Unexpected Ways Divorce Affects Your Life
Nobody expects divorce to be painless. Nobody presumes life will feel basically the same, minus a spouse, after divorce. Everyone knows that divorce is a huge deal. In fact, there is a lot of information out there about divorce, but much of it is collected by researchers, analysts, and individuals looking at divorcees as subjects and numbers rather than humans having subjective experiences. There are some parts of divorce that cannot be quantified. And no divorce is the same. Some end amicably. Some end with restraining orders. In some cases, only one person within the couple even wanted the divorce while in other cases both people had wanted one for a very long time. Because of all of these variables, no matter how much you’ve read or learned about divorce, there is always room for the unexpected. It’s not all bad. It’s certainly not all good. Here are surprising ways being divorced affects your life.
Friends pick a side
Couple friends feel obligated to pick a side. They sit down, talk about it, and choose to either remain friends with you or your ex. They feel it will just be too complicated to stay friends with both of you. If you get the ax, they can tell you so casually—so heartlessly—you’d think they were telling you your Internet bill were going up.
Your place of worship can reject you
Unfortunately, though your place of worship is supposed to be A) a safe place and B) a place where you go specifically during hard times, it may reject you. Some religions or at least some groups within religions really look down on people who get divorced.
Teachers/principals point fingers
If your child misbehaves at all at school, the first thing teachers or principals will blame is your divorce. If they don’t say it outright, they’ll allude to the “Recent changes at home.”
It may be harder to get a loan
It may be harder to get a loan for the new, but smaller house you’d like to live in now that you’re divorced. Sometimes it can feel like cutting the household income in half cuts your loan options down exponentially.
It shows up on questionnaires
When you fill out a questionnaire for…just about anything…you’ll be asked if you’re married, single, or divorced. You can’t so much as get car insurance or finance a flat screen without answering this question.
Your eating habits change
You didn’t even really know what your eating habits were. You had a routine and a typical grocery list due to your marriage. You can feel like you’re free falling when it comes to meal times and what you put in your fridge.
“I told you so” people come out
There are individuals who never thought your marriage would work out. You’re not quite sure how they benefit from saying “I told you so” but many of them do. Some of them are even angry with you…for not listening before…what?! You’re grieving over here and now you’re dealing with judgment.
You can’t give relationship advice
Friends stop asking for your relationship advice. They think that because you got a divorce you can’t possibly have any reasonable or wise input on their relationships.
You’re not married and you’re not single
You’re forever divorced. You think you’d just be single but, nope. You’re divorced. It’s the way dating apps, banks, and even friends will categorize you. You don’t just erase a marriage—you add a divorce.
You feel empowered but are called weak
While you’re over here, feeling perhaps the most empowered you’ve ever felt (you made a difficult and painful decision that was best for you), people are calling you weak for ending your marriage. You know in your heart that what would have been weak would have been staying, all to avoid judgment or out of fear of being alone. But you’re one of the few people who consider yourself strong for this.
You owe yourself an apology
You may break down and cry the hardest you ever have. Only once you treat yourself right by leaving a bad marriage, does the terrible reality of how wrong you’ve treated yourself for years come rushing to your conscious mind. You owe yourself a huge apology.
You tell people for years after
You still have to tell people you’re divorced years after the fact. There are some friends of friends you only see every few years, when you both make it to the mutual friend’s birthday party. They still don’t know you’re divorced.
You may become a better parent
Since you no longer have to focus on your bad marriage, you can focus on being a good parent. It’s funny because, many people will tell you that getting a divorce is bad for your kid, but you know that now you’ll be more emotionally available to your child.
You don’t give a f&*# what people think
You have to give up any concern whatsoever with what other people think. You become a pillar of strength—you have to—that must constantly reject the judgments of others.
You may feel less lonely
It’s amazing how being with the wrong person can feel lonelier than being actually alone. To stay with the wrong person, in many ways, you had to ignore yourself and that’s the loneliest feeling in the world.