Whether your marriage lasted six months or thirty years, parting ways is never easy because of the maelstrom of emotions evoked once either party announces that s/he is done trying to work things out. Simply put, admitting failure isn’t easy for anyone, and accepting that all your dreams of a happily-ever-after with your spouse are not ever going to come true is a hard and bitter pill to swallow.
Anger and sadness, mixed with the fear of change, being alone, or the unknown are all difficult feelings to work through, but most of my divorce clients eventually come to the realization that in order to move forward they need to face their deep-seeded fears and off-load the negative emotions, which hamper their progress in starting a new chapter.
Eventually, those of us that are determined to move onward and upward, come to appreciate some of the most powerful lessons divorce can teach you, including the following:
1. Enjoy Being Alone– it is a good thing to just enjoy your own company. On your own, you can either re-engage in activities you once loved, or decide to learn new skills. Learn to entertain yourself. This is essential if you don’t want to cling to someone like s/he is your life-support in your next relationship.
2. Mindful of Finances– when there is no one else to rely on, you really are motivated to maximize your income and curb your spending wherever possible in order to save for a rainy day. Unfortunately, when we cohabitate with someone, we all have a tendency to lose track of what is spent and assume that things will be okay with two incomes.
3. Be Healthy– under stress, many resort to bad habits like drinking too much, over-eating, and not sleeping enough. Once you have removed yourself from a negative environment, most find that they sleep better and have more energy to exercise. Soon thereafter they start to eat healthier and reduce their drinking. These are all good habits to adopt sooner rather than later.
4. Positive Relationships– after a divorce, you cannot help but analyze what went wrong, and what you’d do differently in the future– not just with a spouse, but with all your relationships. You appreciate the family and friends that stick by your side in both good and bad times, and you soon learn to eliminate the dead weight in your life.
Ultimately, divorce is a catalyst to a greater awakening than most people ever expected in life. It forces everyone to face their demons for better or worse. The silver-lining then for those that actually take this learning opportunity to improve upon themselves is this: you become more mindful, self-sufficient, and aware of positive life-skills that will serve you throughout your remaining days on earth while you choose your own path and learn to define success and happiness for yourself.
By Regina A. DeMeo, Esq.