Starting Over After Separation: How to Embrace it?

July 19, 2023

Life is an ever-changing journey, and sometimes it leads us to unexpected turns, including the challenging road of separation or divorce. If you find yourself at this crossroads, know that you are not alone.

The end of a relationship is one of the most challenging things you can go through. You are thrust into a situation where every plan you had for the life you had and your future plans are thrown up in the air. So many people feel like they are supposed to “just get over it and move on”. But you know what, that is so much easier said than done.

Starting over after a separation is hard. It is a conscious choice you have to make every single moment of every day, particularly in the early months of your separation. It is a conscious choice that the end of your relationship (and whatever went down inside that relationship) is not going to define you and it is not going to stop you having an incredible life. It also doesn’t have to be what defines your family or your children’s self-image of who they are.

You are so much more than this relationship. Your worth as a human being, parent, partner goes beyond all of this!

But again, this all comes from the decision to start over. To seek out more for yourself. To being open to an opportunity for incredible growth and self-discovery.

At Bespoke Family Lawyers, we understand the complexity of this journey. I’ve put together a list of our 4 top tips to embrace starting over to put you on the path to creating your best life after separation.

Letting Go: The First Step in Moving Forward.

One of the most challenging aspects of starting over after separation is letting go of the past. The memories, the dreams, and the hopes you once shared with your partner may still linger, and that’s okay.

One of the first steps to moving forward is letting go. Letting go of the dreams and plans you had inside that relationship, letting go of who you were in that relationship and importantly, letting go of the construct or vision you had created of what a family should look like.

This can be an emotionally and incredibly challenging process, but it is an essential step towards healing and moving forward.

As you move through the process of letting go, prepare to feel like you’re riding an emotional rollercoaster. Embrace the sadness, anger, confusion, resentment, and hurt that will come up, without judgment or blame. Grief is a natural response to loss, and it’s okay to experience a range of feelings during this time. Give yourself permission to feel it all, to acknowledge that it’s okay to feel this way, to explore where those feelings are coming from, how are those feelings impacting you and your decisions making and responses and what future improvements or changes do you want to make to yourself, your life, or your reactions/responses, to avoid these feelings taking over and dominating your future.

This reflection can be multi-layered and will take time. You may need support from friends or a therapist, or you may opt to write in a journal to give yourself the opportunity to fully explore what you’re feeling and what unfolded in your relationship, how this is impacting you now, how it could impact you in the future and what you want to do differently or change.

Practice self-compassion and give yourself the time and space you need to heal. Recognise that healing is not a linear process, and it’s okay to take one step forward and two steps back. Be patient with yourself as you navigate through the ups and downs of letting go. Avoid rushing the grieving process and avoid distractions or numbing behaviours. Instead, immerse yourself in activities that bring you comfort and joy, and surround yourself with supportive and understanding people who can offer a listening ear or a comforting presence.

With time and self-compassion, you will gradually find the strength to release the past and open yourself up to the possibilities that lie ahead.

Exploring Your Identity: The Exciting Journey of Self-Discovery

Separation offers a unique chance to delve into your own identity and understand who you truly are. When we are in a long-term relationship, we often lose sight of our individuality and who we are at our core, particularly once children come alone. Now is the time to reclaim it.

This journey of self-discovery will open you up to exploring your truest, most expanded identity. Start by re-evaluating your values, your passions, and rediscovering who you really are. Courageously assess, unravel and unlearn the patterns of conditioning that you’ve built up over a lifetime. These may be the very thing that is preventing you from becoming the person you were meant to be.

Embrace the process of self-reflection and introspection, acknowledging both your strengths, your deepest desires, your habits and patterns of behaviour, and the areas for growth. As you uncover your authentic self, you’ll find the power within to let go of the past and confidently step into your fullest potential and to build a more fulfilling life.

Use the knowledge gained during this introspective journey to set clear intentions for your new chapter. Allow self-empowerment to be your guiding light as you take on new challenges and navigate uncharted territories. Remember that your journey of self-discovery is an ongoing process, and each step you take will lead you closer to the empowered, fulfilled life you desire.

Creating a New Life: Embrace your New Normal

Creating a new life and setting up a new house or re-inventing the space for yourself and your children can be both thrilling and daunting. Start by envisioning the life you want to create. Set clear intentions and define your values, allowing them to guide your decisions as you design your new space. Begin by decluttering and organising your belongings, keeping only those items that truly resonate with your new vision. This process of letting go of the old and making space for the new will not only refresh your physical environment but also symbolise a fresh start for you and your children.

Next, involve your children in the process of setting up the new home. Ask for their input on how they’d like their rooms to be arranged and decorated, fostering a sense of ownership, and belonging in their new space. Create a warm and comforting atmosphere by incorporating familiar items and cherished belongings.

As you settle into your new home or space, embrace the opportunity to establish new routines and traditions that reflect your evolving family dynamic. Allow your children to express their feelings about the changes and be patient as they adjust to their new surroundings. Remember that building a new life is a gradual process, so be kind to yourself and your children as you all step into this new normal together.

Embracing your new normal involves embracing change and acknowledging that life will be different moving forward…and that this is okay.

Redefining Parenthood: Nurturing Stronger Bonds

While a separation may bring its share of challenges, it also presents a unique opportunity to cultivate a higher quality relationship with your children. As you navigate this new phase of parenthood, prioritise open communication and active listening with your children. Encourage them to express their feelings and concerns, reassuring them that their emotions are valid and heard. This approach fosters trust and creates a safe space for your children to share their experiences, building a foundation for a deeper connection with each other.

Embrace the opportunity to explore different parenting styles and practices that align with your values and support your children’s growth and well-being. Maybe the type of parenting style you have adopted up to now has been influenced by your Ex or by “keeping the peace” during your relationship with your Ex and hasn’t felt aligned to your values or your child’s needs. As you take this opportunity to re-evaluate your life, you can also re-evaluate whether the parenting style and practices you’ve adopted are really working for your children.  Incorporating new parenting approaches can be a transformative experience for both you and your children. Use this time to be more attuned to their needs and interests, and adapt your parenting style and practices according to your child’s needs, and their emotional and physical wellbeing.

Remember, a higher quality relationship with your children is built on the foundation of love, understanding, and support, providing them with the tools to flourish and grow amidst life’s changes. By leaning into this transformative journey of redefining how you parent, you’ll discover the profound rewards that come from nurturing a deeper connection with your children.

Seeking Support: The Power of Community

Seeking support from your family, friends, and wider community can be a lifeline as you navigate through the challenging journey of separation. Openly communicate with your loved ones about your feelings and emotions, as they can offer empathetic ears and shoulders to lean on during difficult times. Their unwavering support can be a source of strength, reminding you that you are not alone on this path. This can be incredibly important as separation and divorce can feel very isolating at ties.

In times of transition, the care and encouragement from your wider community can provide invaluable comfort. Join support groups or community organisations where you can connect with others who have gone through or are going through similar experiences. Additionally, consider seeking professional help from therapists, counsellors, or coaches specialising in separation and divorce. They can offer objective guidance, equipping you with coping strategies and tools to process your emotions and empower you to make informed decisions.

Remember, reaching out for support is not a sign of weakness but a testament to your strength and determination. By sharing your experiences, you create a support network that fosters understanding, compassion, and connection, helping you heal and move forward with renewed resilience.

Embracing Change: The Key to Moving Forward:

The power of resilience and grit shines brightest when life throws us unforeseen challenges, and separation is no exception. Resilience is the ability to bounce back and adapt in the face of adversity, while grit is the unwavering determination to persevere despite difficulties. Make best friends with these qualities. They will become your guiding force during your separation journey.

Cultivate a growth mindset, viewing each obstacle as an opportunity to learn, grow, and evolve. By focusing on your capacity to overcome adversity, you will find that resilience and grit become powerful tools that allow you to weather the storm and emerge stronger, wiser, and more resilient than ever before.

As you let go of the past and prepare to move forward, embrace the freedom to design a future that aligns with your truest, authentic self. By embracing the invitation to learn, grow, and change, you will uncover the resilience within, and find that the journey of separation becomes a catalyst for personal evolution and empowerment.

The journey of starting over after separation is one of transformation. It might be challenging, but it is also empowering, exciting, and rewarding.

As you start over, embrace the invitation that separation presents—a chance for self-discovery, growth, and positive change. View this time as an opportunity to redefine your identity, parenting approach, and the life you envision for yourself and your children. Each step you take on this journey is an empowering act of self-love and self-empowerment.

Remember, you are not defined by your past AND you have the power to shape your future.

You have the power to rise above any obstacles and emerge from this journey as a stronger, more resilient, and empowered version of yourself. The path ahead may be uncertain, but know that you are not alone, and you have the strength to embrace this transformative journey with grace and resilience.

At Bespoke Family Lawyers, we understand the complexity of the separation journey and that it goes beyond the legal aspects. If you need support to start over and make a plan for your next chapter. Amy provides uncoupling and life coaching through her Next Chapter Plan workshop. You can find out more here.

Our expert team of family lawyers would love to help you to move toward the life and future you want to build with clarity and confidence. If you want to learn how we can support you, book your strategic planning session today or download our helpful free resources.


This article is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or any other professional advice.

Feeling unsure where to start?

Let us guide you through what’s involved in untangling your relationship and give you the tools to set yourself up to move forward.

Feeling unsure where to start?

Let us guide you through what’s involved in untangling your relationship and give you the tools to set yourself up to move forward.

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