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This is a subject that has been on my mind lately…why do some women not feel the need to work after divorce? The vast majority of us understand the need to become self-sufficient and able to provide financially for ourselves and our children.
Some, however, feel their ex-husband should continue to bear all the responsibility post-divorce or, they have the skewed belief that alimony and child support frees them up from having to worry about their future financial security.
I see this belief played out in my Facebook timeline constantly. Women divorce, spend years living off child support and alimony and then BAM, those funds run out and they pay the consequences of not planning ahead.
And, they justify this behavior by saying, “I was a stay-at-home mom and I’m going to continue to be a stay-at-home mom. That is all fine and dandy until your children are no longer at home, the child support comes to an end and alimony runs out.
Why aren’t these women wondering about who will send them monthly checks when the ex no longer has to or, starts refusing to?
I understand the fear associated with lifestyle changes that can come along with divorce. I was a stay-at-home mom for 16 years before my ex left and if all really were “fair in love and war” he should have been made to take care of the woman he abandoned. It isn’t fair though, and it does none of us any favors to hold onto the way things should be, instead of face the reality of how things now are.
Thanks to no-fault divorce laws women who are left behind can no longer depend on the man who left them to continue to take care of them. And there is no excuse for not taking care of ourselves.
And, women who leave a marriage certainly should not expect a man they no longer want to be married to, to support them after divorce. Seriously, no!
Women, whether you have children or not, need to return to work after divorce. If they want to survive financially, there is no other way to conduct their lives post-divorce.
15 Very Important Reasons You Will Want To Work After Divorce
1. You Earn
Financial independence and freedom can be one of the most important variables that influence the quality and quantity of a woman and her children’s lives. It means better food on the table, a better roof over their heads, and a bit of money in the bank after the bills are paid.
It can also be one of the most liberating aspects for a decent quality of life and respect.
2. You Learn
Learning is one of the foundational pillars of personal and professional growth and life, and the sky (rather your view of the sky) is the limit to what you can learn when you work. The most important thing you’ll learn is that you can be self-sufficient.
3. You Become Independent
You have an identity of your own – independent of your personal relationships and associations. There’s no telling how important it is in your own self-confidence and self-worth.
4. You Improve
Your general knowledge improves – just by being part of a world outside of the 4-walls you observe, listen and comprehend a lot lot more. You become more than a mother!
5. You Appreciate Equality
You appreciate the differences and nuances of the world within the 4-walls and outside the 4-walls. Trust me, this bursts your bubbles in terms of what it takes to be a working woman!
6. Your View Changes
You get to see how fair/unfair life is beyond the 4-walls. And that changes the way you view your own life and the way you live your life
6. Your Self-Esteem Increases
Your own self-esteem increases significantly – you just feel so much surer of yourself.
8. You Get Recognition
Your family and society view you in a new light – many times, this translates into more respect and value they associate with you.
9. You Get Empowered
You are better enabled, equipped and empowered to make decisions – simply because you know that you have a choice.
10. You Can Shop
You can “buy” things for yourself – yes! You’re a good prospect for (m)any businesses. You pump money into the economy and boost money circulation. You don’t have to do without things you need if you’re part of the workforce.
11. You Become Role Model
You can be a role model to someone, especially your daughters! I know many of my role models are everyday working women who balance life and work every single day.
12. You Learn Life Skills
You learn a lot of key “life skills”. Top among them are time management, communication, negotiation, saying NO.
13. Learn To Let Go
You tend to let go of a lot of excess baggage. Many times it is simply because you don’t have time to delve into the past or worry about the future.
14. You Inspire
You can inspire someone somewhere. Just by being a live example of “It is possible, you can do it”
15. Your Family Prospers
Your work will directly / indirectly play a significant part in your children’s standard of living. There is no better reason to work after divorce than that!
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Sometimes we adopt a posture of righteous indignation because we mistakenly believe that not forgiving the other person makes him or her the bad guy while making us the victim, the nice guy. We feel morally superior.
But being unforgiving doesn’t make you good and the other person bad. It makes you unhappy! The other person can very well go on with his or her life untouched by your anger and hatred.
Remember, you deserve to be happy. So, tap on the power of forgiveness to set yourself free.
You need to forgive your husband for every wrong, real or perceived.
Yes, every single one of them. You need to forgive yourself for all the things you regret associated with your marriage and in every area of your life.
This is hard stuff, I know, and don’t get mad at me for saying so. But as hard as this may be, it is essential to your happiness. Release the charge. Stop thinking about it, or at least think about it with neutral feelings.
We are often unwilling to forgive because we assume that forgiving turns us into doormats. That forgiving is condoning offensive behaviors. That, by forgiving, we are making them acceptable. We are enabling the perpetrator. We are inviting more of the same.
But that isn’t true.
Forgiving is not about condoning bad behaviors, especially forgiveness after a toxic marriage.
Some behaviors, abusive ones, in particular, are wrong and unacceptable, and should never be tolerated.
Those behaviors may have given you good reasons to end your marriage. But they do not justify ending your peace and depriving yourself of the happiness that is your birthright.
Forgiveness opens the door to a life of freedom and possibility.
Forgiveness makes room in your heart to allow love to flow in.
Maybe you’re not comfortable forgiving because you fear it makes you seem weak.
To the contrary, forgiving is empowering, because it dissolves the grip past hurts have over you. It allows you to face your vulnerabilities and gives you the opportunity to heal and dissolve them.
When you hang on to past hurts and resentments, you are giving your power away.
Perhaps you have endured vicious behaviors that were totally uncalled for. You may think you have been inflicted the unforgivable. I understand.
I am not trying to minimize your pain, but open your mind to the possibility that other people have endured horrifying experiences, even worse than yours, and have found it in their hearts to forgive. Through forgiveness, these people have achieved freedom, and inspire us to allow the power of forgiveness to heal our deepest wounds.
Louise Hay had been sexually abused as a child. Yet, she turned her painful experiences into an occasion to heal herself and to help others heal through a lifetime of inspiring works. Likewise, Immaculee Ilibagiza, in her book “Left to Tell: Discovering God in the Midst of the Rwandan Holocaust,” shares her stirring story on achieving freedom through forgiveness, after her family members were murdered by friends and neighbors during the genocide in Rwanda in the 1990s.
Their examples underscore how forgiveness can serve you.
Forgiveness doesn’t stop with your husband. Also, forgive yourself. The past is over and done. You cannot change it, but you can choose again. Learn your lessons and be the better person from it.
Consider incorporating a forgiveness practice into your life.
It will support you as you examine your relationship, decide whether to leave or stay and start your life anew, with or without your husband. It will pay dividends in every area of your life and will enable you to enjoy better relationships and a serene existence.
If you’re not sure how to go about it, there is plenty of help available. The subject is so vast and complex that you could fill a whole library with books about forgiveness. There are lots of amazing teachers, all of them courageously sharing their personal stories and unique forgiveness techniques. Find one that resonates with you. Or feel free to create techniques of your own if you can’t find one that is right for you.
My favorite book on the subject is “Forgiveness: 21 Days to Forgive Everyone for Everything” by Iyanla Vanzant. This fabulous little book comes with a built-in, 21-day workbook and includes a CD with guided meditation exercises for every day of your forgiveness journey. By day 14, I felt considerably lighter and more peaceful.
You can also join forgiveness support groups at a local church or online.
The key is to allow the power of forgiveness to release you from the wounds of the past and pave the way for a brighter future.
If You’re Not Ready to Forgive Yet
Maybe your spouse or others have engaged in very damaging behaviors that you need to process. Perhaps your emotions are still too raw, and you are not yet ready to forgive. Be kind to yourself and honor your feelings.
Forgiveness requires you to be ready and receptive. You may want to wait until the heat is off, the dust settles and you are out of the emotional danger zone. That is perfectly okay.
Take baby steps down the road to forgiveness. Louise Hay taught that you can start by being willing to forgive. Take the first step now and get ready for a life in which your husband’s misdeeds are not even worthy of a passing thought.
Now you’re ready to begin anew. Rebuild your life on a clean slate with the power of forgiveness.
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Divorce can be a painful and traumatic experience not only for the couples involved but also for their family and friends. If you are planning to file for a divorce, make sure to read these questions first. According to statistics, about half of marriages in the United States end up in divorce. The most common […]
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