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What will life be like after Divorce?

This is the most common question I get asked by mothers and wives who call for coaching. What will my own life look like? What will life look like for my kids? How often will they see their dad? How often will I see my own children? What will the relationships look and feel like?

I don’t sugarcoat it for them. It’s rough. Personally speaking its one hell of an adjustment for everyone involved. No one is spared in this uprooting of marriage and family life once hoped for and invested in. Mine was an extreme case but unfortunately not as rare as I would have hoped for other womens sake. Even if you have an amicable divorce it still a monumental change in your life. The guilt, the kids’ new reality and lives, switching back and forth, the children not having the parent they want in the moment, dreams and future plans shattered, psychological issues for both adults and children alike and the loneliness. Oh the loneliness. Not being able to confer and reflect with a partner at the end of the day about your child’s progress (or lack thereof) and their medical, mental and emotional needs. The actual silence and grief on your free days feels suffocating. Planning when to throw out the garbage because you can’t leave the kids alone, no extra pair of hands to help in the exact moment you need, no hive mind about how to problem solve issues.

Unfortunately, these examples are only the tip of the iceberg. I like to remind family, married friends and single friends that new issues arise weekly, monthly and yearly. Just because you are divorced doesn’t mean it’s over.

But as I come to the end of painting this gloomy picture to these women and mothers, I get to the high priced benefits. Soon, after you find the time to throw out the garbage, you’ll need to fill those silences. And this is the time you can start to GLOW. This is the time to start rebuilding yourself from the ground up. You get to rediscover what your hobbies are, make new divorced friends who will understand your circumstances, rediscover your sex life, rediscover your new tastes in men or women or both. You get to have a LIFE! And you get to curate it exactly how you like it. So just like in marriage when it was hard, divorce will be too but this time you’ll get to GLOW.

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Dating after divorce for me started when my daughter was six months old. In my free time I’d learned and mastered the art of swiping left and right. I had gotten married in a time before swiping and I learned how fun it could be. At first, I needed release… release of stress, release of being a single mom to a 6 month old and three year old, release of the quiet of being a stay at home single mom and of course release of being married to one person for so many years. Getting ready for a date as a single mom with a baby is no easy task. Picture a baby strapped in a stroller and placed in the bathroom so I could have a quick shower pre date. The idea of putting makeup on to go to meet a man while simultaneously playing with my baby literally boggled my mind and still does! I’d put my baby to sleep with a perfect face of makeup on, wait for my babysitter to arrive, get dressed and go see and be seen. Initially for me dating was just dating to meet new walks of life, experience complete freedom again and avoid my present life situation for a few hours a week.

With the onset of corona my two steady dates a week came to a halt and luckily I’d settled into my new reality with more ease and confidence. It was time to figure out what I wanted in order to find the right types of dates. With my love for living alone plus my kids of course, I knew I never wanted a man to take up my space or my time with my kids in my house ever again. Still with remnants of being pregnant and certain postpartum body issues I also knew that I didn't want more kids. But that is not common or ok here where I live. I was greeted with “What? No more kids? No don’t worry, you’ll have more kids, you’re just traumatized. No more marriage? Never say never, don't you want a man”? And to all those women and men who say that to me I answer “Absolutely not”! You’re doing women a discredit to doubt someone who knows herself so well.

Now as my swipes go left and right, as tiring and exciting as it can be, dating is a mixed bag of being hopeful to find that “diamond in the rough” with the exhaustion of knowing just what you want but not being able to find it. And in between all the dates and expectations, every now and then you meet spectacular, glowing humans, myself included, who you

never thought could exist- which for me has made it all worth it.

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It can be hard to know what the right response is to a situation one has never experienced.

Here are some Dos and DON’T’s when encountering divorce topics.

1. When someone mentions they’re divorced…

Do say: I’m sorry you had to go through that, it must have been hard”.

Don’t say: Well, I would have done everything to keep my family together” …Believe me, sometimes divorce is the best way to keep everyone intact.

2. If a divorced person vents about their ex’s behavior…

Do say: “That’s so hard, can I help in any way?”

Don’t say: “Why don’t you just take him to court?” Court is a long, emotional and financially taxing war and can take years to come to an agreement.

3. If your spouse is away…

Do: Complain and vent as regular. Marriage is hard too!

Don’t say: “I’m like a single parent”.

4. Children of divorce are having an emotionally hard time with the same event your child experienced.

Do say: “How can I help”? OR “Yes I can understand”.

Don’t say: “ Well my child is doing ok with the situation”.

Always ask if you can help and as in any situation EMPATHY is your friend.

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