Dear Divorcing…

It’s January and lots of people are presently working on fulfilling their New Year’s Resolution to get divorced.  With that in mind, I’d like to submit the following letter to those beginning the painful/joyful path to freedom…

Dear Dreadfully Divorcing,

I know your heart is riddled with emotions right now.  I know that among those are guilt, shame, anger, hurt, loss, fear… and yes, even hope, love and anticipation.  I know that your body is weary and your mind is tired.  I understand you’re facing an uncertain future and your wallet is bracing for a big hit.

Everyone’s experience is different, and yet, they’re all the same.  The following questions, affirmations and advice are intended to assist in lighting the path of your journey.

Do you want a divorce?  Or do you want expensive drama?  You are attractive, intelligent and independent.  You know better than to get caught up in the ridiculous divorce games that people play.

Do you have children?  Do you want them to make it through this experience as confident and complete individuals?  If so, allow them to love their other parent (as imperfect as s/he might be).  Humans aren’t yet capable of asexual reproduction, so don’t denigrate your child’s DNA.

What really matters?  Is it who gets the kitchen table?  Is it who doesn’t get the fine china?  Or is it your sense of self, peace of mind and individual well-being?  Self-care is important, be it naps, massages, sports or therapy… take the time to take care of you.

Reach out and ask for help if you need it.  And remember that “this, too, shall pass”.  On the other side of divorce, a new life awaits you… a life that is yours to construct as you please.  Within that new life there are hobbies and friends and laughter and love.  All you have to do is get there.  Keep learning, keep growing, keep going.
Sincerely,
Happily Divorced

Readers, if you have any more tidbits of advice to add, please do so… you know how to use the comment section 🙂
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9 comments on “Dear Divorcing…

  1. ChopperPapa says:

    Excellent insights! Unfortunately far too many do care about the kitchen table and introduce ‘expensive drama’ into their lives in hopes of ‘getting what’s mine!”

    • I know… And what’s so bad about starting over? Why cling so tightly to remnants of an unhappy past?

      • Sonia says:

        Here’s what’s “bad” about “starting over”: if a wife is over 50 (or 55 or 60), and has sacrificed decades of potential income and career advancement in order to raise children and devote herself to managing family and household, there is a certain financial leveling out that must take place if she is not to sink into poverty. Her chance of getting a good job, especially is this economy, is slim. If a husband is determined that his ex-wife must, as my father put it, “starve and die in the streets,” then mediation won’t work and she must defend her financial future in court. In my case, I had school-age children to raise, plus my own financial future to worry about. Fair is fair. I needed expert representation to make sure assets were divided equitably and reasonable support was awarded. I could have crept away and let him have his way, but this time I said no.

        • That is certainly a down side to starting over. Unfortunately mediation won’t work in all cases and quite often one partner tries to take advantage of the situation. This is one of the reasons why I’m so passionate about changing society’s attitudes about divorce. Divorce isn’t about someone walking out, slamming doors and ‘screwing the other person’. Divorce should be about two people working together to determine the best outcome for their family.

  2. meagn says:

    I Wish a divorce fairy dropped this letter on my lap when i started my divorce! In my opinion if you have children you have to make them your number 1 priority and let them know that your relationship with them wont change, its easy to get caught up in making a new life for yourself and leaving your children to deal with the divorce alone.

  3. MTFFH says:

    Know what would be great in a “perfect world”? If anyone involved in the beginning stages of divorce would be made to attend court ordered mandatory divorce mediation. This would be way before everything gets divided up in court and it would become very detail orientated.

    It would be a chance to see on paper just how the split would affect the custody of children, the child support payments, visitation, health care payments, the cars, the house payments, the possible necessary moves to an apartment, what it would do to the take home pay, the china, the lawn equipment, discuss the quality of life for both parties, religious requirements for children, and a million other items that are never fully thought through.

    Most times, in the middle of a divorce, you just sit there and make knee-jerk reactions based on a ‘standard’ divorce and are so dizzy from all of the details that are glossed over that you just take someone’s word that it’s all going to work out somehow.

    If you must attend divorce mediation, at least you would have even a 3-6 month period of looking at what might, or could, happen that it would cause time to pause and figure out what would be best in your situation. Then you have the chance to back back next week and discuss the finer points again and again until compromise is met on both sides.

    Most times, the pause comes too late – when you constantly have to refer back to the divorce agreement that you signed in the courthouse just before the judge slams down the gavel.

  4. singlegirlie says:

    I’m happily divorced, too. Well, happier than I was when I was married. Divorce is never easy, but I’m much better off now. Thanks for the inspiration!

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