Divorce Dynamics Nobody Can Prepare For
No amount of breakups can prepare you for a divorce. In a perfect world, a divorce would be just like a breakup that required a little paperwork. In the real world, it’s far more than that. Your divorce will affect more than just you and your ex; it will hit your family like a ton of bricks and even emotionally affect your friends. There are also just practical changes that occur when you’re no longer married. Even though you’re struggling with the awful personal emotions that come with a divorce, the world will not leave you alone to grieve; you won’t get to choose if and when you think or talk about your divorce, or just how much it affects your life. There’s a reason a lot of people go to therapy after going through a divorce. Here are divorce dynamics nobody is ever prepared for.
Your friends will pick a side
Your couples friends will naturally pick a side and end up remaining friends with you or with your ex. They will try, in the beginning, to see you both, but it will just become too difficult and awkward.
And call you to apologize for it
If your couples friends choose your ex, they will call to check on you, and list excuses as to why they haven’t seen you in a while. You’ll hate these phone calls; as if losing them isn’t enough, now you need to forgive them for going away.
Your friends will play judge and jury
Your friends absolutely sit around and analyze whose “fault” the divorce is. They can never possibly know the depth of the situation, and this will infuriate you.
You have to tell your doctor
Oh, right. You’ll have to change your marital status to divorced on your doctor’s forms, and then that’s a fun conversation you get to have with your gynecologist.
And your CPA
Just when you think all official conversations and documents are over, tax season will come around, and you’ll have to make a lot of adjustments to your filing due to your new marital status.
You’ll be the divorcée in your new hood
If you move into an apartment building or a new house, all of your neighbors will know you as the divorcée who needed a new place to live. They’ll give you that pity look when saying hi to you in the halls or on the street.
People will worry about your dating future
You may not be worried about meeting somebody else one day, but your friends and family sure are. They’ll hint at the concept that people don’t want to date divorcées, and you’ll have to do all you can to shrug it off.
If and when your friends set you up, it will often be with other divorcées—as if divorce is some hobby you both enjoy.
It is a full-time project
You’ll have to take a phone call, answer an email or mail a letter almost every day for a long time having to do with your divorce—whether that be the actual divorce documents or other documents spurred on by this new change.
Sadly, some people think that divorce is an airborne illness and they won’t want to be around you for a while.
Other unhappy couples come forward
Some of your friends who have long wanted to get a divorce may step forward and finally have the courage to say something about it because you did. In an unexpected way, you could provide important inspiration for somebody who needs it.
You’ll have to argue over petty matters
You don’t want to argue over who is keeping the vase collection, but you have to because the people moving into your house don’t want it.
Your parents may be embarrassed
Unfortunately, some parents have a hard time telling their friends and family that their child is going through a divorce. You may mention it to a relative, thinking they know about it, only to discover your parents had been keeping it a secret.
Divorce will be your status for a while
For at least several years, people will think about you as the person going through the divorce. It will be all anyone asks you about when they see you at social gatherings.
And you’re forever a divorcee
It may take some time to wrap your head around the fact that, legally, you are forever and always a divorcee now. You’re not just a single woman the way you are after a breakup; somewhere in the courthouse is a document stating that you broke a contract.
Sometimes, not both people want the divorce
When people hear about a divorce, they often assume that both people wanted the divorce. But not both parties have to want the divorce for the divorce to go through. There is a chance your partner will not want this divorce as much as you do, which makes things all the more complicated.
You’ll still get calls for him and vice versa
People who don’t know you’re divorced will still call you, trying to get in touch with your husband, hoping to leave a message for him. People will also call him, leaving messages for you.
Your job must go on
Your boss or colleagues will be surprisingly unsympathetic to your situation. They may give you a few days to call in sick, but beyond that they’ll expect you to be working just as hard and well as you usually would.
You’ll have to re-find yourself
Only once you get a divorce will you realize how much of your identity was intertwined with your partner’s and the general lifestyle of being married. You’ll be faced with the task of re-finding yourself.
You can’t afford what you used to
Two incomes can afford a much nicer home, better hotel rooms, and faster internet service than one can. Two incomes, together, also tend to qualify for more loans than one solo income.