Have you ever done a kickboxing class? I'd highly recommend it as a tool for coping with divorce. It feels so great to throw punches when you're feeling angry, bitter, enraged or resentful.
On the flip side, there are certain moments during divorce that feel like someone is kickboxing you. Times when you feel like you just got just a sharp right hook to your cheekbone, or a swift uppercut to your chin.
I have to say, there were times during my divorce when given the choice, I'd probably have picked the physical blow versus what was actually happening. Here are the moments in divorce that seriously feel like you just got punched:
- The moment you and your spouse have the conversation that ends with, "Okay then. It's done."
- The day you come home and all his stuff is gone.
- When your friend calls you and says she saw him at a restaurant looking very cozy and happy with some "blond who looks a lot younger than us."
- The night you get home from your first date and realize what a disaster it was.
- When your lawyer calls and tells you she just filed for sole custody.
- The second you see your child's facial expression turn to sorrow as she watches your ex scream at you.
- The day you meet a woman who got divorced at your age and is now 75 and alone.
- When your ex picks up your kids for the first time and you are sitting there home alone.
- When your ex tells you he never loved you.
- When your ex tells you she cheated on you during the marriage (even though you already knew that).
- The night you go out to a bar and an obnoxious, drunk guy hits on you and you are thinking he's a sample of the single guy population available out there.
- When you run into your in-laws for the first time since the separation and they give you a dirty look and turn away coldly.
- The day you find out your ex is dating one of your friends.
- When your young child, with tears in his eyes says, "I wish dad could come home."
- When you write your first big check to your attorney. Actually, when you see the bill is worse.
- The moment your divorce is final.
All of these things truly feel like big blows, like you just got struck. It hurts. It aches. It's really, really painful and hard to take.
But, I really want to end this on a positive note by saying that just like a physical injury, our emotional wounds heal too. The punch you got starts out big and bloody. It then gets black and blue and becomes a bruise that gets smaller and smaller, and better and better with time. In the end, although there might be a tiny scar left, hopefully we move on and even thrive.
On a much more optimistic note, here are a few things that happen during divorce that -- rather than feeling like you got punched -- feel like you are being hugged or kissed, which makes you feel happy and hopeful and inspired and loved.
- The first time a guy hits on you.
- When you get a job offer you never thought you'd get.
- When you realize your kids are happy, just like kids whose parents are married.
- The first time you kiss a guy.
- The night you're having a really fun family night with your kids, and you're laughing so hard you accidentally spit food out, which makes your kids laugh even harder.
- The day you meet a girlfriend who you know is going to be someone who turns out to be a true friend.
- When you are on the plane taking a trip to an exotic place you know you never would have gone if you were still married.
- When a family member says, "I'm proud of how strong you are."
- The day you look in the mirror and realize how incredibly strong you are, and how you never knew it until now.
- The night you run into your ex and you seriously couldn't look any better.
- The first time a guy sees you naked and tells you you're beautiful.
- When you realize you're in love.
- The moment your divorce is final.
Jackie Pilossoph is the author of the blog, Divorced Girl Smiling. She is also the author of her new divorce novel with the same name, as well as her other divorce novel, FREE GIFT WITH PURCHASE. Ms. Pilossoph is a weekly business features reporter and columnist for Sun-Times Media. She lives in Chicago with her two kids. Oh, and she's divorced!