Divorce hurts. It really does. It is a painful process that no one is prepared for. However, my divorce allowed me to gain some valuable things that I was lacking in my marriage. If you’d asked me during my 15-year marriage if I was lacking in any of these things, I would’ve said no. I felt like a grown up. I felt like I knew my strengths and weaknesses. I felt I was a good mother and partner. But, as time went on I found myself depressed, unhappy, hopeless, and afraid.
My mom died unexpectedly and suddenly. He could not cope with me in so much grief for such a long time. He withdrew and focused on his many medical problems some real some not so real. Communication broke down, intimacy broke down, our relationship broke down. And divorce swiftly followed.
The first year after my divorce was hell. I was trying to help my kids cope with two households and complete upheaval. To this day this is my biggest sorrow. Realizing how much our divorce affected our children. And we did not have some long complicated strung-out divorce. We finalized it all within a year. Not much angst on that front but it still had a devastating impact on our children.
When some of the dust finally settled and I tried to start life over as a single mom it was then that I realized how much I had gained from my divorced. I gained a lot of confidence after my divorce. I was zapped of confidence during my marriage. My ex never felt I did much right. Add some in-laws who never liked me and a very sensitive nature on my part and I felt like a loser for 15 years.
4 Ways Divorce Taught Me I Wasn’t a Loser:
1. Divorce gave me confidence that I could handle anything that came my way! Financial struggles like paying all the bills and only having $15.00 until the next pay day but I managed. I really did. Having no clue how to put air in my tires or to get the wi-fi working in my apartment but I managed! I became an avid YouTube watcher and more and more confident that I could figure things out on my own.
2. Divorce gave me clarity. It forced me to look at the negatives I brought into the marriage and also what I did right. I can’t place all the blame for the divorce on my ex, however, I did not have to shoulder all the blame either.
3. Divorce allowed me to sharpen up my coping skills and pass them onto my kids. Although the divorce was bad for my children it did show them a mom who was not going to let life get the best of her. I had to start over. My husband had the marital home and most of what we had accumulated in the marriage. I moved into a small apartment. I had to find Christmas decorations, dishes, towels, etc. I did. I still look at the “Free” section on Craig’s List to this day!
4. And finally, divorce gave me hope. Hope in myself. Hope that even though I made some mistakes it does not have to define who I am or what my future will be like. Hope that my kids weathered through this and came out ok. Hope that my next relationship will be better and I am a better person in it.