I received this email from a divorced woman:
I’ve been divorced almost 2 years. I actually closed on the sale of our house and got divorced all in the same week. My two young daughters and I moved into a small 2 bedroom apartment. Yesterday I put in a bid on a condo. I should feel proud of myself and happy but for some reason I just feel sad that I’m not doing it with a husband, and that I have to do it on my own. How do I change the way I feel about this?
Having been on my own for almost a decade now, I can understand how she might feel. There are times I miss having a husband, a partner, someone to share a home with, and feeling like a traditional family, especially during important, exciting times like buying a new home.
I have to believe many divorced men and women feel a little bit lonely in this way at times. It makes sense that if you committed to being married at one point, you probably liked the idea of marriage. Perhaps you just married the wrong person.
Putting all this aside, the bulk of my response to reading this email will be about the many, many reasons this divorced mom should be doing cartwheels around her kitchen (or I should say, her soon-to-be former kitchen.) First, does she realize how wonderful this scenario is? What she has done—gone from a renter to a homeowner on her own is remarkably impressive! It’s an accomplishment and something in which to take a lot of self-pride.
It takes a whole lot of guts to buy a place on your own. It takes risk and money and time to learn the process. And only those with a certain kind of independence, strength and courage can handle it.
Sometimes I think divorced women don’t even realize half of what they are capable of. They sometimes lack self-confidence and faith that they are doing much more than just fine on their own. They forget that they don’t need a man to be happy.
Now, do I think this woman and other divorced moms should give up on finding love again, and accept that they are going to be alone? Hell no. I just want them to be OK until they do find it. Because I truly believe that those who are in a healthy emotional way—who have peace and acceptance, who have an open-mindedness and an open heart, and who have the courage to be vulnerable again will find love again if they want it.
Until then, I hope that this divorced mom (and all divorced moms who are single) finds a way to truly celebrate the enormity of what she has done. She has purchased a home for herself and her children. She has shown her young girls strength and empowerment. She didn’t sit around waiting to meet a man to get her out of the small apartment. Instead, she got herself a place that felt right, a place she knows she and her family will enjoy and grow and prosper. It’s truly inspirational!!
I hope she will let go of the sadness and realize her love is coming. For now, her job is to decorate her new home with warmth, love, health and of course, self-pride.
Jackie Pilossoph is the creator of her website, Divorced Girl Smiling. The author of her novels, Divorced Girl Smiling and Free Gift With Purchase, Pilossoph also writes the weekly dating and relationship column, Love Essentially, published in the Chicago Tribune Pioneer Press. Pilossoph lives with her family in Chicago. Oh, and she’s divorced.