There were surprises both good and challenging in the post-divorce period for me. I learned to expect the unexpected! Below are 8 things that surprised me after my divorce.
1. The sense of freedom was a delightful discovery. I could plan trips where and when I wanted (with notifying our court-appointed mediator). After my sons left home, I took advantage of a flash sale for a last minute river cruise in Europe. My divorced friend also took 2 seconds in deciding to go and we just got back from sailing in the Czech Republic and Germany for nearly a 75% discount! My sons and I could eat on the run en route to a movie or spur of the moment activity. I didn’t realize how bound we were to a schedule until after my divorce.
2. I need less “stuff” after my divorce. The serving platters used for business entertaining gathered dust until my last garage sale. I seemed to use objects to build a cocoon around me during an unhappy marriage. I thought beautifying our house would make it easier to get through a turbulent time. I feel so much lighter now and less tied down after having a massive clear out of art, furniture and half of my things. You can even sell unwanted jewelry to help with finances. This philosophy of not accumulating more stuff frees up time for adventures when traveling since I am not spending that time shopping.
3. Post-divorce finances was a mixed bag for me. I thought I would be earning more post-alimony, however, my expenses are lower than anticipated, so there is a balance. As long as I can do some travelling I am okay. Finances seemed to be a big concern with my divorced friends, so we happily meet for coffees instead of expensive meals out.
4. It was surprising that a few of my long-time friends said they did not want to choose sides and wanted to be in touch with us both. Strange, because some barely knew my spouse. Since I was being taken to court after our divorce I could not risk confiding in these “friends” and we parted ways. A nice surprise was the couples who either knew my ex from teenage years or worked with him, yet showered me with kindness. I get big hugs from these fabulous people, although we do not get together. Post-divorce friends can be complicated!
5. I was shocked when a few of my own family members sided with my ex and became firmly entrenched in his camp. These people refused to believe what my sons revealed to them and said there was “two sides to everything.” This was said to boys who had post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from specific occurrences which happened to them during our marriage. Protect your children from unkind attitudes and remarks and just send holiday cards if necessary to these toxic relatives.
6. I turned a hobby into my career after my divorce. I had written for years but now do it as my main occupation with moonlighting as a school nurse. My travel buddy dove into writing post-divorce and is finishing her seventh book. Other divorced people have changed careers and types of jobs when starting anew after divorce.
7. There was an unexpected shift in my perspective and attitude. When one is in survival mode during a bad marriage, the world is a scary or hostile place. Now it is rainbows, beauty and the bliss of meeting new people. I do not have a run of bad luck as I felt I did when married and find enjoyment in each day. I schedule fun into my weekly agenda and life is a blast.
8. I surprise myself with my new endeavours post-divorce. I can do basic DIY and landscaping. I overcame my fear of public speaking through Toastmasters and love getting up in front of people. Several of my divorced friends discovered a talent for gardening and have lovely blooms and vegetable patches.
Post-divorce life gave me the opportunity to have a metamorphosis into a stronger, more creative person. There are so many choices in this new chapter of my life. I never knew that divorce could result in great happiness and create a zest for life.
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