Divorce As a New Beginning – Not an Ending

by | Jan 18, 2014 | Family Law

As the new year begins, I think it’s a perfect time to discuss the concept of divorce as a fresh start, just like the new year, with the opportunity for resolutions on how we can be better and more successful going forward.

Divorce doesn’t have to only be an ending or something devastating. It can be, and sometimes it may feel that way – but truly, every ending becomes an opportunity for a fresh start and a clean slate. When we look at divorce as a beginning, we change the conversation from woe-is-me to one of optimism.

That’s how I view divorce. Opportunity. Starting over.

(By the way – a majority of divorces occur in January and February – whether due to putting things on hold during the holidays or for tax implications.)

If we are honest with ourselves, we realize that every single day is a fresh start. Have you ever said, at the end of a bad day, “Tomorrow’s a new day!” That implication, that the woes of one day won’t bleed into the dawn of a new day, is truer than ever. And divorce is no exception.

Some people believe that we never really start over, but rather begin again right where we are, with a desire to make things better in our lives. If I look at it from that perspective, pulling on experiences of my clients, I can agree that the desire to leave a marriage is coupled with a desire to make one’s life better, stronger, happier, more successful.

We can’t erase the years we spent with the person we are parting from. And why would we want to? There were happy times, to be sure, and successes throughout the years, even if tumult and unrest prevailed.

Those divorcing who are parents especially wouldn’t want to completely erase the years spent with their soon-to-be ex-spouse. We must begin again from where we stand, driven by the belief that anything is possible and the future can and will be better if we are determined to make it so.

Steve Jobs, whose life had many ups and downs, once said, “The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.”

What if we considered the time post-divorce as one of our most creative periods? Take a moment – think about the light in your divorce.

Sharon Wegscheider-Cruse, author of Life After Divorce, and a therapist who has been interviewed by Oprah Winfrey and other national TV celebrities, believes that every person has the ability to grow from the devastation of divorce. In her book, she insists that each person in a divorcing couple can emerge as a better person, more well-rounded, and ultimately happier.

Peace, fulfillment and greater self-esteem are not only possible after divorce, she says, they can and should be the goal. I wish you all of these things in the new year!

~ “And now let us welcome the new year, full of things that never were.” ―the poet, Rainer Maria Rilke

Read more Family Law posts