Publisher & Owner –
You go to school to learn to read and write. You take lessons to learn an instrument, join a team to learn a sport, but I sometimes wonder how we are supposed to learn about some of life’s less tangible skills, like relationships. When we’re in the first flush of love perhaps we wouldn’t want to take advice, but as time goes on there are many couples who could benefit from some lessons.
Having been through a divorce I feel I have some insight, and sadly can act as a cautionary tale. Eight years of post-divorce challenges have taught me a few things, some I wish I didn’t know, but others I think could be helpful for anyone going through the same situation.
Everyone’s circumstances are different, but if you want to move forward you have to let go of anger. Anger is a normal response to hurt or betrayal, but it becomes toxic when we hold onto it and refuse to let it go. You’re just keeping the anger alive by going over and over the same grievance. Taking responsibility for your emotions, and reactions, can allow you to regain a little power. Similarly, you can’t control what the other person says or does, however hurtful or wrong they are. But you can control how you react to them – it can be hard, but it is so important, especially if there are children involved.
Stay in the moment and try not to look back at how things went wrong, or what you could have done differently. It’s far more productive to maintain open communication – with your ex if you can – but certainly with your kids. Stay non-judgmental and then they’ll know they are always safe with you.
Allow yourself to be vulnerable with the people you trust: friends can be your rock. Surround yourself with a whole crew of advisors if you can, people who understand you, and who you can relate to. A great lawyer is essential, but other sounding boards can be life-savers too.
This is how I’ve learned to survive over the past eight years. And with our November issue’s How To focus I hope sharing my story will help other women try and survive too.