I read a great bumper sticker the other day: “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” It reminded me of my divorce. I felt like the world was on my shoulders. I was taking it one step at a time and some days those steps were backward. It can feel self-defeating.
The lingering effects of your divorce can leave you feeling unsure about the future. Besides, we can’t see how far we’ve come when we’re in the middle of it. If you’re still putting the pieces back together how can you see the big picture?
If you recognize any of these 10 signs, you’re doing better than you think. You’ve got this.
10 Signs You’re Doing Great After Divorce:
1. You stop putting up with shit—from anyone.
It’s the number one sign. You’ve had it with B.S. and you’re not putting up with it anymore. You know your worth. You’re showing everyone else now just what you’re capable of whether that’s employers, family, your children or friends. It doesn’t matter who but the point is you aren’t putting up with any verbal abuse or demeaning actions or comments.
2. You put the kids second.
You’re placing the oxygen mask on first, so you can better care for your children. I know this sounds selfish but you’ve learned that if you take care of yourself, you can better take care of everyone else. You don’t feel guilty about taking a break, nap or whatever you need to better tackle the world.
3. You’ve re-discovered your favorite foods.
Instead of cooking for everyone else, you’re trying new recipes and foods that please YOU. You might have forgotten how much you love certain foods because you were too busy pleasing your family. Now, you have the opportunity to go to the market and pick out all your favorite foods from dark chocolate to quinoa. This was a big adjustment for me. My ex-husband loved to barbecue and when I was on my own for the first time in 20 years, I re-discovered that not only did I prefer my meats roasted but I didn’t need to eat as much of it. I also discovered that I wasn’t such a bad cook.
4. You’re sleeping through the night (on the whole bed).
You might go to bed at 10 pm but it’s the hours in between that really count. That blissful 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep is a sure sign that you’ve overcome the nasty late night thoughts that used to attack you. You use the whole bed now and don’t even think twice about bumping into a leg or foot. It’s divine. You change the sheets when you want and you’re careful who you invite into your oasis.
5. You’re comfortable being alone, day or night.
It can feel foreign at the beginning of your divorce, to be alone. The quiet can be unsettling. But lately, you’ve noticed you’re adjusting to this quite well. In fact, you’re alone but you’re not lonely for the first time in years. This was also a big adjustment for me and it took a while to get used to the solitude. Once I realized I could spend more time studying and working on my hobbies, I took pleasure in the quiet.
6. Your friends are asking YOU for divorce advice.
Your friends are coming to your for advice because you know what you’re talking about. You’ve received tons of positive feedback from friends just starting this process. They thank you for the warnings and tips. Wow. You’re an expert. You have the experience. That’s where the word ‘expert’ comes from “experience”.
7. You’re not crying at the grocery store or in restaurants when you see happy families.
Instead, you smile and nod in appreciation for what it takes to keep a family running smoothly. You’ve been there and you’re still there but by yourself. Give yourself a nod of appreciation while you’re at it. Today, you may be childless while your kids are at their dad’s but you’ve learned to enjoy the benefits of that. Besides, you don’t have to worry about spilled milk or overtired toddlers at the table.
8. You’re careful about engaging with your ex.
You’ve learned to read the signs of a brewing fight. You know when to ‘hold em’ and when to ‘fold em’. That takes wisdom and experience. You know how to pick your battles and you don’t get sucked into a needless fight.
9. You found your sense of humor again.
For a while, nothing was funny but all of a sudden, out of the blue—there it was. You laughed until you cried. You found stomach muscles you didn’t know you had. You forgot what it felt like but once you started laughing, you couldn’t stop. Finding something to laugh about in spite of your divorce can really lift your spirits. If you’re at this stage then you’re almost through the tunnel and out the other side.
10. You’ve said goodbye to your lawyer.
The moment you say goodbye to your lawyer is the beginning of the end. The legal battle is finished. You should be proud. That’s not an easy feat yet you’ve come out the other side of the legal tunnel, the true conclusion of the divorce.
Remember: “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” Imagine, some people think walking barefoot over hot coals is hard. Try walking through the fire that is divorce. Putting the pieces back together (in a new way) is painstaking, tedious work. You can’t see the whole picture because you’re not done yet but you keep moving forward until one day you are done. The puzzle is complete. It’s not perfect but it’s complete.
You got this. You’ve made it to the other side. You’re not afraid to speak your mind, you take care of your own needs before serving others. You’re sleeping better, eating better, and finally appreciating that quiet time you’ve worked so hard for. You’re not letting your ex push your buttons, and hey, you’ve paid your last lawyer bill. See? You’ve got this! Take a bow.
Now, you can look back and say I made it.