The feeling happens suddenly. When you have a date. When you run into an old friend who doesn’t know. When you talk to your kids’ teacher about a behavior problem. When you go to a yearly gathering you used to attend as a couple. That feeling in the pit of your stomach. ‘I’m divorced”, you think. Sigh. What will they think? You feel broken. Less than. Like something is wrong with you. Like you have a giant ‘D’ floating over your head. As if every little mistake you make is more evidence that you are not up to snuff.
Well, here’s some news: Don’t fall for it. Don’t believe the little demon on your shoulder telling you you are less than because you have been or are getting divorced. It’s total BS. That little voice in your head doesn’t know shit about you. Its job is to protect you–to keep you ‘safe’ from being embarrassed, or hurt, or vulnerable. Your little demon tells you all this false stuff to keep you stuck in the ‘known’, rather than the scary, dangerous ‘unknown’. It keeps you from putting yourself out there. It keeps you from living your life.
When your little demon starts making this noise, you need to talk back! Here are some things to say:
>Divorce is BRAVE. No one gets married expecting to get divorced someday. It is just about the scariest thing you can do with your life. Everything you know is upended and uncertain–for a LONG time. You are a superwoman for being able to choose changing your situation for yourself and your kids over the security of staying stuck. This is ESPECIALLY true for women who are in abusive relationships.
>Divorce is working through all the feelings you have. And, feeling your feelings is HARD. You might feel guilt for ‘breaking up your family’ [even though we know your family will be better off with two happy, separate parents, rather than two, together, miserable ones]. You might feel shame, humiliation, embarrassment, or a whole host of other feelings that bring you down. Work through them, feel them, and move on with your life.
>Divorce is mourning your losses. Yes, you have to grieve the life that you thought you would have, because that will all change. At one point, you loved this person you are now divorcing. Mourning that loss is important. Also, mourn the loss of the idea you had for your life. You won’t retire in Florida at your in-laws’ condo. You won’t live that ‘happily-ever-after’ with your ex. Maybe you will lose some friends. You might have to grieve the loss of people you once called family, as divorce can cause those relationships to suffer and change, or even disappear. Choosing this heartache because you know what is right for YOU [and your kids] is hard to do, but is necessary to your healing.
>Divorce is wanting and doing better for yourself. It is hard to choose divorce. It is also hard to be in an unhappy marriage. You have to choose your hard. Choosing divorce is choosing yourself and your kids. Choosing to do better every day. Choosing peace over chaos. Choosing to show your kids what a happy parent looks like [because most likely they weren’t seeing a truly happy ‘you’ while you were married]. Choosing, someday, to show them what a healthy relationship looks like and feels like. For you. For them.
Divorce can be your superpower. You will never learn as much about yourself as you will during a divorce. The good stuff, AND the bad. And you will be able to handle it, because you are amazing, strong, and resilient. Now, go tell someone you are divorced, and say it proudly.
Are you ready to work on the New You? Reach out, I would love to chat with you!