9 Questions You're Too Afraid to Ask about Life after Divorce
Rebuilding your life after a divorce can feel like a tortuous journey into the unknown. At times, you may feel like you're navigating in the dark alone, with intermittent glimmers of hope. At other times, you may find yourself caught in a grueling pit of despair. You may suffer feelings of guilt, hurt, betrayal, and fear.
But one day, you will notice that the sun is suddenly brighter. You may feel an overwhelming sense of relief wash over you. On the other side of your pain, you will find a new reality: a stronger and more resilient you.
Read about the emotional stages of divorce.
There is no doubt that divorce places a huge strain on your finances. You’ve gone from a two-income partnership to a party of one. Out of this reality, you must create a life and lifestyle that your own financial resources and income can support.
Will I ever live comfortably again?
Granted, your single life may be a financial departure from the life you lived as a married person. But with careful planning and budgeting, you’ll learn to survive and even thrive. And each time you pay your own bills, buy your own car, buy your own home, or make an investment on your own will be evidence that you made it on your own. Watch for the emotional rewards that self-sufficiency can bestow on you.
Your social life
You may have lost parts of yourself during your marriage. Now, you have reclaimed some precious time to support the person you once were. Friends can play an integral role. Will your friendships look different? Probably. Will some friends go away? Possibly. As they say, these are the times when you find out who your real friends are.
Will people judge me negatively because of my divorce?
Once upon a time, you might have been judged for a divorce. Now, you have joined the ranks of nearly 50% of all people who ever got married.
What is there to judge? Nobody chooses divorce because it’s happy and easy. On the contrary, it’s heart-wrenching even in the best of circumstances. If anything, most people will understand what you’re going through – and your true friends will be there to offer a soft landing place.
Will I lose friends because of my divorce?
Depending on the context of the friendship, you may lose some friends along the way. For example, friendships you had as a couple may become awkward. Some friends may feel like they have to take sides.
As a newly single person, your divorce may bring out insecurities in others that surprise you. Your true friends will be the enduring and supportive ones, and they will be your most precious life support system as you navigate this transition and your new life. These friendships are golden.
Your love life
Your love life may be a post-divorce concern. After all, there is that gaping hole left by your marriage that can feel like an abyss, no matter how unhappy your marriage was. You may start a new relationship, and you may not. Time will tell.
This is your time to devote to yourself so you can remember who you are and what you want in your future. Before you can love someone else, you must first learn to fill your own well.
Will anyone ever want to date me?
By asking this question, you are not giving yourself the power you deserve. The real question should be, “Will I ever find anyone who deserves me?” You will find plenty of people to date, and as they say, you may kiss a lot of frogs. But if you’re busy making yourself happy, waiting on the proverbial prince or princess won’t even be part of the equation.
What if I never meet anyone good enough?
Is another relationship possible? It may take a long while to meet someone who is good enough or truly reflects the traits you’re looking for. It may seem like the “frogs” are the only ones left out there.
If you’re taking care of yourself and doing things that make you happy and feel alive, you are much more likely to find other people who reflect those same qualities and interests. And there’s a lot to be said for platonic friendships that don’t turn into romantic relationships. In the meantime, give yourself the respect and love you’re looking for. You don’t need someone else to feel whole because you are already a whole person.
Your kids are always a priority. Depending on their age and maturity, each child will react to this life change differently. No doubt you will be paying close attention to how your kids are coping. Right now, they need the stability and responsiveness of their parents to deal with all the insecurities they’re experiencing.
Will my children be negatively affected by my divorce?
Most kids are resilient and bounce back after divorce. But this will have a great deal to do with you and your ex. One of the most damaging parts of divorce for kids is the conflict that happens between their parents. They can pick up on it even when nothing is said, and this can affect their well-being.
Your children will benefit from two co-parents who act with emotional maturity and treat each other with dignity. No matter what you feel about your ex, they are your kids’ parent. Demonstrate respect for them when they are around, and never speak badly of your ex-spouse to them.
Will my children hate me because of my divorce?
Just like you, your kids will feel conflicted, sad, and angry. They will experience a multitude of emotions during and after your divorce. But unlike you, they have no control over the situation. This can lead to frustration and even acting out. Now is the time to keep their framework as consistent as possible so they feel secure and loved.
Expect some insecurities, blame, and anger. They don’t hate you, but this isn’t the life they signed up for. As an adult, you need to respect their feelings, allow them to talk about their fears, comfort them, and get them through it with as much patience and understanding as possible. An unbiased professional may be needed to help them make sense of things. If they need more than you can give, get them the professional help they need.
Interview with a child of divorced parents: A Kid with Two Homes
Divorce upended the life you knew. You’re navigating new terrain. Facing so many new things can be at once overwhelming, depressing, and exhilarating. You can feel free while still in free fall. You can be on top of the world one moment and feel like a total failure the next. Venturing into the unknown will be daunting, but it is part of the healing process.
Am I making the biggest mistake of my life?
Most of us know in our hearts when divorce is the right move. And most of us second-guess ourselves the minute it becomes uncomfortable. Sometimes, we fall into the trap of thinking “if only” things had been different (they weren’t), the marriage would have survived. Who knows if this is true?
You may stay stuck here for a while. You may even think about reconciling. But you can no longer be blind to the problems. Are you just feeling lonely? Your ex-partner is a known entity, whereas you’re now facing myriad unknowns. Your feelings are valid but don’t mistake them for the desire to go back in time. Be honest with yourself first. Then, tackle the real things that are keeping you stuck.
Worksheet: Create Your Self-Care Plan
Will I ever truly make it on my own?
You will. And you’re not alone. Divorce is a big club with many members, most of whom made it through the same scary parts as you to prevail and start a new life. It’s difficult to go from a marriage, despite its many imperfections, to life as a single person without some massive emotional upheaval. The good news is that most people come out of their divorce far happier for it. The bad news is that it won’t happen overnight. Be patient, and give yourself permission to do it your way despite what anyone else tells you is “right.”
Your divorce is not an over-and-done transition. It is a long-term process. Just when you think you’ve put everything behind you, feelings can bubble to the surface, even years after the end of your marriage. At Hello Divorce, we understand. While we offer a platform for many of the legal aspects of the online divorce process, we know you need much more than legal advice. You need a tribe. We are here. Check out our library of resources, or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Have questions? We have answers. Schedule a free 15-minute consultation here.
What's after divorce?
Make sure you've got everything covered with our FREE checklist.