Lying to yourself is a coping mechanism that can be an effective survival tool akin to a seat belt that keeps you from flying out to Crazy Land while you're on the emotional rollercoaster ride of divorce.
First-time, even second-time divorcees need to get through some pretty deep and profound changes in order to keep the kids, jobs, friends, homes, cars, precious pets and everything else on as even a keel as possible.
Here are the top five lies that have helped my divorced friends and I get through. Maybe they've helped you, too.
1. Now that I know what I did wrong, I won't do it again.
"Next time, I'm going to not only hear when my potential spouse tells me he can't live without heavy metal, I'm going to listen and believe him. In fact, I'll make a list of all the ways I chose wrong this time and ignored signs and keep that list on my smart phone so when I feel myself falling for the "perfect" match, I'll have my own information and experience to refer to. No matter how much I want to fly blind, it's eyes wide open from now on for me."
2. Kids are adaptable, they won't be that affected.
"Kids are pliable but I know they're not as bendable as Gumby; they will be affected. The question is how much. If we focus on making sure the impact is kept to a minimum and communicate that our split is not their fault, then it might be just a bump in the road for them instead of a huge cement block. And we can point out the clear advantages they'll have, like two homes to choose from and one parent all to themselves."
3. We didn't have kids, so I can pretend it never happened.
"I'll simply blank him/her out of my mind and get rid of all traces of him/her. Sell the valuable things and use that money to travel, which will provide a fresh exterior while I do my interior work of mentally and emotionally erasing his/her memory. And, if I run into them somewhere when I return, I'll just nod as if to a stranger seen occasionally on a crowded subway or at a ball game. Ex? What Ex?"
4. I'm not like my divorced parents.
"You inherit hair color and big feet, not divorce. It's not some gene that gets passed down. Besides, there's free will."
5. I'll just never get married again.
"Who needs a piece of paper to deem you a couple? I do like a good wedding party, but it doesn't have to be mine."
If you're not a first or second-timer and have gone through divorce often, perhaps the machinations of rationale and denial are not only easily recognizable, they're accepted as part of the process. If so, and these top five lies just don't do the trick anymore, maybe you have some of your own you'd like to share in the comments.
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