When I knew I would be away this week, I reached out again to some fellow bloggers and invited them to guest post. This time, I suggested a theme – universal truths about divorce. I talk to a lot of women about divorce and each story is different and I learn something for each women but there are some common threads. Here’s what I’ve learned:
Divorce is always painful – it makes no difference if you were the one who initiated the divorce, or if you were the one who had the affair or if you were the one who fell out of love or even if you both agree, the end of a marriage is painful for both parties. Sometimes that pain is very visible, sometimes it’s hidden behind a wall but I believe it is always there.
There’s always learning – Anka (who felt betrayed by her husband) said, “… after a relationship ends, for whatever reason, chances are there’s some learning that can happen from that relationship. Usually the learning has to do with us rather than the partner which is wonderful because that’s actually something we have control over. It is within our power to learn about ourselves from the relationship we’ve just had.”
I agree with Anka. I believe if you open yourself up to that learning, you will know yourself better, you will be happier with yourself and you will love yourself. And that’s a better foundation for being a parent, a friend and a lover.
What’s best for the children is the ultimate guide – for everything. When there are children involved, it’s hard for me to think of any decision that is not best informed by first thinking about the impact it will have on your children. Where will you live? When will the children stay with their dad? When will the children stay with you? What school will they go to? Should they meet your new boyfriend? How should Holidays be spent?
Decisions are often about control – a “what’s best for the children” approach helps to avoid this power struggle because most people want what’s best for their children, even if they aren’t capable of following through on their intentions.
There is invariably less money but being more mindful about money and your spending can make your life richer. Unless you had no or restricted access to money during your marriage, it’s simple math that you will have less to live on after divorce. That means developing a budget and being more conscious of your spending. Candace Walsh talked about having a richer life with less money and said her life was 80 percent richer and 20 percent poorer for having to be more conscious. I found the book, Your Money or Your Life by Vicki Robin, Joe Dominguez and Monique Tilford, a helpful guide and I loved their philosophy of weighing buying decisions once you’ve calculated how many hours you’d have to work.
Your view of divorce will change – whether your view of divorce came from being a child of divorced parents, from divorced friends or from the media, you will see it differently. I now have a far better comprehension of what people go through both emotionally and logistically and I think that means I’m better equipped to empathize and offer support when the time comes.
Tomorrow, the Divorce Encouragist shares her views on universal truths about divorce. DE is using her divorce experience to become a divorce coach. In sharing her story with me she said she was not disappointed about getting ending her marriage :
I wasn’t disappointed in myself, I wasn’t disappointed in us. I was just very happy because I knew it was the healthiest thing for me in particular and really for both of us. We were both in the marriage and we were both unhappy. I knew it was best to end it and start over.
What do you think? Are there things that hold true for all divorces? What would you add to this?