I got an email yesterday from an old friend who moved away from Atlanta years ago. She caught me up on her life and her kids and then mentioned she is now divorced. This is the third person I have talked to in the past two weeks who is going through this and I always feel so sad when they share their news with me. I have been divorced for a while, and I have gained a little perspective on marriage and divorce in the ensuing years.
Marriage is work. Anyone who has been married for more than 10 minutes can tell you that. My parents have been together for 44 years (I know, amazing) and their marriage has changed and stretched over the years, but their love seems to have deepened because of these growing pains. The extraordinary rareness of a lifetime committment these days is sadly undervalued in our culture. It isn’t just the two people in the marriage that are affected by divorce, it ripples out far beyond them to our children, our friendships and our extended families.
Another friend had asked for advice on surviving the first months of being single. I smiled thoughtfully as I considered what went well and what I screwed up royally. “Forgive yourself” was the thing that popped to mind. I beat myself up for months as I mulled over what I could have changed and how I felt like I had failed myself and my boys. “And don’t refuse offers of help from friends and family. Pride needs to take a backseat for a little bit as you start to pick up the pieces of you and get your life back together.” I had a bit of a supermom complex for a while that I could do it all, be all and never miss a beat, but I was wrong…and tired. If someone offers to watch the kids or bring you dinner, take it. They are trying to love you through some tough times, so be gracious and let them do this for you. Life won’t ever be the same, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t be good again. It will, it just takes time.
What is the best advice you have given/received on surviving a divorce?
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