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By Jackie Pilossoph, Divorced Girl Smiling Editor-in-Chief

If you read the title of this blog post and you’re saying, “Huh? The advantages of divorce? Is she kidding me?” Read on!

Divorce is devastating. It’s heartbreaking, it’s gut-wrenchingly sad, and it can be really, really depressing. That said, there IS a flip side, believe it or not.

Amongst all the anger you and your ex have toward each other at times, the painful feelings of loneliness that creep up, the angst of facing life as a single parent, the worrying about finances, and that horrible feeling you get occasionally that you failed miserably at something you promised God you’d cherish forever, there are pluses to being divorced. Here they are. Please keep in mind that some or all or none of these might apply to you.

1.  You have an out whenever you want it.  I believe that at this stage in my life, I shouldn’t have to do anything I don’t want to do. Let me clarify. We all have things everyday that we HAVE to do. Meetings we must attend, people we go to see out of the goodness of our hearts, chores, errands, work outs, and business events. Doing those things is just living up to your responsibilities.  But, I believe that a person shouldn’t do anything he or she does not WANT to do. In other words, don’t do anything out of obligation or because you think you will upset someone if you’re not there (unless you care deeply for the person). If there is an event that you really don’t care to attend, don’t. If a person who typically makes you feel bad about yourself wants to get together, don’t.  Enjoying life and your time is just too valuable. So, here’s the divorce benefit: In order to spare someone’s feelings, if you simply don’t want to get together with someone, you can just say, “Sorry, it’s my weekend with the kids!” How great is that?

2.   Back to work: This applies mostly to women. When you get divorced, women are often forced to go back to work because of finances. I can tell you firsthand it was very scary. I hadn’t worked in 10 years. Getting up to speed on computer technology was probably the most frightening thing for me. But, going back to work has HUGE benefits!! Work is productive, and that brings self-esteem, self love and confidence! You will love yourself when you feel smart and productive and you see that “You still got it!” AND, you will meet so many men and women that could become friends, and maybe even romantic interests. Nothing bad ever comes from work. It’s always good.

3.   Loneliness subsides: When I was getting divorced, people would always give me this look that was saying to me, “I feel so sorry for you.” I felt like saying, “Please don’t give me that look! I didn’t just tell you I had cancer!” In fact, if they knew how a divorced person felt, they would give me a happy look. Because, when you have been divorced for awhile, you will probably look back and say, “Wow. I was really lonely in my marriage.” I truly believe it is better to be lonely while you’re alone, than lonely if you are in a relationship. Loneliness is a terrible feeling, but you won’t be lonely forever. I promise!!

4. Make your house your own. Do you realize that you can re-decorate and re-organize your home, and make it exactly the way you want it? Pink and shabby chic and feminine. Do whatever you’d like! You’re the boss!

5. Live Baby Live! I have a friend who was married for 27 years. Her husband blindsided her and left her for another woman. She was obviously devastated. In fact, there were times I was beyond worried about her and wasn’t sure she’d be okay. Let me tell you what she has done over the past 4 years. She has run a marathon, she’s traveled to Israel, Spain, China, and all over the US., she has joined a softball league, and she never says no to any adventure. She said she would never have done all these things if she was still married.

6.  The door is open. Regardless of who left who, the door is now wide open for you to have a meaningful, loving relationship with someone who is right for you. If your husband or wife left you, they did you a favor. Because, who wants to be with someone who doesn’t want to be with them? Mr. or Ms. Right is out there. Give it time and don’t try too hard. Just enjoy your life. Refer to point #5!

7.  Say bu-bye to your mother in law.  For some people, never seeing their in-laws after divorce is very upsetting. To others, never having to deal with their in-laws again is a huge perk. So, obviously this only applies to people who look at never having to see their mother-in-law again as a gift. Everything that bugged you about her is ancient history! Woo hoo!

8. You just became a single parent. “Why is that a plus, Jackie?!” Because a lot of people I talk to tell me that they became a better parent after their divorce. As single parents, we appreciate our time with our children more. Quality always wins over quantity. In other words, sure, you may see your children a less number of days throughout the year, but if you take advantage of every moment you have with them, you will be truly fulfilled, and you will continue to be a wonderful parent, even better. Talk to your kids, laugh with them, hug and kiss them, play with them.  Just love them. They need you now more than ever. And you are here for them.

The biggest, most obvious advantage of divorce is that you are getting out of a situation that doesn’t work, and that doesn’t make one or either of you happy. What I would say is that during your darkest times, the times when the tears dont seem to stop, when stress seems to overwhelm you, and when sadness envelops your soul, please try to look at what is happening as a stepping stone to happiness, perhaps a better life, a gift, if you will, and a new chapter that could bring lots of really really good things.

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Author: Jackie Pilossoph

Divorced Girl Smiling offers advice, inspiration and hugs. If you want a Cinderella story, be your own fairy godmother. You're the only one who can pick out that perfect glass slipper!

9 Responses to “The Advantages of Divorce”

  1. Graham Jackson

    These things can be so difficult to see when it’s all happening to you. But there’s a certain amount of truth with what you say. The only thing that I have noticed is that you can become quite isolated to another relationship. Once bitten twice shy if you like.

    I’ve been out with divorced women in their forties, and indeed their homes are very pink! Pink everywhere, on everything. Which is okay, but I got the distinct impression that they don’t want to move away into more neutral colours. Ever.

    I’m probably as guilty as any divorcee, in so much that I think when forming new relationships that we are less likely to compromise at all in order for any relationship to move smoothly on. Therefore isolating ourselves still further.

    Getting divorced can be liberating. For mind, body and soul. However in doing so, don’t isolate yourself from other relationships because of the past.

    Reply
  2. Liberated Mama

    Jackie,

    I love the title of this post and could add a few more advantages to the list.

    The decision to leave my marriage back in 2003 wasn’t an easy one, we had two children who were 11 months and 3 years old at the time, but I wasn’t happy. The only way I knew how to get there was to leave and move forward, to liberate myself. It was a very painful decision filled with guilt, torment and sadness however it was a decision I did not regret.

    I’m a happy divorced woman and proud of how my ex-husband and I work together for not only our children but each other’s families, we are very fortunate. Our collaborative relationship has enabled both of us to live a balanced and peaceful life which in turn has only benefitted our children.

    Our ability to let go and move on has enabled both of us to experience the advantages being divorced has to offer:)

    Reply
  3. kegms

    Thank you for writing this post. And your other posts, too! I’m a month post-divorce, a year and a few months living on my own (with my two kids). Sometimes I get impatient and can’t understand why I’m still feeling sad and angry. I want to be over it already. But I know I can’t and don’t want to rush through any of it. I want the grief to be complete, so I don’t end up carrying it into my next (awesome) relationship with a (fantastically wonderful) man. It’s nice to hear a voice other than my own that reminds me of this.

    Reply
  4. Linda Shaw

    It all depends on how you look at it. But, I think getting a divorce can be liberating, especially for someone coming out of an abusive relationship, whether physical or emotional. Getting a divorce gives them the opportunity to discover a part of themselves that was lost during the years of a bitter marriage. It does take time to readjust to the single life after divorce, but if it means freedom to reclaim your life then I think it’s well worth it.

    Reply

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