Submitted by Deborah Moskovitch
Why is it that some people can move on happy, while others walk around bitter and angry many years postdivorce?
It’s not necessarily the decisions you make, but how you
learn to live with them
There is one thing for certain and that is, there is no looking back. All I and everyone around me wants, is to be “happy”. What does happiness really mean, and how do we realize this goal? What I’ve learned is that life is a journey. It is a rocky road full of bends and bumps and lots of uncertainty. But, if you allow it to be so, it can be exciting, frustrating, sad, lonely, enjoyable, adventurous and fulfilling. The challenge is to make the choices that lead us to this place of “happiness” while enjoying the ride life offers.
Waiting for Perfection
If that’s what you’re looking for, you’ll be waiting forever. Just the other day, someone sent me an email with a picture of four skeletons sitting around a table playing cards……were these unhappy people waiting for something or someone to come into their lives to make them happy? Were they waiting for that perfect time for their happiness to arrive? This picture, made me realize that if you wait, you’ll be waiting forever. Any result that is truly worthwhile needs to be worked at.
Is the ever searching answer for
happiness really possible?
Can people actually be single post divorce and be happy? If they are then how do they achieve this reality? What is their secret? Is it like one of those new fad diets? Just follow these few simple steps and poof a new you, easily transformed while you sleep. Ha! Not likely. Maybe you think that the illusive goal of happiness only exists when you find that perfect mate; your knight in shining armor, or damsel in distress. Well, you’re single and that image you had of “happily ever after” needs to be reworked. It is possible; it’s just not the cliché.
Life postdivorce is a journey
into the unknown
Not realizing at the time, I had embarked on an adventure with some mysterious destination yet to be determined. I opened myself up to many new experiences and opportunities and on the way I have become a very different person. The difficulty I now have is reconciling who I am today, with the person I was while married or even while I was in my 20’s. I’ve changed. I now have straight hair when I had curly hair. There are fine lines around my eyes. In reality though, the changes have become significantly more than just physical.
This much I can say for sure; I had to do something when I realized that life would pass me by if I just waited for that perfect mate. Not growing, my life could be summed up in a five minute conversation!
I consider myself to be very fortunate. Not only do I have three amazing children, an extremely supportive family, but also an incredible group of dynamic friends. How did I gain such a rich life? I certainly did not have this when I separated. It was with a lot of hard work and desire to be happy.
Tips on Becoming a Happy Divorcée
As the “title of this piece suggests” according to happy divorcee, co-author Cathy Greenberg, an expert on the new science of happiness, AND co-author of the “What Happy Know Brands, LLC book series, happiness can be found in all aspects of our lives. Both good and not so good.
While researching my next book on divorce I came across “What Happy Women Know” and was fortunate to speak with co-author and behavioral scientist Cathy L. Greenberg, Ph.D. who shared this wisdom from her own “experience” with divorce that we can all use for achieving happiness postdivorce:
With every ending comes a new beginning but often our culture does not provide the “rituals” we need to close one door as we open another. We know how to celebrate birth, engagements, marriage and even death. Too often however, we are not familiar with how to deal with “less than positive” outcomes like divorce. I always look for the opportunity in everything. A divorce can bring new freedom to examine your life, a new job, or to learn new things. Divorce can help you understand what to do differently in the future and how to build on your strengths rather than focus on weaknesses. The secret is to think positive and stay out of the “negative looping” our brains are famous for. When I went through my own divorce I learned that I could count on myself because I focused on the “positive” about me. My strength was not only important for my wellbeing but for my daughter as well. I knew that the memory of my divorce would be painful, but the resilience I had as I looked at the future was infallible. I always had me, my gifts and my abilities to count on no matter what. I always look back at my divorce as an opportunity to learn more about the best in me.
For more tips on the science of happiness and becoming a happy divorcee check out these books:
What Happy Women Know: How New Findings in Positive Psychology Can Change Women’s Lives for the Better by Dan Baker, Cathy Greenberg, and Ina Yalof
What Happy People Know: How the New Science of Happiness Can Change Your Life for the Better by Dan Baker and Cameron Stauth
Deborah Moskovitch is a divorce consultant and educator, and author of The Smart Divorce: Proven Strategies and Valuable Advice from 100 Top Divorce Lawyers, Financial Advisers, Counselors and Other Experts. Deborah has become an opinion leader in the media and has shared her insights and research on television and radio to explain that divorce can be managed in smarter ways. To learn more visit thesmartdivorce.com