Without intervention, divorce rates look like this:

First marriage: 50 percent end in divorce
Second marriage: 64 percent end in divorce
Third marriage: 74 percent end in divorce

I believe it is possible to lower the higher divorce rate for second marriages. Before entering into another relationship, you must be willing to take the time for your own personal development and learn healthy relationship skills that will move your life forward after the first divorce.

Becoming single again is scary, and it may feel like you are on an emotional roller-coaster ride. Unfortunately, being single again is never a neat, straight line. You take two steps forward and three steps back. One moment you feel like you are on top of the world, and two minutes later, you could easily be in tears — confused and filled with fear.

I used to be where you are now. I was a divorced single mom for 16years, so I understand your challenges, frustrations and feelings. After my divorce, I not only had to adjust to being a single mom of two children — ages 12 and 9 at the time — I also had to learn how to do the once shared to-do list on my own, plus start thinking about a new career. At times, I felt so overwhelmed and tired with all of the new challenges and wondered how I could do it all.

One day, I had a huge wake-up call when one of my friends said to me, “If you crumble, so will your children.” That\’s all I needed to hear. From that day forward, I realized that I had to take care of myself and get the support I needed in order to be the best I could be for my children as well as for myself. Getting that help changed my life. Now I\’m committed to guiding women through their transitions during and after divorce.

Here are the three “must do” things I highly recommend to help take charge of your life after divorce and to be the best you can be for a new relationship:

Take time for yourself. Don\’t date immediately. After divorce, many people feel the need to date immediately. Don\’t do it. Just because you see your former spouse dating, don\’t think you should, too.

Don\’t worry about what other people say or think. Don\’t let society add pressure with the myth that something is wrong with you if you are home alone on a Friday or Saturday night. In reality, you are on the healing path when you have built enough confidence and self-esteem to be able to enjoy a Friday or Saturday night alone with a rented movie and a bowl of popcorn. (That\’s not the same as staying home because you are depressed.)

Let go of regrets and bitterness. So many of my clients say that they just want to be at peace with themselves. Is this how you want to feel, too? I\’m sure you know that holding onto regrets and bitterness will only keep you stuck and make you feel unhappy. Yet how do you help yourself? Start by being aware that your inner voice is probably working overtime with all the “what ifs” and “if onlys.”

This is normal for a period of time, but ask yourself, are these thoughts serving me or helping me feel better? Will thinking about them over and over again change anything? To enjoy the next exciting chapter in your life, it\’s important to acknowledge your thought patterns that are holding you back. You also need to learn from your past experiences. Yes, there is life after divorce. Learn to let go!

Be true to yourself. Enjoy the journey of rediscovering your assets and strengths that may have gone untapped over the years. You need to know you and understand yourself first.

This can be a challenging process. That\’s why I founded the Single Again! Now What? Mentoring Program. The program is an easy and rewarding way to help rediscover who you really are while learning the necessary life skills to be the best you can be for yourself as well as for your children. These skills include coping skills, anger management, Time Management and communication skills.

It has to start with you.

It is possible to lower the divorce rate for your second marriage if you take time to heal, let go of the anger and bitterness, and be your true self.

Enjoy the journey of your new adventures.

Both Carrie and Joanie support women during the “ups and downs” of life. For more information contact Carrie E. Pierce at www.Menopauserus.com or Joanie Winberg at www.SingleAgain-NowWhat.com. Previously published at http://www.freshstartafterdivorce.com.

Joanie Winberg Founder of the Fresh Start after Divorce Community

Joanie is the Founder of the Fresh Start after Divorce community, author of Rising to the Top, A Guide to Self Development and hosts her own radio show called The Happy Wednesday Broadcast. She is also the Founder of the Happy Wednesday Foundation, whose mission statement is to provide a healthy lifestyle for all children, women and families through educational programs and affordable housing.