Pick the most relevant definition that pertains to you.
- The legal dissolution of a marriage by a court or other competent body;
- The most stressful event you’ve ever been through when you’re struggling to locate your financial accounts, tax returns and everything else you need while still dealing with your day-to-day life;
3.An event that leaves you broke, alone, sad and surrounded by empty Chinese takeout containers, binge watching Netflix;
4. The opportunity to use the breakup as a launching pad to transformation and a new life.
When you’re in the thick of divorce, definitions 1 through 3 may seem the most pertinent.
You feel like you’ll never sort through the piles of financial information and always doubt whether your husband is being up front. You’re exhausted from juggling phone calls, attorney conferences, court dates and you still have to do your job while taking care of your kids.
And what about the kids?
- Will they be destroyed by the divorce?
- When will they let go of their anger?
- How will they handle juggling life split between two homes?
You wonder if you’ll have enough money, about where you’ll live and how you’ll find a job.
Take a deep breath.
Yes, divorce can feel overwhelming.
But it can also be a chance at something much bigger, an opportunity for transformation, to learn skills that will help you through your divorce and to reshape your life after, and to create meaning from this major life-changing transition.
I’ve been right where you are and here’s my story:
By the time I headed to an attorney’s office for my reconnaissance or “get-to-know-each-other” first date, I was drained.
I was tired of fighting.
I ended up choosing an attorney who was more warm and fuzzy than one with a killer instinct. Throughout the process, I felt passive.
I was passive.
I agreed to stipulations that would have negative implications in the long-term because I just wanted my marriage, and the divorce, to be over. That instant.
During my divorce process, I’d get this nagging instinct that solutions at hand were not going to bring the best outcome for my future but I ignored those inner doubts. I wanted to be done with this and I thought I’d just figure things out later on.
Life was a challenge for me post-divorce. Two years after my divorce, I met my attorney for lunch to get some closure.
Could I have done anything differently?
Unfortunately, there are no do-overs.
But, right then and there, I vowed to apply my experiences and knowledge to help other women avoid what I’d gone through.
As I rebooted my writing career, I decided to focus part of my work on finding out as much as I could about divorce to share with other women just like me. I reached out to top experts in law, finance, mental health, just about any topic that has anything to do with divorce or rebuilding life after.
I shared what I learned at Divorced Moms, Huffington Post and on other websites. I
I was creating meaning from my mistakes. But was there a way for me to help even more people?
I took what I had learned from experts and my own experiences to create a seven-step program to help women develop needed skills to successfully divorce and reshape their lives after.
I call it, “Divorcing (& Living Life) Like a BadAss.”
It is the phrase I use to describe a woman who has developed the attitude, confidence, mindset and knowledge that will give her an edge in her divorce.
It’s all about learning how to acknowledge but manage those emotions in order to pursue well-defined goals and objectives that are in your long-term best interest. You can learn much more about Divorcing Like a BadAss here.
I teach those lessons at Divorce.ly — a community, coaching program and information source about much more than how to select an attorney or figure out custody schedules.
Back to my original question:
Is it possible to turn divorce on its head so it’s not this stress-filled disappointment and tragic end but a chance at transformation, to learn from what happened to create a new life that can be better than you even imagined?
It is because I did just that and have helped others do the same.
We all have regrets or things we wish we had done differently but we can’t change the past. All we can do is learn from what happened and use that wisdom to move forward toward a future we want.
Sure, there will be times when you’re sad, lonely, furious with your ex or soon-to-be ex but why let those emotions cloud the rest of your life when your life could look so much better?
Divorce can bring opportunities for growth and transformation. It’s not just the end of your relationship but a new beginning.
Beth Cone Kramer is a writer, journalist, and co-founder of Divorce.ly. During her career, she has interviewed top experts throughout the country to write articles about divorce and relationships for Huffington Post Divorce, DivorcedMoms.com and, other sites.
You can learn about her 7 Steps To Divorcing Like A BadAss Here