When I made the decision to get divorced, I thought I had pretty much figured out what my life would be like after the papers were signed. Single parent. Working full-time. Every other weekend blissfully to myself.
Other than that, life would just go on much the way it had been going.
Boy, was I naive.
That first year had a really steep learning curve. And 10 years out, even after getting re-married, I'm still learning.
There were so many things I didn't know, and didn't even consider, when I got divorced. Things I really wish I had known before I became a divorcee. Not because they would have changed the outcome of my marriage but because it would have been nice to be forewarned.
So let me share with you some of the things that nobody tells you about life after divorce:
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1. It doesn’t matter how amicable your divorce is or if you were the one who initiated it, divorce flat-out sucks.
2. You will never feel like a "normal" family again. Even if you re-marry and do a great job of blending your new family.
3. You will have so much less of a say in parenting your children. And that will frustrate you.
4. Friends and family members will forever take sides. Even if adultery and abuse were involved.
5. People, even those you meet years after your marriage has ended, will look at you differently.
6. At some point, you will want to have sex. There will be plenty of people willing to set you up. Let them.
7. Money will always be an issue between you and your ex-spouse. Even if you have a lot of it.
8. Your children will find out at some point who initiated the divorce. And they will not be happy with that parent.
9. You will have frequent differences with your ex. After all, there's a reason you're not still together.
10. When you wake up in the middle of the night, one of the first thoughts to run through your head will be, "Are my kids here tonight?"
11. No matter how broken your heart may be, you will want to date at some point. Don't push yourself to get back out there too soon.
12. Do not, under any circumstances, bad-mouth your ex to your kids. Sometimes, it's really hard not to, but it'll come back to bite you in the butt.
13. Being divorced gets easier every single day.
14. You will miss some of your kids' lives. And that is sad. You'll do what you can to minimize this.
15. People will always want to know what went wrong the first time. Don't be surprised if one of their theories questions your ex-husband's sexuality.
16. You will still share a life with your ex after the papers are signed. In fact, it's just the beginning of a lifetime of shared experiences which will include graduations, birthdays, weddings, and even grandchildren.
17. Over time, you will tell your friends about the perks of divorce. The Thursday night date nights, the extended childless vacations, lazy weekend mornings. But deep down, you'll always be saddened by being away from your children. Until they're teenagers.
What else would be good to know about divorce?
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