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Bouncing Back After A Divorce

No one gets married thinking they will someday get divorced. When we find the right guy, we feel so lucky to be loved by the one person that we love back.

Then we start a family and create a future that involves two people becoming one. But what happens when the two people that become one begin to separate back into two individuals?

You guys want to leave one another, the kids will suffer, the future is uncertain, and you want to scream because you can’t stop thinking about the years that you gave him…the years you’ll never see again.

It can be stressful, painful, and scary, especially when you think about going it alone. What you may not know is that you have what it takes to bounce back from a failed marriage.

It began with you and it will end with you

As women, we tend to forget that prior to the marriage we stood alone. We met our significant other, joined forces, and made a new life outside of the one that we had always known.

The key is that we were alone prior to becoming joined with our spouse. We went to college, found a job, made our own money, and then found a new life that didn’t include anyone other than ourselves. Finding a mate didn’t take that away.

We only assume that our independence is gone because we become so accustomed to living a life with another person. When a marriage ends, the only thing that closes is the chapter that included your spouse. You must remember that you are the main character in this book and no one else.

“But I don’t know what to do now!”

Starting a life on your own after a divorce can be a bit frightening at first. You become so acclimated with being with someone that you almost forget what it’s like to be alone.

Do not allow your fear to take over your rationale. You must recall the beautiful strengths that you hold—the same strengths that drew your ex-husband to you in the first place. Now that you are alone, you have serious work to do. Take the time to learn about this new woman that you have become during the course of your marriage. What amuses you? What do you find interesting?

What do you like to do? When you are married, it becomes almost selfish to focus 100% of your attention on yourself. Now that you are no longer locked down in matrimony, you must take that attention and place it back where it belongs…on you!

If you have children, give them the attention that they need but not without providing a good source of it for yourself. One thing is for sure, you can’t help your children deal with the change if you can’t deal with it yourself.

Say hello to the new you that you’ve become

Now is not the time to feel sorry for yourself or to play the blame game. Sitting around and placing your energy into angry outbursts with your ex-husband is not going to help you move forward in a healthy manner.

Deal with situations as they come, but make sure you are very selfish with your energy and where you decide to place it. Your ex-husband is no longer your concern as a partner, outside of the partnership you both have for your children.

He no longer has the responsibility to nurture you, and vice versa. Use this time to focus on who you have become over the years. Find new ways to love her, take care of her, and be grateful for her. Only then will you become excited about the life that awaits you after a divorce.

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About Audra L.

Audra L. is an author, columnist and community activist who's dedicated to finding truth through research and effective communication. She received her degree in Public Policy and teaches Community Development, Public Speaking and Communications Law to youth throughout the nation. She is the recipient of over 23 awards and honors for her commitment to community outreach initiatives.

4 comments

  1. Unfortunately, this only perpetuates the myth that marriage is just a legal contract, able to be destroyed at will. The reality of a promise made, for life, for better or worse, may be overwhelming to think about. But such promises are what form the backbone of a healthy society, empowered women and strong families. Women given information on how they can just bounce back from a “failed” marriage, are really just weakened further, and made to feel that they really can’t be as strong as marriage requires. Selfishness is never a better goal than sacrifice, even when it is needed in a difficult, painful marriage. Please advise women on how to let their strength, not their weakness, allow them to persevere in marriage. Every woman I personally know who sought divorce has major emotional problems, and deep down, very confused about why society affirms their choice for divorce.

    • Even with that worldview, which I respect even if I disagree with it, surely you must think there are certain, reasonable, reasons for divorce – namely abuse, either of a spouse or of their children (or of elderly parents/in-laws)?

      • It sounds reasonable to think that a vow can be broken when it becomes painful. But did your vow include for “better and worse”? Maybe some people don’t even say that, which is another issue. But saying “I or my children are abused” (and defining it any way you want) and then getting divorced, and marrying someone else, is wrong. A painful, abusive situation didn’t just happen, and is one example of the “worse” part of the vow. Marriage takes hard, hard, hard, hard work on both sides, and should not be undertaken lightly or without preparation. Civil divorce should only occur when financial issues need to be settled — you are divorced in the eyes of the government, but you still have a spouse. The marriage still exists, if you promised for life, for better or worse, etc. It is hard to accept suffering and sacrifice in today’s culture, especially when it seems so unnecessary. But taking away the “promise” made in marriage, kind of makes it worthless. “I agree to love you, but not if (fill in the blank) happens”.

  2. “Bounce” I think it was more like three bounces, I was a basket ball hitting the back board, bouncing onto the rim, and down to the floor. Eventually I got over it and met a lady, and we started out with 4 of hers and three of mine. Then I bounced back.

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