Let’s face it. Financial stress can be a key factor in delaying divorce. People are afraid to split due to financial woes. People are delaying the divorce because someone doesn’t want to sign the papers over a low alimony number…whatever the case may be, finances are indeed a real hardship and pain in the butt when it comes to divorce. But the reality is even with that over a divorcing couple’s heads, it’s not the hardest thing about divorce.
And trust me, I know. I did not walk away from my marriage financially comfortable. I hustle. I work hard. There are definitely some incredibly tense times that I don’t sleep worrying about money.
But even still, the hardest thing about divorce is not dividing the property, paying off debts and starting up again on your own.
The hardest thing is having faith that you will be okay again. The hardest thing is telling you that as you’re walking away from someone you may have known for years and years and years…that you will rebuild. That you will find love. That you will be okay.
This is something I struggled with greatly during my separation from my former husband. I wondered if all of the “newness” and uncertainty would be worth it. I wondered if one day, this struggle both emotionally and financially would pay off. I wondered if I would be “okay” again.
So many people sit in bad marriages and situations because the devil they know is easier to deal with than the devil they don’t—will I be ok? Will I move on? Will I find love again? — in so many ways. It’s what my friend Sid calls “Sitting in sh*t.” So many of us sit in the sh*t because the idea of getting ourselves up and cleaning ourselves off seems so much worse than the agony of sitting in smelly, rotten feces—metaphorically speaking.
It’s that question that lingers in the backs of our heads as we move forward and untangle our lives from our former partners that can stall us from either calling it completely quits or from really moving on and embracing a new life after divorce.
It’s that doubt and that silent nagging voice that makes us wonder, even when we know full well that there is NO way in hell we could have stayed married to our former spouses if we will really truly be okay.
The reality is no one can guarantee you that. When I was making the choice in my own heart and head to divorce, I asked a friend what she thought.
She told me, “Don’t divorce to find someone else. You may go out there and find no one. Divorce because you just cannot be with your spouse anymore. Divorce because being alone and happy is better than being married to this person.”
She was 100% right. You cannot divorce thinking there is someone else better out there.
You must divorce because you simply cannot be with the person you are with.
What lies ahead of you is another story.
But will you be okay?
Yes—you will be okay as long as you choose to be!
You can sit in the sh*t post-divorce and fret over being alone, being broke and starting over, or you can get up, clean yourself off and start to make choices that decisively, bring you happiness.
There are people I cannot change and situations that I have no control over, but when it comes to the things I can control since my divorce I have hacked away at the thorns in order to clear a path for beautiful roses. I have and I do everything in my power to create the happiness and life I want.
So yes, if you choose to create the happiness and life you want, you will be ok. And as hard as it is to believe that especially during the rough patches, you must hold onto that hope…that small beam of light, and cherish it and only allow people into your life that will let that light grow.
The stronger your desire and focus to be happy, the more powerful your light and life will be and one day, that nagging voice will be silent.
You won’t wonder anymore if you’re ok. You’ll just know that yes, you are just fine.
Laura Lifshitz is a pint-sized, battery-operated, writer, comedienne, and single mother. Laura will work for chocolate. The former MTV personality and Columbia University graduate is currently writing about divorce, sex, women’s issues, fitness, parenting, marriage and more for the New York Times, DivorceForce, Women’s Health, Redbook, Working Mother, Pop Sugar, Your Tango and numerous other sites. Her own website is frommtvtomommy.com.