As the one-year anniversary approaches to the Judge’s final consent to officially end my seven-year plus marriage….I can’t help to reflect on what a whirlwind year it has been. My temperament and experiences varied from exhilarating to at times feeling depressed. Taking a step back and studying my behavior from last summer until now… I can break out this past year in different behavioral patterns. The phase of healing from the love and union of my marriage was predominately experienced from my divorce decision to the end of the filing process. The progression in the past year can be broken into 4 distinct phases- Embracing Independence, Desperation in Not Being a Perpetual Single Divorcee, Lonely and Reclusive Period, and Embracing Reality and Loving Me Phase.
1st Phase Single and Fly- I Did It- Divorce Party Time: Twas the days of summer in 2013. I was finally able to get out of my reclusive shell and embrace the single fun summer days with my girlfriends. Great times experienced in Martha’s Vineyard- Who needs a man, when you have your girlfriends to experience life moments?
Mission was to maximize on my free time as per the approved parental custody agreement and experience New York under the fresh lens of a single-again professional female. I had a completely different lifestyle the past 4 years living in the New York area and sporadically experienced the single-life of New York in my 20s when living here the first time. Guess you can say my 20’s was all about being Boo’d up (in a committed relationship). Well say no more, I have girlfriends and I can occasionally fish and flirt with a whole entire sea of single men in the NYC Metro area. The cuffs of marriage have set me free. No need to explain that I am going through a divorce, because I am divorced and my status is now “single”. I am optimistic about life post-divorce and eventually finding love again.
2nd Phase Eagerly Seeking Husband #2: Well the “Party All The Time” phase sort of ended with the Summer. Don’t get me wrong I was still on the social scene, but relationships that were established with potential gents, I was curious and ready to discuss the possibilities of the next chapter- “Exclusivity” a “Committed Relationship”. The conditioned me, of always being in a relationship began to set in. After-all one of the purposes of removing myself from my current marriage was the thought of finding love again- meeting my “Soul Mate” that was my best friend as well as a marriage partner. Well, the dating scene slapped me in the face POW! This was new territory and even more of a challenge than I thought being a single mother of two. I was vulnerable and maybe it showed or I was just too freaking trusting and optimistic. This NYC Metro dating scene is brutal! Wasn’t really dressed in my armor to shield my heart. Sure I was gaining the attention from men, as a fresh divorcee I dealt with my stress through the gym and I tried to make sure I still appeared physical appealing to the opposite sex to complement my intelligence and charismatic personality. But, I wasn’t prepared for life to get in the way of the connection. As you become older, there is career, family and life that just gets in the way of letting love blossom. And there is always an occasional sleaze ball that will say anything to have a chance for a possible physical connection. You ask all the right questions, take the initiative in reaching out and maybe introduce them to your kids if not in person via shared photos. Reflecting now, maybe I was too eager as well, and I was just sticking out like a sore thumb. Oh well, Get Over It…Life Goes On!
3rd Phase I Can Do Bad All By Myself!: So realizing the dating scene was not all what it is cracked up to be and realizing you can’t always spend your free-time with friends- as they have a life too. Some are cultivating their own relationships with the opposite sex and they just have an independent single life period- family near by and etc. Also the financial responsibility living as a divorcee began to take precedence. So I took a break and was literally treading water. I briefly gave up on any hopes of dating and finding a new gent. Plus, why do I need to go on another emotional rollercoaster? I Can Do Bad All By Myself!
So I began to plan my life’s next chapter as a single independent woman…not putting my life on hold in hopes that a gent will get their life together and we could be in sync. Discover myself again, take a trip abroad alone (oh also have to plan a mega trip with the kids too- that was 1st priority). The Spring was approaching, it was time for me to shake off the depression and enjoy the contagious optimistic rays of the sun.
4th Phase Back To Earth- Happy Medium, Love Me, Love Me, Love Me!: Now as we are fresh in July, I can say I enjoyed my experience navigating the NYC single professional scene and night life. I have established my independence, but now have an appetite for more cultured events, spend more of my downtime with my sprouts, cultivate the hobbies that make me happy. I have not given up on dating completely, I just do not revolve my life around it anymore. I realize that I have established great friendships with gents and ladies alike over the past year-a couple from dating experiences where the timing and compatibility of each other wants were a bit off sync. One of my best guy friend’s always says to me…. “Stop looking for love…it will happen when you’re not looking for it”. Well I am now a true believer of that saying, as when you are looking for it, sometimes you attract the bad wolves or waste time with great men that just don’t share your interests and goals in life and/or just in two different places. My rebuttal to his saying was you have to make yourself open to dating. But I know there is a balance that includes making yourself the number one priority. You can be too eager or too underwhelming which both don’t work in your favor. Nevertheless, my focus is improving on loving me, being a better mother, daughter, sister, friend, co-worker, leader and blogger. Some of these roles were a bit neglected throughout my first year transitioning as a divorced woman.
I Have Persevered and Am Stronger and More Confident! I Love Myself and Am Content With My Life and Any Addition To My Life Would Just Be A Plus!
I Am Interested To Hear About Other Divorcee’s First Year Transitioning Period. Please Share Your Insights!
9 thoughts on “The Freshly Divorced Phase- My One Year Recap! Independence, Dating, Laughter, Sadness, and Confidence.”
Glad to hear you’re doing well!
I’m not sure when it happened for me, but it was very freeing to have the confidence to go enjoy things alone – a movie, a dinner out, a walk by the river …. Although, if you’re going to go to a bar, it helps to at least have a male there somewhere that you know who is willing to be used as a decoy when some slobbering drunk wants to tell you how much he loves your tattoo. 😛
I have only made it a quarter of the way through my first year. I have a completely different mindset than you. First, I did not want a divorce. My husband divorced me. Second, I had to deal with all of the emotions that came with the divorce. Third, I realized before I attempted to move forward in my life, I needed to determine what my part was in the demise of my marriage. I spent the year we were separated and the last three months we have been divorced determining my part and unpacking the baggage the divorce left me with. I felt that I had to get my act together before I could move on healthy and whole.
The boy’s psychologist recommended that my ex-husband nor I introduce a significant other to our children. They needed to deal with the trauma of the divorce. Having to deal with the divorce and their parents dating would be traumatic. My ex-husband had an affair at 45 with a 22, now 23 year old. She is six weeks younger than our older son. They have had a hard time dealing with it. He has put her first. He has not seen them for his parenting time and the few times he has seen them this summer it has been an hour or two with her.
I only have two years with thing 2 and four with thing 3. I decided that I would put their needs before mine for now. I am still grieving the death of my marriage. I am no where near ready to date again. My concern is ensuring that my boys heal and move on as healthy as they can after a divorce. I am enjoying the time I have left with them. When I am stronger and ready, if the right man presents himself, then I will go out with him. If not, then I will enjoy loving myself, being with my boys, friends and family.
Yes an entirely different perspective. My demise of my marriage was quite different…where what we wanted in our lives did not pan out, which was evidenced through a brutal and heart breaking experience. It took me a while to get the strength to move on from my marriage, so I guess the idea of me being a failure and understanding my role and what I couldn’t control is what I was dealing with. But I will admit I wasn’t 100% healthy post-divorce ready to date, I had my biological timeclock ticking. I now am in a different place, everything happens for a reason.
It sounds like your in a healthy place now! That is all that matters. I have a long way to go. My marriage was NOT healthy. My ex was a narcissist, alcoholic, sex addict and more. I knew a few of these negative personality traits but found out the rest after we were divorced. I have had a hard time processing the information. How did I missed it all?. Did I see it and chose not to acknowledge it? There is still so much to process….
“I needed to determine what my part was in the demise of my marriage.”
I remember realizing that myself, and boy was it a painful realization. I was in an abusive relationship (infidelity, physical abuse, emotional abuse – you name it, it happened), so I had to keep reminding myself that I WAS NOT blaming myself for being a victim. Instead, I was working to heal myself, make myself better (just because I was a victim didn’t mean I started out perfect), in order to move forward and be a good person, mother, and wife the next time around.
Even so, I still find that sometimes my husband gets my trauma thrown at him from time to time, so I’m still working on it several years later.
It was liberating and sad all at the same time. He was the Cheating Spawn of Satan and I was glad to get rid of him. I was sad because he wrecked the innocent view of what it meant to be in a functional adult relationship. Anyways…you go girl♥️
my draft box is begging for release after almost a year of this mess. (i don’t use names geeez) just wanted to anonymously vent as husband left in the middle of the night w/ out a word, but ex lives in fear (deserved) that his online/public self be tarnished and may seen as he really is. I have no one to yell at so I type.
Glad I provided you an outlet to vent. Best of luck with everything.