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Valentine's Day Do's and Don't's for the Newly DivorcedValentine’s Day arrives this week, and while that means dating, gifts, and chocolate for many couples, people who’ve recently dealt with the divorce papers don’t have it so easy. Days like this that highlight and celebrate successful relationships only seem to exacerbate the pain and raw emotion of a broken marriage. That’s why we’ve put together some do’s and don’t’s for the individuals who need it most.

If you’ve recently decided to file for divorce — or perhaps you’re the one who’s had the papers filed on you — these suggestions should help.
Do: Focus On The Future, Not The Past.
Your relationship may have been strong at one time, but don’t idealize it. There were certainly irreparable problems that led to the filing of divorce forms. Try to remember that, along with the fact that the future is what you make of it. The divorce happened. It’s done. Nothing can change it. So why try? Instead, focus on the clean slate and the endless possibilities ahead.
Don’t: Try To ‘Recapture The Magic’ Of What You Once Had.
About 80 percent of marriages that end in divorce do so because one party wanted out while the other didn’t. If you’re the one who didn’t, remember that the decision to end things was your partner’s. They had their reasons, and whether you agree with those reasons or not, you cannot dictate what they feel. Right or wrong, they want the marriage to be over and done, so respect that decision and be the best version of yourself — not in some vain hope they will change their mind, but because you deserve it.
Do: Find Healthy Ways To Cope.
Whether that means hanging out with a group of supportive friends, staying in and watching a movie while enjoying a glass of wine and some chocolates, spending time with family, or simply having a good cry behind closed doors, there are healthy ways to cope. Take advantage of them.
Don’t: Make Decisions Based On Your Ex.
You may be tempted to rush out on a date, stalk your ex to see what they have planned, or brood while drinking heavily. Avoid, avoid, avoid. Breakups usually aren’t easy, and it’s understandable that you might want to grieve, but make sure your efforts aren’t the type that can cause more harm to your recovery (and even to your health).
In Summary
Valentine’s Day can be a wonderful thing if you have someone, but if you don’t, it can be a cruel temptation to act out and let your sadness and bitterness get the best of you. Don’t let it dictate your happiness. Stay focused on the future and give yourself permission to grieve and cope — just do it in ways that are ultimately healthy and edifying.

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