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The Power of a Support Group for Life After Divorce

Picture this: You just received your final divorce papers, and it is sinking in that you are free to move on to the next chapter of your life. The only problem is that it looks suspiciously like yesterday, except if you wanted to marry someone tomorrow, you could. No one comes to mind. While you are planning to drink a glass of champagne later with your bestie to celebrate, it is only 10 o’clock in the morning, and you are having feelings that are the exact opposite of celebrating.

Now you’re confused. You had thought that once you were divorced, you would feel…happy? Inspired? Free? Instead, all that you feel is fear, sadness, and loneliness. This can’t be all there is, right?

You know what your settlement numbers are, so you sit down to make a budget. Essentials are covered. Are weekly manicures considered essential? Looks like they’re not. Daily Starbucks? Maybe if you pack your lunch every day, those can stay. What about Netflix? This is not fun.

You decide to try out a dating app. After filling out your profile, taking a couple of selfies, and setting your filters, you hit the button to see who your dreamboat matches are. You immediately get six likes, but when you click on their profiles, all you see are guys who cannot possibly be your match. One is living in Australia; you live in Florida. One is wearing a Speedo. One said he is your age, but once you click on his profile, he says he is really ten years older. Another one is looking for only casual hookups. Another only speaks Russian. And lastly, one says he wants a sugar mama. You give up.

What to do? How about joining a divorce support group?

Share Your Journey with Those Who Understand

You may be asking yourself why you would want to do that. Turns out there are several good reasons to join a support group for divorced women, the main one being that you are not the only one who has encountered the horror of dating sites. You may get a few tips on navigating them or at least how to spot the scammers early on.

The fact that there are other women who have to trim budgets, deal with loneliness, and continue to have to talk to their exes because of the co-parenting thing can be of great comfort to you on those days when all you want to do is cry in the shower an extra five minutes.

You can also share your experiences with trying to figure out how to feed your kids something other than peanut butter sandwiches on your new grocery budget. Someone else may need to hear that. This give and take is very healing for everyone in the group.

A Support Group is a Sanctuary

A support group is a safe place to voice fears and challenges without being laughed at or judged. No one will do that because they have all been in the same place you are currently, or maybe they still are in that place. Maybe they were in that place, moved forward, and have now circled back to deal with these same issues again. That’s the thing about life after divorce—just because you wrestle one issue to the ground does not mean that it will never rear its ugly head again. Maybe in a different form, wearing a wig so you don’t recognize it right away. You may begin to recognize themes, and maybe learn a new set of coping skills to handle them, all because you voiced your concerns to the group and someone else knows what you are going through.

Even if they don’t, they will empathize with the feelings you are facing, because they’ve been there before too. Emotions really are universal, and there is comfort in that. It doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom, either. Sharing your joy and triumph with others is giving a gift of hope to those who could really use reassurance that life does get better, even for a moment. Maybe someone put your feelings into words, resonating with you on a deep level, bringing you to tears just because someone else gets it. You are not alone. 

Be Brave

Life after divorce is not for the faint of heart. You may be staring into the abyss, unsure of your next steps. That’s ok! Be brave! No one has everything figured out. Some days it may take all your strength just to get up on time, get dressed in something that doesn’t scream Bag Lady, and get everyone out the door on time. Other days will go smoothly. You will pay your bills and have enough money for a pizza and movie night with the kids. Or tacos and margaritas with the girls. Maybe even both.

Work buzzes along, your ex responded civilly to your last text, and the cable guy showed up within the four-hour window as promised. That run lasts three days, then you wake up with a headache and your dog threw up in your shoes. Such is life.

Now, however, since you belong to a divorce support group, you know that you will get a chance to vent about all of this and revel in your good moments. There will be at least one other woman who knows what you went through this week, because she did too. It takes bravery to keep moving forward. It takes bravery to join a support group. Like anything else in life, the more you practice something, the more proficient you become. Give yourself credit for doing the brave things, then do more of them. It is easier to be brave with a group of women cheering you on.

Rebuilding Your Life After Divorce

Starting over after divorce can be daunting, but rebuilding your life does not have to be a solo journey. Healing and connection are found with others in similar situations, and you can find that in a divorce support group. Just knowing that others are struggling with the same sorts of issues and overcoming similar obstacles time and again is healing. Knowing that you are not alone on your journey into this new chapter is a kind of strength all its own. So drink your glass of champagne while you delete the guy in the Speedo, with the group cheering you on!

If you are interested in experiencing the power of a divorce support group, click here to sign up for a free trial.


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