Divorce can be like a flight. You sign up for two round trip tickets, get everything in order for the journey, pay all the necessary fees (i.e. an expensive wedding), plan your adventure together, go through the hoops of boarding, take off, make it to the first leg of the excursion, then one party takes it upon himself or herself to jump midair, or cause you to have to flee before reaching the final destination. What the world?!?!?
One of the toughest parts of divorce, for me, was dealing with the fact that the rest of my life could possibly be spent solo. I did not sign up to fly solo!!!
Having gone through several “this clearly is not the one for you, nor are you the one for him” dating relationships, entering one that finally lead to marriage, one that I thought would be forever and ever amen, realizing that it wasn’t was like a 1980’s karate movie chop to the gut. It hurt, and scared the beef stew out of me! Having grown up with two loving parents in my home, who, as of 2013 when this post for posted celebrated 43 years of marriage, the thought of never being married NEVER crossed my mind. (By the way, in the words of that clip from In Living Color, two years since this post and “they still together”) The thought of divorce absolutely NEVER even entered my mind.
But it happened and here I am, hosting a facebook page titled “I’m More Than What Happened” for persons who have experienced separation and divorce, and the ones who love them and what to do about “flying solo” seems to be a resounding topic.
Never one to think I have all the answers, I do have a few lessons I’ve learned through others or on my own.
- Look at what you gained rather than what was lost.
- Learn from your mistakes, whether you were the person to leave or the one left (and especially if you were a mash-up of both).
- Move quickly into the healing process and take your time.
- Move slowly into the dating process and take your time.
- Let go of old dreams so new ones can come to life.
- Learn the new you all over again, and again, and again as you go through this less than swift process.
- Look for warning signs and repeat traits you may carry or attract as you move forward in dating.
- Make sure your emotions, especially those which pop up later on in the process, are directed to the right place and right people so they can be dealt with before destroying you.
- Don’t let the fear of “what if” (as in “what if” I never get married again) consume you. (One monkey, man or woman “don’t stop no show”.)
- Deal with delayed feelings that might surface or resurface as time and people (your ex-spouse or you) move on. And don’t harbor those feelings feeling like you’re a super hero. Wonder Woman and Super Man aren’t real. Get help.
- Help others as you heal so they don’t face the problems you’ve endured, or at least face it more empowered and encouraged.
- Don’t ever give up hope of better.
- Don’t be afraid to try again.
- Find the humor in it all. (Baby, let me tell you, divorce can produce some funny stories like you would not believe.)
- And if you are able to find a permanent companion to join you on a new journey make sure the right Pilot (GOD) is behind the wheel, buckle up, enjoy the ride, don’t be afraid of turbulence and focus not on what is behind you, but keep your sight set on what is ahead.