by Mary C.  

This post deals with facing the potential fears, uncertainties and concerns pertaining to the possibility of life after divorce – and that it might not be all that scary after all.

life after divorce
Life after divorce and alone can be fantastic if you just let it.

After two people have been together for a period of time, their lives incorporate in a sense. You most likely slept in the same bed. Couples frequently go to bed and arise at approximately the same time.

Perhaps you watched the same type of movies, ate meals together, liked the same restaurants, and socialized with the same people. Generally, couples plan their schedules around one another. You might have even finished each other’s sentences at times.

Then the day arrives when you discover your spouse’s indiscretion. You did all you could to restore the trust and the marriage; however, it just didn’t work out. You then realize there is something you haven’t considered…you will now be living alone. Of course, if you have children living at home, you are not actually alone. However, the issue of life after divorce and without a spouse is your personal challenge.

How will you accomplish that? What if the car breaks down or the toilet starts to leak? Will you have enough money to pay the bills? Heck, how do you even pay bills? Your spouse always did that. Who will go to dinner with you, will you be able to sleep in that huge bed alone, and who will you talk to at the end of the day? I know, I asked myself all those questions and more. Then I realized I was asking myself the wrong questions.

Why should I worry about the car breaking down? If and when it happens, I will deal with it at that time and find a mechanic. How hard can it be? If the toilet starts leaking, I’ll either Google “how to repair a leaky toilet” and repair it myself or I’ll find a plumber. Now that I think of it, one of my friend’s brother is a plumber. I bet I can get a good deal. I have become quite handy around the house. I repaired a running toilet a few days ago.

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Who will go to dinner with me? How about those restaurants where you always wanted to eat, but your spouse didn’t. Grab a friend and go. Who will I talk to? It doesn’t matter; you can talk to yourself or the dog. I do both. You and your spouse didn’t talk much anyway. Talk to one of the friends you are going to make. Speaking of friends, you can have any kind and as many friends as you want. Go places with them; they are probably more fun than the spouse was anyway.

You can eat peanut butter and banana sandwiches for breakfast without anyone telling you how strange it is. As far as sleeping in that big bed alone, that might be one of your favorites. You can sleep sideways if you want to. No one will hog the covers. You can stay up as late or go to bed as early as you wish. You can read in bed and no one will grumble about the light being on. Shoot, you can even eat in bed if you want to, I do. No one will throw their clothes on the bathroom floor or leave the toilet seat up. Falling into the toilet is no longer a concern.

How will you pay your bills? Your expenses should go down significantly. You have one less person to feed, which makes a substantial difference. You will more than likely have only one vehicle to maintain. You only have to buy clothes for yourself. In addition and one of my all-time favorites, no one will complain when you buy those clothes. You have to admit, that’s a terrific one.

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On the weekend, do nothing but veg out if that’s how you feel. If you don’t feel like cleaning house, well you don’t have to. If you aspire to decorate your home in funky, shabby chic, modern Victorian style…go for it. If you desire to paint the whole house pink, that is your prerogative.

Is there a place you have always yearned to go on vacation? Maybe you always wanted to stay in a haunted hotel, but your mate thought it was stupid. My grown daughter and I go to a hotel in Jefferson, Texas and scare each other all night. We have made some great memories doing that. Now you can grab a friend, go wherever, and have a blast. Have a slumber party. Get a hobby. Take a painting or yoga class. Learn another language.

Do you hate your job? Is there something you have dreamed of doing for a living. Do it! No one is there to talk you out of it. I became a full-time freelance writer. It’s the greatest decision I have ever made. I can work as much or as little as I want and I can work from anywhere in the world. Go back to school. Be a photographer, a chef, a clown…whatever you desire.

I can sit here all-day and think of the great things I can do or not do when and where I want to do or not do them. However, I think you get the message. I’m trying to say, if you stress about living alone, you will most likely be miserable.

Life after divorce can feel unnatural

When a relationship ends, it feels unnatural not to be with someone. Many times, we run out and jump back into a relationship with someone. Then you later realize you don’t have anything in common with that person. I once became conscious that I didn’t even like the person I was dating. Don’t allow yourself to do that. You stand a chance of being stuck in another bad relationship.

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You have been doing what someone else wants you to do for a long time. Take a break and get to know yourself better. Figure out what you like for a change. Come to realize what kind of person you should be with, and what sincerely makes you happy. Give it some time and determine how wonderful it is to be with just you. I found out I like it, a lot.

There are no longer any eggshells to walk on. I still discover from time to time things that I can do and have no one to answer to for it. Sit down and start a list. Name it something like, “Happy Stuff That I Can Now Do Since What’s Their Name Is No Longer Here.” I bet you will return to that list and add to it frequently.

Today I am happy and contented with myself. If a special person comes along someday, I will recognize if he is the right person for me. I will know because I now know myself. Change your mindset. Consider this an adventure, not a nightmare. I promise you will figure it out with just a little effort. Instead of thinking thoughts such as, “What am I going to do?  How can I deal with this?”  Get started on the “Happy Things I Can Do” list. Life after divorce and alone can be fantastic if you just let it.


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    14 replies to "Life After Divorce – Falling into the Toilet is No Longer a Concern"

    • Rachel

      Great article,Doug. Thanks for posting about divorce.
      Now, if he would just leave so I can experience the peace.

    • Jamie

      My partner, I call him my “husband” (because it’s just easier”) is not ‘getting it’. He’s trying to be in a relationship, our relationship, alone. I’m at a point, after 15 months, a 16 month old baby, lies about undisclosed children from his ex-wife, and the continuous defensiveness (“that isn’t important” or “when I have more information about x or y, then I’ll tell you about it”; from him) non-openness of his life from things like phone calls to IRS letters…to being contacted by one of his siblings (after a long and horrible family situation); I’m ready to call it quits.

      I’m tired of the blow out fights, once per month. I’m tired of my child being the main our lives “together”. I keep asking and begging..and pleading…for him to ‘make the first thing, first!!” (which is our relationship).

      I accept that he had an EA, several, actually, while I was days away from delivering our child. I accept that he wanted a new start in his life after a very horrible and bi-polar exwife drug him through the mud for over a decade while he fought for visitation and to have a relationship with their children…so he didn’t bother to tell me; “until he could find a better time”. I also accept that MOST women would have packed the car, upon this discovery of undisclosed children existing; and AFTER several EA’s…while I was pregnant.

      What I can’t stand…and I WILL NOT accept; is lonliness.
      I’m not his friend, or his buddy …or his roommate. I don’t even want to be his girlfriend. I want and deserve a husband…I deserve someone to love me back with their whole hearts and to be open, honest, giving and caring…with great gentleness and forethought regarding his own actions and how they affect our future and our family.

      I’m punting.
      I will be finished with my B.S. degree in July..and even if I work only 4 days per month, on a PRN (as needed) basis, I will be able to support myself and our daughter. The thing is…it’s not an ulitmatum..and I don’t even want to seperate; because I’ve actually come to the “middle” of accepting his bad behavior as mistakes and his continued defensiveness and closed self as “the way he is”…however, I think it’s all a great big cop out.

      I believe that he’s terrified of true, lasting commitment and to admit to himself and others that he needs me, that he needs his baby daughter and he is grateful for this second; and last chance to grow up and be a man..a husband, to ME.

      It’s not a divorce, per se, but it is a seperation brewing. I informed him, after our last 9 hour, all day Saturday-arguement (these happen about once per month; and he likes to point out that it’s always close to my period..which it may be..but that DRIVE me insane; because it’s like he’s blaming me for having some self respect..after all of this that he’s put us and our young, fragile family through)..I decided..and informed him that I am applying for jobs on the East coast and in the soon as I have my B.S.

      You see, we are not married. Things won’t be as messy as a “real, legal divorce”. Because I don’t owe him anything. and I don’t have to get a lawyer to leave and move on with my life.

      I’m upset about pulling the “two horse cart in circles”, because he won’t or can’t or is afraid to help me..and to admitt that he wants to and ought to..and should have been from the time I fell pregnant. See, he pretended to…and I beleived him…because I was happy. I had no idea what was going on in his insecure, little mind; with his boyish behavior. He’s 39…btw. I’m 35.

      I’m at a point where…it’s time to punt.
      This was my 4th down…my last play, if you will.
      It’s not an ultimatum…it’s just a fact.

      We’ve agreed to 6 months, a last ditch, hail Mary effort (and the truth is, It’s all on prove his committment, through actions instead of inactions,excuses, fear, insecurities and defensiveness and/or omission of partnership). If it happens that I feel the same as I do now regarding being lonely and alone in this relationship and healing from the trauma he’s caused, I am switching carts..back to a one horse cart.

      Not an ultimatum..not a threat, just a fact. I’ve made a stand, and I will follow through with my decision to care for and love myself, by myself.

      The continued disrespect and closed attitude of his leaves me no choice. The truth is, I love him…and I love myself enough not to allow it anymore. I won’t waste my life.

      There’s a saying…I like, “You end up with, what you put up with.”

      Divorce, is not the end of the world..seperation is not the end of the world. What’s really upsetting is wasting 5 or 10 or 30 years of one’s heart in a one sided relationship.

      Sometimes…a lot of’s about self-respect.

      I’ll love my H til my very last breath..he’s my Mortal Beloved…(watch the movie, it’s amazing). I love him now, I loved him when he was being a 10 asshole…but just because he’s a 6 on the 10 scale of asshole now, doesn’t mean he isn’t still being a huge asshole to me, us and our survival as a couple and family (referring to last weeks blog).

      I choose me.
      I’ll give it all I have and do the changing I need to do as well, to facilitate my part of keeping our relationship the first priority in the next 6 months…but he better change his tune fast and furious….or I’m punting. It’s my life, not a game.

    • Jamie

      I read “Good Husband, Great Marriage,” about 8 months ago..and I begged him to read it. It’s basically a real guide to acting like a grown up..for a man who doesn’t or didn’t or makes huge mistakes in his marriage…like EA’s..or ignoring his wife, for football…or being a workaholic…and it’s written by a man, for a man…in a man’s tone.

      If you’re the CS…and you’re a guy…it’s a really good book, to giving insight on how to get you back into your lady’s heart…forever.

      • Doug

        Jamie, Thanks so much for sharing your story and the book recommendation. Keep us abreast of how things work out for you and your husband – Good luck!

    • Rachel

      It’s been 1 year ago today when my life came to a crashing hault. One year ago when my husband of 24 years declared his love for his exgirlfriend from 30 years ago. His soulmate .
      I will not reflect on the words that were said, the lies, the fact that he rewrote history.
      I will be grateful that nov.13, 2012 is here and I am one day closer to my divorce.
      Peace to all .

      • Doug

        Rachel, I realize that today must be very tough for you. Hang in there!

      • Mary


        I know it’s extremely difficult to do, but like I said in the article, try to focus on the good stuff. There is plenty of bad things going on for you, but there are good things too. You just have to look for them.

        Try remembering the things about him that were irritating. I know there had to be a few after 24 years. Things that just worked on your nerves.Maybe he snored, left his clothes on the floor, or left the lid off the toothpaste. Now think about the fact that the girlfriend is now having to endure those irritating habits.

        What is the date for the divorce? You don’t have to wait until then to restart your life. Let us know how things are going.

        • MaryC

          Hi Rachel

          I just noticed one of your earlier comment. It sounds like he is still living with you. Is that the case? If so, I can see how it would be a little difficult to get on with things.

    • Rachel

      To me this is the strangest. Last night was my first meeting with a divorce support group. We watched a video about anger, shed tears and discussed our stories.
      I met two of the nicest women. Neither are going through a divorce as of yet. But our stories are quite similar.
      I thought yesterday would be tough, but really it was a great day, one year later.
      We are all meeting next week for a seminar about getting through the holidays .
      This morning was the first morning in one year that I didn’t say to myself ” I can’t believe this is my life now”.

      • Doug

        That’s good to hear that you are finding the support that you need. How you handle the emotions and everything else makes all the difference.

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