You’re trapped in a soul-crushing marriage that you can’t wait to leave. You’re tired of burying pieces of yourself in the rubble of a dead marriage. You’ve heard stories of divorced individuals who have found love and are now as happy as ever. It sparks hope within you.
You look forward to the day you’ll start a new life and find love again. Although a divorce can change your life for the better, there are little ugly truths that can make it difficult for you to recover from it and can leave you stuck in an unhappy future.
So before you walk away from your marriage, consider this brutally honest advice about divorce that no one no-one tells you.
You’ll be trapped in comparison
Let’s face it; at the very start of your relationship, you were attracted to your partner for good reasons. Perhaps they fulfilled your emotional and sexual needs, they knew just how strong you liked your coffee, or the right tie to match your suit.
When that relationship dissolves, and you enter another, it’s difficult not to compare the good aspects of your ex with your current partner. You end up with a mental checklist that you expect your new partner to meet, based on your relationship with your ex. If you’re not careful, this comparison game can push your current relationship over the cliff.
The way to overcome this is to focus on the strengths of your partner. Which things
does she do excellently? What made you choose her out of the many people out there? Sure, she may not match your outfits the way your ex did, but she might be an excellent cook. Focus on that instead.
Divorce will push you right back
Starting a new life after a divorce is like standing in the middle of a hurricane. You have to position yourself right so that you don’t make another mistake in your next relationship. This is precisely why it can take you years to find someone who feels right.
In fact, you might not know where or how to meet this person.
And when you eventually meet that special someone, you’ll need to work hard to earn their trust. The truth? Most people are skeptical about dating a divorced person – much less marrying them. You have to be open to several rejections before you can finally find someone ready to build a life with you.
Also, assuming you want kids in your new relationship, after being in one for a long time, it can take you back to square one. You’ll have to be okay with bringing up kids at an older age. Meaning you’ll have to consider the effects of the age gap between you and your children.
It’s going to play a game of chess with your health
When my marriage crumbled to dust, insomnia hit me hard. Not surprising. Day by day, I’d lie in bed, tossing and turning till dawn, only to wake up with a throbbing headache. But insomnia isn’t the only way divorce can affect your health.
According to an article from Psychology Today, divorce can wreak havoc on your health by increasing stress and depression. It can also weaken your immune system and lower your life expectancy. Divorce can also cause extreme changes in weight.
When I got divorced, I lost heaps of weight, so much so that my friends become concerned. The opposite is also true. Those kilos can really add up if you are stressed — especially if you’re a stress-eater. The danger in this is that it exposes you to illnesses such as heart disease.
You’ll start to doubt yourself
The emotional toll that comes from a divorce can twist the knife on your mind, making you doubt yourself and your decision to end your marriage. In my case, there were numerous moments when the inner chatter of self-doubt, guilt, and regret was so loud in my head that I’d descend into a dark fluster of sadness.
These feelings are pervasive in the earlier stages of a divorce. These questions linger on your mind, endlessly; “Did I do my best to nurture my marriage? Did I throw in the towel too soon? What if I wake up one day and my life is worse than it is right now?”
In the words of Stewart Stafford,
“There’s only one thing worse than never having found love, and that’s finding it and having it taken away from you — then you truly know what you’ve lost.”
You might start feeling like a failure or unworthy of finding love again. And although you may not realize it, the self- doubt that arises from going through a divorce, can seep into other aspects of your life. You start to feel incapable of making important decisions in your life because you feel unsure of yourself.
You’ll suffer from an identity crisis
So, you’re newly divorced, where do you fit now? Do you hang out with your married friends? Single friends? The truth? It can be challenging to fit into your social circles because of the structure of their lives. They may have children and wives who demand their attention. You may no longer fit into their family events.
Not to say you can’t catch up with them occasionally, it just means you’re less likely to fit in. But that’s not all. Some friends may cut you off from their lives because, unfortunately, some people care too much about appearances to see past logic.
What about the tension with your children if you had any? Not to mention your in-laws who, by the way, might already hate you. And talking about in-laws, if you do decide to enter into another marriage, stop and consider that your new in-laws might hold you with skepticism and suspicion.
“Love is a journey and a destination — long and excruciating on the way, unexpected and ecstatic if found.”
― Stewart Stafford
Don’t allow your happiness to die on the hill of a soul-crushing marriage. Your life is way too valuable to be spent waiting for love that will never come. You deserve to find someone who’s ready to take the incredible journey of life with you.
But as you open yourself up to that person, remember these truths so that you can navigate the variable winds that you’ll encounter as you reach out for your new life.