Carrie L. Ward is a divorced mother of two daughters, a runner and a long-time social service worker/administrator from the Midwest. Carrie's marriage to her college sweetheart ended after 23 years, resulting in an unexpected and abrupt change in the direction of her life. With the support of steadfast friends, family, coworkers and a wonderful therapist, Carrie is beginning to rebuild her life, her confidence and her strength, and would like to share some of the ideas, tools and strategies that have helped her cope thus far with the separation and divorce with others who may be wondering if the tears ever stop flowing or the rocky road ever gets smoother. Carrie has a Master of Arts degree in Counseling and a Bachelors Degree in Psychology/Sociology.
Some folks describe their divorces as a mutual parting of ways. They characterize their new relationship with their ex-spouses as a 50/50 partnership. But that's not how it works for everyone. It certainly didn't for me.
It can be hard to fill the void in your life left by separation or divorce. What do you do with the time you would have spent with your spouse and/or children? How do you avoid counting the minutes until it’s “your turn” to see the kids? There are no easy answers, and what works for me may not work for you. Read on for some of my favorite ways to cope, fill my down time, and begin to move forward.
Finding your place in the world post-divorce can be hard. How do you respond when friends and loved ones mention your new start and encourage you to embrace it? Coping with divorce is a struggle even under the best of circumstances. Consider these tips as you try to begin again.
Have you decided to sell your home as a result of your divorce? Leaving your marital home can be bittersweet, but it also creates opportunities for you to begin again. Try to take advantage of your new start by choosing a place that reflects the person you have become. That is the path I hope to take, if the real estate market cooperates!
Do you wonder what your future holds after divorce? Will you make it to the proverbial other side? Will you ever look back on these difficult days and acknowledge your strength and perseverance, your pluckiness and bravery? Yes, you will! This letter, written from the perspective of your future self, explores some of the difficulties faced by new divorcees and includes a few examples from my own personal experiences. It reminds us to stay strong and hold on because better days surely lay ahead. Onward!