There is life after divorce. You probably don’t believe me because you are in a dark and lonely place right now. It feels like a black cloud is hovering over you and everything feels gray and ugly. You can’t imagine that you will love anyone else or that s/he will want to love you. You feel as if everything is broken and ruined. If you don’t have kids, you may think that window is closed. If you do have children, you may be overwhelmed by the idea of being a single parent after the divorce. The future seems dismal and the thought of simply getting up in the morning is exhausting. You sleep too much or you don’t sleep at all, you eat too much or you don’t eat anything. It feels like life has ended but you are still here, biding time, painfully and slowly.
It will change, though. Slowly, but surely, you will feel better.
New people will come into your life and fill those awful empty places.
The black cloud will show up every other day at first; then once a week, then once a month, and then only once in a great while. You will get small bursts of energy and feel inspired to exercise a bit or call a friend or clean out a closet. These small accomplishments will lift your spirits and spur you to consider more and then tackle the next thing. You will idly wonder, “Would I ever get married again?”
New friends, new neighbors, perhaps a new love will show up and you will be able to see things through their eyes. These people will come into your life and breathe fresh air into it. Maybe you will decide, “It’s quite lovely to be single and only answering to me!” or perhaps you will think, “Ok, I might get married again, if the right person came along.” It all depends on what you want and what you re-discover about yourself.
During the dark days of my own divorce, I wasn’t sure I wanted to be tangled up in a relationship, let alone a marriage, ever again. In fact, I swore I wouldn’t. But later as I progressed through my divorce recovery, I realized that I liked being married once upon a time. I liked having a companion, someone to come home to, a partner in life. And I realized that I could like it again, with the right person.
One day I met someone who changed the way I viewed the world. He gave me perspective and compassion and love. Slowly I started to trust it, to trust him, and the dark stormy days faded to a distant memory. Eventually we married, we bought a house, and now? Now I have a beautiful little boy at the age of 44. I am fulfilled in a way that I never knew was possible.
I don’t tell you this story to imply that “In your life after divorce, you, too, can have a new husband, a new house and bouncing baby boy!” That’s what I discovered I wanted. What I am telling you is that you can have what you want and right now, you might not even know. It may take you awhile to figure out what that is, but that’s ok. Take your time. The more you invest in yourself now, the more you commit to working on you, the better you will be.
To be honest, this is not just about someone walking into your life and turning everything around, though that would be nice. No, it’s about a process that unfolds. It’s about healing.
What I had to do, and what you must do now, is go on a journey to deal with the divorce. It’s not easy; sometimes there is a steep learning curve, with many ups, downs, twists and turns. You must wade through the legal process, the financial process, and the logistics of getting through each day so that you can get on with the most important element of your recovery: your emotional healing.
I had to do a lot of reflection and take active steps before I could allow myself to even envision a future with someone new. I had to find out if I could cut it alone. I had to face my own lack of confidence and learn to trust myself. It took time and a focus on myself. I had to work on getting myself anchored before I could dream and hope again.
So trust me when I say, be kind and be patient with yourself. With time, this blinding storm will pass, the skies will clear, and the vista that appears will take your breath away. You will figure out what you want your life to look like as you step into it. There is life after divorce, I promise.
I founded SAS for Women with my partner Liza Caldwell to help women cope with divorce. Liza and I remember what it feels like to be in your place, where the possibility of love or happiness sounds like fiction written for somebody else. You can stay in that place for a very long time, we know. Or you can choose to do something about it.
Since 2012, SAS for Women is an all female practice dedicated to the unexpected challenges of Women in Divorce. Women have untold things to consider when contemplating a divorce. And experience even more chaos when actually faced with divorce. SAS clients find much needed clarity when clarity can actually determine an outcome. Schedule your free consult to experience how.