Ok, so I know you have heard a lot about divorce. You have ideas about what it means to be a divorced woman. Maybe that comes from your family, maybe from a magazine, or maybe you don’t really know where it comes from, but you just have your opinions about what it all means. And now that you are in it, you feel like it means those things for you, too.
You worry about feeling like a failure, or that you won’t find love again. You obsess about how long it will take, or if you really should stay together and suck it up for your kids. It’s time to stop all that and realize that though you may have heard things about divorce, they might not all be true.
You don’t have to buy in to all the negativity that is out there regarding divorce. You can shift your mindset to understand that the following things are MYTHS about divorce. Once you do that, and see divorce as a fabulous opportunity, all that judgment [of yourself AND others], embarrassment, and shame will fall away.
>Divorce Means You Are a Failure
I think I covered this in another blog, but it is worth repeating. YOU are not a failure because you are getting or have been divorced. You love yourself enough to understand that it is better to know yourself and love yourself 100% than it is to put up with a crappy marriage or relationship for years and years. You OWE it to yourself to change your mindset about this.
You will have to be brave, feel your feelings, mourn your losses, and make your life fan-fucking-tastic–for YOU! And none of that is a failure.
>Have a Broken Home, or Stay Together for the Kids?
Wait–you ARE getting divorced, right? So, wasn’t your home ALREADY ‘broken’? How many fights did you have that your kids somehow heard or knew about? How many nights did you sleep in separate rooms? How many times did you wonder if you would ever be happy again? Do you think your kids didn’t know? I’m willing to bet that they did. And I’m also willing to bet that they would rather be with ONE happy parent at a time, than TWO unhappy parents together.
Research shows that the short-term disruption to childrens’ lives when parents divorce is exactly that–short term. This research also shows that after a year or two, children settle in to new routines and adjust fairly well to their new situation. All this, however, is predicated on how their parents handle the divorce process. If there is a lot of conflict and disagreement, especially witnessed by your kids, then the outcome is less favorable. If at least ONE parent can make sure they are safe and supported, physically, emotionally, academically, and spiritually, and refrain from speaking ill about or bashing the other parent [no matter how hard it is–save it for your girlfriends!], the children have an excellent chance of being a well-adjusted adult further on in their lives.
>My Divorce Will Only Take X Amount of Time
Guess what, ladies? There is NO timeline for divorce. You might think that you can be divorced in a year. You might think it will be less than that. Tell you what–don’t count on it being on your timeline. This is one of the first lessons of divorce that you should learn.
State by state, the amount of time you have to be separated [also known as a ‘waiting period’] varies greatly. It can be from no waiting period to up to two years in some states. So, depending on where you live, you might have to be patient.
Divorce is dependent on how cooperative both parties are. If your soon to be ex is not getting paperwork in on time, or won’t agree to a custody arrangement, your divorce will likely take longer. Some divorcing couples make agreements expediently and smoothly, and can accomplish it all in a short amount of time. These are the divorces that move along and are completed more quickly.
Don’t let the amount of time it is taking make you agree to things that ultimately are not the best for you. You will still need to have a good head on your shoulders and a careful approach to what you will agree to. You will need to look out for #1 and never just agree to things just to ‘get it done’. In fact, I believe that most divorces go on long enough that many women get to that point, to their own detriment. Don’t let that be you.
>I’ll Never Find Love Again
Big hugs, sister. I know how that feels. And it’s crappy.
But guess what? You get to make your life what YOU want it to be. Remember, you have work to do. On yourself. You get to heal from this process before you give a rip about anybody else. You get to find your love for yourself. Find the voice inside that has been quiet for so long. The one that you had and knew before you were married. THAT’S your job right now.
And then, sometime later in the process, you’ll feel like dating again. You will want to put your awesome self out there to meet people again. You will have a whole new self-confidence–the kind that comes from knowing who you are and what you want. You will not accept anything less. And you will feel amazing. Even if you have to kiss a few frogs–at least you will know when it is the right one!