Bearing the stigmata of divorce—the social wounds, the odd looks, the strange pity taken on you by near strangers—may have you feeling like a birthday-worn piñata, but you can beat this (we mean, conquer it; perhaps “beat” was not the best word choice). We can help you find ways to turn those stigmata into charismata (personal charms).
People > Institutions
Our society has built up a gathering of opinions, doctrines and beliefs—dogmata—that make the rebuttable presumption (that’s a legal term meaning a court takes it to be true until someone disproves it) that divorce is bad for society. It certainly does not help the institution of marriage, but is it really bad for society?
Psychology Today reminds us all that divorce itself is not worthy of stigmata, but people’s reactions to it are the burden divorced people feel. People fear that the “institution of marriage” is hurt by rising divorce rates, forgetting that the “institution of actual real people” is hurt by being in toxic relationships.
Unhappy marriages affect work productivity, children and their schooling, and crime rates. Getting divorced can be a partial remedy for a societal ill.
You know why you need to get out of a bad marriage, and those passing judgment on you cannot know your situation. You are also under no obligation to correct their negative thinking, since it really only weighs them down, not you.
The Shameful Sonata
Fortunately for men (and clearly unfortunately for women), women are twice more likely to feel some sense of shame than men, according to one report. Sure, you can sit on your couch listening to some sad sonata by Beethoven (Want to feel sorry for yourself? Listen to his Piano Sonata No 8, known as the Pathetique, no less). Or you can bounce back, though studies show this can take up to two years.
Riata: Get Back in the Game
You do not have to be a rodeo champion to take the metaphorical riata (a lariat or lasso) in hand and venture out into the arena of life. The Huffington Post recommends three strategies to get back out there:
- Get support—Join a support group, social club, or hobby crowd; simply putting yourself out into a mix of guys (and a few gals) who share interests other than having been divorced can help you move on
- Reinvent yourself—Do it all: new haircut, new gym workout, new book-reading goal, new diet; just avoid clichés, like a new sports car and a series of new, awful one night stands
- Let go—Let go of the bitterness, sadness, anger, frustration, resentment, self-pity and anything else weighing you down
One expert we consulted, Bullwinkle J. Moose, attended the prestigious Woosamatta U., and if higher education is good enough for a cartoon moose, it should be good enough for you.
Find your local community college, for-profit school, or college offering adult classes. Take Italian for Beginners, take Welding 101, just take a class to branch out and be someone different. You may meet people who are just not very interested in your past, but are looking towards their own futures. You should be, too.
Skata: Turn an Unfortunate Situation into a Winning One
Skata. No, not the Greek word; the Icelandic delicacy. It’s stinky, putrefied fish, but in Iceland it’s a delicacy. Turn lemons into lemonade. Turn stinky fish into a feast. Remember why you sought a divorce in the first place, and actively go about all those things you wanted to do:
- Vacation where you want
- Watch movies you like
- Eat foods you like
- Wear comfortable clothes you like
- Attend sporting events, stay out all night playing poker, or smoke cigars
- Change jobs or change homes
What the heck, fly to Iceland and eat skata, if that makes you happy. You divorced to be a happier you; now go be happy.
Errata: Start with Correcting Errors In Thinking
Part of finding happiness is in turning assumptions around, in correcting errors in thinking. Suppose you were married for 20 years and divorced. You are, in fact, in a better place than someone who is your same age and never married, says web advice site Practical Happiness. We would be a little…curious…about a friend who we knew for 20 years—man or woman—who never married. Why didn’t they marry? What’s their problem? A person who was married and divorced at least has demonstrated the ability to commit to a relationship, to spend years with someone, and to work to make a marriage (and, possibly, a family).
At The Firm for Men we handle men’s domestic issues exclusively, so if you have rhabdomyosarcomata, (our longest word ending in -ata at 18 letters), which of course is a malignant tumor made up of striated muscle tissue, we are not your law firm. But if you are seeking a divorce, unhappy with your current divorce lawyer, or needing help after a divorce, we are here for you at 757-383-9184.