Have you considered your divorce as a blessing in disguise, an opportunity to begin again?
Divorce is tough, especially when you’re a mom. You already have a million things to worry about—taking care of the kids, professional obligations, making sure the house doesn’t look like a nuclear fall-out, worrying about college tuition, retirement, aging parents—the list goes on.
So, when you mix those life events with the heartbreak, stress, and loss of confidence that many experience during divorce, it can all seem like a terrible nightmare in which you wonder if you’ll be stable or happy again.
That’s a lot of baggage to handle for even the strongest of us. Even when hard feelings linger, remember that not all of divorce’s after-effects are negative.
For many, divorce can actually be a blessing in disguise.
Divorce gave you the gift of really learning about yourself.
Many of us tend to view divorce as a loss. The years we spent throwing ourselves into the role of spouse and making sacrifices seem to be for nothing when the marriage ends. We may struggle with finding a new identity and purpose in our lives.
While this loss seems devastating at first, divorce can actually be the gift you never thought you needed.
You now have the chance to really discover the true you.
As you depart from the chapter in your life where you were somebody’s spouse, you now have a chance to look within. Being on your own will gives you the opportunity to examine yourself in a way that is difficult if not impossible when coupled. Being alone nudges you to ask the hard questions:
What do I want my new life to be like?
What current obstacles keep me from achieving that life?
What changes must I make to have the future and healthy relationships I want?
Now that you have the ability to look at your life through a different lens, you have the gift of better understanding yourself—knowing what you want, understanding your triggers and obstacles, and clearly identifying deal-breakers so that you can prevent any unhealthy patterns and dynamics that occurred previously.
Divorce made you a survivor. And survivors can do anything.
Divorce is considered one of the most stressful and traumatic events in life—ranking with the death of a loved one, sickness, and unemployment. While most of us wouldn’t wish these events on anyone, consider this: because you made it through this trauma, you are a survivor.
We don’t give ourselves enough credit for managing divorce well. Think of all the incredible things you accomplished during that time. You navigated the legal labyrinth. You held your head up high even during your most painful, heartbreaking moments. You continued to live and work and take care of your children and carried on with grace despite the fact you were going through a mess.
If that isn’t facing your fears and proving you can do anything, I don’t know what is. You demonstrated to yourself that nothing is insurmountable for you as you continue to move on with your life. Remember these things the next time you are hard on yourself.
Second chances in life are rare. Take the one that divorce gives you.
When we feel devastated, wondering if we’ll ever be able to move on after divorce, it is easy to forget that we are actually given a second chance. It can be difficult to regard divorce as a second chance when we are overwhelmed and hurt but remember the opportunities that divorce has given you.
Whether you wanted it or not, divorce allows you a “do-over” with your life. It gives you opportunities you never thought possible: being happy again, being independent and answering only to yourself, growing and challenging yourself unlike ever before, understanding yourself, and defining life and happiness on your own terms.
It’s not to say that accomplishing these things within a marriage is impossible, but life after divorce accelerates this opportunity, pulling you out of your comfort zone.
So, even if the divorce grief, and anger are still there, remember that a gift hides within them. You are a survivor who can do anything. You now have this incredible power of introspection that can serve as a guide if you let it. And the end of your marriage has given you second chance at life that many others long for but may never receive. Embrace these divorce blessings and gifts. Your new life is waiting.
“What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger” has been my saying since my husband walked out of our long term marriage of 36 years. Devastated, felt like someone punched me in the stomach and the floor beneath me gave way, I slowly began to analyze my entire relationship with my now ex. His leaving me was really a blessing of decades of disguise and I had been a “roommate with benefits” and not a true partner nor equal. A marriage to a narcissist is not a true union but a one sided business deal. I was his supply and when I no longer fulfilled his needs, he discarded me without notice.
It’s been 4 years since he left and 1 year since we have been divorced. I am still not where I want to be, but so much happier without him in my life. Now 60 years old, I only wish and dream that I had seen the signs years ago that we should have split up. Regret is the hardest thing to deal with for me, but trying to look forward now. Woman, like me, who never worked during the entire marriage, deal with financial loss, making it harder to stand up again. My loss of vision in my left eye with two retinal detachments has caused physical hardship too.
My best girl friends tell me not to give up, because I have become stronger and have so much more of life to experience, better than before.