Divorce can be the single most devastating event in a person’s life outside of illness and death. And it can feel like death, as you are essentially losing someone you loved. Even if you still see your ex-spouse because you have children, the person they were to you is gone and they take on a new role in your life after divorce.
But in every challenge there lies the possibility for renewal. Even in the midst of a painful divorce, good things can happen if you are able to spot them and allow them to unfold.
5 Great Things About Divorce Nobody Ever Tells You
1. It’s the best second chance in life you never asked for.
Divorce is a huge catalyst for change. Ideas about who you always wanted to be that you might have ‘forgotten’ for years come flooding back. Some of the barriers to your dreams you might have had before, like your spouse’s disapproval, have been removed. You might yourself with more options than you could have ever imagined, and the opportunity to focus on yourself again.
If you have children, you may have a co-parenting arrangement that gives you more free time. At the very least, you’ve freed up the time and energy you once wasted trying to resurrect a dying relationship.
2. Your children will flourish despite everything.
Children often adapt to change better than we expect. Studies have found that children of divorce grow up to be well-adjusted adults.
This does not mean that you should not be mindful of the impact divorce can have on your children. They will need your support while transitioning into their new lifestyle and they will need time to adjust. While you are discovering what it means to no longer be married, they are navigating what it means to be a child of divorce. Family counselling can be a forum where they can freely express their emotions and learn effective coping skills for life after divorce.
Though the family unit has changed, your children still have their friends, their school life, and their outside interests to help them through this difficult period. Keep your home a positive environment and try not worry, as the more positive you are about your new family structure the more they are likely to be.
3. You will learn the invaluable lesson of not caring what others think of you.
Initially, it may bother you that others are starting to treat you differently because you are going through a divorce. You might waste time trying to keep up appearances and salvage the friendships you formed through marriage. But some friendships, and even professional relationships, are bound to naturally fade away as you change and grow from managing the intense change life has thrown you.
You will be so busy trying to keep it together – emotionally, financially, etc. – that you simply stop focusing on the opinions of those who are not supportive of you. And you might be less jealous of those friends who are still married then you expect. You’ve been in their situation and it wasn’t all a bed of roses.
Over time, you will experience a shift in awareness. Divorce did not make you a lesser person and it’s time to follow your own path. You compromised every single day near the end of your marriage, and you won’t be willing to compromise who you are anymore. Certainly, not for those are judging you for reasons that have nothing to do with your character.
4. You will become fearless in a way you never imagined.
Something remarkable happens when you experience the worst thing that you could ever imagine happening. You become less afraid of uncertainty. You got a divorce, and you didn’t die – even if there were times you felt your heart might give out on you. This allows you to develop a “what’s the worst that can happen” mindset. Your marriage failed, what’s the worst that can happen now?
In some strange way, you become more open to life. When you become more open to new experiences, and less afraid of the possible outcome, you start to take risks that allow for personal growth.
5. You may be happier then you were while married.
A by-product of getting through change is happiness. You’ve made yourself a priority, you are becoming the person you always wanted to be when you grew up, and you are fearless. It’s not that there won’t be days when it still hurts.
But you are no longer fighting change, and at some point your life will begin getting easier. You will feel lighter because you no longer have to deal with arguments, infidelity, lack of physical attraction, and any other combination of factors that killed your marriage. You won’t have to feel shocked at yourself for behaving in ways you never meant to. And you are out of that stuck place where you were just holding on out of fear of letting go.
And the truth is, it can all add up to feel pretty darned amazing.
Would you like to share something wonderful about your life after divorce? We’d love to hear from you, use the comment box below.
Shanon Lee is a contributing author for DivorcedMoms.com and xoJane. Her work has appeared on The Huffington Post, MariaShriver.com and many other digital publications.
photos by B Rosen,