Love makes you blind, so blind you can’t see what is happening right before your very eyes. Finding the courage to change will set you free. I am not going to get on my lady soap box for you to “hear me roar,” but there are lessons to be learned from every mistake. When I was going through my divorce I experienced sorrow, my world was crashing down, and the future looked grim. No one ever talks about how divorce changes your character and your life for the better. Here are some of the things I learned…
#1 – The kids will be ok – You are scared to death your kid is going to be so messed up from the experience, and rightly so! Don’t fret, they may surprise you and be rounded, resilient, and strong. They will have the best of both parents one-on-one, and two households providing love and support eliminating their current toxic environment.
#2 Co-Parenting Can Be a Bitch. Get It Right and The Kids Really Will Be Ok – Be consistent, communicate “the split schedule” to the kiddos, put calendars on the fridge so they are never confused and above all avoid out in the open arguments. Oh and did I say communicate! Text, e-mail whatever works and get educated on this topic.
#3 It Is Easier One-on-One – On “your time” you are in control and quite frankly “it.” This is good news! If dinner has to be made, homework, grocery shopping, discipline, fighting to be dealt with it is all you. No more YOU get it, or I WILL do it, or why they hell won’t YOU do it!
#4 Your Status Does Not Define You – Feel like crying at your last Dr. visit just having to check that God damn “divorced” box on the patient form? You will eventually be able to proudly utter the words “I am divorced.” It will roll off your tongue with no sting or embarrassment, which brings me to #5.
#5 Save Yourself the Embarrassment – With 50% of marriages ending in divorce you are not alone here. Haters are gonna hate, ballers are gonna ball. People love to talk, let them, or better yet “F” them! But in all seriousness stand proud, you came out of something monumentally hard.
#6 Run Forest Run – If you have not started running now may be the time. My distance runs and races started as my marriage was ending. Running is one of the only things you can control and help blow off anger, sadness, etc. There will always be something to run from, so run forest run.
#7 Empowered and Independent – Ladies there is nothing better right? Your future self will surprise you and start to try to take on almost anything. Even using tools and fixing household problems. YouTube “how to” videos will be your new best friend. Although don’t be too stubborn. Check out earlier blogs “How to Build a Support Trifecta.”
#8 New Home and It’s all Yours – This will seem really scary, but try to find it more exciting. It may be smaller, a down size, an apartment/condo but who cares! The important thing is you get to start over, make a space your own, decorate, rebuild, make it fun for the kids, and rid yourself from the old toxic space you called home.
#9 Dating – Not going to lie about this one, dating sucks, but with any good luck you may be successful with the online dating game. Here’s the good news, you will get crystal clear on what you want. I have started to accept I may never find “it,” but hopefully you do! Also the character built from divorce makes you way more attractive. This article nails it.. 7 Damn Good Reasons to Date a Single Mom.
#10 Change.. Why Not? – You may embrace change more often than not, and take a hard look at any situation trying to find one good reason why you should not make the change. Then…you will in fact make it!
#11 Learn to Be Alone – You will figure out how to be alone, it will be uncomfortable and then you may learn to like it. If you don’t then just make sure your time and calendar is always stacked. Your married friends will always be looking for a night out.
#12 Married Friends Will Envy Your “Kid-Free” Time – enough said.
#13 Try to Master the Art of Letting the Small Stuff Go – This goes hand in hand with the co-parenting. In time most things that would have normally made your blood boil, will roll off your shoulders. Pick your battles wisely, choose happiness, (and lots of deep breaths) over anger. That shit will eat you alive and leave the other person ultimately winning.
If there is one thing you take away from this, I hope it is that you try to find the positive, and see the newer better version of what your future self can be. No one ever shares the good stuff from this experience. You can and will come out on top and go and get after life with a whole new perspective. But this really is a choice, one that I choose to make every day. Have you? Let me know your experience.