You were working toward that “happily ever after,” only to have your dreams squashed. Maybe there was infidelity; maybe there was abuse. Whatever the reasons, divorce can feel like the end of the world.
But as you fumble through the dark trying to reorganize your life, it’s important to remember that there is an upside, a silver lining, to this new dark cloud. Here are a few positive things to look forward to in your future.
1. Regaining your confidence as an individual
No one enters a marriage expecting to get a divorce. As you grow together, the more you balance and anchor each other. When you go through a divorce, you lose that balance and anchor. You must re-learn to stand on your own again.
Learning to tackle life solely once again will help you find the confidence you need to move forward happily.
2. Following your own dreams and goals
What dreams did you put on hold to be a good spouse? Did you have to quit school? Did you have to move to a city you hate to further their career? Have you wanted to travel the world? Now’s your chance. You get to mark your own path from this point on.
3. Taking up as much space as you want in bed
This is pretty superficial — but you can hog the covers as much as you want. It’s your bed now.
4. Re-entering the dating pool
Some days, it will feel as though you’re walking through a den of wolves. Some days, you’ll seriously consider becoming a nun and a life of celibacy just to avoid navigating the rough waters of dating.
But other days, it will be an exciting endeavor. You’ve ended a serious relationship, and you’ve probably discovered more about what you want and need from a future one — like knowing you need someone who understands your sense of humor, or someone who isn’t a workaholic, or someone who’s more of a realist to combat your idealism. You’ll have learned more about how to build a great relationship.
5. Discovering who really stands by you
You’ll be surprised by who is supportive and who is not. Some people will make it clear that they are fair-weather friends. There will be those who choose sides and those who just don’t know what to say to you anymore. But some people will display new and welcomed levels of empathy and compassion. People will find ways to help you that you didn’t know you needed. In the end, you’ll discover that your true support system consists of those still standing by you.
6. Finding strength you never knew you had
This will build over time. You’ll find it the first time you make dinner for one; the first time you make a big financial decision without a spouse; the first time you kill a spider on your own; the first time you feel like you cannot possibly face the world today, but you do anyway. Each time you jump a hurdle you never thought you’d encounter, you realize your capacity to do hard things.
So embrace the change. Do your best to embrace the parts of the divorce process that are hard, but also embrace the parts that will help you through it. You will make it.