You’re keeping yourself miserable.
We create myths because we’re afraid, and divorce means BIG changes to the fundamental societal structure we’ve been accustomed to: marriage. When people criticize those who divorce, they are issuing a warning against change—don’t buy in. Take another look. Not only can you survive divorce, but you can also find happiness.
Here are four common myths about divorce that are FAR from true:
1. “If I worked harder on my relationship, we wouldn’t be divorcing.”
People can change significantly during a relationship. You’re constantly growing and changing. You can be good for each other for many years until you just aren’t anymore.
Your paths took different directions. And that’s OK.
2. “My friends will judge me because of my divorce.”
Don’t be friends with uncompassionate people. Following a divorce, you may have to leave your judgmental friends behind. Stay open to new friendships and keep putting yourself in the position to meet them.
Opposites attract, so the characteristics that drew us in hold us there for months or years and then irritate the life out of us. Later in life, however, we tend to make different choices. We choose people who are complementary, not opposite.
You’ve grown older and wiser. Our minds are exposed to more and more in life, bringing opportunity, rapid change, and growth leaps. The relationship may have begun with the silent understanding that nothing would change, but that doesn’t resonate with the growth of today’s individual.
And lastly, remember that women are now more empowered emotionally and financially than ever before. Many men are still under that belief that THEY should be the primary focus of the relationship, but that’s no longer the case.
3. “I will never find a new relationship.”
Not true. You CAN find a new relationship if you WANT one. It’s absolutely possible. Just understand that you might have to be more open-minded than you are now. For example, you might have to do online dating even if you’d never thought you’d have to. The times have changed, so be prepared to change along with them.
4. “Being alone would be so terrible.”
The truth is, there’s no perfect situation for anyone. Half of people who are single wish they were married, and half of them who are married wish they were single. It’s not so much your situation that brings you happiness, as it is your perspective.
Know that a transition period will ensue that feels uncomfortable. You will adapt. Just give yourself a little time.
Being alone can help you maintain your “true you.” Alone, you can learn to embrace what resonates within and reject what doesn’t. Alone, you don’t surrender your power to anyone.
Don’t buy into the myths. Forge forward and experience the gifts of being single until you find a new relationship or become one of the millions who find the single life to be ultimately satisfying.
Dr. Kathryn Foster is a psychologist and author. Purchase her book, When Your Relationship Changes: A Woman’s Journey to find peace during difficult times. Sign up for her newsletter at booksbykathrynfosterphd.com.
This originally appeared Your Tango. Republished here with permission.