If someone asks you “are you thankful for your divorce?” you might think they are crazy or, at the very least, impertinently rude. It might seem odd to give thanks for your divorce on Thanksgiving Day. But many people have experienced the heartbreak and emotional trauma of a divorce and come out stronger because of it. For them, there are few life events worthy of a toast at Thanksgiving than their divorce. Nevertheless, you're still probably asking who could ever be thankful that their life was turned upside down, their dreams devastated, their children's lives dislocated, and their financial existence devastated. How could anyone be thankful under these circumstances?
Being thankful in these circumstances does not mean that you are thankful that your marriage fell apart, that you and your spouse separated, or that you hurt your children as a result, in some fashion, because of the divorce. Being thankful also doesn't mean that you ended up in misery and pain. Nor does being thankful mean that your life is a mess and that your dreams are in a shambles.
Finding reasons to be thankful for your divorce means looking beyond the pain and struggle of ending a marriage to find the gifts that only a divorce can bring. To help you find and expand the gifts in your own divorce, here are some reasons for thanks:
1. You can now live life on your own terms. You can go where you want; when you want to go; and spend whatever money you want. You can structure your life on your terms. Your activities and your finances are your own to create. Sometimes, it could be lonely living alone. But it's far more lonely living in a loveless, contentious marriage. If you just shift a little bit how you view your life (that you're currently living as a separated and/or divorced person), you might just find that living your way has some of the fulfilling benefits; your children live in a healthier environment. Be grateful that your children don't have to be involved in misery, unhappiness, or toxicity of your disintegrating relationship. Be thankful for your new life during and after divorce simply by knowing that your children won't have to be surrounded by two unhappy people. Research has consistently demonstrated that contentious conflict harms your children - - both in the short term and long term. All it takes is one unhappy spouse to make the atmosphere at home stressful and toxic for young children. Find joy and blessings now in the fact that your children have two better and more peaceful households to live in, even if it's hard for them when they miss their parents. Two peaceful households are better than one toxic home;
2. You can decorate your home the way you want to. Now this may not seem like a big deal, but your environment plays a huge role in your overall feeling of well-being. To function at your best, you need a home environment that supports who you really are. If your home is not a comfortable place for you to live in, you suffer. Be grateful that you live in a home that you can decorate in a way that fits your inner self and your needs. You can live in peace. Whether your marriage was a roller-coaster of angry outbursts or icy storms of "the silent treatment," it affected you. Stress in these kinds of environments takes a toll on you. Being able to live in a peaceful household makes you more productive at work, lets you have better focus, and lets you provide more focus on your children. The bottom line is, living in a home with stress and tension has negative consequences. Living in peace is a blessing and one for which you should give thanks;
3. Your divorce probably made you a better parent. Even if you were considered to be a great parent before your divorce, spending at least some time away from your children somehow makes you realize how precious your time with them truly can be. Your kids will not be kids forever and time is precious. Also, you can parent your way. If you and your ex were constantly having arguments about what was best for your children, then parenting solo can be a relief and a blessing. Focus on the advantage and the blessing of both having some free time can bring you and the different perspective that it can bring to your parenting;
4. Divorce gives you a second chance. I can hear the groaning now: “I really didn't want that type of second chance.” You wanted your first marriage to work. I understand that, but it didn't. But becoming divorced may give you the opportunity to become the person that you once were and had somehow lost in an unhappy and dysfunctional marriage. It also may provide you the opportunity to remake you into a person that you want to become but never had the opportunity to be;
5. No need to visit the in‑laws. There's no obligation for you to visit anyone on your former spouse's side for things like praising and complimenting them on their incredibly tasteless, bland or uninviting Thanksgiving dinner; and
6. No more drama. For the first time in a long time, you'll be able to go through a Thanksgiving holiday celebration with far less drama than you have in the past. You may even have time to chill out and actually take a break. In addition, you can celebrate Thanksgiving the way you want to. If you feel like drinking malt wine in your pajamas all Thanksgiving break, you can do it. If you feel like watching the same movies over and over again, you can do that. You can celebrate Thanksgiving the way you want to do so. You don't have to make any compromises with your former spouse in how you will celebrate your holiday.
Going through a divorce around the holidays is rough. Yet even amongst all that turmoil, trouble, emotional pain, and heartbreak, there truly are gifts for which you can be thankful. Hopefully, you now will have a better perspective that your divorce has provided change in your life but, in many ways, it has made it a better life for which you can be thankful.
Board Certified Marital and Family Law Attorney Charles D. Jamieson understands that divorce is an extremely sensitive and important issue. Thanks to extensive experience and a focus on open communication, Attorney Jamieson adeptly addresses the complex issues surrounding divorce while delivering excellent personal service. To discuss your pending or anticipated divorce or other family law issue, please contact The Law Firm of Charles D. Jamieson, P.A. online or call 561-478-0312.