Divorce Advice from Elizabeth Shaw on iVillage

divorce is a thousand little goodbyes

You’ll get through all the big stuff — telling the kids, someone moving out, taking off your rings, packing away the wedding pictures, signing the papers (each their own kind of hell) — and think, “Okay, it’s finally over.” But then you miss the first family event with your former in-laws or your child spends his first holiday without you. You’ll have to catch your breath all over again. When you marry someone, you can’t help but imagine decades of events and moments that you’ll share together and as a family. So it’s only natural that you’ll mourn them when they’re gone. Give yourself a little space to take it in and then let it go. You’re already creating new memories and new traditions — and this new branch of your family history will be just as rich and full as you’d hoped.

you’ll wonder how and why you stayed so long

Once you have a little distance, you’ll be able to look back at your relationship and see it for what it was. You’ll be shocked at what you accepted as “just part of being married.” But here’s thing: Marriages fall apart slowly. You accept one small thing and then another and then another. You keep trying and hoping things will get better until the moment arrives when you know it won’t. And only then can you make a change.

 

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