Authored by Pam Hawley in Divorce
Published on 07-05-2009
Divorce is one of the most life-altering experiences you’ll ever have to face. Even if you initiated the divorce, the changes in your life can be overwhelming.
Everyone needs support when going through a divorce. Lawyers help navigate the legal ramifications of divorce, changes in living situations, and child care arrangements. Financial experts help assess and manage your new monetary situation. Counselors address emotional issues. Family and friends provide encouragement and advice as you deal with a wide range of often conflicting emotions.
Women might have support needs that differ from those of men. Each woman faces different hurdles. For one, the biggest challenge is living alone. Another faces the need or desire to work after being a stay-at-home mother or spouse. Someone else struggles with adapting to single parenthood or getting back in the dating scene. With the variety of challenges she faces, a divorced woman’s emotions range from fear and frustration to hope and exhilaration.
A major need in terms of divorce support for women is friendship with others facing similar challenges. You may have a strong and solid support system, but still feel confused and isolated. The people in your life may be busy with their own families and obligations. Although they try, your happily married or long-term single friends may have trouble relating to your emotions.
Acknowledge that this new phase in your life may require expanding that network. Consider joining a local group for singles. Such groups offer more than just the chance to meet dating partners. You can also meet others who are going through similar experiences and share ideas, success stories and frustrations.
Also explore community organizations or interest groups. Getting involved in activities you enjoy is another way to build your network. Your new writing group, book club or aerobics class is also a place to focus on something you enjoy rather than dwelling on emotions or tasks related to your divorce.
Online resources can also be useful. One source of divorce support for women is http://www.womansdivorce.com. This site provides legal resource information categorized by state. There is an “announcement” section with opportunities to connect with others going through divorce. These range from on-site workshops to podcasts. There’s even a casting call for a new TV series on divorce! Yet another source of divorce support for women is http://www.sassypinkpeppers.com. The Peppers are a social group designed to help divorced women avoid feelings of isolation. As the site says, they focus on the “camaraderie of girlfriends.” There is a one-time support fee for membership on this site.
Newly separated or divorced mothers might also want to check out http://www.themommiesnetwork.org. This network offers both online support and chances to meet in local in-person groups.
Expanding your support network is an important part of adapting to and enjoying life during and after divorce. Involve yourself in local activities, explore singles groups, take advantage of online resources and continue to nurture your existing relationships. You may find the support you need in the most unexpected places!