Divorce Advice: Independence Not Just For America, For You Too!

By Jackie Pilossoph, Editor-in-chief, Divorced Girl Smiling, Love Essentially columnist and author

Divorce Advice in the Form of independence: If you’re like most Americans, you celebrated Independence day by going to your town’s parade, having a barbecue, (You’ve got to love the U.S.A, where everyone feels the need to eat bad potato salad to honor of our country’s independence from Britain in 1776), and of course, watching fireworks.

 

Regardless of how you spent the fourth of July, one thing is certain. You commemorated INDEPENDENCE. You honored it through tradition and you celebrated that this country had the guts to say, “Hey, we got this. Set us free to live our lives without you.”

 

It got me thinking…isn’t INDEPENDENCE what divorce is all about? –the desire or the need to break free from your spouse and try living life as an independent person?

 

If you agree, then I have to wonder, why do divorced people have such a hard time with independence? (also known as freedom or liberation)

 

I get it that getting divorced and being “alone” again is scary. It’s normal. But feel anxious about being a single parent and/or being single again is different than being independent.

 

What independence means to me is the ability to be truly happy in your life whether you are:

 

  • single
  • dating someone (or several people) casually
  • in a relationship
  • married/remarried

 

Independence means being your own person. What I mean by that is, being a mom (or a dad) is great. In fact it’s beyond a joyful role, probably the best in life. But, being independent means having a life that fulfills you that is autonomous of that role. It means having a fulfilling career, or if you don’t work, having a passion or hobby that fills a lot of your time because you choose that. It means having a social life with family and friends you choose to see.

 

Being truly independent means that you are completely capable of taking care of yourself, even if you have a person or people who want to take care of you. In other words, you don’t need anyone.

 

Now, I’m not saying that people should live their lives not needing or depending on others. I think it is healthy to have support and to lean on family, friends or a significant other, at times. In fact, it takes guts to ask for help or to let someone take care of you. But being independent means that for the most part, you thrive on self-sufficiency. You got this.

 

Independence fosters self-esteem, pride, poise and confidence. I mean, how great does it feel when you can look in the mirror and think, “Wow, I’m really proud that I’m doing this all by myself?”

 

I believe that one of the greatest joys in life is having a moment when you realize you achieved something you never thought you were capable of, or as Whitney Houston sang in her 1988 hit “One Moment In time,” “When I’m more than I thought I could be.” (There’s a reason they chose that song for the theme song for the 1988 summer Olympics.)

 

Furthermore, having that self-esteem and confidence gained through being independent is extremely attractive to others. My point is, guys (or girls) dig someone with those qualities. Big time.

 

In closing, being independent isn’t always easy. It takes courage and strength to be a leader in your household, to make big decisions, and to go it alone. But I truly believe the rewards that come with independence (again, freedom and liberation) are priceless.

 

And by the way, you can still be independent and be madly in love, feel feminine, and be a couple with someone. Think about how many wonderful friends and relationships the U.S.A has. Happy Independence Day!

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Jackie Pilossoph

Editor-in-chief: Jackie Pilossoph

Divorce is a journey. Live it with grace, courage and gratitude. Peace and joy are on the way! Jackie Pilossoph is the creator and Editor-In-Chief of Divorced Girl Smiling. The author of the novels, Divorced Girl Smiling and Free Gift With Purchase, Pilossoph also writes the weekly dating and relationships advice column, “Love Essentially”, published in the Chicago Tribune Pioneer Press and the Chicago Tribune online. Additionally, she is a Huffington Post contributor. Pilossoph holds a Masters degree in journalism from Boston University.

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