All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another.
It seems as if we are living in the age of divorce, and if divorce had a middle name, it would be change. We are constantly changing, whether we are divorced, married or in a single state. The fact is if we don’t change and move in our lives we die. If you look at your life, there are several things that take place that will require changes. Marriage, birth of children, death in families and yes, divorce. Is one of those changes bigger or more important than another? Not necessarily, but living a life after divorce requires changes that you must tackle alone.
Change as a parent after divorce
When you become a parent, you put yourself and your wants, needs, and desires on the back burner and your life becomes the wants, needs, and desires of your children. It is natural and normal to do that, and we hold on to them as tightly as we can until they are adults and can make it on their own, sometimes not even letting go then.
As a divorced parent, you hold on even tighter because you don’t have your children all the time. A child needs both parents, and when those parents can’t live together, the children must face the change in their family unit, and as the parent, you have to be the strong one and help them through this change, while navigating your own change as a parent as well.
You have to let them go and trust that they will come back to you in one piece. You have to be solely responsible for them when they are with you. You have to play both roles when it is your time with them, and you have to try to make their lives as normal as possible despite the huge change that has happened to your household. You have to be available, present and accounted for. You have to be superhuman, and you will be superhuman because these are your children.
Change as a person after divorce
Changing as a person after divorce is inevitable. How can you remain the same when something so life altering has taken place? You were a unit – part of a team – and now you are single. You have to redefine your thinking and your way of life, your outlook and the way you operate.
These changes could be as surface as going out and getting a job for the first time in 10 years to as deep as trust issues, but the changes are there. These aren’t bad changes, but necessary changes to adjust to your new way of life. How do you adapt to these new changes? One day at a time.
If these changes are overwhelming, and they probably are, there is help that you can get. Whether it is financial or coaching, there are people who can help you navigate this new life. What is important to remember, is that this new life could be a better life, and that is up to you. Now, no one is in charge of you but you. Think of how empowering that is. The future lies in your hands, and you can make it as rosy or as glum as you choose.
Reread the quote about change by Anatole France at the top of this post, because if divorce had a middle name, it would be change.
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