Whenever you successfully complete something that you thought you could not do, you gain confidence. Whenever you have to reframe your assumptions about your weaknesses and limitations, you fuel belief in yourself. Whenever you face your fears and survive, you acquire strength. And whenever you come through a struggle bruised and battered yet without giving up, you build trust in your abilities.
Divorce gives you plenty of practice in all of these. The end of a marriage is rife with authentic opportunities to build your confidence:
Whenever we accept too much assistance, we sacrifice our self-confidence. But divorce gives plenty of practice in self-reliance. Because at the end of the day, you have to do it yourself. You can accept help in everything from paperwork to counseling, but the talks with the lawyers, the tears in the night and the conviction to move forward are yours and your alone.
Divorce seems never-ending. The mountain seems insurmountable between the emotional process and the legal one. One step forward is often followed with a mudslide back. It’s a powerful feeling when you look back and realize how far you’ve come. Baby steps add up to marathons.
In many marriages, you grow to depend upon your partner as your go-to when you’re stressed or upset. But in divorce, that is the one person who cannot offer you the comfort you crave or the helping hand you desire. You have to do it all without the support of the person that you had always depended upon.
Divorce is scary. It requires cojones just to face each day. You never know what may lie in wait around each corner and what demons you may be asked to slay. And if you have kids, it takes even greater courage to be the strong one for them.
When a marriage ends, it leaves no surface untouched. It affects every area of your life from finances to future. Nothing is sacred. Nothing is safe. It’s not easy living in a land of uncertainty with no firm footholds.
When you are partnered, you see yourself as your spouse sees you. You may accept his or her perceived weakness as truth and you may lose faith in your ability to conquer challenges. As you separate, you are forced to revise your self-image. And you will discover that you are stronger and more resilient than you ever imaged.
Made it through divorce? Here’s your trophy. You deserve it!