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A member of our social network recently wrote a post entitled, 12 Hard Truths I've Learned From Divorce, which was filled with a number invaluable insights that she learned while navigating her divorce. Now having begun the process of moving beyond her divorce, she recently posted her words of wisdom about what she's learned from life after divorce.

She writes, "there are certain truths you learn after divorce, and even though twelve is a rather small number in the scheme of things, here are some things I learned that I'd like to share":

  • STBX, EX, ISO, or whatever you call him will always be in your life. He will try to friend you relentlessly for the first year after the separation or divorce. It is a phase that comes and goes and each time you refuse, you will be labeled 'mean spirited', 'hurtful', and 'uncaring'. Bitch may or may not be applied. YMMV.
  • NEXT, the Other Woman or Girlfriend (sometimes Boyfriend) that they left you for will be held up as a paragon of virtue to any children your marriage might share. Do not be surprised that your kids see her as the 'fun' mom substitute. It hurts and burns hard. Keep your eye on the prize and know that it too is a phase. Don't hold it against your kids.
  • Your family, if religious, may despise you for moving on after the divorce. They may even blame you and tell you that your eternal soul is doomed. The fact that you were dumped, cheated on, or had enough self-respect to ask for a divorce due to abuse/cheating/etc. will not be factored in. Choose to accept and move on or suffer in silence. They will not change their opinion any time soon.
  • Holidays are always going to be bitter-sweet from now on. It may lessen as time marches, but the fact is that you will now have to share your kids unless you were fortunate enough to have him sign over parental rights. Be prepared for him to see these days as 'days to upstage mom'. He may not talk to them, visit them, or have much shift with them the rest of the year but holidays will be viewed as days to buy their love. So don't try to compete. Simply try to create your own memories. You can't buy love.
  • If you have moved on into a new relationship, your family may not accept them. The family may even go to lengths to point out that they do not recognize this new person. Letters and postcards may be sent solely to you and your children. Holiday invites may include misspellings of your new SO's name despite the fact that you have sent emails and letters with correct spellings. Do not be offended. They are entitled to their opinions. But remember these actions when it comes time to decide who is truly on your side.
  • Find a hobby. It is important to create things in your life to replace all the broken pieces. Don't try to glue things back together or keep it as it was. Allow this time to be used for retrospection and growth.
  • Make a list of all that you heard was 'wrong with you' from your Ex. Chances are these claims will be re-impressed through your ex-in laws and even your own family. So give them a fair hearing. In the privacy of your home, with an open mind. If you find truth in some of them, fix what's wrong. Maybe you are a crap housekeeper. Set 30 minutes aside every day and tidy. Allow yourself to improve your own character while validating that you are a better person than they give you credit for.
  • Set goals. It is easy to get bogged down in the loneliness and the feeling that your life is over. So give yourself a chance to attain something new. In my case I have begun a business that forced me to learn web-design.
  • Renew your spirit. You've been put through the blender. Take time to get in touch with the new and emerging aspects of your personality. You may find that you are no longer a mouse. Now you are a tigress. Allow yourself to appreciate that change and to test it out. Don't be afraid of the change. Embrace it.
  • Children can filet your spirit faster than your EX can. They may already be doing it and playing you against your EX. Find a confidant who you can vent your hurt and frustration to. Allow your children to know that what they say hurts, but do not hold it against them. They are hurting too, and you are there. Your ex is allowed the position of 'fun parent' simply by their absence. Do not allow your kids to get away with their viciousness. Send them to their room when they choose to be cruel. But at the same time do not lash out at them.
  • Venting is not limited to during divorce only. You will regress and you will still hurt. But each time you make a step forward, bask in the glow of knowing that you really are doing better than you were this time last year.
  • There is always hope. Hope for new beginnings, hope for personal growth, hope for healing, and hope for him to get what's coming to him. Do not ever give up. IF you fall, get up. If you regress, push ahead. The best revenge is a life well-lived and that is something no one can do for you.

Bonus lesson: You will find yourself a mentor to others that are just going through divorce. And they will start popping up from all over. Do not be afraid to reach out to them and share your own experience to help them as they start this journey. Revel in the ability to give someone the hand that was given to you so long ago. And rejoice with them as they too step out of the darkness.

There are women in all stages of divorce on our social network, finding support from one another. In the words of one of our members in welcoming someone new to the network, "we're all filled with lots of compassion, love and sound advice. It's an incredibly supportive place, and we're all here for each other."

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  • Comment Link Carolyn Friday, 25 November 2016 10:48 posted by Carolyn

    Personally I've found the hurt of being abandoned has been relieved by creative expression. I'd love to get feedback. YouTube channel: Vixen is 70? Important to start with vlog 1. I'll need ideas for the divorce process.

  • Comment Link Heba Monday, 03 October 2016 14:46 posted by Heba

    Hi, I need an advise, I am a mom of 3 kids 9-4, I am married, but my husband abusing me, ignoring me completely and we are fighting a lot in the house,
    I called my parents to start divorce... I am worried about the kids, being divorced or live like this with him.. Plz help me

  • Comment Link -+= anonymouse =+- Saturday, 21 May 2016 04:24 posted by -+= anonymouse =+-

    Total disclosure.... I have not gone through the process and have no plans of any such kind... I could summarize it in one simple question/punch line expression.

    Do you know the difference between a law suite and a divorce.... in a law suite at least the lawyers win..... :D

    -+= anonymouse =+-

  • Comment Link Christel Maldonado Sunday, 20 March 2016 10:26 posted by Christel Maldonado

    If someone would have told me how much it hurts to get divorced, I wouldn't have done it. I was with my spouse 23 years and 2014 I found out he had an affair and wanted to leave me, I confronted him about the OW and he choked me and hit me. I filed for divorce the next day. Its been a year and a half it hurts so deep. He never abused me ever in our relationship and has been so verbally, physically, mentally and sexually abusive during this process. WE have two kids, and he is still with the OW, hes been with her over 2 and a half years. Any advice? Please help it hurts alot

  • Comment Link Christian Friday, 22 January 2016 02:40 posted by Christian

    The vow doesn't say I'll love you if you never do this...
    Or I'll only love you if you only do that....
    Or I'll stay married to you under this condition....or al long as you always do this or that....or I'll only stay your spouse under these conditions....
    Marriage and the vow include being and staying married and finding a way to make it work, loving eachother no matter what....and the vow is about never giving up no matter how tired, frustrated, unhappy you are...abuse, drugs, alcohaul, cheating all not reasons for divorce...was that all included in the vow??? Marriage and the vow are through good and bad times, even the really really bad get through's a marriage and a family....hold eachother a hand and get through it together....
    No body is perfect and we all make mistakes, we all deserve better at some point in our marriage, we all have long lists of why we do deserve better....

    Marriage is a vow.....
    There is no justification for divorce....
    If your he one who divorced your spouse and broke up your family....your selfish and your a liar (vow)

    I even wanted a divorce at one point, and it took me 2 months to come around and back to my senses...

  • Comment Link Jody Friday, 01 January 2016 23:38 posted by Jody

    I have been divorced for 14 years. My ex hasn't had my kids around anyone else. He is now in love and I feel so hurt. She is everything I am not. I feel so resentful of his life. He only sees them every other weekend and now they only go Saturday to Sunday. He is putting her above them. I shouldn't feel bitter, but I do. I don't understand how he gets the easy life. I don't want to feel this way anymore. My heart is broken.

  • Comment Link Dee Tuesday, 17 November 2015 17:41 posted by Dee

    I've been with my husband for 15 years, married for 10 and we have 5 children together. After thoughtful discussion we mutually decided that I would be a SAHM when our first child was born. This seemed like a good plan at the time, but now in a way I regret it. My husband has only ever worked for family and now that they are done with his mooching and hostility he refuses to look for work. It's been a year and a half and he applied for maybe 20 jobs but never followed up with any of them. I've been the only one bringing in income in the past year working from home an more recently selling all our things when work got slow. He barely watches the kids, won't cook, clean or do repairs around the house and he said he'd leave me if he has to get a job. We are in pre foreclosure on our home. He thinks we can sell it, take the equity in it and move out of state so he can write a novel. It's like he's living in some alternate reality where he doesn't have to help support his family. I'm seriously considering divorce. Anyone been in a relationship like this?

  • Comment Link  Fern carter Thursday, 20 August 2015 03:48 posted by Fern carter

    I met my husband when we both were in an addiction we both became clean and it's been 15 years that's how long we been married also I clung to him because I figured he was the only one that knew my true self but as I grew he stay in the drug addict mentality lie cheat and everything you can imagine a husband should not do but I pray to God if he was not the right man for me remove him I resisted and kept them even after the divorce but he did something that was bearable and I finally let him know we were divorced and threw him out but I still love him that's the crazy part he's married now a month after I threw him out the girl the same age my oldest daughter uses my son as a pawn to turn against me now I wish I could just move on and forget about him but he still stays on my mind do I need therapy someone help me please

  • Comment Link guest Saturday, 25 July 2015 10:58 posted by guest

    im considering a separation for my husband.
    things just seem to be deteriorating last few months.
    there no cheating but just plain toxic.
    the only problem im faciing today I'm 30 mother of 2.
    just have a graduation degree and no work experience.
    im scared if standin up at this point in life considering my kids nd that fact that even if i look out for a job it wont be enough for all.
    considering no help from both of our parents...please help me
    i need just someone to tell me its goin to be ok.

  • Comment Link Angela B Thursday, 28 May 2015 19:57 posted by Angela B

    My name is Angela and I am separated from my husband of 12 years. I keep wanting to go back but to what? My husband will not compromise on anything. My family is barely speaking to me. I moved 900 miles away and am starting to see a new life emerge from the mess I have made of it. What do I do? I am sick and I am tired. I have also been self medicating forever and am in recovery for the first time.

  • Comment Link teria manning Monday, 06 April 2015 20:12 posted by teria manning

    So many times you think you are going through it by yourself but I've learned so many others has been through the same dilemma but it get better

  • Comment Link teria manning Monday, 06 April 2015 20:11 posted by teria manning

    So many times you think you are going through it by yourself but I've learned so many others has been through the same dilemma but it get better

  • Comment Link Tim Stevenson Monday, 02 June 2014 15:45 posted by Tim Stevenson

    No matter your age or religion divorce is a difficult time for everyone. Suddenly, everything has changed. There are a lot of different ways to go about a divorce, but what could be the easiest? Honestly, you've got to have a good plan. Divorce is hard enough as it is. Check out Jennifer Tull. She's got great advice and knowledge on how to approach a divorce.

  • Comment Link Who Cares Wednesday, 01 January 2014 01:29 posted by Who Cares

    @ Tim,

    Takes two to fail?


    "It actually takes 1 to fail and 2 to make it"

    Imagine, deeply consider what betrayal is..

    When you have a deep love for your spouse, you give them everything you can and of yourself and it's never enough for them anymore.. and you can't figure out why...

    You love your family, and everyone in your life deeply, and you value it more than you value anything you could give your self... You can't imagine ever breaking it even in tough times..

    It is in fact what makes you what you are.. It is apart of your sole, it is your story and all you sacredly treasure to protect.

    I thought I treasured what was real and worthwhile in life.. I thought I treasured what I could take with me to the next life.. I thought I had a grip on what was real..

    When signs show..You do all you can to speak with your spouse about why you think there is trouble. And what if your spouse continues to tell you things are fine even though you feel something is off..

    When you keep doing your part of your marriage vows and always try to keep things going for the kids, for your family..

    I read books like Love Language and others, I tried to do so much on my end to make sure I was as happy as I could be so that I could be happy for the marriage. Eventually, I believed it would get to where my spouse wanted to share again..

    Yet, for some unknown reason one spouse chooses to do what they wan't and decides to divorce you.. You realize before it's too late that the pot was warming.. and you were the frog in the pot, and it was now to the boiling point and I could not hop out. It was always the others that would lose their marriage.. never me.. I cared too much for that to ever happen. I did not consider that the other person could just stop caring even though I cared so much.. (FACT) They can at any time stop caring for you even if you think you are making them happy and even if they play nice.. they may be miserable inside.. And that is deceit at it's finest, because they won't let you know why. Instead they put on a pretend show of i'm good, your not.

    My spouse left me and split my family for ever.. I may never truly know why..

    I had to remove myself from trying to fix the "Relationship" to even have a reasonable healthy boundary with face to face pleasantries. It took too much.. and maybe later I can try again.. but my spouse just abused me verbally with put downs like your a Dead Beat.. Statements that can't be factually backed up. Yet, surely can be believed as my soon to be ex spouse does..

    I think sometimes people just go crazy with their secret sins. I dunno.. who knows.. My world is forever changed.. devalued and I can only hope I will find another who values what I did.. yet, how to ever trust again?

    What if you truly did everything you can on your end ? People will say, it was not meant to be.. it was not a good match.. People will come up with all sorts of solutions to make it impossible for their marriage.. (FACT) I can and will happen to many who think their marriage is perfect. I believe this is due to secrets.. not sharing with your spouse..

    And out of know where one day.. the pot boils over.. you realize you were lied to... all the lies about it's okay, I still love you.. ect ect.. are just that.. lies.

    Truth comes to fruition and the spouse fully rejects you and abandons you in every aspect.. Not even giving you any part of them to try and understand..

    At this point.. it's absolute nightmarish hell.. What can one do? I pay my Child Support, I see my Son Daily, this will soon end when my spouse get's control of him during school days.. I will only see him 1 day a week and every other weekend. :(

    But, to say that it takes 2 to fail. I LOATH THAT STATEMENT! Because, it's not true. It only takes 1 to just quit. It only takes one to make a choice and mentally brain Fu%K you to the point you wanna die every day..

    And.. that's that.. keep going, keep pushing for what I believe is true and right. Never giving up on what I believe deep down is good, that light God gave..

    That same light we all bend and break to fit our own agendas. Thinking it will never hurt others.. and if it does, we are so hurt we deserve to bend the light... While stealing others realities and making them live in lies..

    I take all that broken, lost and damaged relationship and transform it to my Son. Who is the butterfly that came from that cocoon of now a dead marriage.


  • Comment Link betrayed_guy Friday, 15 November 2013 13:54 posted by betrayed_guy

    reading the comments above, i get the impression only women get cheated on and suffer through divorce...well men do too. I have decided to call it quits with my wife of 9yrs and 3 kids over multiple affairs. having 2 affairs in this year alone with different men...and this is the only woman i have known all my i believe we need a broader view on this subject

  • Comment Link Writerbrit Monday, 02 September 2013 12:13 posted by Writerbrit

    I hope I'm always still angry, frankly, whenever I think of my ex's behavior. Forgiveness got me to the next level of vulnerability...

    There's nothing wrong with healthy anger, and the article is very honest: life is never going to have that same innocent sweetness. Accepting the unfairness and adapting is much healthier than a sickly 'all will be well' or 'I can still keep my same worldview' attempt, because it won't, you can't. Lots of things will be annoying, unfair, lonely, conflicting from now on. Holidays are the idealization of family life- and you don't have that any more.

    Private life has also now become public arena, you're entertainment in terms of moralizing criticizing commenting to everyone around you.

    Anger is the only way to set boundaries in future for a peaceful happy life: if you've been abused by cheating, lying, violence etc you need to feel angry every single time someone does that to you again, or any time someone minimizes what has happened or undermines your attempt at recovery.

    Because as wives and mothers and Christians we've been coerced and trained into rationalizing unacceptable treatment, trapped into just making the best of things for family survival. Someone else's anger or inability to cope became our problem to solve- when it really isn't.

    Anger to me now is the first sign something's wrong, a stage in the healing process. When I'm angry now- I listen to myself and work out why.

  • Comment Link Tim Monday, 19 August 2013 13:01 posted by Tim

    There is hope thru the salvation of Jesus Christ. It takes two for the relationship to fail. We are called to forgive when the offender changes his or her life to align it with that of Christ. We are called to reconcile to one another. It may not seem possible to someone who has not fully submitted themselves to God's will. With Him anything is possible-even the impossible.

    In His Love

  • Comment Link Miriam G. Sunday, 11 August 2013 04:21 posted by Miriam G.

    It is my thought that the author of this article is still angry. that is a normal part of the process, but until there is no anger or a need for "Revenge" you are not truly healed.

  • Comment Link ListeningHard Wednesday, 29 May 2013 01:30 posted by ListeningHard

    Can someone explain the statement:
    "He will try to friend you relentlessly for the first year after the separation or divorce. It is a phase that comes and goes and each time you refuse, you will be labeled 'mean spirited', 'hurtful', and 'uncaring'."

    I dont understand the reasoning for the niceties after the years of abuse. Anyone?

  • Comment Link Shea123 Thursday, 23 May 2013 18:12 posted by Shea123

    In response to "Guest" Dec. 2010......It is extremely rear that the next spouse truely gives a crap for the children of his/her spouse. It is usually about appearances and has to do with money to cover your guilt for the lack of relationship one parent now has with the children.

  • Comment Link Guest Sunday, 28 October 2012 06:17 posted by Guest

    confusing signals: So its been a year since my husband left after 25 years. He still wants to be friends. There is no children. They only problem is we're "friends" but I don't get invited to any of his family's get togethers. He takes his new girlfriend to them. I've met her and we are cordial. He has told his family its OK for me to come to family gatherings since my family is three thousand miles away. Tonite they had a Halloween bash but I got no invitation. In fact it was strangely quite this week with texts and emails. Again as in last year I was devastated and hurt. How can he pretend to be friends texting and emailing and coming over to the house but then not make sure I get invites to family functions. Everyone keeps saying we're still family and I have seen his sister and mothers for lunch. I am confused and hurt

  • Comment Link Guest Tuesday, 14 December 2010 13:19 posted by Guest

    12 hard Truths: Insightful article. I have been feeling pretty low these days --- holidays and frequent reminders of the lies --- thank you reminding me of the hope for my future. Now if only patience was my virtue :-)

  • Comment Link Guest Sunday, 05 December 2010 17:53 posted by Guest

    Re: bullet point no. 2 -- if: Re: bullet point no. 2 -- if the kids seem to like their dad's new partner, you can crush any semblance of normalcy or peace during their custodial time at dad's house by creating a loyalty bind that makes them hostile to her out of fear that anything less will upset you, anger you or make you stop loving them. bonus to this approach: it's great for your kids' healthy personal development, too. this works well even if he didn't leave you for her and even if you were the one who initiated the divorce.

    obviously writted in extreme sarcasm, but after years of dealing with my stepkids' predictable and understandable reactions to their mom's clear disapproval that i exist -- even though she started the divorce (he didn't want it) and he and i didn't meet until well after. yes, it makes life in our house (they share 50/50 custody) difficult, but the heaviest costs of the loyalty bind she created are born by her own kids, which she would know if she did even the most basic research.

    not all next wives want to be the "fun mom substitute" -- you might consider the possibility that she is responsible, cares about the kids and wants everyone to be healthy and happy.