Wednesday, August 5, 2009


CHANGES! There will be lots of changes in the new lifestyle after a divorce takes place. I am not in the position to comment about what Life after divorce is like but I do shared the pains and their anxieties of divorcees out there willing to tell me their stories. Tina, a teacher after two years separation, finally got her divorce finalized after all the hassle. With all the hurt and disruption caused, Tina wondered whether there is life after divorce. How can she pick up the pieces and start all over again? It certainly takes time to make adjustment on house management, having to do everything and having to get use to being without a man in the house.
Mary, a divorcee had a different mindset. She felt that there is life after divorce. It is like an experience of a new life after being detained and she has to believe in herself and have faith that things would work out in order to survive.
There are several factors that affect a divorcee in society and in her lifestyle. These are some of the challengers she has to face in society and it is like “being born again.”
A threat – Divorcees are often seen as “dangerous and available” to married men and their spouses are not comfortable with them socializing with divorcees. Mary once told me that she had to be careful when socializing with men to avoid being branded as “Desperate Women looking for a fling or sex.”
Loss – Speaking from the Lady’s point, some of these women still grief on their loss of their husbands to the other women and it would certainly take time to overcome this loss. Bitterness and anger are still with them and their chances of socializing are out, what hope can these divorcees expect if not for their children? The few friends who used to hang out with them slowly disappeared as they felt uncomfortable in their presence. Therefore, finding new friends are their only options that can lead them to new experiences and a renewed sense of purpose and enjoyment.
Unsecure – Married life gives stability and security to the women but divorce would pull them apart. This would tear the fundamental sense of security and many plans will come crashing down and explanations had to be given gently to the children. It’s no longer a “mummy and daddy affair” anymore. Often this can lead to panic and worry but the fact that if these women are trying hard to stand on their own feet and create new routines and build a new stability, it will be the first step to win the battle.
Change of roles in Parenting – When divorce disrupts the whole family unit, the whole house system change, most often mothers may have less quality time with the kids if they have the custody, they have to adjust to the level of support, especially sending and fetching the children to and from school. Managing a family after divorce is flexible and adaptable if it is being planned properly. For example, most of the older kids have to learn to be in dependable and help out in taking an adult role to supervise the younger kids and doing house chores. Mary said “surprisingly my kids can adapt quite well and succeed in the new “non-traditional” family. I have to be strong and lead by example during the transition and show them that life has to go on in a new environment”. However, there are some mothers who are emotionally affected that may result in their kids ending in the wrong path because of depression at home.
Financial - Divorce is costly and divorced families are often more expensive to maintain. Working mothers will have to adjust their financial planning as the husbands financial support may not be consistent. These usually resulted in most mothers getting involved in direct sales or second job to provide for the family. For the non-working wives who are less adventurous, they will often end up a situation where they may compromise their morals. But I can see most women do not belong to those of YESTERDAY. Survival is a challenge to them and I see some successful women like Pauline who is a divorcee who started her home business making cakes and gradually makes her way to raise all her children by herself. She now owns her bakery shop and her three children graduated in different careers and Pauline has become a role model for the “single mothers.” Helen Reed is one single mother who has survived the storm from Sewing Buttons to owing 12 Boutiques in Kuala Lumpur.
Divorce is an opportunity for new careers, pursuing self studies and pushing their current lifestyle forward. It is a choice to accept what is right now, what one can do and know what it’s best to do and look for whatever opportunities that comes along the way to make things better and to get through the storm.
Divorce is a process with a beginning or an ending to a life is all up to what choices we make.

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