Becoming a divorcee is not something we aspire to. In fact, the very word ‘divorce’ fills us with dread … usually with good reason. The process of a relationship breakdown is nothing if not stressful. Yet, once life has levelled out and you start to find your groove again, you may find there are some pleasant surprises that make your life easier, happier and more fulfilling.

Couples separate for a number of reasons, but most lead back to the fact that they are unhappy. The goal of the separation is to improve their lives and that of their children. However, often this goal can be almost forgotten in the drama and upset of the separation process. People lose sight of the bigger picture as they work through the practicalities and the finances, all whilst keeping the children happy and themselves sane. Is it any wonder that we feel life is getting harder, instead of easier?

Well, we are here to tell you that it will get better. Getting divorced is about taking a different path. Once the dust has settled you will have a new, different life which brings opportunities and experiences that you may not have envisaged.

If you’re in the midst of your separation and are wondering what it’s all for, here are some highlights you have to look forward to.

THE BENEFITS OF BEING DIVORCED

Be a better parent with happier kids

One of the main reasons many couples stay together as long as they do is for the kids. Yet, so often a parental separation will have a positive impact on your ability to parent. For one, a happy parent makes a good parent. Plus, as a sole parent or co parent you are able to follow your own parenting style … the one you are most comfortable with. Just because you are separated doesn’t mean you can’t be a great parent. Instead, you can role model what a healthy co-parenting relationship looks like, and one day your children will admire you incredibly for this.

Live a life with less conflict

One of the most pleasant changes you will notice, especially once your financial separation is complete, is a more peaceful life. Living with a partner who you don’t get along with can create a negative cloud of emotion that engulfs your home. It will affect not only the two of you, but your children also. A separation releases the pressure on your relationship and you are likely to feel more relaxed in your home, and with life in general. To live in conflict for a long period of time is unhealthy. It can cause you to experience anxiety, stress and depression. Imagine a life with less conflict and it will power you through your separation proceedings with renewed enthusiasm.

Create a better relationship with your ex-partner

You may snigger at this, but many ex-couples can build healthy friendships out of the remnants of their marriage. After all, you once loved each other, so the basis for ‘getting on as friends’ is already there. Yes, it may take a massive u-turn to reach this point, but it is reachable, and it provides such comfort and satisfaction, as well as making life easier in general. Getting on will allow you to co-parent together to the best of your abilities, which can only be a great thing for your children as transitions between homes are smooth and exchanges are pleasant and easy. As the trauma of your breakup becomes more and more insignificant, you may look at your ex and remember the things that drew you to them in the first place. Maybe that great sense of humour, their kindness or their intelligence. You must be open for this to happen, but it is possible, and it can be truly wonderful.

Focus completely on your own goals

When you are in a marriage or long-term relationship, especially when children are involved, it is normal to put your goals (or at least some of them) on the backburner. Not only that, you may find yourself following someone else’s goals i.e. your partners. This is all part and parcel of a marriage, but now you are no longer in a partnership, you can focus 100% on what ‘you’ want from life. So many single parents choose to retrain for a new career, travel or save a deposit for a home. You can set your own goals and no-one will hinder your pathway to reach them. This is an exciting feeling and one that many people don’t consider when planning to divorce.

Re-discover your friends and find new ones

One of the fallouts of divorce that may worry you, is losing your friends. And yes, this does happen in some sad circumstances when people choose to ‘takes side’. But are friends like this really worth having? Instead, look forward to re-connecting with old friends that have become distant during your marriage. There is also the opportunity to make new friends. It is not uncommon for single parents to stick together, linked by their shared experiences. If you are in need of help, whether practical or emotional, you will find yourself asking another single parent who understands your needs, and you will offer support in return. This is how the greatest friendships are made, and they are likely to last for a lifetime.

Have another (even better) chance at love

Falling in love again is probably the furthest thought from you mind while you are going through a breakup! Yet, slowly but surely you will recover and the idea of another partner may appeal. And this time you have heaps of experience and resources under your belt to get it right. Don’t feel you can’t re-partner because you have children. Of course, we don’t suggest you hop on Tinder straight away, but in time it will feel right. Many children of separated parents encourage mum and dad to date as they want to see them being happy, love and cared-for by another person. Every situation is different and depends on the nature of the breakup and the ages of the children, but it is possible. Never feel you are not deserving of another chance at love.

You have your freedom … enjoy it!

Being in an unhappy marriage is a negative stage in our lives. There are a huge range of emotions including frustration, sadness and anger. Many people also report feeling trapped in their relationship, and when it is finally over their main feeling is one of relief, even freedom. Taking control of your own life again, and doing things ‘your way’ is extremely empowering. It includes the little things such as renting a house with carpet when your ex wanted tiles, through to the bigger things such as buying instead of renting as your ex wasn’t keen to buy. At first, having to make all the big decisions without a partner to bounce ideas off may be a little daunting. However, once you get into the swing of it you will experience a sense of freedom that will make you feel like you can take on the world … or at least your new live as a single parent.

Belinda Eldridge
Posted by Belinda Eldridge