Life does not stop after divorce, it begins anew!
Recently I was asked by a friend, “Why do you still write about divorce? It’s been years for you.”
After a long pause I said, “Because I am a writer and it needs to be written for others going through it.”
She shrugged, not really understanding. But, how could she understand? She was never divorced and her kids never had to go through a divorce. Her children’s live fortunately were not irrevocably changed by events they had no control over. Events, that unfortunately happen in hundreds of thousands American households yearly.
As I often joke around with other divorcees ‘divorce is the gift that keeps on giving.” Only someone who has lived through divorce can truly understand this. And, after living and surviving heartbreak and pain writers tend to write about what they know and are passionate about. It is my small way to give back and help others going through the process behind me.
Writing about divorce is my civic duty.
At first, I wrote about divorce to let go of my long-held anger. Writing eased the pain, and eventually it connected me to others in similar circumstances, who also needed to hear my words, and the many others who express themselves, that exemplified their own private hell. Being divorced is certainly more accepted than 25 years ago, but a stigma is still attached and as a group we need a voice so we feel less guilt and less alone.
Writing brought me acceptance from others - to a degree. Writing brought us - those of us sharing our worries and our joys - perspective, understanding, information, and hope. We all need to feel understood and that we belong, and by sharing thoughts and ideas with others fulfills a kind of civic, moral duty of helping others while helping myself.
Many divorcees find it difficult to juggle all the balls in the air now that they are alone or alone with children. Being overwhelmed is often the feeling of the day and when divorcees participate in the sharing of ideas in financial planning, dating again, managing the work/home life balance, and so much more, they grasp a better handle on their new life. Even support from virtual strangers who have lived through their current experiences can be quite helpful in moving on.
Writing about divorce is helpful for successful parenting.
Reading about what others have gone through is essential in this area. That is why there are so many books out there on divorce with children. In fact, Putting Children First is a great book to read. It is well-written and discusses the impact on children from the breakup of their family, but it gives real strategies that can be implemented to promote your children’s emotional health and resiliency.
It is also extremely important to understand that even though you may despise the person you are no longer married to, that person is your children’s father or mother. Many divorcees have to hear this over and over again so they get the importance of not knocking down the other parent, for in putting them down they are harming their children.
Writing about divorce is necessary because it never ends.
Sorry to burst your bubble, but as I said before, divorce is the gift that keeps on giving.” Yes, the craziness slows down, but like the tide it has its ebbs and flows.
For instance, after bopping along for six years post-divorce, with the usual vacation issues, week-end swapping nightmares, and other legalities that cause old feelings to resurface time and time again, I was hit with a huge financial blow from my ex that has serious consequences to me and my daughter. Though they are not currently ironed out yet, I know they will be. The end result may not be what I want or what I believe I am entitled to, but it will be something I will be able to live with.
How do I know this?
Because, if nothing else, divorcees have had to learn through sharing with others that though life is not what we envisioned our lives to be when we said, “I do,” we have learned the complicated art of compromise. We have had to compromise our time with our children, our money, our homes, our furnishings, our time, and our feelings on such a regular basis that our next spouse (if there is a next) will definitely reap the benefits of our learned behavior.
And, even when your children are grown and living on their own, you are still entwined with that person you divorced. You may have to share important life events, or an occasional holiday, and most definitely grandchildren. The navigating of this, while keeping feelings and emotions in check will definitely require a delicate balance of annoyance and acceptance for the rest of our lives.
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