My divorce was something that I never thought would happen to me and at the same time, deep down, I think I also knew it was inevitable. Whether your divorce is contested or you’re leaving an abusive situation, divorce changes everything about your life.
In good and sometimes negative ways. Days and nights filled with fear, anxiety, stress, and at the same time, relief that life is finally changing in the way that it needs to be. Divorce is a journey, one that is filled with pitfalls too numerous to count, experiences varying with each sunrise and sunset, changing sometimes within each second of the day.
That is why blogging about it and working through the details, the pitfalls, the questions, and worries was so helpful for my emotional well-being.
3 Emotional Benefits I Experienced From Blogging My Divorce:
1. Bridging My Support Group, Both Near And Far:
To begin with I kept my blog closed and posted details of my contested divorce process to only my closest support network of friends who I’ve known for years and years and years. Many who are sprinkled all over the planet so, blogging helped me keep them updated even though I rarely saw or talked to them.
It was so very helpful to write it all out. It was an escape valve from my very pressured heart and head space, and to receive support and comments from my closest people was invaluable to me at that time.
Blogging my divorce helped me work through my fears and anxiety that many know a contested divorce where custody is in dispute can bring. Some days, when I think about him moving out in 2011, the resulting temporary restraining order and, the nasty court battle that followed, I scratch my head and wonder how the hell I got through all of that. I can’t believe it. But I did, and one of the reasons I did was that I was able to blog therapeutically about the process and garner support from the people who matter most.
2. Blogging My Divorce Gave Me The Opportunity To Help Others:
Later, after the divorce was over and as I was embarking on a new life, I realized that maybe it was time to start blogging publicly (but with a moniker, see below). I thought, maybe, through all the different craziness that I experienced, and the new crazy that I’m dealing with in the post-divorce world, I might be able to help someone else out there.
Surely, I couldn’t be the only one who faced what happened to me, or maybe there are others who are in the same place that I was three years ago, contemplating how to protect herself and her children. Maybe those people might be looking for support and advice. Maybe I could connect and offer similar support that my friends had so kindly and generously shared with me.
In fact, my very first blog entry when it was a “closed” blog--I posted again on my new “public” blog here. I had made some guidelines on how to parent and how to deal with an awful, contested divorce and when I re-read it years later I thought it sounded relevant, at least I hoped so. And I was so honored to have it featured on BlogHer, and see that thousands had read it. My heart warmed that I had been able to reach out, via my blogging and help others.
3. It Showed Me I Wasn't Alone:
Blogging about life post-divorce as a blended family has also been therapeutic and helpful. So many issues have come up since my divorce was final and I've remarried. The abusive ex manipulating my children, my new husband who hates to see us hurt and wants to rush in an “fix” things but, can’t…see here and here. My kids loving my ‘fairy tale’ wedding, but also wondering how they all fit in to this new family of ours. Blogging and communicating with other bloggers has been helpful in working through so many issues.
I’ve made connections with people in similar situations, and I’m thankful for that. One of the things about divorce and post-divorce is that it’s easy to think that we are all alone in the struggle. We weren't alone though and it was a great comfort to connect with people out there in the blogosphere who can support and empathize with my situation.
Be Cautious When Blogging About Divorce: For Your Own Sanity!
Your ex may discover your writing and attempt to enter it into evidence in hopes of discrediting you, or showing that you are a dishonest person. For example, before our divorce, I was blogging about family life to share with friends near and far. Something I started doing before our first daughter was born. Towards the end of our marriage I would only hint at things through general statements such as, “It’s been hard at ‘chez jane thrive’ lately, but I’m hoping and praying we will be okay.” At the time, I was hesitant to share our “dirty laundry” to the world, I could barely admit what was happening to myself and my closest friends, let alone the blogosphere.
During our divorce, when the domestic abuse came to light his attorney tried to use my old blog posts against me. Because I had not blogged about the abuse his attorney wanted to use it as evidence that there was no abuse. He tried to have it admitted as evidence but, he failed.
Anything you've written in an old blog or a new one you create to discuss your divorce can be found by your ex, a divorce attorney or family or friends who wish to do you harm. The way to make sure that doesn't happen is to blog anonymously and don't blog about any identifying information. Be cautious!