Life After Divorce? It’s Going to Be Better Than You Imagined!
Saying goodbye to a marriage is tough. When you get a divorce your entire life changes. From finances, to parenting, to even loneliness, there are a lot of hurdles to get over, but in the end, remember this: you are getting a divorce for a reason, and life moving forward, your life after divorce, is going to be better than you imagined it could be.
Remember Why You Are Getting a Divorce
In order to move forward and enjoy your new life as a single woman, it is important to remember why you and your spouse are separating in the first place. Now, we are not talking about dwelling on all the bad stuff and getting stuck in the past, but giving yourself permission to look forward to your future without your mate.
When Janice was newly divorced she concentrated so much on what she was missing (someone to talk her day over with; someone to share her hopes and dreams with; someone to help pay the bills –and take out the trash), that she began to romanticize the marriage she had loved.
“Lucky for me I had a good friend who shook away those “fake memories” and reminded me of the reasons why my husband and I split. Despite my faulty memory, all was not rosy in our relationship and if I was ever going to find the kind of fulfilling marriage I dreamed about, I was going to have to move past that relationship and open myself up to another, hopefully, better, one.”
Until you acknowledge what went wrong in your marriage, not only will you thwart your efforts at new happiness, but you will set the stage for a repeat performance and doom your next relationship to failure too.
If you think you are alone on this confusing path to healing, you’re not.
To feel better, read “How Long Does it Take to Recover From a Divorce and 4 Signs You are On Your Way.”
Life After Divorce Does Offer Some Benefits
Being alone for a while (even a long while) isn’t a bad thing. Many women discover life after divorce to be a freeing experience. Even when money is tight, and the struggles of single parenting are exhausting, the benefits of being alone can be more than worth the downsides you experience. Here are just a few things single, liberated women have reported after their divorce:
- Peace. Life pre-divorce can be chaotic and stressful. While separating may be hard on both of you, staying together is often worse. If your marriage has dissolved into fits of anger and frustration, going your separate ways can often restore peace to your home – and your soul. Leaving a marriage may add some temporary chaos to your days, but once the split is final, your life can resume at a more peaceful level.
- Living Life for Themselves. For many women, divorce offers them the chance to concentrate on themselves for a change. Tending to be caregivers and “fixers” in a relationship, women often shortchange themselves when stuck in a bad relationship. Once they break free of the marriage, they allow themselves the opportunity to seek a job change; new hobby; lifestyle change; etc.
Who are we to know ANYTHING about divorce? Check out our work, our story, and why we’re so proud to be supporting you in this journey to reinvention.
View “A Woman’s Journey: Rediscovering Yourself after Divorce.”
- Income. “While my income was half what it has been when I was married, I soon discovered that without my spouse’s spending, my income was enough to give me what I really wanted – peace of mind,” says Diane. Always a thrifty person, she discovered that living in a smaller apartment and driving an older car didn’t bother her at all. “I suddenly had the freedom to use my money the way I saw fit and that was exhilarating!”
- Less Mess. For Pam, life after divorce meant finally having a clean house. “My ex was a real slob. Once he was gone I soon discovered that my house remained clean and I loved it. Not that a messy home isn’t worth the right partner, but having to constantly clean up after someone you don’t like much anymore sure wasn’t worth it.”
- More Time. Married women (especially those with kids) are expected to do it all: work; raise a family; keep a tidy home; volunteer; do all the errands; and more. For some, leaving a marriage actually offers them more free time. Listen to what Renee had to say. “I was terrified of being on my own with the kids. How was I going to get it all done when I was struggling before my divorce to manage my life? But once my husband moved out, I began to see how much I had done for him (and how little he did for me). My schedule didn’t change all that much, and then the weekend came and the kids went to spend it with their dad. I had not had a weekend free to do whatever I wanted in years! I know I am lucky because my ex-husband is a great dad and takes our kids virtually every weekend. This gives me the chance to catch up on things around the house; take a nap; or even go out with friends. The best thing about my divorce: I have more free time to myself.
Feel inspired. Build your confidence. Read our unusual “100 Must Do’s for the Newly Divorced Independent Woman.”
- Becoming Friends Again. In some cases, living apart can help couples become friends again. Just because you aren’t married does not mean you have to be enemies. This can be especially important for those with children.
Getting a divorce isn’t meant as a way to ditch your responsibilities and start a whole new life. But, it can take a chaotic life and make it easier to manage. For some women, moving beyond their marriage offers them the chance to pursue their dreams; travel the world, or simply relax again. Life isn’t meant to be spent in constant chaos. When it is time for a divorce, don’t consider it a failure, but rather a learning experience. Take what lessons you can from your marriage and your divorce and move forward towards a new beginning. Don’t wallow in defeat, but rather race toward victory. After all, in your life after divorce, you are free to pursue any future you want. So get out there and enjoy yourself. You deserve it.
Moving on after divorce. Starting over.
There are requirements …
• Understanding what healing looks like: discovering what to shed and what to choose now
• The Pause. Appreciating it and getting comfortable with the discomfort as we embrace this moment and use it for clarity and direction
• Recognizing we are comprised of many parts and that these parts, having survived the divorce crisis, now need our full attention to heal and adapt
• Taking stock that there is still work to do — a conscious un-blending of who we once believed we were and who we want to be, who we truly are. The process is hard-earned, and also our most precious opportunity
This is the work of Paloma’s Group. Not your typical divorce recovery group for women.
Read more about Paloma’s Group here.
Thank you so much for this article. I was just told by my husband of 30 years , he wants a divorce. I thought when you go through issues and problems you work them out and move on… apparently he has found something else he told me he’s not happy and miserable and not comfortable. …. the funny thing is this has been the issue for years in our relationship, but he was working now retired he has finally open his eyes…. I stayed in this relationship because I did have 3 sons so I felt it was important to have their father around. …. he will always be a friend but it’s time for me to think about my needs and my hobbies and make friends and finally live……
Yes, Barbara, thank you for sharing your vulnerability and thoughts. As you have little choice, it is time to direct the focus on you and get clear with who you are. When you do this, the vision of where you are going will open up. Stay connected to what you know you must do. But be kind to yourself. Do not expect the hurt to go away anytime soon.
This article gave me a new perspective on the journey I’m about to embark. I haven’t gone through the process of divorce yet but my soon to be ex husband and I already had the conversation and it became clear just how toxic our relationship has been for both of us and unintentionally to our three young kids. I’m especially excited to learn who I am apart from him. We had been together for 16 years and I’m only 28 that’s all my life practically. He’s an amazing father for that I have been lucky. This isn’t a conventional divorce we both have agreed this is best for the both of us and our kids. I’m SO READY…
Thanks for writing, Jasmine, and for sharing the challenge, pain but also the excitement.
Underneath it all there is a call to you to discover who you want to be now. Stay connected to that!
The SAS Team
Thanks for this article. This will be the second divorce, but I never allowed myself to heal from the first before I was married again. The constant arguing and competing with his family has caused me no other choice. Our families are far too divided and just time to let go.
My husband of 50 years decided he needed a girlfriend about a year ago. I had no idea but he
was having sex with one of his married clients and even took her out of state for the weekend
on a couple of occasions (he told me he was refereeing a tournament for the weekend and I
never had any reason to mistrust him). We have been together since we met in college when
we were 18 and this has been extremely traumatic for me…to be alone after all these years.
But…I have decided that I am a very strong woman and I will not let him destroy me. He
moved on and now I will move on. I will not have a liar and a cheat living under my roof.
I am better than that and deserve more than that so now he will be alone; his girlfriend
dumped him and our kids and all my family will have nothing to do with him and he had
no family of his own, so this will be a big loss to him. He knew what he was doing when
he “bedded” his client and now he will pay for his fun for the rest of his miserable life.
This read is exactly what I needed tonight. lol. After 21 years of marriage and having waited and supported my husband while he spent 8 years in jail for fraud, and being there for him and taking care of our daughter who at the time was 5. He came home with a righteous attitude and turned our home into a toxic place. Our daughter is now 19-1/2 and a smart, excelling student in school.
I believe with the help of God we will be alright.
So for a few seconds my thoughts tonight drifted to an imaginary life, and just as I checked my email, I was pleasantly surprised to read your article.
Yes, God is good.
Thank you for your inspiration too!
I really liked this article – it gives me a lot to look forward to.
A close relative of my husband left her husband after 44 years, and says she’s never been more happy or at peace.
It will be a little more difficult to separate compared to these ladies’ stories, as I’m married to an alcoholic with violent tendencies. I am planning, saving money, and luckily have a great job and a few supportive friends to get me through this.
Please keep writing these inspiring, enlightening stories!