LIFE AFTER DIVORCE FOR WOMEN

Life goes on and time heals wounds…”

It is completely normal to be afraid of what your new life is going to look like once you make it to the point where you are away from your ex husband and on your own. I want to encourage you to think about all the positive possibilities instead and for good reason. It can and will define your outcome.

I would like to recommend a great book for you to read called “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne. It explains how when you think about all things possible, good or bad, it will manifest. Put simply, if you imagine yourself with the job you want, living in a house you want, driving the car you want, living the life you want and you believe it and work at it, you indeed will have it. On the same token, if you worry about something it too will manifest into reality. I have been practicing this and it works….remember I am a natural born worrier so I have had both good and bad happen to me. Seriously, read the book or watch the documentary available on Canadian Netflix. There is also a movie available with the same concept starring Katie Holms and John Lucas called The Secret…Dare to Dream. It will change your outlook on life.

Once I had made the decision to leave my marriage and I told my husband this. I had a spell of crying and freaking out over my uncertain future and then began the grieving phase of my divorce. When I was ready, I started to think about what kind of single mother I wanted to be. I visualized a strong and independent woman with a full time job that I loved, living in our home that we had from the marriage so that my children didn’t have to adjust to a new home or school and friends. I did not want to rely on other people(child maintenance) or government funding to get by monthly. I wanted to provide for my children and myself on my own and financial help that came, that was extra.

Most of my determination came from not being allowed to handle finances during the marriage which was how I was controlled but also caused me to have a large lack in confidence. However, the independence my mother taught me proved I was more than capable to handle all this uncertainty not to mention a close BFF in my corner reminding me and cheering me on saying, “You got this “

Everyone has their own unique situation. Think about yours and how you want it to look once the divorce is finalized. This new life will likely start before all the papers are signed. In some cases, you may need to move a time or two before settling into your forever place and that’s ok……allow for wiggle room.

* WHERE WILL YOU LIVE?

This is extremely personal to each person. Some have specific thoughts on location, style of home, size, and with whom they will share the home with and other’s could care less as long as it’s a safe roof over their head. Keep in mind what your children’s needs are and how they might feel about moving and how this can effect their future.

*WHERE WILL YOU WORK?

THE DEFINITION OF LUCK IS WHEN PREPARATION MEETS OPPORTUNITY”

You can begin very early in the divorce process in figuring this out. You may have skills or education from the past that can help aid in landing a job. Now is a great now to brush up in those skills. Keep looking in places like Indeed and Kijiji as employers us those forums to get help. Lastly, keep an ear out amongst people you know for opportunities. That old saying ‘it’s not What you know, it’s Who you know’ still rings true today. That is how I landed a great job with pension and benefits, a rare thing to have in todays world. Keep in mind that some jobs are just stepping stones to better opportunities.

*WHAT KIND OF GOVERNMENT SUPPORTS DO YOU QUALIFY FOR?

Based on you income you may qualify for certain provincial and federal government supports.

If you have small children that require childcare during hours while your are at work, you may qualify for subsidy. This may come in partial or full subsidy. Remember what ever isn’t paid by subsidy (parent portion) is a section 7 expense which is covered by both parents as per the divorce agreement and therefor you are not solely responsible to pay 100% which makes it very affordable to work. Working helps build your life back faster and eventually you build credit with banks. (ie) Banks are likely to take a risk on you for loans, mortgages and credit cards.

When you have day to day care of your children you also receive child tax credit (CTC) as a single parent monthly. Everyone is entitled to this tax credit in Canada though it is based on your income. It does not take into consideration your ex husbands income or how much child maintenance you receive from him. Once you have been the sole caretaker of your children for 90 days, apply for this credit or take your lawyers advice on when to apply.

If you have children involved in extra curricular activities, there may be organizations in your community that help low income families. Look into this in your area as it helps take the edge off of paying monthly bills.

*HOW WILL YOU HANDLE LONELINESS WHEN IT COMES?

Loneliness creeps in and out of a single persons life. It can also be the culprit for the bargaining phase in grieving the divorce. It is important to recognize it for what it is and do a self assessment on what you are truly lonely for. Some times you are simply lonely for other adult conversation so call your BFF and do something. Other times you can be lonely to have alone time with yourself. Read good books, go to the gym or for a walk. Do whatever makes you happy and fulfills this need. Anything that is healthy (while you still feel broken) is good for you and helps you to move on in life.

Once you have been single for a good while and you have your new life moving along in a healthy way for you and your children, then you might feel like it’s finally time to date men. Just remember that if it doesn’t feel right, trust your instincts and abort the mission.

*WANTING OR NEEDING COUNCILLING IS TOTALLY OKAY!

You are not less because you want help to get through this hard time of your life. In fact you are stronger than you think because of it. Seek out help in your area and advocate for you children if they need it too. Some employers have access to such agencies for little to no cost to you. Keep in mind that some of the best therapy in the world is a coffee date with your BFF’s!

There is no right or wrong way to navigate your new life unless you are harming yourself or your children. Remember that alcohol and substance abuse can easily take over quickly during divorce stress and causes horrible harm to all involved. Stay healthy! Get help if you fall into this trap.

Take help of any kind when it is offered to you. These kind gestures don’t last for long.

Accept praise for being a good mom when you receive it. This is a badge you can wear with pride even if you still feel guilt for having a failed marriage.

Worry about your character not your reputation, because your character is who you are…..your reputation is what others think you are”

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