Everyone copes with divorce in a unique way. We make good choices and bad choices or some of both, but sometimes we do something that really isn’t good or bad: we lie. Lies we tell ourselves provide a temporary soothing solution to our broken hearts, they justify our decisions, or they make us feel better about things.
Here are 20 lies we tell ourselves in divorce and my reply to each:
1. I could care less what happens to my ex.
Yes, you do. You will always care until the day you die. You just will. As time goes by, (and I can say this since I’ve been divorced for 14 years) your ex actually feels like family. In other words, you realize that even in your angriest days, you cared, which is why you were so angry, and you always cared. You never stopped. That doesn’t mean you wanted to or want to get back together, or that you forgive what he or she did. It just means you care, like you would another relative.
2. I hate when I’m not with my kids.
You don’t hate it all the time. Sometimes you welcome the break and that’s totally normal and OK! Being alone offers reprieve from stress. Don’t feel guilty if you enjoy your time without your kids. Doing nice things for yourself and having some life enjoyment that doesn’t involve your kids makes you a better parent.
3. I don’t want to meet anyone and I’m never getting married again.
Maybe not right this minute, but eventually you will want to meet someone, and yes, you might get married again. You’re saying this to protect yourself because you are afraid of dating after divorce and fear you might never meet anyone. I’m not saying you aren’t independent or that you are not capable of that, but if you got married once before, chances are you enjoy marriage–if it’s with the right person.
4. I know my ex will regret this someday.
This is one of the lies we tell ourselves that may or may not be true. You will never know, because even if he or she does, the person probably won’t ever tell you. Try not to think about it. It makes no difference unless you think you might want to get back together.
5. When I was married, I was really happy or When I was married, I was really miserable.
When you were married, you were both. You were happy at times, so don’t be afraid to remember those times, and you were miserable at times. Remember that too. It will reinforce the fact that you felt you needed to be divorced.
6. Everyone knows the divorce was his/her fault.
For as many people who are telling you it was his/her fault, there are that many people telling him or her it was yours. It doesn’t matter what others think, and in time, it won’t really matter whose fault it was. Chances are, the marriage ending was a combination of your and his/her fault. In time, just try to learn from your mistakes, so that you are a better partner in your next relationship.
7. My attorney really hates my ex.
I hate to tell you this, but he or she has to say that because you are paying him or her. Plus, it doesn’t matter.
8. Even if I could find a way, I’d never be interested in checking out my ex’s profile on dating sites or on facebook.
Of course you are curious. That’s only natural. Just don’t become a stalker or spend too much time on it. But if you need to sneak a peak, you’re not a bad person and you’re not doing anything wrong.
9. I hate dating.
No, you don’t. You have a love/hate relationship with dating. Everyone hates bad dates, but good dates make dating really, really fun!
10. The thought of having sex with my ex is repulsive.
Hmm…I guess this one depends on the situation. If he/she abused you, or if he/she cheated on you, or if he/she was cruel, then yes, it probably is. If he or she is the slightest bit nice to you, you might have moments when you remember how cute he or she was, so to think about sex probably isn’t repulsive. It also doesn’t mean you want to get back together with the person. You might just miss him/her. That’s normal.
11. The thought of having sex with another man/woman is repulsive.
Maybe today it does. But give it time. The desire to love again has this way of creeping up into your heart again. You will eventually meet or see some guy or girl who will make your heart stop and you will remember that you loved being in love.
12. My kids are going to grow up and realize what he or she did to me.
They probably will, but they will still love both their parents unconditionally, and that’s actually a good thing. Don’t be hurt by that.
13. I know how to stay away from dysfunctional relationships.
When people get divorced, they are vulnerable to getting into bad relationships. I’m not judging. I did it. Just realize what the relationship is, and DON’T MARRY THE PERSON!
14. My life is really messed up, thanks to him or her.
I think this is one of the most interesting lies we tell ourselves. I read a comment from a woman who claimed she got fired from her job because her boss knew she was going through a divorce and fired her for it.
I find that really hard to believe, and think maybe she couldn’t handle her divorce, and therefore started not doing well at the job, leading to her being fired. That’s very sad and I feel terrible for the woman, but honestly, she shouldn’t be blaming her ex. OK, maybe her ex put bad things in motion, but at what point do you take responsibility for things, stop playing the victim, and fix your life yourself?
15. I love my new life.
If you feel that way, that is wonderful, but remember that it’s OK to say “this stinks” on certain days. Eventually, you WILL love your life most days. But it takes time.
16. If I could just meet someone, I know my life would fall into place.
Reverse that. Work on your life, career, kids, hobbies, yourself. When that falls into place, you will meet someone.
17. My ex’s girlfriend is gross (or however you want to describe her.)
Try not to judge someone you know nothing about. She’s a woman, like you. She met your ex and fell in love. You did it, so why shouldn’t she? She doesn’t know him like you do. It’s just the beginning. The infatuation period is in full swing. That doesn’t justify calling her names. This is a little more difficult to say if she’s the reason he left you. Then I think it’s difficult not to call her names. But even then, try to have grace and hold your head high. That means refraining from badmouthing either of them. It’s not easy, but you’ll be glad you did.
18. My ex is really jealous of the guy I’m dating.
Maybe and maybe not. Why do you need him to be? You don’t.
19. My wedding day was the best day of my life.
Maybe it was and that’s OK, but if it wasn’t, that’s OK too. Don’t be afraid to see what you didn’t see back then.
20. I don’t care what other people think about me getting divorced.
Finally, #20 of the lies we tell ourselves. Yeah, you sort of care. But you shouldn’t. The people who are your loved ones and friends are the only opinions that matter. You might be the town’s subject of gossip for the next few weeks or months, but it will fade. Don’t give the a second thought.
Like this post? Check out, “10 Movies Every Divorced Woman Over 50 Should See”