When going through the stressful life experience of divorce, it’s easy to dwell on the negatives. Whether you initiated the divorce or it has come as a shock, nobody says going through divorce will be easy. But there may be long-term positives to being divorced, too. Divorce has the potential to be a transformative life event, rather than only a negative one. Whilst there will be many challenges and difficulties, for those days when it’s difficult, here’s a list of some of the things that you may stand to gain from getting divorced.
A major benefit of divorce is the fact that you are now free to live your life however you please, without the need to please someone else. You won’t be stuck trying to fix an unfixable relationship. You won’t have to feel the daily stress of a confining, unhappy marriage. You’ll have more energy to focus on other aspects of your life. You’ll have the chance to leave behind a relationship that restricts your growth, or a partner who tries to lower your worth, and become your true self–or to reconnect with the person you once were, who you may have lost.
Divorce lets you hope
One of the things people love about marriage is the sense of security it gives you. This is one of the reasons people often stay in an unhappy marriage rather than pull the rug out from under their feet with a divorce. However, on the other side, a divorce can offer you a feeling of hope—that things will be better and you will be happier. Rather than focus on the loss of your marriage, try to focus on the chance to gain true happiness moving forward.
You can realise your dreams
Although you may be grieving the loss of shared dreams and a shared future, you may also see that divorce gives you the chance to completely redesign your own future. Now you can follow your own heart and make your own plans without the potential to conflict with your partner’s dreams and plans.
It lets you make all the decisions
You no longer have to support a spouse every step of the way through life. You are free to support yourself instead. Independence is so liberating. Free from the roles of marriage or the needs of a partner, you get to make all the decisions in your life—big or small.
It makes you stronger
Through thriving on your own, and getting through this tough part of your life, you’ll become a stronger version of yourself. Although divorce can feel devastating, building your new life will help you regain confidence in yourself, a confidence which may been quashed in a bad marriage.
You’ll get your happiness back
If your marriage was mired in conflict or even abuse, you will certainly find that divorce will improve your happiness. But even when ending a low conflict marriage, perhaps one where the love had simply evaporated, it’s common to feel a range of negative emotions when through divorce – grief and sadness, anger and bitterness, shame and guilt. However, unlike staying in an unhappy marriage and feeling trapped with negative emotions, a divorce has an end point and you’ll come out the other side with the chance for newfound happiness.
Your home is yours alone
You have no one else to please (or get annoyed at for leaving towels on the floor). There’s no more consulting your partner and compromising on every decision you make. You can redecorate your home however you like. You can eat takeaway every night. You can dress like a slob. You can dress up and take selfies. You can genuinely dance like nobody’s watching.
You’ll become a better parent
An unhappy marriage inevitably affects the children, because it’s hard to put on a happy face for the kids and maintain the energy to care for them while constantly fighting or dwelling on the parental relationship. Post-divorce, you’ll find it’s true when they say a happier parent is a better parent. Having parents who aren’t miserable and trapped in a toxic relationship is better for the kids. Remember, if you thrive, they will.
You can model healthy relationship behaviour
If your kids have had to witness your marriage disintegrating, they may well have been exposed to more hostility and bad relationship behaviour than they should have. Getting a divorce can show the children that there is a way out of an unhappy relationship and that being single is better than staying in a bad marriage. They can see you re-enter the dating scene and model healthier, more respectful relationships to help them in their own future romantic lives and won’t settle for a toxic relationship themselves.
You will rediscover time alone
Particularly if you will share custody of children, you may find that divorce gives you the free time you never had if you were shouldering 100% of the parenting duties. This can help you in working out who you are beyond being a spouse and parent – you will have more time to explore new activities and opportunities. Whether it’s to take up study to retrain for a new career, or just more time to spend completely on your own taking care of yourself and recharging – you’ll appreciate the gift of solitude, which is very different to loneliness (which you can even feel while married).
You get to call the money shots
No more fighting about money or spending. You will have all the responsibility for budgeting, spending, paying bills, investing—but you’ll also have all the benefits of your hopefully careful and wise financial decisions! If finances were something your spouse always handled, now is the time to get yourself up to speed on your financial situation, ideally by seeing a financial advisor to help you plan the best future.
You’ll get the chance to relax
This one’s especially important if you’re getting out of a high-conflict relationship. No more fighting and more time to yourself equals a far less stressful life than the one you’ve been living. You can forget about the responsibilities that come with a relationship and do the things you need to feel good.
You’ll be able to find your person
During this process of discovering that your spouse was not right for you, you will have the chance to find new love and truly find your person. Whether it’s exploring dating apps or being open to flirting with strangers again, you’ll have a better understanding of your needs and how you wish to be treated in a relationship. You’ll be more focused on finding someone compatible rather than someone to “complete” you, making future relationships healthier.
You can reunite with your friends or find new ones
If your marriage made your social life shrink, divorce can do the opposite. It may be that you lose a few shared friends through the divorce process, but you’ll have more opportunities to pick up new friends or catch up with long-lost ones.
You’ll get the chance to discover who you really are
Feel lost without your “other half”? The time is ripe for reinvention. Discover how to feel happy and complete on your own—and don’t be afraid to seek out a life coach to help you make the most of this crossroads in your life.
You’ll get to love yourself
Divorce gives you the opportunity to put yourself first rather than considering every decision you make through the prism of someone else’s needs. Whether your marriage was marred by an endless unfair division of household labour, or you wanted to live up to an idealised idea of what a marriage should be – a divorce can force you to think about making self-care more of a priority.
You don’t have to love getting divorced, but you can love the way divorce will give you the freedom to live life your way without compromise. Yes, there will be grieving and plenty of negative emotions as you navigate the experience of divorce. But – it’s also a chance to ‘do over’ your life with a clean slate, if you reframe how you view this step into the unknown.
For legal help with your divorce, or any other family law issue, please contact Canberra family lawyer Cristina Huesch or one of our other experienced solicitors here at Alliance Family Law.
Please note our blogs are not legal advice. For information on how to obtain the correct legal advice, please contact Alliance Family Law.