Whether you are an ex-husband or an ex-wife, there are some universal truths that nearly always surface following a divorce. Financial pressure is perhaps an obvious and very real consequence but there are other more ambiguous and unexpected realities to live with too. We look at the five main truths you will face when you have officially untied the knot.
1. Pain and sadness are a certainty
Although pain and sadness sound like impending doom if you are just about to get a divorce, the quicker you can go through this part of the process, the better. You may feel okay one day, only to feel incredibly sad the next, so you need to know that it’s normal to have fluctuating feelings like this. As a part of the grieving process, the initial anger and pain will subside but the truth is that you can’t go round it, you have to through it to come out healthier and happier. Try not to make things worse by getting involved with unnecessary arguments with your ex-spouse and take care of your mental and physical well-being during this period.
2. Friendships will probably change
You and your former spouse probably had mutual friends. If that’s the case, these friendships aren’t necessarily going to disappear overnight, but they are likely to change, so be prepared for that. If friends have stayed on good terms with your ex, they may be less available at times and they may not want to discuss certain things to do with your ex when you get together, which you will need to accept. Some studies indicate that women lose around 40% of their friendships when they go through a divorce. If this happens to you, remember that this is a period in your life for new beginnings and new connections and you will have more time for those now.
3. If you have children, you will spend less time with them
If children are involved in your divorce, then you have likely come to a joint custody arrangement. Sharing custody of your children obviously means you will be spending less time with them than you did when you lived with them full time. This can take some adjustment for all parties, and you may feel like you are losing out on time with them. However, sharing custody mean that you can now focus on spending more quality time when you see your children, and when you are apart, you can take the time for yourself, to re-energise and be more present when you are with them again.
4. Therapy can help
If you have always dismissed the idea of therapy or counselling, now could be a good time to reconsider. Often, the issues surrounding divorce can come out of deep routed problems or childhood issues in one or both partners. Seeking more insight into yourself, and how you were during your marriage is not a way to blame yourself for anything, but to help you gain greater clarity on your own behaviours and how you can improve on yourself for your own happiness and a potential future relationship.
5. Normality will come
After divorce, it can take a long time to get into a routine again. Everything can appear new and different for a while. But as the old adage goes, time is a great healer and it is important to trust the process and be patient. Eventually, you will settle into a new routine, all things divorce related will fade into the background and you will have the peace and space to start a new life again.