Divorce and Women: One Woman’s Journey
It's a New Day for Women Getting Divorced
The legal rights and freedom of women, of course, vary widely across the globe today. And yet, the instantaneous pollination of the internet, has brought new opportunity for support, where women everywhere can contemplate and navigate the divorce landscape while finding connection and community.
This is why women from across the globe continue to return to our educational hub at SAS for Women. Our website is a portal to power and hope.
Despite cultural differences, diverse locations, or disparate legal systems, our readers come here honoring their internal worlds. They take comfort in feeling less alone as they consider this life-changing decision, including the legal ramifications and the loss of status that divorce sometimes brings.
Behind the marital doors, beyond the silence or the noise, the internet has lessened our isolation and we’re seeing we are not alone. We are seeing each other. And we’re agreeing we will not be spoon-fed the formula for who we are supposed to be, nor the nature of how we will divorce if we so decide. We will not cede our most vital power to somebody else again.
It’s easier to divorce than ever before.
Not long ago, a woman who wanted a divorce simply didn’t have the “luxury” to do so—legally, financially, or culturally. And, to be frank, places like this still exist in the world today. Even in our own backyard, a woman’s only choice may be to endure and to live as best she can with her circumstances.
In the News: Recently, conservative countries across West Africa are seeing more women seeking divorce in Islamic courts.
This was followed by a more “evolved” divorce, the kind that’s legally permitted but still considers divorced women as second-class citizens. For a long time in recent history, divorce was still so taboo that one didn’t know what to do when it happened but to crawl into a divorce attorney’s office and fall apart, spilling messy feelings and complicated stories out onto the floor. This only perpetuated the status quo: a patriarchal system where the lawyer, the new patriarch, tells Little Miss Teary Eyes what to do.
In this paradigm, there is no growth: only shrinking and apologizing until a woman decides she is worth something.
My friend Susan used to tell me: “Stop saying ‘I’m sorry!'’” She was divorced, older, and wiser. And in response, I would usually say, “Sorry.”
Looking back, I think what a simpering voice that old version of me had! She was a woman in her first chapter of being grownup, married with children, running a household, doing what she thought she was supposed to do, punctuating various moments with “I’m sorry.” That version of me believed that saying sorry would erase the unsettling circumstances around her, if only she took the hit and absorbed the tension. She so wanted things to be all right, and for things to be stabilized.
Support and compassion are keys to your transformation.
I have so much compassion for that person now, that girl who grew into the apologizing woman. I see her clearly from a hard-won distance. Now grounded in the present, my life could not be more different.
Just as I could not have known then, you have no idea what gifts await you behind your post-divorce curtains.
This film is for you.
As an early adopter of this model of women supporting women through divorce, we feel the heat turning up as we experience the power of women coming together in various ways. This includes the individual election of a woman of color as second in command of the United States, and the collective rallying, protesting, and marching of women internationally, each stepping over her shame and becoming empowered by the #MeToo movement to tell personal stories and to testify.
Read about divorce innovator, SAS Cofounder Liza Caldwell in The Scientific Journal's "Women of Divorce Give Birth to an Industry”
Within our sacred sisterhood at SAS, there are tens of thousands of women who are, like you, exploring their questions of self-worth. Visiting our website this week alone were readers from Iraq, Brunei, Vietnam, the United Arab Emirates, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. On the phone, we connected with women coming from India and Pakistan, as well as from cities like Barcelona, Mexico City, Yakima, Washington, Minneapolis, New York, and Provo, Utah. We spoke to Muslims, Orthodox Jews, atheists, Mormons, rationalists, and Christians from the Bible Belt. All are turning to other women for support.
Women gather to learn and heal in community.
Women are doing what we do naturally, but we are doing it now as a force majeure. We are stepping out from our personal and professional lives, exploring life beyond the shame and stigma of a marriage that did not last forever. We are guiding and bringing each other up—building support systems, becoming coaches, growing into fearless advocators, and claiming our rightful roles as wise and unparalleled leaders. Women are helping other women find their power as they begin to explore what it’s like to partner themselves.
Divorce is valid. Whether it was thrown at us or we were the initiator, divorce can be the catalyst and the means for expansion as we become more empowered and more willing to risk our one precious life. Divorce can be about women wanting something different for their children—and women wanting something different for ourselves.
* SAS for Women Cofounder Liza Caldwell would like to thank Wishing Well Entertainment—the production and camera crew, the composer and sound editors, and the vision of the director—for the remarkable experience of being featured in “A Woman’s Journey: Rediscovering Yourself After Divorce”.