Self, Heartbreak

10 Ways Life After Divorce Is So Much Better (Really!)

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single life after divorce recently divorced

You may not be able to imagine life after divorce in this moment, but I promise that will change. 

You will eventually land in a place where you can look back, see how far you’ve come, and realize that while the divorce was by no means pleasant, single life after divorce does bring with it gifts, both big and small. 

As someone who's been through her own divorce (and coaches women every day who are going through their own), I can tell you from experience that you’ll absolutely appreciate all your newly single lifestyle has to offer.

Here are 10 ways single life after divorce is not only good, but completely fabulous:

1. The drama is behind you. 

Finally you can breathe a bit. The paperwork is signed, the big decisions have been made, new routines are in place, and you can stop living and breathing the damn divorce. 

Finally, what a relief! (Congratulations by the way.)

2. You get the bed to yourself… the WHOLE bed.

It’s delicious, spreading out in the middle of the bed. If you were married to a snorer, it’s even better because you’ll relish the quiet. If he tossed and turned all night, you’ll revel in the stillness. 

Recipe for a wonderful night? Buy some sheets you love, mix with a new duvet, snuggle in with your latest book and savor.

3. You don’t have to shave your legs if you don’t feel like it.

It’s not just about shaving… it’s really about whatever the thing is that you did mostly for him that you no longer have to think about. 

Did he like your hair long? Try a new cut. 

Did he hate that tee shirt from college? Wear it ‘til it falls off in tatters. 

You see where I’m going with this? You don’t have to primp for someone else or be concerned about what anyone else might think. You get to do what makes you feel good, whatever that is.

4. You decide what’s for dinner (or not).

When I was married, we played the “What do you want to do for dinner” game night after night. Ugh, I dreaded that question. 

After my divorce, no problem! I’d eat whatever sounded yummy, even if that meant standing in front of my open fridge and grazing. Even if it meant nothing but ice cream.

I’d drink from the carton too.  Rebellious I know.

5. You get nights off from the kids.

At first, it’s impossible to think about the fact that the kids will be spending time away from you with Dad. It hurts in the beginning, but it does get better as the kids get used to the routine and you become more comfortable with the idea. 

One day you’ll realize you are actually looking forward to it, if just a teeny bit. Time to yourself is time to get things done, to take care of yourself. Whether you use the time to see friends, catch up on bills, get a manicure or simply to enjoy the quiet of the house, it will give you some much needed time to rejuvenate — ultimately making you a better mom.

6. You’ll date again, perhaps.

If and when you are ready, dating after divorce can be really, really fun.  Once you find someone you like and the hormones kick in, watch out!  You’ll find yourself giddy and giggling like a teenager with your girlfriends.

It doesn’t have mean you are shopping for the next husband either. You might be a little rusty, perhaps times have changed (as in, Tinder!) so the goal is to practice.

Kiss some frogs! It’s the only way you’ll get a chance to find the prince.

7. You get to make a new nest.

Nesting is healing. Whether you actually move to a new house or apartment or not, you’ll probably need or want to change things up at home.

I didn’t have much money after my divorce so I furnished my studio apartment little by little by shopping at flea markets on the weekends. I loved it. Every single thing in that apartment was something I treasured. 

Now is your chance to surround yourself with things that make you smile.

8. You get to keep the house the way you like it.

I used to think I was a neat freak. If I was having friends over, I’d spend hours cleaning and making sure everything was put away before anyone got there. I kept the place magazine-ready at all times. It was exhausting.

After my divorce, I realized I wasn’t that neat — he was! I actually didn’t mind so much if there was a shirt hanging over the chair or if there was a glass on the counter. It’s strangely satisfying for me to let the house get a little messy now. 

The point? You get to be YOU in your own house.

9. You gain financial empowerment. 

Often my clients come to me and tell me their husband always managed the finances and they are terrified they won’t be able to support themselves or understand their finances if they get a divorce. 

Much like necessity is the mother of invention, a divorce forces you to learn your finances and to take them over. Once you get past the learning curve, it’s incredibly empowering to manage your own money. 

And I’m betting you’ll never want to relinquish that responsibility again.

10. You really will be happy again (honest!).

It takes a long time to heal — sometimes years in fact. And there are things you can do to speed that process up some. 

But no matter how long it takes for you to arrive, once you reach that final stage of divorce, you’ll experience a happiness you didn’t think was possible. 

You will feel whole again. You will have learned what the “non-negotiables” are that must be present in your life, as well as what you absolutely do NOT want in your life going forward.

You will be thoughtful and deliberate about things because you are back in the driver’s seat with complete control. It’s intoxicating and the feeling sticks with you. 

This is the best divorce gift of all.

I’ll bet when you get there, to your life after divorce, you’ll be able to add 10 more things of your own to this list.

The little freedoms we hadn’t even realized were missing are different for all of us. You’ll appreciate each and every one when you get it back.

Whether you are considering a divorce or already navigating the experience and aftermath of divorce, one thing we see making a significant difference for women is the conscious choice to not do divorce alone. Smart women around the world have chosen SAS For Women to partner them through the emotional, financial, and oft times complicated experience of Divorce. "A successful divorce requires smart steps, taken one at a time." - SAS For Women