Despite the never-ending amount of divorce advice out there, the end of a marriage is hard. Divorce is scary, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to getting through it. Divorce means the start of a new phase of your life—one that you never planned for.
When understanding takes on a new meaning
My parents were divorced, and I was a second-wife and stepmother for 14 years. On top of that, I have been a family law attorney for 21 years. But even so, none of that prepared me for the roller coaster of emotions that came along with my own divorce. I thought I knew what to expect, and I thought I was prepared. Hadn’t I been dishing out divorce advice to clients for years? Surely if there was an expert, I was it. I was so wrong.
When your marriage splits up, you need to redefine your future, your path, and yourself. In a marriage, you sacrifice so much of yourself, especially toward the end when all your efforts seem to be failing and you do everything you can to desperately try to save your relationship. In the midst of all that, it’s possible to lose sight of who you are—who you truly are, deep inside.
What makes you happy? What are the things you used to do just for yourself—not for your kids, your husband, or your job but just for you? Is it easy to come up with this list? Can you even remember?
My best divorce advice
My best divorce advice for women is to tell you it is time to focus on you now—to get back to your authentic self. Figure out what makes you happy and where you want your life to go. You have unlimited opportunities now. You have choices. Sure, the path you are on now is not the path that you were on before and it is not the one you expected, but you can redefine your future and you can make it better than before.
Yes, the changes to your finances are scary. Yes, getting back into the dating world can also another kind of terrifying. But you can do it. You are strong, you are fabulous, and you need to get out there and show the world if you ever expect to get anywhere or meet anyone new (friends or lovers).
So, as simple as it sounds: Put away the tissues, and get off the couch. You are amazing, and you have a beautiful, bright future ahead, if only you are brave enough to stop listening to and reading divorce advice and go out there and act on it.
Daryl Weinman is a family law attorney, practicing in the Austin, Texas, area for twenty-one years. A child of divorce, a stepmother for fourteen years, a mother of two teenage boys, and divorced now herself for the past four years, Daryl has seen divorce from most every angle and can truly relate to the emotional struggles of her clients and divorced friends. To leverage her insights and smart, savvy takeaways, read her new book, Post Divorce Journey Back to Yourself available at Barnes & Noble or Amazon.com. Or if you are in the Austin area, or a resident of Texas and would like to consult with Daryl for legal divorce advice, visit here for details.
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