Dr. Sonja Stribling (photo provided by Dr. Sonja Stribling)

Divorce has been a word that has long been associated with sadness and even depression. Families have often been torn apart and many times it leaves both sides financially depleted and emotionally distraught. Clinical studies have listed divorce as one of the top life events that can trigger clinical depression. The author of the new book, The Divorce that Saved My Life … Best after being Broken, Dr. Sonja Stribling takes readers on a post-divorce journey that offers inspiration, hope and a second chance at living an even better life.

Dr. Stribling’s personal testimony is like that of many other women as she was married at a young age and seemed to have the perfect American dream. After that dream fell apart, she found herself struggling to find herself and not knowing where to go. Her journey of finding herself and living a life that she considers better than her former life resulted in her wanting to share and empower others going through a divorce. “Divorce doesn’t have to be a bad word. No one goes into a marriage wanting to get a divorce, however, if you find yourself there you should know it could be the beginning of a much better and more fulfilling life,” she says.

When asked for tips for anyone currently facing the pain of divorce, Dr. Stribling has some simple advice. “If you need to cry or you feel a sense of sadness that is perfectly normal. Give yourself five minutes to experience that emotion and then move on. You get five minutes but then you need to push out of that emotion and get on to the business of living. While you may have to take that five minutes every day or even twice a day, put that time limit on yourself.”

Another issue divorcees face is relapsing with their ex and getting misplaced feelings of hope after spending mutually shared time with children, etc., that can lead to intimacy and beyond. “It’s important to set clear boundaries that you hold yourself accountable for,” she explains. “When exes stay over when they are visiting the children it’s normal to go back to that place of familiarity. It may not even be that you want to be with the person but you may just miss something that feels familiar.”  This is a common mistake many couples make that often leads to one side making assumptions of the possibility of reconciliation. “There are some couples that reconcile during these times but the vast majority of people don’t and it takes you back to square one with your grieving process,” Dr. Stribling believes.

Another step toward a healthy divorce is making sure you keep the lines of communication open with your children. Dr. Stribling suggests taking any step necessary to getting children the help they need. “If they need to talk to a therapist, etc. do that. It’s important [that]children are allowed to heal along with the parents,” she says.

Yes, divorce will change your life, however, Dr. Stribling wants those going through the experience to embrace the idea that it may lead to a brighter future; one where they can discover a part of them that may have been lost or hurt. “Your latter can truly be better than your beginning,” she says.

Dr. Stribling will be hosting the “Broken no More” conference along with some additional Atlanta influencers, July 27-29 in Atlanta at the Renaissance Atlanta Waverly Hotel and Convention Center located at 2450 Galleria Parkway, Atlanta, GA 30339. For more information about her conference, visit www.brokennomore.info.

Christal Jordan

The principal behind Enchanted Branding & PR, a premier entertainment agency based in Atlanta. She also is a media trainer/ consultant and pop culture analyst. Self-proclaimed feminist and equestrian-in-training.