ontrary to popular belief, divorce doesn’t necessarily have an entirely negative impact on co-parents’ lives. It’s totally OK to worry about the negative effects of divorce. Still, it’s crucial to understand how stepping out of a situation that is no longer right for you brings empowerment, self-awareness, and so many other good things.
As a single parent, I can confirm how retaking control over my life and focusing on my own needs has made me a better person and a better parent. Once the divorce process was over and the initial emotions cleared, I realized all the restrictions preventing me from seeking a happier life had crumbled away. The sense of freedom that came from extracting myself from a foggy situation had opened my eyes to all the positive outcomes of divorce and the potential adventures that lay ahead of me.
Paying attention to the positives will change your perspective and your life after divorce. After all, you just ended a relationship that probably made you unhappy, and getting out is your first step to discovering a happier, more fulfilled version of yourself. Although the initial feelings that may come with signing those papers may be challenging, your post-divorce life can be more peaceful and fulfilling than ever before.
While you may still miss your ex or feel resentment towards them from time to time, you will also gain the freedom that allows you to open up a new glorious chapter in your life. Here are some positive effects of divorce you can anticipate coming your way.
If you want to get in sync with your primary needs and desires and learn more about yourself, getting separated is one of the best events for achieving that, as weird as it may sound. Once you’re single, you’ll get the opportunity to experiment with what you need to be happy and satisfied.
While still in a union, partners often neglect their own needs and well-being to compromise with their partner and sometimes forget what makes them feel fulfilled. After ending a relationship that wasn’t working, you’ll no longer need to compromise on your hopes and dreams, and you’ll get a clear sense of what you truly need to live a happier life. Moreover, the separation will equip you with outstanding coping skills and help you realize how strong you are.
One good way to reach comfortable self-awareness is to talk. Talk to close friends or family who are positive and accepting of you. Saying things out loud and analyzing them with someone who knows how to listen will give you a new perspective. An experienced therapist may also help you cope with this change and intentionally self-reflect.
The fear of the unknown is often the first feeling divorced parents experience, and it’s OK to be confused. After all, it’s a life-changing situation, and it’s normal to worry about the impact of divorce on your children’s lives and your own.
However, you will start rebuilding your confidence by changing focus from a crumbling relationship to your relationship with yourself. You had the guts to end this relationship or the strength to endure it being ended by your partner. It took a lot of courage to turn a new page, and not everyone has the strength to do it.
You may not be in a great place yet, and that’s perfectly understandable. After all, ending a relationship is always hard. You will get your confidence back, but please be patient with your emotions so you can heal.
Taking back the power you may have surrendered to swim through the muddy waters of a broken union will rebuild your sense of self.
According to a study published in the Journal of Personality, how a person’s self-confidence fluctuates during separation is unique to the individual. Nonetheless, researchers found an overall tendency for self-esteem to stabilize in the years following separation.
Despite the changes affecting your life situation, social world, and finances, studies suggest that separation can lead to personal growth and mental and physical health. The positive effects of divorce will become undeniable once you start feeling empowered.
When was the last time you spent the weekend with your friends, browsing at a flea market or going to a concert? When in a union, your focus is on the family, and many parents are always looking for ways to save money and time so they can dedicate both to their partner and kids.
After the separation has settled, and if your kids are with their other parent, you’ll likely relish the newfound freedom to spend your time how you want. This looks different for everyone, but you may be thrilled that no one is texting asking when you’ll be home. You may be glad that you can have that second glass of wine at dinner with friends. Or, you might experience a rush when you realize you don’t need to run that spontaneous spa weekend by anyone.
Maybe you and your ex gave each other lots of freedom, but still, there’s always room for more self-discovery in this new chapter.
Of course, you’ll still take care of your children, but you’ll also get weekends or entire weeks to yourself so you can do whatever you want, with whomever you want (hello, college friends you haven’t seen in years!).
You may realize that your dreams have been conflicting with your ex-partner’s desires the entire time. With separation comes the empowerment to make your dreams, big and small, come true.
You can move to that nearby neighborhood you’ve always loved, start that yoga instructor certification, get that cat you’ve always wanted but your ex had allergies (hey, all dreams are valid dreams!). Whatever your unique situation is, regaining freedom is one of the most important positive effects of divorce.
Once you extract yourself from a union that doesn’t make you happy, you open doors for new possibilities. Your new life perspective, self-esteem, and self-awareness will help you lead a better life, single or partnered. Plus, co-parenting while you’re in a happy relationship can be much more satisfying for you and hopefully your kids.
Research suggests most kids adjust well within two years after the separation. They may even experience more problems if the parents stay in an unhappy union instead of splitting.
After my separation, I developed a closer relationship with my babies. We got more one-on-one time, so I could focus on each child and dedicate my time to their interests which gave us plenty of new bonding opportunities.
Here’s an example: My daughter had always wanted a puppy, but my ex didn’t want pets in the house. Guess what happened after the separation?
Going to the animal shelter and getting a four-legged friend was among the first things my children and I did. We now have two dogs and a cat, and our shared affection and caretaking for our pets has given us a new sense of togetherness we didn’t have before.
While you’re wading through the pain alongside your kids, you can focus on developing stronger, closer relationships. You can do anything that would spark your kid’s creativity that you can do together, or anything that truly excites them. Even something as seemingly insignificant as getting a dog can make you feel closer to your children than ever before.
Some marriages and relationships simply don’t work, and that’s completely normal. In time, you may find the separation has enabled you to meet the person you were truly meant to spend your life with — or you can take your time and enjoy exploring new relationships, activities, and hobbies.
While you rediscover yourself, don’t let the task of cost sharing with your co-parent drag you down. Use an app like Onward to cut the awkwardness out of shared finances, including sending and receiving payments, submitting proposals for future expenses, and uploading receipts — all without having to nag your co-parent.
Take your life into your own hands and experience the best version of yourself — you’re finally free to do it.
Diana is a writer who specializes in blogging. She's on a mission to inform and uplift people in complex and confusing life situations she's been through herself. When not working, you'll find her at the seaside or in the mountains.