Getting Through Your Divorce
Janna Walsh of Richboro, PA, felt she did the best she could for her two sons when she was getting divorced from her husband. She and her ex agreed to put their own issues aside and focus on the kids after the divorce. “I guess the most significant thing we both tried to do was try to make them feel less out of control,” she says. “We talked to them together. The message was very much focused on the fact that we loved them just as much and nothing about it was their fault, and we would both still see them all the time.” She adds that because her sons are close in age, there was no need to tailor the message differently for each of them. “Even though I spent a lot of time with my sons, I still did not feel I did a great job of mothering them,” says Janna, who is now a grandmother. “I’ve since tried to make it up to them, and we are very close now.”
“Every divorce and relationship is a different situation,” says Isaac Herzig from Haifa, Israel. In his case, he assumed responsibility for two of his three children after his divorce. Eventually, his youngest daughter, who was 12 at the time, ended up living with him, as well. “I think that not taking my young one out from her surroundings—friends and school—and letting her live with me in the same place, helped her to go through that time much easier,” says Isaac.
Even if you don’t have children, telling family and friends about your impending divorce can be quite daunting. You don’t need to go into intimate details as you share your news. In fact, if others react by asking you personal questions that you’d rather not answer, tell them so—politely, of course. Simply explain that the topic is too raw for you right now and that you prefer not to discuss it further.
The New Divorcée
For many divorcées, the big question is: When do I start dating again? As you’re not quite 30 days into the divorce process, it might not be time to jump back into the dating pool.
“Give yourself a break,” says Kanner. “The literature says it takes you about two years to feel like you’ve gotten back to your old self. You need to pick up the pieces. You need to be with friends and with family members who are supportive.” Plus, according to Kanner, you likely need to work out your own issues and figure out how to keep your personal life separate from your children before dating.