Lets Talk About It - From NYC w/Dana J.
Blog series: Getting your Life Back: After Divorce
Ok, so let me start out by saying divorce is something all of us hope we never have to endure; however, it happens. The questions is what do we do when it happens and how do we deal with it. I have many friends that are divorced including myself. I was married at a very young age and divorced five years later. It wasn't because of being young either. Sometimes we meet who we think is the right one and it is going to be forever, but things do not always go our way. That being said, I have no regrets about my marriage or divorce. I feel he was in my life for a reason during that time. Maybe it was to show or teach me something for a future. I can go on and on on what I think might possibly be the reasoning behind it. The truth is I did learn something from it. I have more of a plan and I know what I want out of my life now that I didn't before. My marriage was not in vain. He had a purpose, he served it, and than it was time to move on. My divorce was pretty amicable compared to others I have seen. I was young with no kids, so how complicated could it have been right? We were laughing and goofing off with each other like little kids while the rest of the couples looked like they would rather be in a torture chamber. We even went as far as to stay best friends and hang out after our divorce. It did not last forever for obvious reasons, but it was nice for what it was.
Unfortunately, not everybody has it easy. In fact most probably do not. I have seen first hand what divorce does to people especially when children are involved. It can become incredibly messy very quickly. You are fighting over money, valuables, furniture, the house, the cars, and who gets this or that. Those are all material things. Is it really worth the stress, the arguing, the anger, the animosity, and all the other emotions that go along with it. It becomes a unnecessary war. It is much easier to stay calm and come to an agreement. What starts out as a spark causes a raging uncontrollable flame.
What about the children involved in divorce? Is it ok to drag them through this? It is traumatic for everybody involved, but the children should be the priority here not the adults. What the children see stays with them for a long time. It is bad enough mommy and daddy are splitting up, but to make them feel they have to chose or be more loyal to one parent over another is wrong. There are times parents use their children in divorce or go as far as forgetting they suffer just as great of a loss if not the same. Therapy is usually the best outlet for them to deal with what is happening. If they are older, do not think that excludes them from needing to feel loved and supported. Leave them out of it unless it is absolutely without a doubt necessary for them to have a role. Only in special circumstances do I even feel those roles exist.
There is the hard route and the civilized route. Even if the other is being nasty or difficult, it does not mean you have to go along with it. Be the bigger person and move on. The more they see they can torture you or get to you, than the more they will do it. It's all about ego and power. When it is all said and done, whatever you walk away with accept it and own it. There is life after divorce no matter what age you are. It will take time and it's hard, but you will realize how much stronger it makes you in the end. Let's just hope it does not create bitterness or one to be vengeful. It really is not worth it. Again, you are divorced, so why still make yourself go through hell? To seek revenge or out of anger? One of the worst decisions ever. Anger is such a dangerous emotion. It will only hurt you in the end. Jealousy, not a good idea either. Who cares! I understand still having feelings, but you HAVE to get on with your life and at some point and deal with the stresses. It ended for a reason. We have to know when it is time to walk away for whatever that reason may be. Recognize you met them for a reason and worry about that reason later. You will have plenty of time to figure things out.
Too often we don't look in the mirror and see what the relationship has done to us. It is time to face it, deal with it, and be happy again. If you need to go to therapy than do it. Talking to friends helps, but there are times when we need professional support. There are also some great support groups out there. Go out and have fun. Start to find yourself again. Don't get depressed and wallow in self pity. That will only cause more unneeded stress. Being an individual again is not a bad thing. It might feel lonely at first, but that feeling will subside. Do something you have never done before and always wanted to do. It is all about getting your life back! I don't recommend jumping into the dating pool right away. Take some time for YOU and your kids if you have them. Make a plan and figure things out. That is the best way to proceed. Take it slow, and don't feel you have to be superwoman or superman. Ask for help and seek it.
Some other steps I recommend is getting rid of things from your old life and start fresh. Change things up a bit. Don't keep pictures or albums laying around that you constantly go through thinking why or what happened. That is going backwards. To get your life back you must always go forwards. That being said, it is ok to slip and have bad days. We just don't want to make the same mistakes over and over again until we are spinning out of control. I always go back to the basics of getting your life back when I feel that is happening. Take chances that you never took, go back to school, or just do something different. It is a new day. Believe it or not, there is lia great life and even love waiting for you after divorce. Keep your heart open, and don't take your past with you into the future. It isn't fair to the next person who comes into you life. We will all do it to some extent because it is human nature; however, if we take the steps to getting our life back, than we might surprise ourselves.
I am the first one to admit that I had to get my life back more than once over the years. I don't want to be a hypocrit. It is always a work in progress. A friend said to me once those who can't do teach. It is a true statement too. How often are people talented at giving advice and helping others but not themselves when the time comes. I am not one to sit here and say I am never a hot mess. In making that statement, I would be lieing. I have to say I wish I thought of all this stuff when I got divorced. I didn't really have a hard time of letting go, which is a major step. YOU MUST LET GO! I had issues with what I was going to do, where would I live, can I do it all alone, and how is my life going to change. What I didn't realize is that I had an entire new slate in front of me. It was like getting a do-over.
I struggled, but we all struggle. I am not saying it won't be a rough ride, but it will not last forever. You will breathe easy again while realzing that each day is getting easier. Just be YOU! There is no better person in the world to be.
I know what I am saying is easier said than done, and there are extreme circumstances, but my point is that you can get your life back! You can overcome it eventually! My main point is that it is not the end of your life!
Ciao and Many blessings! xo