yourself, your life, and your relationships in a healthy way in order to weed out what is and isn’t helping you succeed.
It’s also a great way to ease into the single life (or run serendipitously into your next lover during that trip in Cabo). Minimalism is a cost-effective, goal-driven, and gratitude-inspired process.
Most importantly, it’s a self-centered process that focuses on discovering our love and connection to the world, and giving ourselves room to tap into the infinite sea of potential that lies within each and every one of us.