Divorced and Happy

When I mention what I do (Divorce Coach) at networking events I am often told by women who have been divorced for a while that they have never been happier.  The actual divorce is usually traumatic but once they take stock and settle into their new circumstances they rekindle old interests, develop their skills and find that there is much more to life than they thought!

The root of the problem seems to be that in most marriages one person compromises more than the other.  This is often the woman but not always.  It starts with having children; we reduce our hours or sacrifice careers so that we can care for our children ‘properly’.  We feel that, as we are not working or only working part time, we should be responsible for cleaning the house and providing the meals.  Slowly we become responsible for everything to do with the house and the children.  We can lose our independence, our ‘sparkle’, our passion. 

We compromise on our hobbies.  There’s no time for hobbies when you’re running a house and looking after children!  Although the other partner often doesn’t feel the need to give up their hobbies.

Going through a divorce reminds us of the things we have ‘given up’ for the marriage.  Because the process of divorce forces us to be more independent and become stronger we are more likely to rekindle old interests and even make a new career around them.   

I’ve met several people who are running their own business, doing something they love, and all because they got divorced and all of them tell me that they are happier than when they were married.  Often they hadn’t realised there was anything missing in their marriage until they suddenly weren’t married anymore.

So, for those of you going through a divorce at the moment, take heart.  There is life after divorce and it is very often a happier, more fulfilling life.

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8 Comments

Filed under Divorce, Post Divorce

8 responses to “Divorced and Happy

  1. Linda

    This strikes such a chord with me. I’m not actually divorced, just separated. Over 3 years ago, just before my 58th birthday, after more than 36 years of marriage, my husband left me for the wife of our next door neighbour, an older woman, 5 years older than me and nineteen months older than my husband. I was absolutely devastated at the time. I thought my life had come to an end. I needed help which I fortunately got from my doctor, and eventually was able to rebuild my life. I came to realise that I had ‘subsumed’ my personality into my husband’s personality. We did what he wanted, we ate what he wanted, we lived where he wanted and we had the holidays he wanted. Now I do what I want to do without having to ask for anyone’s permission or approval. I do what I enjoy doing, spending time with the people I want to be with, eat when I want, what I want and my life is no longer governed by meal times as it used to be. I lost a lot of weight after my husband left me, something good that came out of the whole episode. Now I can wear nice clothes, and have done a ‘makeover’ on myself. At 61 I am at last happy with how I look. I don’t ever want to go back to being the person I used to be as I came to dislike her very much. Even though I still love my husband I doubt that I could ever be a ‘wife’ again, having to fall in with someone else’s wishes and having to account for my actions to another person all the time. I suppose I have become selfish but maybe that isn’t such a bad thing after all. My oldest friends, who have known me since before I married, say I am a totally different person now and have gone back to being the person they used to know many years ago. So, yes, there is life after a marriage ends and it can very well be a happier more fulfilling one.

    • Lisa

      I’m about to go through a divorce so I’m thrilled to read what you’re saying, Linda.

      Your words could be describing my life. Always catering to him and his wants and needs at the expense of my own “to keep the peace.”

      My friends are just like yours in saying that I’m no longer the fun, interesting person they used to love hanging out with. It horrifies me to hear that. How did it happen?

      I agree with you that I doubt I could ever be a “wife” again. Once I get through this, I’ll be happy just to be me again!

      • Teema

        i must say i m thrilled to read about you ladies going through what i am going thru . thank you for sharing .. reading your words gave me strength to continue with the divorce and to get the old fun me

  2. Hi, I deal with much of what your blog is about. I am a trained Life Coach who is so passionate about the advantages of taking charge of your life after divorce that I decided to focus my coaching practice on helping people do that. I have designed my own Divorce Coaching Clubs to offer guidance and support to women like me who became divorced later in life.

    • patty

      i need help getting strength to sell our house we have been separated over 1 year now and it came time to put the house on the market and finalize the divorce and I fall apart emoitionly I do not want him back in the house i just do not want to sell the house.I came up with the plan to stay here was to go thru with the divorce and let him be a renter here. the problem is I know he will not pay his share as he never has in the past. The house is now in chapter 13 and at the end of it Who will pay for the mortage I can not afford it and the mainteince bills both so I fear way down deep that we will loose everything at that point. I need to find the mental strength to accept the reality of selling my home. how or what can i do?

      • Hi Patty

        I know it’s hard but at the end of the day it’s just a house. You can make another house or an appartment a home. Selling the house will force you to declutter and once the house is gone you can make a fresh start. When you are in your new home you won’t have so many reminders of your life together.

        You will get through this – take it one step at a time.

        Annie O’Neill
        Divorce Coach

  3. I agree with the article.

    Divorce maybe a painful experience,but it can be fulfilling.Because divorce is not always the end,it is a new beginning that each of us deserves.

    Many people out there realizes this and decided that they should reevaluate what they to do for the rest of their lives and often find themselves in a more pleasant and enjoying life than before….

  4. sha

    I am contemplating divorce after five years and three children. I am 34 years old and I am at a place where I don’t know who I am . It’s almost like this marriage has stolen my identity. He doesn’t do anything that makes me happy anymore and the more we are around each other the more we argue. I know that once I make the decision and seek legal advice, I will not turn back. I wanted to keep the marriage together for the children but I feel as if I am hurting them by staying. I am just confused but unhappy.

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