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Getting through Your First Anniversary after Divorce

The day is fast approaching. In fact, it is looming large in your mind.

In the past when this time of year rolled around you would be buying a card and maybe a gift for your spouse. There may have been a feeling of excitement in expectation of a special dinner, event, or even a romantic getaway. But, all the positive vibes have given way to divorce.

Now there is a hole where your heart used to be. Or, at least a sadness.

What do you do for your anniversary? Do you still buy him (or her) a card? How do you process the feeling of loss that this date on the calendar ignites?

Here are Four Suggestions:

Be real about your loss. Divorce hurts and nothing brings that hurt back like an anniversary, especially when your divorce is fairly recent. It’s perfectly okay to allow yourself to acknowledge that loss on your anniversary. However, I would recommend against such self-torturous choices as posting your wedding photo on social media. (Yes, I’ve seen it done several times.) And, if you’re thinking of sending a card, consider your motive. What will sending an anniversary card at this point do to your emotions?

Be thankful. That may sound very counterintuitive. However, chances are that something good came from your marriage. Do you have children? Thank God for each by name. Use the day of your anniversary to do something special with your kids. Were you in an abusive situation but now you’re safe? Thank God for that. Thank God that He loves you and has a plan for you. Thanking God will keep your mind focused on the positive.

Look forward. Acknowledge to yourself that divorce represents a new beginning. While that may make you nervous it can also be exciting. Think of something you would like to do in the future and start to make plans.

Celebrate you. Yes, you! You are special. You may like to go out or stay in but do something on your anniversary that you enjoy. Pamper yourself and allow yourself to have a good time.

Know that your first anniversary after divorce will come and go. For some, letting that happen may be all they need to do.

How about You? 

Has your first anniversary since your divorce already come and gone? How did you handle it? Share your experience in a comment below. It might help others.

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Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”  Romans 12:12

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6 Comments on Getting through Your First Anniversary after Divorce

  1. Connie says:

    I’ve made it a Self Care day. Treat myself to a massage, get my hair done or nails done. Have lunch with a dear friend that maybe even helped you thru it. Turn it into a day of celebration – of yourself ☺

    • Renee Ettline says:

      Connie, I love that idea! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Neenu says:

    My 3rd wedding anniversary is coming after a few days… I am 23 I am from India I don’t know what to do on that day I am so lost I can’t go out alone my parents will not allowed that so I don’t know how to you you move that day

    • Renee Ettline says:

      Neenu are you already divorced?

  3. Michelle says:

    Our divorce just become final last Tuesday. Our 20th anniversary would have been today which is a week after our divorce become final. Today started like most days. I just hung out with my daughter for the first part of the day. Then she went with her dad for the rest of the day. So I took a nice drive up the coast and grabbed a burger on the way. Tomorrow will be a new day and my life will continue forward.

    • Renee Ettline says:

      Congratulations! Adjusting is hard but it is so freeing when you move to the place that you realize life does go on and that you’re going to be okay. God bless you as you move forward with your life

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