First comes love, then comes marriage, then somewhere along the line it all goes wrong and you’re left wondering what in the world just happened. Is that where you are right now? Why you’re reading this? Let me guess…You followed all the rules. You did everything “right”. The right order, the right timing of things, and yet it all went so wrong. As an overachiever, maybe even a perfectionist, getting divorced in your early 30’s feels like a colossal failure. Perhaps, you’ve been dealing with codependency and don’t know how to be alone. Maybe, you are even the first person in your family to get divorced. Gasp! How are you even going to show your face or the next family gathering? What are they going to be saying about you? What will they say to you?
But, we got through 2020!
In my practice, I have seen so many different versions of this story play out for Florida women. In 2020, we were all faced with the harsh reality of living with, or living without, a significant other. All the time. Some people made the most of their time together. Some people expedited an inevitable breakup. Others took this time to figure out who they really are and what they want in the world. Maybe the split from a significant other happened prior to 2020, and having a year to not have to explain yourself to everyone was actually a (rare) bright spot in that wild year.
“Well-Meaning” Friends and Family…oh my.
That’s actually the situation a friend of mine was in after a fall 2019 separation and now pending divorce. She recently took her kids to visit extended family for the first time since the summer of 2019. In the meantime, her cousin recently separated as well. Wouldn’t you know, her well-meaning aunt ended up spending the first hour of their time together complaining about her cousin’s split and—clearly not reading the room—flippantly mentioned the fact that “There’s just very little (read: No) divorce in our family, you know?” Oh my goodness, my friend definitely had to fix her face and manage to say to her aunt “yes, I know… I had to be the first.“ good thing she’s a boundary boss and was able to say what she needed to at that moment to get through. But, it’s not always easy. That sort of messaging is internalized for so many of us, implying that a marriage ending in divorce is simply not an acceptable option.
Divorce Often Sparks Shame and Vulnerability
Talk about a recipe for a full-on shame spiral. Again, she did all the things “right”. I won’t try to speak to the specifics of your situation, but I will say that most overachieving perfectionists will have done all they could to try to save the marriage before it ends. Whatever that looks like. But, it’s simply not always possible. Like it or not, it takes two to tango. And, the reality of marriage is that one person can make the ultimate decision that it’s simply not going to work. Of course, all breakups are technically like this. But, there is something about marriage that usually feels more stable. In fact, marriage is where you should be allowed to be your most open and vulnerable. Unfortunately, this simply isn’t always the case.
Divorced. It’s done. What’s next?
Regardless of how you got there, the decision is made! The paperwork is happening or done by now. So, wanted or not, family blessing or not, it’s time to move on. It’s time to move through. But… How? Here is my top advice to help my divorced and divorcing 30-somethings feel a little more prepared for what is next. Of course, if you want to talk more about this, I’d love to help you! Now, no matter where you are in the world, we can talk about your next steps. Meanwhile, I hope this helps.
Who are YOU? This is your job now.
Remember that you are a whole, and worthy person separate from being a wife, spouse, partner, and/or mother. I spoke about this in the context of being a mom in an earlier post about what your divorced friend wants you to know, but I know that it’s also easy to forget who you really are. What makes you, you? What gives you life? Are there things that you haven’t done in years because they didn’t fit into your life as a couple? Are there things you have always wanted to do or try, but didn’t because of your relationship?
This is the time, my friend! This is your time to truly discover who you are now and who you want to be in the future. You’re not 20 anymore, and that’s actually a really amazing thing. You’ve grown, and the things you thought were necessary back then probably save a little silly now. Give your younger self a break…she was doing her best. Now, you have the benefit of both hindsight and some huge life experience that can help you make better, braver, and more beautifully boundaried decisions than you ever thought possible. Take some time to examine old patterns, automatic thought processes, and truly look inward to your needs and desires. This probably isn’t something you have spent a ton of time on in recent years. But, doing this work now will lay the necessary foundation for a fulfilling future.
Begin Therapy for Divorced Women in Miramar, FL or Start Online Therapy in Florida
You, or your friend, could benefit from talking with someone about all of this. Whether you need individual relationship counseling or therapy for divorce recovery, this is the place to be. Or, I can help you wherever you are in the world as a coach to help you work to figure out your next move. To begin therapy for women in Broward County in-person or for online therapy in Florida, follow these three steps:
Contact Counseling Solutions of Boward to schedule your free 20-minute consultation on a video platform,
Meet with Enid and get to know her!
Live life with more security and confidence as a fully whole, beautiful human.
Other Therapy Services Offered at Counseling Solutions of Broward:
In addition to providing anxiety treatment for women in Florida, Enid De Jesus offers a variety of mental health services at her counseling clinic in Broward County, FL. Her goal is to create lasting transformative change and growth in your life. So, she offers codependency therapy, depression treatment, counseling for imposter syndrome, after-divorce counseling, and relationship counseling for one. For more information on counseling, please check out her what to expect page or contact her counseling office.