Being a newly divorced woman isn't easy, but it's a journey that we must all go through when our marriage ends. It helps to talk to others who have "been there and done that" to get their perspective. Since not everyone has that shoulder to lean on, we've gathered the best advice from other women who have been in your shoes.
We received a lot of inspiring advice on moving forward after divorce in our recent book give away contest. To qualify for the contest, readers were asked to give their best advice for newly divorced women. Thanks to their great feedback, five lucky entrants received a free copy of the book How to Sleep Alone in a King-Size Bed, a true story about a woman starting over after a divorce.
Even though we could only pick five winners, all the entrants offered excellent words of wisdom. In the spirit of "Passing it On", we've decided to share their inspiration and insight to make the journey easier for other newly divorced women. Read on for tips on taking care of yourself, getting support, moving forward, and more. If you would like to offer your advice to other divorced women, just use the form at the bottom.
Here are some of the different topics offering advice that you can find below. Simply click on the link to be taken to that section.
I am a newly divorced woman (2 weeks now) but have had 4 years time living separately as he moved to another state after we sold our house (to prevent foreclosure). During this time, we kept the lines of communication open and behaved like a family unit (3 kids now 12, 10 and 8) every summer and winter. We were both stalling the divorce and unable to reconcile. So what advice would you give to a woman who's newly divorced?
I'm not sure what advice to give; pray, stay busy, if you have a job, be grateful for that and try to work at it each day. Keep the friends that are true to you and don't judge you. Make a life for yourself that you will like and enjoy. Know that some days are much harder than others. Know that just because someone stops loving you; you may not automatically stop loving them. It doesn't work that way. Find a way to use that love to set yourself free of them. Give them to the universe. Revenge thoughts are not good for you; put that energy into good thoughts for yourself. God, Karma and the universe will take care of you if you allow it and the person who decided to set you free. ~ Brenda
Realize that no matter WHAT he said, if he put you down, and robbed you of your self-confidence…it wasn't your fault ~~~ It really does take 2 to tango!
I found changing the home how I liked it (he was a hoarder, I have OCD!), de-cluttering, and cleaning thoroughly made me feel better on a bad day… I guess it was "therapeutic", even though I was exhausted! LOL… And, the results made me feel really good (after all, if you're depressed and living in chaos, it only makes the situation worse). A warm, clean, and cozy home is comforting when you feel those familiar doubts about yourself.
When you feel like anything but being social, make the effort, if only once in a while. I felt so many times like hiding away. But I started to see I actually was enjoying the "fun" with family and friends I dreaded! Most of all... know life has NOT ended (even if that's how you feel). SING at the top of your lungs, dance when and wherever you want, LAUGH often, CRY as you need to, and Enjoy what LOVE you do still have around you! Good luck! ~Sarah~
What advice would you give to a woman who's newly divorced? I would tell that angel to never ever view herself as a failure. She has to wake up, take a deep breath and to never let anything bring her down. Single isn't a status. But it's a word that describes a person who is strong enough to live and enjoy life without depending on others. Again God uses broken things beautifully, broken clouds pour rain, broken soil sets as fields, and broken seeds give life to new plants. So my friend, allow yourself to hope, to believe and to trust again. Don't let few bad memories stop you from having a good life. ~Sarah~
I am 63 and divorced. The hardest thing for me was repairing my self-esteem. I cut my hair, colored the gray he wanted me to keep, got rid of the bedroom set, threw out all the old cards and letters, gave all the photos of him to my grown children and rearranged the house and closets to suit me! As scary as it is to be alone financially, emotionally it is freeing. I am planning a special trip, visiting with family and friends and had "sleep-overs" with my grandchildren we never had before. The hardest thing to do is to keep focused on what YOU want, and to avoid the "if only's". I suggest writing yourself a letter saying all the things you like about yourself and your strong points. READ it often! When the "if only" thoughts enter your mind - REMIND yourself, You are special, you will be even better - be determined! God does not make mistakes! ~ Lillie ~
Keep yourself in good health -- and make sure to exercise and keep fit. Looking good is empowering. Get your finances in order, and do all you can to avoid getting into debt. Don't jump into another relationship! Enjoy time with yourself (and your children if you have some). ~ Susan ~
Change your bedroom to make it your own space. Even little things like new linens or rearranging the furniture can make it feel like a new room. Don't forget to add scented oil or candles that smell just the way you like! ~ Julie ~
You now have time for yourself, so take full advantage of it to take care of YOURSELF. Travel, explore, cry, dance, shout, swear, vent, walk, read, sing, garden...be alive! Go back to school, pursue another degree or credential or career, stay stimulated and stimulating. Make new friends with women who are single, independent, confident, and happy. Casually date at first, go slow, and DON'T rebound. You are not flawed or a failure because you are single. ~Carol~
Cry if you want to. Cry if you need to. Cry when you can't do anything else. It's cleansing. Your body, mind and spirit is preparing for your breakthrough and renewal. ~Sharon~
First of all remind yourself that God loved you first. Secondly learn to love yourself, every flaw, every stretch mark, lump or wrinkle. Thirdly find you...she is wonderful. Relive your childhood, go outside and play, swim, run ,jump live! And after it is all said and done life will be beautiful again. ~Darlene~
Find yourself; Simply beautiful you. Be at peace. Pray. This too shall pass. ~Yolanda~
Remember you, possibly for the first time in your life. You need to focus on yourself and this will benefit everyone around you. ~Kimberley~
Today is a new start! It's just over 2yrs since I started proceedings to end my marriage, and finally signed the separation agreement yesterday. I will be proceeding to divorce a.s.a.p. and can see the end is finally insight. Yesterday I felt emotionally and physically drained. When I left my lawyers office I drove home with Hush Hush - Pussycat Dolls blasting from my CD and sang it at the top of my voice! The lyrics in that song is my theme tune to my new start. My advice is find theme tune for your new life which empowers you to move forward. ~Maureen~
Music really speaks to me and improves my mood. After my divorce I listened to a lot of empowering songs. Create your own soundtrack to lift your spirits on those most difficult days. "I Will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor, "It's My Life" by Bon Jovi, just for starters. ~Nancy~
Do whatever you feel like doing. You know what you need the most...better than anyone. If you need flowers, buy them. Candles, light them. A walk, go for one. Go shopping, take a bath, listen to relaxing music, get a massage. You deserve it! ~ Hope this helps~
It’s okay to mourn the end of the marriage; it takes time; but working at forgiving your spouse and yourself will make it easier. Revenge is not an option. Sometimes being alone is nice, but put on some lipstick and mascara and make an effort to be out with other people. It’s hard and a little acting might be necessary, but you might find you’re genuinely enjoying yourself. Talk to people, but they don’t need to know everything. Just think, right now, if I was listening to myself would I be thinking up excuses for a quick getaway. Pick your inner circle carefully. Write down your goals and put it somewhere you will see it everyday. When things get too emotional, exercise, do yoga, go outside, take a walk, focus on being back in this moment, take a deep breath feel the sun on your face. Dream up new dreams. The holidays can be rough, make new traditions, anything that makes you happy and celebrates you is an option! The biggest thing that divorce taught me was that I just had to be my own knight in shining armor! Once I got the hang of it I found that I was an amazing princess warrior! The good news is she’s in you too and you will be okay! ~ Sofie~
It is the hardest thing you will ever have to go through. Keep your head up and remember that this pain will not last forever even though it feels like it will. Join a support group or get support from friends and family, you will need it. Keep yourself busy and active. Believe in yourself that you will survive. ~ Tina ~
Focus on being the best "you" can BE. Always have some weekend fun to look forward to. A movie, dinner with girlfriends, dancing. Don't be in a rush to find a new love. Do things that interest you and meet like minded people. Make time to nurture your soul: inspirational readings, nature walks, solitude. Listen to the quiet voice inside you that is always there ready to guide you to The Truth. Your Truth. ~ Carmelina ~
Seek happiness for yourself above all else. Solidify your character and values. You alone can control your actions and thoughts, so you alone have the power over how you face each day. Empower yourself. Read "The Secret" by Rhonda Byrne and try and follow its guidance. ~ Shalene ~
Concentrate on the positive seriously. Don't get so hung on what you lost that you lose sight of what you have to gain. Take advantage of your newly earned free time to return to yourself. See the friends that your partner didn't like, watch the movies that made him yawn, and go all the places you love that he didn't. Be positive, move on, and stop crying over a spilt milk. Life is short and enjoyable, so enjoy every part of it. Go woman! I know you can make it! Be strong! ~ prettty matende ~
You know in your gut you did the right thing. Don't waste anymore of your valuable life with crippling thoughts about your ex. Imagine and visualize what you look like and act like at your best. Put up the prettiest picture you have of yourself and remind yourself everyday that's who you are, and you will be that woman. Believe in yourself. You took back your life so don't waste it. Be who you want to be. ~Corinna~
Write, write, write!!! Keep a journal: it won't judge you and it won't give you advice. Dig deep and be honest. Hopefully, writing will help you see things clearer and ultimately help you problem-solve. I asked myself, "What will make me happy when this is all done?" I made a heartfelt list. I talked it through with myself over time, whittled it down, and I finally arrived at what I called my "goals for happiness." I'm not there yet, but I reread the journal and see how far I've come. My "happiness goals" keep me directed. I can see how much stronger I am now. It is so true: what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. ~ Trina ~
Just breathe! Focus on all of the positive aspects of your life. Despite the fact that it seems like you are the only one going through this difficult hardship, someone else has it ten times harder than you. Look at this experience as learning about your inner core. The best revenge will be to move on.. do it with integrity, honesty and grace. You are a beautiful woman and deserve so much better, and believe me better is out there! :) ~ Brandy ~
I left my life, my education, my family, friends etc behind, sold my condo.... in order to build "happily ever after" with my charming prince who very quickly became the prince of darkness. He spend my money, was abusive, I had to escape to a shelter without knowing anybody in this country, without documents, money - anything. He left me helpless, hopeless, and homeless. I was lost. But the first think I bought when I got money was running shoes.
I now have friends, support, I got documents, I paid my car off; I was able to realize what my real values are, who I truly am, what the purpose of my life is. It is a new me, much stronger, better, happier, wiser and so forth. I am getting my divorce in 3 days - I am ready to move forward.
My best advice is stop blaming yourself, stop being a victim, be kind, open minded, hardworking; find friends, run, do stretching, take a deep breath, go hiking, swimming, walking (even for 10 min), read about your mind power, keep a diary; put make-up on everyday, make yourself look BEAUTIFUL every single day, save money, try to surround yourself with happy positive people, and pray, pray, pray.... ~ Anna ~
6 months today since I got the court decree of final divorce! I made it. WOW. Thought I would die, never get over him after 30 years. He decided he wanted out and I fought and fought to make it work. While he showed me he had already moved on. Spending our money, racking up debt, emotionally abandoning me with it and my diagnosis of breast cancer, foreclosure, and bankruptcy.
OH you can and will get through this. Get a focus. Get a vision. Get it fast. Yes this *&^% hurts! Do it trembling with fear and knees knocking. That's called bravery. It is what you have to be and what you are! Regardless of what he has said it is what you say to yourself that matters most. Instead of getting the chalk to draw a line around his body. (oh I felt like killing him) or doing prison ministry (LOL I can now!), I decided to live my best life.
Forgive him and myself. It was the first of many gifts that I gave to myself. Snot, cry, get in the car and scream, get a new bed, or sleep on something else. Get rid of his favorites that are not or never were yours. Be free to be you. You are special, can be loved, are attractive, and don't deserve this. But you are here, so do what you got to do now! Get a plan to get this thing moving called life. You are healed but gotta go through the process. It's a PROCESS, yes, that sucks too. Get support. Get new friends when the old ones don't want to hear you anymore until you refocus and get moving to your new life.
Tomorrow I graduate from college. I went back 2 years ago when he first started going cookoo for coco pops! This really helped me to build my self esteem, sharpen my focus and thinking. I will no longer give my power away. Girl, get your power back! I have a new career/job, was a stay at home working mom, wonderful children, family and friends. I have more than what I lost. I am more. I am smart. I am strong. I am beautiful. I can move on! I have begun a new journey of rediscovering who I really am and not what I allowed myself to become. I took my name back (he lost the honor of me carrying it). I cut my hair the way I like it (most of it fell out from the stress anyway) and went to the thrift store on half price day and got a new to me outfit.
What are you going to do differently! I challenge you in the midst of your challenge to dream beyond this place. Go ahead to your tomorrow and imagine it to be what you want it to be. You control you now. Meet you at the top! I know if I can, surely you will! Booyah! You got the Power. Praying for you, you are not alone! Girls got your back. ~Shelley~
Get a support system! It is so important to be able to pick up the phone when you are at your lowest and ask for a supportive ear! It's the only way I made it through my divorce sane, having those supporters. ~Sharon~
Don't give people the details unless you know that they love you forever! It will come back to bite you. DO NOT start a new relationship for quite a while after. This will also come back to bite you. It does get better. I don't know if the pain will ever end, but at least I can get out of bed and function at work. ~Judith~
There are friends and there are "FRIENDS". The ones that count won't judge you, will listen to you, will love you, and will always support you in any way you need. Don't lose touch of your friends, but remember that God is there to make sure you have those friends near. Even when you don't see a light at the end of the tunnel, you need to have a "friend" remind you to keep going because you will see the light eventually. ~ Tanya ~
Talk! Talk to friends or a counselor. The more you talk the better you are able to take the emotion out and deal with the practicality of your situation. You have to do what is best for you (and your children if you have them) and that is sometimes hard to figure out because of your emotions. Try to think practically, not emotionally! ~ Barbara ~
My best advice would be to seek support. Divorce is like a death. However, with a death friends and family come to you. With a divorce, people tend to stay away and not know how to help. My advice is to ask, seek, delegate and make your needs known. Its a humbling thing to do, but its almost a necessity in order to move on. ~ June ~
Most likely you will need someone to talk too. Chose someone that you can trust. AVOID getting involved in any casual sexually relationship, this will not help. PRAY, ask God for the Help that you need. There will be days that are tough and you may feel depressed. This end is not the end. KEEP a smile on your face. ~tash~
My ex cheated on me with a younger woman 2 years ago (our children 9 and 11). 6 days after the divorce he was engaged, and 6 weeks later remarried. Getting to know yourself is the hardest journey I have ever taken. I am still beginning after entering a relationship myself that lasted 10 months, but I chose to call it quits. I needed to find myself first. Look to friends and family. They are a world of support. I have found many of my friends have opened up about their own experiences that I never dreamed had happened to them that were similar to my own grief and overwhelming sadness. Hang in there. You are strong. ~Verne~
Surround yourself with a positive support system. It's time to take advantage of the love your friends and family have for you. If you focus on the blessings of a healthy love, you'll heal much faster. If you need a support group, visit www.allsfairnlove.wordpress.com to give and receive advice in the journey to happiness. ~Fairin~
Surround yourself with people who love you and don't be reserved to ask them for help. They will be more then happy to give it to you because they love you. ~ Paula ~
Talk/socialize with people you trust. If you need help with chores, taking care of kids, ask people you trust. And yes, time is on your side... it will take time to start feeling better ~ Amy ~
First go to a book store and purchase a self help book on surviving divorce. Second, seek out a divorce group (church organizations run excellent groups), and thirdly talk to people. You would be surprised how many people are divorced. When I start to talk to someone and tell them I am going through a divorce, more then 50% of the time they are divorced also. It's good to talk to someone who has also been on the divorce roller coaster!! ~ Lauren ~
What advice would you give to a woman who's newly divorced?: Having been divorced 3 times in the past 20 years, I speak from experience.
1) Look in the mirror and smile at the person you see. She needs a smile and a hug everyday.
2) Praise God for the person you see in the mirror for she was created perfectly in the image of God.
3) Find a professional counselor or psychiatrist to speak with on a regular basis until you have met the goals mapped out by the two of you.
4) Read every bit of advice listed by incredible women on this page - for each suggestion comes from within and may be beneficial in helping you to feel whole again. May God's mantle of peace enfold you. ~Tanya~
Look into as many of these empowering websites as you can. Take control and do what's best for you and your family. "You'll never walk alone". ~ Elizabeth ~
Trust in God and he will restore what has been broken and hurt inside of you. Look ahead to your future and know that with the Lord all of your hopes and dreams can still come true. Know that you are somebody and God doesn't make any junk! Be patient seek counseling from a professional and talk your feeling out! Be honest and real with yourself and don't let anyone tell you how to feel. Seek forgiveness of yourself and of your former spouse. There is release and freedom in forgiveness. Hold on it will get better. It may not feel like it right now, but the best is yet to come! God Bless you! ~Tasha~
Stay strong. It won't always be as hard as it seems right now. The sun will shine over you again. Look after yourself, make time with God a priority, have fun with your kids. Pray and ask others to support you through prayer and practical help. Don't try to go it alone. ~Tam~
No doubt, divorce is a roller coaster of emotions. One day I will feel very strong and my goals are unlimited and the next day I will feel scared, abandoned and filled with what ifs. To me... divorce is worse than a death because with death you have closure... while going through a divorce it seems endless. But I am coming to realize that every day I get just a little stronger. Do I still have bad days? Yes I do, but they are getting shorter lived and I find myself planning fun things like buying a house and making a new life for myself. The best advice I can give is PRAY. Talk to God every day weather it’s a good day or a bad one. Ask for strength, ask for peace, and ask for direction. My church family has become my support system and every week they let me know it's going to be ok. And I am learning who I am and that I do count... ~ Cindy ~
My emotions drove me crazy. I did not know what to feel from one moment to the next. I did not trust myself; I could not believe what I was seeing or hearing, I did not want to breathe. So I asked God to help me... and God was there for me 24/7 all I had to do was trust. And I swear God told me to just breathe and take one step after another, and he would do the rest. Then one day I looked at my cheating lying soon to be ex, and smiled and said guess what, there is a new man in my life. His name is J.C. and J.C. said 'I will never leave you; I will always love you for you'. I realized I did not need or want my husband anymore. Remember a man who thinks with his lower head, has nothing in his upper head. ~Valerie~
Trust your gut feeling - it is a must! Feel the peace in your heart deep down. Face the sadness and fear, go through it, accept it, cry or kneel down. Pray and know that when we are fallen, we are closer to God. Even if you have initiated the divorce, forgive your self and don't blame yourself and don't separate your self from God. He loves you and has prepared a better future for you. ~Alla~
There are very good things I'm dwelling on tonight, no more fear of abuse or constantly being put down. No more isolation and having to stay 'in my room'. I can breathe and not be afraid when I hear a car come down the street. God has been patiently teaching me that He provides just when I need it. Not a month before, but just at the right time. We don't need our ticket until we get on the plane and God has done miracles for me these last few months. He has never failed me and won't in the future. Remember, life isn't fair. Don't think about the should haves or the if only's. No matter how long you were married or what age you are, God never meant for love and marriage to hurt. I look forward to what God has in store for me. I'll be able to be close to my family, can have friends over, and make my own decisions. "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." ~Callie~
Seek God and ask for him to lead you. I guarantee he will begin to break down barriers and you will be on the road to a new life. He will guide you. Seek him in everything you do. Ask the Lord to help restore you. Ask him to point out your character defects. This is a positive thing. I myself gained so much insight about myself. Lastly, the Lord will send a nice man when appropriate. Because we've already worked on ourselves all we have to do is receive him. The Lord knows best. ~ Stacy ~
I would say to keep God first in your life and forgive your ex-spouse and allow God to heal. Take it slow in the next relationship for the sake of you and your children if you have any. Learn the other person's background and seek God to know if he's the one. And most of all get back in-tune with yourself and love you. ~Shantelle~
After reading all this, IT HELPED TODAY. Daily after almost two years, I talk to God a lot, sometimes I cry, sometimes I argue with God, sometimes I just listen, sometimes I feel blessed, so I would say... God has carried me through this very painful process. I have accepted that it is totally a process. I have accepted a lot even though I didn't want to accept his cheating, lying, me and my flaws of making excuses for it all. I am learning a lot. Days go by and some days it doesn't feel better, but most days I know I am at more peace and finding ways to get my happiness back. Being determined to do just that is my best advice...be determined to figure out what it will take to get your happiness back. I feel so lonely at times and than I realize that it is me that is making myself lonely because the world is full of people and many are not as disappointing as some have been in this life. I can go out when ready and be amongst them, it is now all my choice. Some days I want to do just that...and the days I don't, so be it. I am at the moment I need to be at without anyone telling me now that I am not. You're not wrong anymore with whatever you need to do to heal. I've made some mistakes as I was trying to heal, stirring crap with my ex and his new love, than I realized it was too painful. Glad I learned and could move on from that too. Life is about learning, be glad your here trying to learn all you can to have your happy life again. I'm not as happy as I could be or thought I was before, but I am happy to be honest now with myself. Being married was not all it was cracked up to be, so not pretending anything anymore is nice to be able to do. Be true to you! Be strong! Be determined! Cry too, it is real! ~ Wilma ~
Pray. Ask GOD to help you. I was married 24yrs, and the divorce will be final in 2 months. He has another woman living in the house we built together with her two young sons. My three kids are devastated. Prayer changes things. Pray and pour your heart out GOD. Ask him to heal the pain you feel. Forgive yourself...love yourself. Know GOD has not forgotten you. For everyone woman going through this...GOD bless you. ~Terri~
Divorce can be devastating to your self esteem. No matter who initiates it---you can feel rejected. Understand your worth, begin to view yourself through God's eyes and know that HE loves you. Don't let anyone or any situation, define who you are. Who you are---is a child of God. He loves you and you deserve to be loved. Yes, we all make mistakes, therefore, ask your Heavenly Father to teach you any lessons that you need to learn and HE will in the most gentle way. Keeping in mind that if you do not learn from your past mistakes, you will most certainly repeat them in your future. Who would want a repackaged painful past waiting for them in their future? So use your raw pain now, to gain insight into yourself--those blind-spots, others see but you don't. Above all, give yourself "grace" for your part in the undoing of your marriage. Again, I say "love yourself" which translates into making wise decisions, for your well being and comfort. The wisest choice you can make, is to love God with all of your heart. When you love God---you love yourself; you grow and expand to the point that you can love others, without receiving love back, because the Holy Spirit is your power source. Break that spiritual connection and you are loving people though your flesh which is draining, to the point where you have no more to give. Stay connected to God and HE will guide you daily into a bright and joyful future. ~ Jacqueline ~
I have been divorced for two months now. I have loved my husband to madness but one day he kicked me out of his house and I had to go by force and not by choice. He was my first love and the pain that I am going though is overwhelming. But what is helping through is to understand that it would not have worked no matter how much I was willing to change for him. I pray a lot and I feel comfort in this saying. "We may not like something that is good for us and like something that is bad for us. God is the best planner and after hardship comes ease. This life is a trial for us and God tests the people he likes the most." ~ Nazneen ~
Come close to God, who loves us more than anyone else and has a perfect plan for each one of us. He only asks us to TRUST Him and He will take care of our problems and our future, because He loves us. Put all your worries, sorry and problems in His hands so he may act. TRUST Him and repeat several times a day, Lord, I trust you. ~ Isabel ~
Keep God first! Pray and honestly ask God to guide you, give you strength, wrap his loving arms around you, and make you the person he wants you to be. Take care of yourself, look your best everyday, and share information with only persons you absolutely trust. Make a list of things to accomplish that makes you happy. The book "The Language of Letting Go" by Melody Beattie, is a very inspirational book. Take one day at a time. If you must cry, go ahead. Crying is healing. You cannot change other people. You can only change how you relate to them. Life is too short to be miserable. If infidelity is the reason for the divorce get tested for STDs as soon as possible. God loves you, wants the best for you, and for your soul to be saved. Get up everyday with a positive mission; "Today is going to be a great day!" Fake it until you start living and believing it. I was married for 13 years and my spouse cheated multiple times. When I get lonely, doubt myself, or cry, I re-read my journal and it reminds me of why I am divorced. I deserve better! I love myself! God loves me and I can count on him. In Jesus name, Amen. ~ Vivan ~
My best advice is to find a good church and get plugged into it through Sunday school, etc. Try to find a class that is interactive and involves prayer requests/praise on a regular basis. The next thing that has helped me is DivorceCare. I am going through mine at my church for the second time and will probably do it again. Each class has bonded really well and we depend on each other for support. We plan activities together and call each other regularly. Do not isolate yourself and push yourself to make as many same-sex relationships as possible. I personally have found my most important strength in prayer and scripture. I ask God to allow me to feel His presence and to restore my joy and He has never failed to do so. ~ Jeri ~
I would say to PRAY! Love yourself!--and reach out. You are beautiful, and you need you most of all. Live in the moment--that's all we have. Get into a 12-step program, even if you are not an alcoholic. The steps will guide you, and others who live by them are there to help. Walk don't run and remember, you will find love again if you choose. "If it's to be, it's up to me!" ~ Lisa ~
Surround yourself with beauty; people, poetry, art, nature etc. You don't have to be rich to do this; you can go to the library, a gallery or a park. Protect your light/inner child as they are a precious part of you that will shine when the healing is done. When it's really hard just remember to eat, sleep and exercise or break time into one day/hour/minute at a time. Plan things to look forward to with those you trust. Love yourself and do whatever you can to prevent your thoughts from contaminating your spirit. Don't scare yourself! When the demons start to dance, just notice and observe them but don't hand over your power. Be grateful that you have the resources to break free and even if you are alone and grieving tonight, at least you aren't living a lie or walking on eggshells anymore. You are perfectly safe and it will take time for you to adjust to your new beginnings and really feel that. The Universe loves courage and when you leap the net will appear. You are who you believe you are so believe that you are a strong, beautiful and successful woman! ~ Kathy ~
If you can look in the mirror and know you did your best then you can stand tall and proud. Keep your children the priority and never be disrespectful to their father. Even when you want to scream out loud! Don't let him drag you down to his level. Keep repeating this to yourself! It takes time, but the days get better and better. ~Kim~
All I want to say is "Thank you Eckhart Tolle." His book, The Power of Now, has made a world of difference in my life. Nothing else helped, but this book did. ~ Ann ~
Free yourself from the bondage of evil that you carry around living inside your soul. You must crave, want and f---ing take control of yourself. With God as my warrior hero, I tell myself each and everyday........I AM WOMAN......HEAR ME FREAKIN' ROAR!!! ~Mighty Mary~
Try to distract yourself, do not let your memories, unanswered questions, or deep sense of loss ruin the rest of your life. You are the one who controls your thoughts. Choose to think about positive future plans and things that need to be done to make your life happier. Distracting yourself whenever the negative thoughts come is a miracle solution. I am 100% sure that by doing this there comes a time when you realize it does not hurt anymore. ~Rara~
Try to help others that may be going through the same situation. When you help others heal, you heal as well. ~ Jeanine ~
It's not your fault. It takes two to make a marriage work, and you can learn from this. Put yourself first. Take things slow and don't give up on love. Everything happens for a reason. Live life to it's fullness. ~ Zander ~
I moved about 30 minutes away, with the kids. We joined a new home-school group, started making new friends, etc. I have also started learning how to be my own friend. ~ Jody ~
If you have to move out of your house--find a place of your own if you can. Don't stay with friends or family. You can't work through the emotions continually surrounded by others. I have been divorced now for 6 months and staying with family. I am just now dealing with all the emotions, fooling myself these past 6 months that I can handle all this on my own. I would be 6 months ahead emotionally if I had found a place of my own. Rely on friends and more important talk to God. Ask for guidance and know that he loves you. He, of everything in this world, will never change. ~Terri~
Look at this time as an opportunity to restart your life, but on your terms. Take time to look to the future and think about what you really want (not what you think others expect you to be or do) and come up with a vision of your ideal new life. Then ask yourself "how" you can achieve that. Take one step at a time but take action every day towards your new life. I'm starting out on this journey and it can be hard to stay positive and focused on your goals but believe me it works and will transform your life. ~ Cassie ~
Don't allow others to make light of your situation. Don't lose your morals, ethics and values. Continue to use your brain where men tend to be "needy" when it comes to sex, women tend to wait and heal before venturing into the sensation of the matter. Allow the tears, anger, hate and rage to all come out. Don't laugh unless you feel like laughing. When people say that to me, it is a joke to even begin to think anything is funny. Go at your own pace and heal from the inside out. Find your faith, I know it leaves because I am once again looking for mine. Make your life a lesson for yourself to learn by in the future, it is a God given mechanism that resets us to move on eventually. ~Gayla~
I would tell her to always choose happiness. Life may not give you choices sometimes, or not the ones you hope for. But no matter what, you can always choose happiness over sadness, hurt, anger, or despair. ~Kim ~
I would tell her to be strong and pray a lot. Believe and affirm that you will be fine. Soul search and find the woman you was when you married him. She will be the one to pull you through this. ~ Ines ~
You are not the first and the last woman who has ever gone through a painful divorce. Just look around you and see all the strong women who survived and overcame the emotional grief associated with divorcing. Remember that no one else can make you happy but yourself. Forgive yourself if you have to and don't blame yourself if you did everything you could do to save your marriage. You lived your life once before your ex, you will be able to live it again without him and still be the better for it. ~ Diana ~
Be brave, be true to yourself and be strong. It is the hardest thing a woman could ever go through - letting go of her past life and all her hopes and dreams. Believe in yourself, believe that you deserve happiness, and believe that you will find it again. ~ AnJul ~
In my case, the best advice I received was to put one foot in front of the other ... literally. There were many mornings I could not get out of bed because I was so upset, hurt, and depressed. I learned to not take it day by day, not hour by hour, but literally one footstep at a time. I had to conscientiously place one foot in front of the other. Divorce is like a death and while you are "mourning" you must remind yourself - and make yourself - walk towards the future. Never look back unless you plan on going that way. ~ Jamie ~
I am newly divorced after 20 years of marriage and I would say the best advice I could give is do whatever you can to empower yourself. Put yourself in the best financial position possible, refinance, sell your home. The burden of finances can take a serious toll on how you feel about your life. I am in the position now after refinancing that I can support myself and my two sons comfortably. I have to pay back family, lawyer and debt but it is manageable. Now I feel I can breathe easier. Every day I thank God for my blessings, and pray for others also. Each day gets better and I get stronger. ~ Jan ~
Look in the mirror daily and tell yourself: I am a good person. I am beautiful inside and out. I deserve happiness in life. I will move forward in my life and stop looking back. I made the right choice. I have no regrets. ~ Kim ~
I was married for 33 year and 4 children. Loved with all my heart and found out he was cheating. 4 year divorce. I am finding out who I am and what I need to be. I had to write notes to remember to brush my teeth, eat and take a shower. I lost so much weight I looked like a skeleton. I found joy in my new grandchildren. Movies, friends and I am going to get through this. Penniless, but I have my integrity, and a new life ahead of me. I can do anything I want. Life is to short to think I am worthy of anything less than happiness for myself. I never knew I was a fighter until I went through this. I am fighting for me! I gave up myself for my husband and my children. It is a real eye opener, when I didn't even know what I liked to do! I do now. Anything I want! ~ Karen ~
LAUGH! and learn from it. Sounds like the last thing we feel like doing, but the power of humor lies in making us see something from a different perspective. While the courts may use logic, the emotions of divorce defy it. Humor seeks out those cracks and fissures in "the process" that have us all dwelling on "the case." Look at the absurdities--in your ex, in yourself, in the lawyers or judge--and find the humor in them. It may start with mean jokes--did he put on thirty pounds and you wonder when the baby's due? Did you pour your coffee in the granola and milk in your coffee cup? Tease your kids, sing stupid lyrics to old songs in a silly voice. When you make them laugh and they see you laughing, they will feel better (and so will you!) Break out with laughter and you're breaking out of a pattern of sadness, if only for that moment. And from that moment, it gets easier to break out of it again and again. When you laugh, the friends that are worried about you also feel a moment of accomplishment--and probably relief. They need that reward, too. ALL is not a burden, ALL is not really about "the situation" of divorce. By seeking out ways to laugh, you also seek out new ways to see the world and new ways to be grateful for being in it. Laughter is free, abundant, healthy and transforming. Make yourself do it if you have to, but do it--and everything else becomes a little easier. LAUGH! ~ Laura ~
You are a strong, beautiful, loving woman that only asked for honesty and love out of your partner. The mind has a tendency to only remember the good because the pain is too much to handle. So tell your girlfriend that you trust every emotion you experience. These emotions are raw and need to be discussed out loud. Divorce is a dirty word, but not your dirty little secret. It's time to put you and your children first. He just proved if you don't, no one will. Stay strong...one second at a time. ~ Staci ~
Take time to recover. Don't look for a replacement person, mourn and then move on. It is not pleasurable at the start, but it is OK to be sad/mad. Don't wallow - just pick yourself up, brush off the yuck and exhale. A good friend who listens and is there for you is a blessing. Be sure to remember to thank her when you start to heal. ~ Mia ~
Don't do what I did. I got divorced and started to have too much fun with new friends. Long long long story cut very short. At 43 I found myself giving birth to a baby fathered by a guy that was only 2 years older than my oldest child. The relationship did not work out and now I am raising a child on my own. The father does not help out with money or any other part of being a parent. And now that I am in my 50's it's next to impossible to find a man my age willing to commit because I have a ten year old. ~ Kim ~
The biggest advice I would give is not to become involved in a new relationship until you have healed. Our mistakes come when we allow ourselves to be co-dependent on a relationship for the sake of happiness. I believe strongly, in rebound situations. I am a 43-yr-old woman who has been divorced for over three years and separated for over four years. I am still not completely healed and it shows when I try to date. Since divorcing, I have finished my bachelor's degree and am now working on a master's degree. I was a stay-at-home mom for years and this has hurt me in the way of finding jobs. But I remain positive that my time is coming. The "easiest" solution would have been to fall into another trap of a relationship but in the long run, it would have been the worst thing I could have done. I give myself so much credit for sticking it out and getting through day to day. I am extremely close to my three little boys, and I feel I've been a good role model because I haven't given up nor have I looked for the easiest solutions. It does get easier and you actually begin to love your freedom and having your life to yourself. Someday the right person will come into my life...but only when I'm completely right with myself. ~Melissa~
The longer you stick to healing yourself and finding you again the better chance you will have in meeting a person to compliment your life not smother or just be your life period. Always remember to have your own interests and don't give things up to get a man to like you. And don't do things either for same reason. Men will not respect you. Be comfortable kicking it with you and you'll find you're never bored in life. If you rush things you'll end up in a relationship just like the last bad one. We repeat behaviors cuz it's all we know. You have to heal and that takes time. Getting to know you again is worth the wait. Don't wait too long though. We all need to care for others and feel loved. ~Kymy~
My husband and I were having problems for awhile. I moved out in January and was divorced by July. I was friends with this guy before I separated and right after I moved out, we jumped into a relationship. We have been together for 10 months now and he is totally in love with me and is awesome to my kids and me. I have never in my life meant anyone so great. However, I was still getting over my ex-husband and didn't give myself time to work though all the emotions. Unfortunately, he is now 10 steps ahead of me and I couldn't feel the same way towards him. So I'm saying, please please wait to move on because you might find a great guy and it will not work because your stuck dealing with finding yourself. ~Susan~
Be aware of your vulnerability. A new "love" won't allow you to heal, instead it will confuse your emotions, and you will find yourself lost and hurt AGAIN. Take your time to know you again. You belong to you and this is a good opportunity to refresh your knowledge about your needs, desires, dreams and goals. Embrace your freedom and get close to who gives you life, your God. Be proud of you, be humble, kind and smile ALL the time. Play with your eye makeup and let your eyes show joy and optimism. Your spirit is your responsibility and no one has control over it but you. Make the best of everyday and be thankful for your experiences despite of their context. Give a smile to an ugly time. It is the best way to defeat the bad. May God give you strength and wisdom during and after your difficult journey. Again be a PROUD woman, and walk tall. ~Tonia~
We are so emotionally raw before, during and after a divorce. You will be quite vulnerable, meaning that you may find yourself spending time with others who do not have your best interest in mind. You may have lost your female intuition, you are not safe in your own hands.
There exist "BUZZARDS". They hover around women like us. We are the prey, they can pick us out of a crowd, they can look up our marital status via county court records, learn of our situation just by listening local gossip, possibly see our names which may be listed on a prayer list. The Buzzards are charming, homing in on your mixed up emotions, low self esteem, sexual insecurities and/ or lack of sex.
My "BUZZARD" was a contractor, who said soothing words. He could read me like a book, hence I felt wanted, needed, young, sexy and so on. I knew I had gained a new and caring male friend. He would hold me in his arms and whispering exactly the words I longed to hear. He helped repair my home, so I thought. Always "there" for me, in the beginning, when I had a plumbing emergency or the air conditioner was on the blink. I learned to "trust" a man, once again. Within a few months he had me where he wanted me: I was solidly hooked, he had control of my emotions, my time, my mind and my body. I had the best sexual encounters of my lifetime. Oh my..
Now it is time for me to end the affair with a man who is not well in the mind, who exploits women to to satisfy his neediness and exercise his sexual prowess. Let it be known that my friends led me to his business. The "tool-man" lives just around the corner, is in a long time marriage, a father and grandfather, a liar, a womanizer, drinks too much, and goes to confession and mass with his family! My advise to all women: if there is any reason for a stranger/man to be in your home, keep small talk to the minimum, do not discuss the aspects of your divorce or private life (the more information he can gain from you, the easier it is for him to manipulate you for a sick and cheap thrill.) He is messing with a fragile person and you are paying for his services as he repairs your house and using you sexually! These men are evil. Please have a trusted friend over for coffee while a potential BUZZARD is working you and on your property. You give these invasive guys a few hours alone with you-Watch Out! Stay safe and mindful at all times. Ask God for protection, I did not. ~Patricia~
Realize that your identity has just been rocked. It takes time to rebuild yourself and find out what your values are all about. Don't rush into a relationship, enjoy the time as a single. Remember you kids are hurting as much as you are, maybe more. Love them and let them know you are not going anywhere. Let go of your ex with light and love, no matter how hard it is to do this. Forgive yourself, ask the universe why is this happening and what do I need to learn from this. ~ Cyndi ~
I was married for 20 years, then while I was going through my divorce, I met another person that made me think things would be different than in my marriage. Big mistake!!! Now I am in a bigger mess than before because we bought a house together. My advised to you its wait!! Wait until you heal. Go through the normal path a divorced person should go. Wait before you jump into another relationship. Find who you really are. I started with group therapy. Its hard, but I have to do it, and I will move forward. ~ Alma ~
When you are going through a divorce, have patience with yourself. If you are a stay at home Mom like myself you will feel over whelmed with figuring out child care, finding a job, how will you be able to afford to live on your own, and on top of that cope and accept the divorce. Only tackle 1-2 things at a time and be patient with yourself. You will have days where all you can do is lay down and cry. Give yourself 20 minutes to do that and then tackle one of your major issues. Give yourself time. The situation that has resulted in your divorce didn't happen overnight and figuring out all of your life will not happen overnight. ~ Tracey ~
If you have been cheated on, don't automatically blame yourself. Even if you are an older woman, you must know that you have a special beauty, inside and out. Although you may feel desperate to prove that or feel that again, do not rush into new relationships or sexual encounters. Work on feeling whatever it is that comes to you no matter how painful instead of trying to find relationships to anesthetize the pain or distract you. Use the time to truly learn to love yourself. Easier said than done. ~ Johnette ~
Stick close to those who love you! Talk Talk and Talk as many times as it takes to make those feelings and emotions come out. Be in touch with yourself, trust and love yourself. And happiness starts to creep back in slowly. It takes time and there is no set process only that some days are good and some days are bad. Its a roller coaster that will eventually stop and you will find the strength to see the positive in this situation. This too shall pass! ~ Phyllis ~
DIVORCE; the only healer is TIME, nothing else. It's up to you and no one else, and that's a tough one to swallow. I would never be who I am today if this had never occurred. Don't rely on friends to much, they do have another life and so will you when you are there. Good Luck and God Bless. ~ Phyllis ~
One day it will get better. You find that you are more than capable of giving yourself all that you looked to another to give you. That includes love and feeling worthy of a happy ever after. ~ Shanna ~
Anger keeps you tethered to the other person and is truly more harmful to YOU! Anger masks the other emotions we must name; shame, sadness, fear, regret, disappointment, sorrow, despair... whatever it is. Once you name it you can tame it; or at least acknowledge it and work through it. Understanding you're NOT a victim and this all happened THROUGH you and not just TO you is empowering. Work it, Girl! ~ Susan ~
I have been married for over 23 years. I slowly realized my life was being lived like my mother's, grandmother's, and the family line of unspoken expectations. I now did not have to "accept" my relationship and unhappiness by over-riding my inner wisdom. I took a stand last year and now I listen to my inner wisdom. I am grateful for all the wonderful supports in my life. My divorce will be finalized in the next couple of months, if not before. It has been a long difficult process, but well worth the efforts to become healthy, vibrant, and authentic. ~ Colleen ~
If there was an infidelity on your part or theirs after many years of faithfulness, don't beat yourself up thinking it was your fault because of your mistake or his wanting someone else. An infidelity after years of faithfulness isn't about one or the other being a cheater or a liar. In this situation, it is a huge red flag of other problems in the marriage that were building to that point. So when soul searching, please forgive yourself or him for that and concentrate on what was happening before the affair. If it was your act, you will be able to forgive yourself more readily as you will know whether you did or didn't have an affair you were heading in the same direction. If it were his act, you will not blame yourself for not being attractive or valued. This will help in understanding, healing, forgiving, and moving on. God Bless You All. ~Ellen~
Give yourself the advice that you would give your children if they were going through a painful situation like this. It is so easy to hold yourself up to unrealistic expectations, and not forgive yourself for trying to better your own life. Anytime I start falling down this hole, I talk to myself like I would my child. I find it to be the most honest form of therapy. It is not easy... but it helps. ~ Brandy ~
Take time each day to meditate and clear your mind. There is so much going on in the first few months following a divorce. Fear weighs heavily and comes at you out of the blue. It can be very debilitating. This causes you to want your "old life" back. You start to doubt yourself and wonder if it was wrong to leave. It is only human to want to be in a familiar place, but you made a decision to leave your marriage for a reason. So take time to be still, count all the blessings in your life, feel gratitude and imagine all the happiness you wish for. And spend time with friends who you can open your heart to. One day at a time. ~ Donna ~
It may feel like you are losing control and all you want is your old life back, sometimes this life change is a hard pill to swallow; but you have to, if you are to heal inside and go on. Do not wait for your ex to have a sudden change, it is not going to happen; he is not you. YOU are now in control, take the first step to freedom and carry you fear with you; let it go once you have taken that first step. You own fear is controlling you, just like the man in you life did. You are better than him and you are the greatest person every created. ~ Sam ~
Something that helped me was downloading a couple of self hypnosis MP3s. They are actually more meditation than hypnosis, with relaxation and positive suggestions read to you by a soothing voice. One that has helped me was about accepting and feeling the pain, and knowing by feeling it I would be freeing myself from it. I actually felt better right away, not 100% but noticeably. There are many on the Internet, some specific to divorce and moving on. ~ April ~
I have never experienced such overwhelming despair, fear and doubt in all my life. Worse than a death because of the feelings of betrayal and paralyzing fear of abandonment. You truly feel you can not go through it because the pain is so intense. Remember that you are not alone and that the pain you are feeling is the necessary evil for you to move to a better and more joyous level. It is a metamorphosis to say the least. There is nothing you want more than to numb the pain or avoid it all together but know that what you resist, persists. The sooner you face your fears and allow your emotions to surface the sooner you become that beautiful free butterfly. It is so hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel but know that if you keep walking forward you will finally reach the end and will step right into your new beginning. This experience has taught me more about my strengths as well as my fears and has given me a whole new outlook on my life. Surround yourself with good friends and positive books to keep your mind off the negative drowning thoughts. Just take one day at a time and never punish yourself for not moving faster through this. Be patient with yourself and grant yourself mercy and forgiveness. ~ Cathi ~
I don't think there is one rule to follow. I think everyone going through a divorce has different emotions and anger, but I do know that the feelings of doubt, anger sadness, guilt, worry, worthlessness, the questions or even unanswered questions are never ending. I think that everyone goes through different stages, some days are terrible some days are ok, some days are good, and some days are not so good. The feeling of "am I doing the right thing?" clashes with the feeling of "yes I am doing the right thing". Your past, your future, is in question, and your dreams and your nightmares are a day to day thing. There are so many emotions you think you are going mad. The sleepless nights become such a habit your body clock is a mess. Then you start to look at yourself and think oh my goodness how did I allow myself to end up like this? How will I ever love again, how will I ever trust again? Who will ever love me again? I just don't have a magic answer. I read advise, I listen to people tell me I'm strong, I deserve better, I will be ok, but it doesn't stop my fears or hurt. I believe the only way forward is day by day, baby steps into a new world. Learn to be confident and learn to smile again. There is no time or date you know you will be happy again that you can aim for. It is a path we must walk down. When the sun shines and we feel its warmth, when we feel safe, when we feel comfortable, when our head stops swimming with the questions, then I think that will be the sign we are on our journey home to normality. Time is a great healer; peace is a great friend...I'm sure we will find them. But first we must fight though our wilderness of loss. We have to face our unhappiness and all of the above emotions and then we are ready to begin to live again. You are not alone; there are many of us who lay in our beds at night and feel so utterly lost. We will find ourselves again, it will just take us time, and I'm sure there will come a day when we awake to feel the sun's warmth and feel we've made it, we have come through one of the hardest journeys of our life, now lets enjoy the rest.. ~ SANDRA~
Follow the advice of Sandra, in the article above. I give her credit for being able to put everything in perspective because that is exactly how I feel. An added thought would be to trust in God at all times. ~ Marilyn ~
I was married for 28 years to a man I did not know at all. He made me believe it was all my fault and caused me great distress emotionally. Mentally I thought I would loose it many times, but I had to remember I have 3 children and a granddaughter that need me. Church and worship with my Lord has been my strength to carry on. Remember , you are stronger than you think and the world needs you in it. ~ Annie ~
Take it one day at a time, and try to never dis your ex in front of the children, because when you dis your ex, in front of the children, it does harm them. ~ Alice ~
For me, I have found that taking one day at a time is the best thing to do. It has been over whelming for me, but you have to keep your head up high. Your children still wake up each day and look up to their mother, be strong, and show them that you can do it. Just realize there will be happiness around the corner. Everyone has their rough spots to go through. This is definitely one of mine. ~ Brandy ~
Above anything else, protect the children. This is hard at times, as you are going through so much pain and emotional changes every day, but when you start to heal you will be ok. But, if you have behaved badly towards your ex, the impact on the children will be everlasting. He is their father and there love is for both of you. So try and go through this with kindness and dignity and the children will come out as least effected as possible. After all, they did not choose this to happen. All they want is their parents to love one another. Even though this may not be possible, the least we can do is show kindness and respect for their sakes and our own. ~ Debbie ~
I would advise a newly divorced woman with children teenage or younger to consider carefully how she conducts herself and that she continue to provide a good example for her children, especially if her ex-husband has turned out to not be a good role model. By all means go on dates or start relationships but, until you have the approval of your children, make sure that the boyfriend does not stay over and is not always there. Remember your children will always be there, whereas a new relationship may not last. This way your children will respect you as well as love you and, what more could you ask for? ~ Carole ~
I had been with my husband 35 years, we have 2 sons. I always thought it's was better to have a father figure around for them...but the truth is my ex never wanted a family...and my son's watched me settle and put up with taking all kinds of crap...and now I fear they will do the same in their relationships, because it is true you teach people how to treat you. So don't let that be your children's lesson...it is much better to let them see their Mom as a strong, independent person. Lucky for me as my sons are "legally" adults. I was able to break all ties with their "father" but initially he would call try to drag me down the path of it is my fault...my favorite phrase then to him was…"is this really the conversation you want to have with me?" We are done so I don't have to hear it any more....Move on...don't dwell...and know you are the only person you can control and truly rely on...so rely on yourself. ~Cindy~
If you find yourself allowing your ex husband into your life after he wanted out, check your price tag. Perhaps you have marked yourself down. Get off the clearance rack! You tell people what you are worth by what you allow. ~Diane~
What advice would you give to a woman who's newly divorced? I just got divorced a month ago. Although I left him because he was abusive, it was very painful. I had to truck forward with the divorce. I fought every ounce of the urge to return. I put a front up in his presence. He contacted me and at first I responded. When I stopped responding, he tried to act nice. Then he got mean. Now he has no way to get in contact with me. I was depressed and almost went down the same old path of destruction. I woke up one day and decided the best way to get back at him was to succeed. Better yet I owe it to myself to have a better life. My advice is to try the no contact method. If you must contact each other due to children, keep it based on just that. If he looks good, remember why you left him. A year before my divorce, I left for 3 months and returned. During my return he was so nice and then he got so mean. He was worse than before I left. I am starting to heal. I wanted to date another guy however I am still wounded. I will wait and work on me. ~ Tina ~
Stop calling your ex constantly especially when it has nothing to do with kids and mainly if he is in a new relationship. ~Dana~
Stop and listen to your soul. It is never about you when he goes to another woman. It tends to be about him and how he may want to 'impress' a younger person with all he knows. It is about manipulation. Pray, forgive him, live like YOU. Look to the sky and think, "I am ok"! Next, prove it. ~Cindy~
If he decided to leave you - that's about him, not you. Maybe he can't cope with getting older and thinks a new young floozy will make him feel young. Maybe he's just totally self-centered. But whatever, it's not about you. Being nicer/thinner/prettier/a better cook or whatever would have made no difference, because it's him that's a mess not you. And anyway, you're a wonderful, fully human woman not a cardboard cutout. Feel sad for him and for yourself. You may very well feel scared, lonely, rejected right now - lots of us do. But keep reading all this advice and know that your life is going to become a fulfilling, 3D, technicolor adventure, not the flat, gray business it was, constrained by being married to someone who had ceased to appreciate you. Love and blessings to us all. ~Jay~
I personally found help through a professional counselor. She helped me rationalize that I was the normal individual in our marriage. My husband and I were high school sweethearts who had been together for 14yrs. We had been through so much together and we would always talk about how that made our marriage so strong. However, driving home one day he called me and asked for a divorce over the telephone. Looking back I see how much of a coward he was and that this was his decision and that this had nothing to do with me. He placed so much blame on me that everything was my fault, etc. This however was just his way of justifying all the lies and deceit that had been going on behind my back. We were in the process of starting a family and I thank God that we did not because the more time that has passed since our divorce I have seen how normal my family is versus the dysfunctional family he grew up in. I know personally you get tired of hearing that it just takes time and everything happens for a reason, but it truly does. It's just a day by day thing. I have learned to truly love myself again, renewed old friendships, strengthened current ones, become closer to my own family, and the most important for myself I have strengthen my relationship with God. I now see the things I do want in a relationship and what is healthy and unhealthy. The one comment that sticks in my mind now is that " you marry at the level of your self-esteem, your self worth.". I one hundred percent believe that and yea I have moments where I do think about my ex, but then I just start to think "wow....look how far I have come and grown emotionally." Without this enduring time I would not have become the much stronger woman I am today. So it's important to journal your thoughts and just go talk to someone. Don't hold all the resentment, sadness, and anger in. Get it out for the betterment of yourself! ~Rebecca~
Don't show your ex that you are weak. They feed on that to make themselves look good. Show your strength with a smile on your face, even though it may be fake. Next keep a journal and go back once in a while to see how far you have come along and become. ~Margaret~
I finally had enough, twenty years into our relationship. We saw it through to the bitter end and I do mean bitter. The good thing about this is that there are few regrets. We have been forced to continue living together until all the financial arrangements are sorted out. But this has meant that we have worked through all the nasty 'just after' stuff because we have HAD to, for the sake of our children. We both have a "children first" attitude and are both looking forward to our futures, but have managed to remain friends as that bit of our relationship was worth salvaging. He has even been on a date! The best thing about splitting up with him has been letting go of all the petty and deep resentments. They are caused by him and they can go with him. My life is mine again and for the first time in a decade, I am looking forward to the future. We have to be amicable as one of our children is disabled and we will have to be in contact for the rest of our lives. Cutting ties completely is not a possibility. But at the start of every evening, I will shut MY front door and he will be on the other side of it. ~Sarah~
Trust the decision you made to file for divorce and when things get tough just remind yourself of why you decided to get divorced in the first place. Forgive your ex spouse for the wrongs and in the process you will be freed of all the negative emotions. Embrace the God given opportunity you have to rediscover yourself again and stay at the feet of the Lord. ~Lynn~
Do NOT trust your future ex to handle the details, no matter how good of a friend he says he wants to be. Since my ex husband was a divorce lawyer whom I'd known since my childhood, I had no reason to believe that he would do me any harm -despite what my friends and family told me- and let him take care of everything. And did he ever! I won't go into details, but I had to go through several rounds of "I told you so's" (pick your support group wisely to avoid this pitfall as well) and go through a second round of betrayal. But it taught me that I had to look out for myself, and know that I will never be fooled like that again. Be actively involved, question documents, inquire about court dates, support amounts, penalties for non-payment. Don't take anything for granted. It's a hard thing to do, but it will save you from the calorie-laden dish of crow you may have to eat if things go wrong. ~Raven~
I found out my husband was cheating on me. I have a 3yr old and a 1yr old little boy, and I went thru anger and hurt. But then something clicked. I told him I forgave him and we could still be friends. I wanted my kids to see I was a good person and could still love their dad 'as a friend'. I didn't have time to hold onto anger, as it would only get the better of me...and I felt so strong for that. It also made me realize I shouldn't waste another second wanting this man back. I'm a good person and I deserve a good life...not one full of lying and cheating...its not how I want to spend the one journey on this earth. I want to be happy 100% of the time, and I want my children to see me that way also. You weren't always with this man, so remember your life before him and get that strength back to carry on in life... and maybe one day you'll realize the universe was doing you a favor and you could end up so much happier than you ever thought! ~ Bec ~
I was married for 38 years and it was my children who opened my eyes to his cheating. After trying to "work it out" for 6 months, I filed 1 week ago and am so glad I did. You can't "work it out" with a lying sociopath. Every day is a new eye opener into his true character. Read all the advice above over and over. I did even before I filed, and it helps. I'd love to meet some of those women. I am in absolute awe of their honesty, integrity, and good sense. Thank you so much for taking the time to help those of us who need it so much at this time. ~ D'Ette ~
As hard as it may seem, try to empathize with your spouse, not condone, just try to understand their reasons for wanting a divorce, and take your ego out of the equation, realize that this is them, not you. Don't let their decisions or actions make you feel like you've done something wrong. ~ Carrie ~
Its hard to resist the temptation to keep in contact under the premise of just being "friends" because you're scared to cut this person you once loved completely out of your life. But cutting contact completely really is the only way to move forward. If you feel the need to talk to him, write it down in a journal, write 'letters' to him getting all your feelings out without actually sending them. Most importantly, its true that you really need time to heal (at least 12 months) to get the past one out of your system and begin anew, before beginning a new relationship - otherwise you are just going to unwittingly project your dynamics with your old partner onto someone knew who deserves a whole/real you. Your future partner doesn't deserve to be the person you use to resolve all your past hurts...heal yourself before you begin the next (happier) chapter of your life! ~ Gabrielle ~
When you are newly divorced you tend to think "What is he doing?" "Where is he at?" Is he seeing someone new?" DO NOT think like that because you will drive YOURSELF CRAZY! Think about what is going on in your life; the new you, you are creating. ~ Heather ~
Set boundaries for your relationship with your ex. SOOO much easier said than done but it's hard enough without going down the same roads while you are trying to heal. ~ Caroline ~
Out of sight and out of mind is my favorite policy. Also the more you stir crap, the more it will stink. My husband left me for another woman and I was devastated. But I picked myself up for my daughter and totally alienated myself from anyone and everything that we shared if I could. ~ Just Me ~
If you have any advice that you would like to pass on to other women to help them make sense of everything and move on, please use the form at the bottom of this page.
You can also find inspiration for moving on after divorce in the following articles: