Getting divorced isn’t always what you see in movies. For better or worse, when your marriage ends, there may be some effects you never saw coming.
Your situation will be different from your friends’.
Everyone’s situations and dynamics are different, and your divorce experience may be much different than your friends’ or family members’. That means that just because someone you know went through a nasty divorce, doesn’t mean you will.
The people around you may have strong opinions or advice they try to force on you. As well-intended as these loved ones are, most of the time, they aren’t divorce experts, nor are they objective. My advice: be highly selective with who you let speak into your life. Decide who is going to be on your “A” team – probably 2 or 3 of your closest, most trusted friends or family members – and only vent to them.
You’ll go through a grieving process.
Divorce is a death, and there is a grieving process that comes with it. Don’t be surprised if the emotions come in waves, or if you take one step forward and two steps back.
Be gentle with yourself – healing is not linear. You’re allowed to feel whatever you need to feel.
You’ll feel both fear and excitement when you make big decisions on your own.
Depending on how long you were married, you may not have made a big decision on your own in a long time. This newfound freedom can be both exciting and unnerving. Embrace every feeling as it comes.
You may repeat the same mistakes with your new partner.
Unless you’ve actively worked on healing during the time you were single, you might be surprised to find that you repeat some of the same mistakes you made in your last relationship. This is especially true once the honeymoon phase ends and you fall back into old habits.
Seeking help from a therapist or coach will help you identify your harmful patterns and keep them from repeating.
You’re more capable than you thought of putting together your own furniture or fixing an appliance.
And how empowering it is! The day I had to replace the handle on the toilet was a big win! I know it sounds small, but for this mechanically-challenged gal, it was a big step.
The bottom line is: your divorce experience will be as unique as your relationship was. Be selective with who you vent to or receive advice from, feel every emotion as it comes, and don’t be afraid to reach out for help when you need it.