Life After Divorce: The #1 Thing Women Need to Know In Order to Love Again
I could see the pain behind her smile. We’d never really said more than a few words to each other until now. After the birth of my son, I needed someone to help take my daughter to preschool and she agreed to help. She was the perfect person–full of energy at 8 am–and my daughter felt safe and happy with her.
I knew she was a recent divorcee. After 30 plus years of marriage and two children, her husband had an affair and left her for “the other woman.” To say she was devastated was an understatement. But somehow she managed to make it through and start over.
It was the aftermath of the divorce that was overwhelming her: selling the house, dealing with the rental properties, trying to find a better minimum wage job, and living alone. The stress was too much and after two years of not needing sleeping pills, she begged her doctor to refill her prescription.
My heart went out to her and I started writing her little Thank You notes and encouraging letters to lift her spirit. She mentioned she’d like to go out on a date, but she hadn’t found anyone. She reminded me of many of the divorced sisters who write me and say,
My ex has moved on. Why can’t I? I thought I’d forgiven him. What’s wrong with me?
Nothing is wrong with you.
Dr. John Gray, the author of Mars and Venus Starting Over, said that after divorce, death or a bad break up, men tend to move on too fast. Women move on too late. What does that mean? Instead of taking the time to deal with all of the emotions that come with loss, men tend to rebound by looking for someone new. Women, on the other hand, tend to become busy taking care of everything –the kids, the house, even the ex. They spend so much time focused on everyone else’s needs, they become disconnected to their own needs for love and companionship.
It’s going to take courage to learn to love again after a divorce:
Courage to let yourself grieve the relationship you lost.
Courage to celebrate the good times of your marriage while acknowledging that something was broken and couldn’t be fixed.
Courage to let it all go.
Courage to give yourself permission to take care of yourself and put your needs first.
Courage to start over.
Courage to open your heart to love again.
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