Moving On After Divorce

Moving on after divorce is vital to your well-being, but sometimes it can be daunting, especially if you were married for quite a while. When so much of your existence was tied with another person, it's easy to feel like a failure. But there is another way to look at your new life, as you will see from the article below by Laurie Cameron.


The idea for this article actually came from a conversation I had with my daughter a few years ago. I had always had an issue with the phrase "from a broken home". The negativity of it really bothered me.

When she was about 12 or 13, I asked her if she felt she was from a broken home. Without hesitation, she answered, "No Mom, it's not broken, it's just remodeled."

In that moment, my own perspective began to shift. I realized there was another way to perceive divorce - as a rearranging rather than as a total destruction. Yes, there were MANY aspects of my life that changed. And I was not very adept at managing so many changes at once. I had made the judgment that my marriage - my life! - was a total failure and a complete disaster. 

After my daughter's comment, I began looking more closely at the concept of remodeling. I thought about an actual remodeling project her dad and I had done in his mother's living room back in the early 1980's. It was a very small, turn-of-the-last-century house that she had lived in since the early 1920's. It was definitely time for a change.

She didn't want to do anything major, just enough to feel like the house was updated a bit. So we stripped and refinished the rich, beautiful wood trim, painted the walls a warm yellow-beige, replaced the ceiling light fixtures, installed a ceiling fan, and she chose carpet in the fall colors she loved.

When you are starting the process of moving on after divorce, it helps to remember that your life is not broken, it is only remodeled.

Regardless of whether you choose your divorce or not, divorce means it's time for a change. It's time to remodel. It's time to take a look at what needs to be stripped down and refinished, what needs to be renovated, what can to stay, and perhaps what should be torn down and totally rebuilt. Whatever kinds of changes your divorce requires, the key concept here is that YOU get to choose how your life gets rebuilt.

The biggest aspect of my own "remodeling" project after my divorce was clearly with my daughter. It was time to rebuild our family as a family of two. It was time to redefine and maintain the connection and communication with her dad, then with her step-mom. It was time to update my definition of being a mom - how I would most effectively be a full-time mom with part-time custody.

I was also required to remodel my professional life. It was time to go out and find regular employment after being a Domestic Engineer (aka Stay at Home Mom) since my daughter was born. I had to learn how to remodel my extended family life, too. They were still very close to my former husband and they valued maintaining that connection with him. I had to build the courage to respect and honor that.

My remodeling project also included my emotions, assumptions and expectations. Anger was particularly stubborn to strip away - it required a lot of elbow grease - before I could repaint my life with compassion. Fears that popped up like those little whack-a-mole critters needed to be exterminated. Most of them are gone, some still pop up occasionally; at least the infestation is more manageable.

And most of my previous beliefs about who I was (and wasn't) and what I could (and couldn't) do required almost complete demolition before being able to get to the truth about who I am and what I'm here to do.

I resisted these changes for many years. I focused way too much of my time, energy and attention on what was being demolished, lost or destroyed. Now, when I am able to see my divorce from the perspective of a remodeling project, I can step out of the muck and mire of the "disaster" emotions, and step into a more peaceful place of creative objectivity.

What I wish for you is the ability to step outside of your own emotions and begin focusing your energy and attention on creatively remodeling your life. Draw your own vibrant blueprints for a new life. Take time to carefully choose your own designs, colors and fabrics. Strip away the old window coverings and let the sun shine in and let your own light radiate out into the world.

Your life is not broken. It's just time for a change. 

Article by Laurie Cameron, CC, MCRC, from Happy After Divorce™, providing individual and group support to help you manage your separation and divorce recovery with integrity and confidence, and help you design your post-divorce life with purpose, direction and joy! Copyright 2005 - Article may not be republished, distributed or copied without prior written consent from the author.

Remodeling your life and moving on after divorce is the ultimate goal. These articles can help you get there: 

Today's Quote

This above all: To thine own self be true!
- Shakespeare